The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections

From the March/April 2019 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 People’s Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction From 25 Extraordinary Writers edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams.

Dragon riders, time-traveling best friends, and androids all make an appearance in A People’s Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction From 25 Extraordinary Writers (One World, February), edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams. The editors asked writers to tell stories that “release us from the chokehold of the history and mythology of the past…and give us new futures to believe in.” Contributors include Charlie Jane Anders, Daniel José Older, and Alice Sola Kim.

Sixty-five poets, including Elizabeth Acevedo, Chen Chen, Ocean Vuong, and Ada Limón, have contributed to Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience (Triangle Square, March). Editors Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond seek to reach young readers and address the issues immigrants and refugees face, such as cultural and language differences, homesickness, and social exclusion.

To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Story Prize, director Larry Dark has compiled The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction (Catapult, March), an anthology of stories published by the fourteen writers who have won the annual $20,000 prize. Featuring work by Edwidge Danticat, George Saunders, and Daniyal Mueenuddin, among others, the book “underscores the essential truth that the best writers have distinctive voices, interests, and obsessions.” 

Writers Dinty W. Moore, Erin Murphy, and Renée K. Nicholson invited other writers, along with health care professionals, to pen personal essays for Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine (University of Nebraska Press, January). “We found that there is a need for an anthology that includes a variety of voices and conditions from all facets of care,” write the editors. Contributors include poet Sandra Beasley and nonfiction writer Sonya Huber.