The Best American Poetry 2010
Guest Editor Amy Gerstler,
Series Editor David Lehman

* Amy Gerstler's Introductory Essay.
* Poets. * Places of first publication.

Introductory Essays to
The Best American Poetry 2010

David Lehman: Series Editor

Amy Gerstler: Guest Editor

In her 2010 introductory essay, Amy Gerstler writes on the process of selecting the 75 poems for this collection. Read the whole essay but here are my highlights:

And while I am bemoaning the not-included, I will issue a public apology to my teaching colleagues. To avoid conflict of interest, I decided not to include poems by anyone I currently teach with at the three colleges where I'm employed. [p. xix] [Very wise. JZ.]
Prose poems have always intrigued me. I feel they are a fertile direction in American poetry and they are amply represented here. If someone wants to revive that weary old argument about how prose poems are not legitimate poetry, buy me a drink and I'll politely listen to your views. [p. xx]
For me, once I stopped trying to fight my own leanings and succumbed to the idea that my taste was my sharpest tool, and that if I was going to edit this thing, I was going to have to make maximum use of it, the job got a little easier and a lot more doable. The wishful delusion I am so often prey to, that some new move or activity (getting a radical haircut, learning German, doing an enemy a favor, becoming Buddhist, editing an anthology) is going to transform me, and allow me to operate as a different being in the wide world, died the same quick, violent death it always does right out of the gate. I was going to have to edit the anthology as me, and do the best job I could under the circumstances. [p. xx-xxi]
Reading these poems helped straighten out my soul, which is in constant need of such ministrations. [p. xxi]
Many of the poems in this anthology use humor ... to question, to pull reality apart in ways that jolt us into perceptual shifts, propelling us to reassemble ourselves and our dearly held assumptions. Caricature, satire, mockery, absurdity, wit, and irony can be social, emotional, and political disinfectants. [p. xxii]
In ancient Mesopotamia, a culture perhaps not so different from our own, there were five basic job descriptions for poets:
  1. astrologer/scribe
  2. diviner
  3. exorcist/magician
  4. physician
  5. lamentation chanter

... And which one best suits you, dear reader? [p. xxii]

... This one sentence from Keats's [sic] letters:

"Here are the Poems — they will explain themselves — as all poems should do without any comment." [p. xxiii]

This anthology anticipates your presence! Welcome. [p. xxiv]

Poets of
The Best American Poetry 2010

Buy 'The Best American Poetry 2010'

Of the 75 poets whose work is included (one poems each), see our web pages on:

Best of these "Best" poems include:

Buy 'The Best American Poetry 2010' Buy 'The Best American Poetry 2008'

Notice the mode (most common) of the birth decades of the poets:

In the 2006 to 2010 issues, quick glances at birth dates give this approximation:

of birth.
2010 issue. 2009 issue. 2008 issue. 2007 issue. 2006 issue. 1995 issue.
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
2 3 1 1 0 0
10+1=11 9 10+2=12 10+6=16 10+1=11 0
10+7=17 10+8=18 10 10+3=13 10+2=12 7
10+10+1=21 10+3=13 10+10+1=21 10+5=15 10+4=14 10+10+10=30
10+5=15 10+9=19 10+6=16 10+5=15 10+10+3=23 10+10=20
4 6 8 6 10 5
5 6 6 6 3 10+2=12
0 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0

Places of first publication before poems appeared in
The Best American Poetry 2010

Acknowledges first publications in 52 publications, which is close to the mean (which is 51) of totals for the previous five years:

2010 issue 2009 issue 2008 issue 2007 issue 2006 issue 2005 issue

Places of first publication for the 2010 collection are:

  1. 32 Poems
  2. ABZ
  3. Action Yes Online Quarterly
  4. Agricultural Reader (The)
  5. American Poetry Review
  6. Antioch Review
  7. Atlantic (The)
  8. Boston Review
  9. Boulevard
  10. Brooklyn Rail (The)
  11. Callaloo
  12. Chicago Review
  13. Columbia Poetry Review
  14. Conduit
  15. Court Green
  16. Double Room
  17. FIELD
  18. Five Points
  19. Georgia Review (The)
  20. Harper's
  21. Hat (The)
  22. Hudson Review (The)
  23. Image
  24. LIT
  25. London Review of Books
  26. Michigan Quarterly Review
  27. MiPOesias
  28. New England Review
  29. The New York Quarterly
  30. The New Yorker
  31. Open City
  32. Oxford American
  33. Pleiades
  34. Ploughshares
  35. Poetry
  36. Poets and Writers
  37. Prairie Schooner
  38. Public Space (A)
  39. Sentence
  40. Sewanee Review
  41. Sewanee Theological Review
  42. Sienese Shredder (The)
  43. Sixth Finch
  44. Sonora Review
  45. Southern Poetry Review
  46. Tin House
  47. Vanitas
  48. Verse
  49. Virginia Quarterly Review (The)
  50. West Branch
  51. Witness
  52. Women's Review of Books

Links and Books

Links and Books.

[Thanks for visiting.]