Former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer winner Rita Dove edited The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry. The Wall Street Journal talked to her about it.
It’s an all-too brief exchange, but an interesting little piece for poetry readers. Rita Dove talks about the connections and the historical arc she found after “diving into the middle” of American poems of the 20th century. She offers a little insight into how editors approach the challenges of sorting through thousands of poems to find great ones that, in this case, also represent something of the era from which they sprang.
To celebrate the new anthology, I’ve written a limerick:
A poet and editor too,
Rita Dove knew just what to do
Get rid of the phony,
Pretentious baloney —
That left just a couplet or two
You can read better poems, including some by Dove, after reading the Who2 biography of Rita Dove. Read biographies of other poets by going to our index of poets.