by Johannes Goransson on Nov.17, 2013
I’m reading an anthology called “American Poetry: The Next Generation” and I think it’s very bad because of the pervasive quietist aesthetic and because of how the curating makes everything – even by poets who might otherwise write differently – into the same reflective-personal tone and narrative mode; but most of all (and this is related to the previous two) because the way it makes American poetry into something so incredibly homogenous. I’m horrified to think that this book is being used in classrooms!
Are there any anthologies of contemporary poetry that lets in the conflicts and disagreements of contemporary poetry? Aren’t anthologies for teaching? Then it seems that they’re doing an incredible disservice by suggesting that all poets are the same and believe the same thing. I mean, I’m not looking for “inclusivity”, I’m really looking for a sense that one CAN believe differently, one can be at odds.
Can there be an anthology that doesn’t seek to avoid conflicts or synthesize them (like American hybrid) but actually lets the conflicts be part of what is american poetry?
Or do we not really need anthologies in the age of the Internet?