Friday, 18 January 2008

Poetry Anthologies

Susan at Black Eyed Susan's commented on my recent review of Poetry Speaks Expanded asking where are all the anthologies of living poets? So I had a rummage through my bookshelves and here are some of my favourite anthologies that contain work by poets, most of whom are still alive:

Staying Alive edited by Neil Astley is a brilliant anthology of well written poetry that speaks directly to the emotions, all these poems have something to say. The book is divided into sections and includes poetry about the enviornment and about science. The poetry includes work in translation. Neil Astley has also edited the follow up volume Being Alive.

Emergency Kit edited by Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney is an anthology of imaginative, surprising poetry from across the English speaking world from mostly living poets.

Real Cool edited by Niall MacMonagle is supposedly an anthology for teenagers, but I think everyone should read it. The poetry here is direct and moving, including work from living and dead poets.

Sixty Women Poets edited by Linda France is an anthology of poetry written by women, most of whom were alive when the book was published.

Foil edited by Nicholas Johnston showcases 33 poets who have emerged since 1985. I haven't read the book but it seems to include a wide variety of work including photography.

The Spoken Word Redux is an excellent anthology with CDs of performance poetry.

The books above mostly include poets who are well known at least to poet lovers in their own country. Interland (Six Steps Underwater) is an anthology of work from six less well known poets from Ostrobothnia, Finland and Yorkshire, England focussing on the theme of water and human relationships with water.

And last but not at all least, The Book of Hopes and Dreams edited by Dee Rimbaud features poetry from the internationally famous (Margaret Attwood), the famous in the UK (Edwin Morgan) and the not very well known (It includes my poem Alchemy). All proceeds from this book go to Spirit Aid, working in humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

What are your favourite anthologies of modern poetry?


susan said...

Thanks CGP,

Will be looking at reviews of these and if I'm lucky, picking up a few.

Anonymous said...

My favourite by far is one called Bolts Of Silk. It is a live ongoing collection of some of the best alive working poets in the bloggosphere and beyond (and me tagging along just for fun). It's run in a scrupulously ethical and considerate way and it rocks big time, too.

Selma said...

I haven't bought a poetry anthology for a while but my undying favourite is 'The World Split Open. Women Poets 1552-1950' edited by Louise Bernikow (Women's Press, 1974) I believe it is OP now but I was fortunate enough to find a copy second-hand a few years back. The poetry is amazing!

Inland Empire Girl said...

What an excellent list of poems. I always love new ideas for my collection.

Anonymous said...

Oh, terrific. Can we link this at Read Write Poem, too!

(I was writing you an email and came her for your url...and lo and behold! More beautiful book ideas.)

Anonymous said...

(This is ...deb not bothering/remembering to sign in as me...)

Crafty Green Poet said...

Susan - you're welcome - hope you can find some of them - and enjoy!

Gingatao - how sweet of you to say so...

Selma - i don't know that one, I'll look out for it.

Inland Empire Girl - thanks

Deb- of course, thanks!

solopoesie said...