The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections

From the November/December 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 Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim.

For Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves (Ballantine, October), Glory Edim, the founder of a book club and organization with the same name, asked contemporary Black female writers to contribute essays about the first time they saw themselves or their experiences represented in literature. Jesmyn Ward, Barbara Smith, N. K. Jemisin, and Carla Bruce-Eddings, among others, share their stories.

Sheila Heti edits this year’s installment of The Best American Nonrequired Reading (Mariner Books, October), with help from fifteen students involved with the writing organization 826 National. “This book was made by the bright, single mind that is made up of all their minds,” Heti writes in the introduction. The anthology features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and comics published during the previous year; contributors include Kristen Roupenian and Hanif Abdurraqib.

Girls Write Now, a youth mentoring and writing organization in New York City, celebrates its twentieth anniversary with the release of Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories From Young Female Voices (Tin House, October). Advice from women writers such as Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem, and Zadie Smith accompany the stories of more than a hundred young women, who offer a “brave and timely portrait of teenage-girl life in the United States over the past twenty years.”