Friday, September 23, 2011

Rita Dove

Rita Dove is the editor of The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry.

From her Q & A with Craig Morgan Teicher at Publishers Weekly:

You were tasked with offering your own version of the 20th Century canon—how did you go about it?

By the time I began working on the anthology, the 20th century was done. It was a closed chapter, and that meant I could go back and see how things really begin to shake out. I was going back to look at all the ways people viewed the 20th century at various points—in 1960 the view was completely different from how we view it now. So, of course, emphasis began to shift. I kept asking myself, How much space do I give to this person, who used to get 25 pages?

Those must have been hard choices...

I loved it! But there were moments when I banged my head against the wall. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of relying on the first half of the century, to have the book be early-heavy. And I wanted to give a sense of what was going to happen, but I had this very firm rule that nothing in it could be published after the year 2000, and that meant cutting out a lot of really interesting stuff that’s been going on in the last decade.

Was it hard to pick poems and poets of your own and younger generations?

That was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue