The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections

From the September/October 2018 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Among the many new books published every month is a shelf full of notable anthologies, each one showcasing the work of writers united by genre, form, or theme. The Anthologist highlights a few recently released collections, including American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time edited by Tracy K. Smith.

In American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time (Graywolf Press, September), U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith brings together fifty contemporary American poems that “contemplate what it feels like to live, work, love, strive, raise a family, and survive many kinds of loss in this vast and varied nation.” Contributors include Aracelis Girmay, Susan Stewart, Cathy Park Hong, Layli Long Soldier, and Natasha Trethewey.

Micro fiction writer Robert Scotellaro and editor James Thomas curate 140 stories of fewer than three hundred words each in New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (W. W. Norton, August). “[These stories] are rife with implication, demonstrating that what is lost in explanation is more than gained through imagination,” write the editors. Contributors include Pamela Painter, Ron Carlson, Kim Addonizio, and Joyce Carol Oates.

Artist Kara Walker and writers Betsy Fagin, Claudia Rankine, and Adrian Piper are among the more than thirty contributors to Letters to the Future: Black Women/Radical Writing (Kore Press, August). Poets Erica Hunt and Dawn Lundy Martin asked Black women artists to “respond to the question of tomorrow” and “look where no one else is looking, to tune in to registers that provide critical cues for the future.” 

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