Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Poetries V

Received my copy of New Poetries V yesterday. It's a beauty. It has a nice thick feel to it. The cover image, by Isabel Schmidt, is full of overlapping gentle things in soft colors.

Beyond advocating for his poets, Michael Schmidt's preface says a number of useful things on the principles that should guide an editor or anthologist:

Editors who are not promoting a movement or a group, when they tear open an envelope or click an email attachment, hope to be surprised by the shape on the page, by syntax, by the unexpected sounds a poem makes, sometimes with old, proven instruments used in new ways. They might hope to find evidence of intelligence. And they respect creative disobedience. Where there are schools they look for the truants; where there is a consensus with its levelling decorums, they edit against it. They are not looking for unschooled talent but for poetry as discovery in form and language. And the question of relevant subject-matter need arise only if it does arise. Nothing is prescribed.

Useful things to bear in mind as I consider whether to guest-edit an issue of Mascara.

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