Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute POETS IN THE WORLD Series
In this unprecedented anthology, acclaimed poets from around the world select poems from their countries of origin to share with a wider audience. Readers will find eloquence, urgency, and idiosyncrasy, poems all in English but springing from drastically varied voices, geographies, and histories.
Using an artist’s rather than a scholar’s approach, these poems — chosen out of love and admiration by practicing poets — show the vitality of English deployed by revered and emerging poets in Ghana (selected by Kwame Dawes), India (by Sudeep Sen), South Africa (by Rustum Kozain), the Caribbean (by Ishion Hutchinson and five other Caribbean poets), Canada (by Todd Swift), and the Antipodes: New Zealand (by Hinemoana Baker) and Australia (by Les Murray).
Mindful of the contentious history of colonization and its staining of any notion of a unified Anglophone poetics, editors Catherine Barnett and Tiphanie Yanique have created an “anthology of anthologies”: a choral oratorio, a many-accented gathering of voices that invites further discovery and promotes an intra-cultural conversation.
Featured poets include: Ama Ata Aidoo, Tatamkulu Afrika, Kofi Anyidoho, Tusiata Avia, Kofi Awoonor, Marion Bethel, Christian Bök, Jenny Bornholdt, Dionne Brand, Kamau Brathwaite, Diana Brebner, Abena Busia, Michelle Cahill, Christian Campbell, Vahni Capildeo, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Amit Chaudhuri, George Elliot Clarke, Jennifer Compton, Jeremy Cronin, Mahadai Das, Ingrid de Kok, Peter Goldsworthy, Lorna Goodison, Bernadette Hall, Lesbia Harford, Shake Keane, A. M. Klein, Shara McCallum, Bill Manhire, Kei Miller, Arthur Nortje, Kwadwo Opoku-Agyeman, Richard Outram, P. K. Page, Marlene Nourbese Philip, Olive Senior, Mongane Wally Serote, Kenneth Slessor, Kelwyn Sole, Billy Marshall Stoneking, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Habib Tiwoni, Hone Tuwhare, Priscila Uppal, Chris van Wyk, David Wevill, Judith Wright, and many more.
At the end of the day what makes the anthology worth reading is the friction between English vernaculars, the juxtapositions of dialect, the opportunity to see on a global scale the unbounded variety of the English language. Where else can you find New Zealander verse rubbing shoulders with South African? … This is a poetics interested in how English moves in the world, as equally ready to mock… as to take trenchant inspiration … The fun thing here is not so much who made it in or who’s representative; it’s the chance to watch a conversation on a global scale.
— Derrick Mattern, Devil’s Lake