Saturday, April 27, 2013

A New Geography of Poets Is a Roadmap To Outsider Poetry Treasure

My favorite anthology of poetry is A New Geography of Poets, edited by Ed Field, and available from University of Arkansas Press. I remember when I first got it I was instantly engaged because I saw the same poets I was seeing in the small press zines I was submitting to. Gerald Locklin, Anselm Hollo, James Broughton. Poets I had seen in magazines I actually read.

Poetry anthology
The geography alluded to in the title could almost be applied more to the attitude and philosophy of the poets as much as the region of the United States they hail from, as the philosophy here seems to be one of the small press mantras: "just say it." These are readable poems, but not simple poems. Some of these are great poems, but in all my readings of this book it is rare to turn more than two or three pages before I find something I really want to read. Although not inherently Outlaw or Outsider in nature, the poetry here does wander into both territories naturally. 

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