The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine
Brand: University Of Chicago Press

The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine

  • Publish Date: 2013-08-14
  • Binding: Paperback

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When Harriet Monroe founded Poetry magazine in Chicago in 1912, she began with an image: the Open Door. May the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! For a century, the most important and enduring poets have walked through that doorWilliam Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens in its first years, Rae Armantrout and Kay Ryan in 2011. And at the same time, Poetry continues to discover the new voices who will be read a century from now.

Poetrys archives are incomparable, and to celebrate the magazines centennial, editors Don Share and Christian Wiman combed them to create a new kind of anthology, energized by the self-imposed limitation to one hundred poems. Rather than attempting to be exhaustive or definitiveor even to offer the most familiar worksthey have assembled a collection of poems that, in their juxtaposition, echo across a century of poetry. Adrienne Rich appears alongside Charles Bukowski; poems by Isaac Rosenberg and Randall Jarrell on the two world wars flank a devastating Vietnam War poem by the lesser-known George Starbuck; August Kleinzahlers The Hereafter precedes Prufrock, casting Eliots masterpiece in a new light. Short extracts from Poetrys letters and criticism punctuate the verse selections, hinting at themes and threads and serving as guides, interlocutors, or dissenting voices.

The resulting volume is an anthology like no other, a celebration of idiosyncrasy and invention, a vital monument to an institution that refuses to be static, and, most of all, a book that lovers of poetry will devour, debate, and keep close at hand.

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