The Open Door by Don Share
One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of "Poetry" Magazine

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...there are lots of great discoveries and rediscoveries to be made, like the late Georgian poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, whose “Eros Turannos,” which appeared a year after Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro,” sounds every bit as fresh and contemporary...Which brings us to the most glaring and controversial omission in the anthology: John Ashbery.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

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 door—William 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.


Poetry’s archives are incomparable, and to celebrate the magazine’s 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 definitive—or even to offer the most familiar works—they 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 Kleinzahler’s “The Hereafter” precedes “Prufrock,” casting Eliot’s masterpiece in a new light. Short extracts from Poetry’s 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.

Please note: The digital edition includes John Ashberry's poem “El Dorado” in place of Frank O'Hara's “Chez Jane” which appears only in the print edition.
 

About Don Share

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Don Share is a poet and the author, editor, or translator of numerous books. Christian Wiman is the author of three books of poetry and a volume of essays. Together they edit Poetry magazine. 
 
Published September 25, 2012 by University of Chicago Press. 211 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Lista on Aug 31 2012

...there are lots of great discoveries and rediscoveries to be made, like the late Georgian poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, whose “Eros Turannos,” which appeared a year after Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro,” sounds every bit as fresh and contemporary...Which brings us to the most glaring and controversial omission in the anthology: John Ashbery.

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