Thursday, January 29, 2009

American Hybrid - Table of Contents

So anyway, American Hybrid is almost here. It’s just minutes away. Seconds away.

My quibbles with this line-up of poets are so few and small as to be not even worth mentioning. And I’m thinking, from looking at the list below, it might just turn out to be my favorite anthology of contemporary American poetry, unless one ever comes along with poems from me in it. (That was meant as a joke. Trust me.)

This just in from Cole Swensen, about the anthology:

I’m putting the table of contents below as it appears in the book, which is arranged alphabetically, and as you’ll see, almost everyone in it is over 40. And then some. I find the issue of age not only interesting, but crucial; the writers in this anthology were chosen because the depth, intricacy, and power of their poetry is something that can only be attained through years and years of work. David St. John and I started this project because we recognized that what we were seeing as vital and vibrant in the work of people in their 30s, and even late 20s in some cases, was in fact indebted to gestures made one or two generations earlier. General conversation tends to regard the poetry of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s as heavily partisan, which it was, but in retrospect, the aesthetic moves of the most electric writers of those years were, in fact, often not fused to a polemic, but, quite the opposite; these writers were paying attention to various historical and contemporary aesthetic stances and infusing them with their own idiosyncratic inclinations, and are still doing so, taking American poetry in directions that eroded the binary---in short, exactly what John Hayes said in his 12:46 post. And I fully agree with you, John, in your 5:20 post re Poetry magazine: the extremes haven’t gone away, but I do think they’ve been importantly augmented by a much less definable and more dynamic activity that disregards the limits of those extremes. But because it’s less definable, that activity can be discounted, under-theorized and under-discussed. Our point, in part, is to suggest a re-look at some writers who are associated with one or the other of those extremes, to really look at the work, and recognize that they are actually among the writers who’ve broken them down.

Table of Contents for American Hybrid

Adnan Etel

Angel Ralph

Armantrout Rae

Ashbery John

Bang Mary Jo

Beckman Joshua

Bedient Cal

Bendall Molly

Berssenbrugge Mei-mei

Burkard Michael

Clary Killarney

Cole Norma

Conoley Gillian

Corless-Smith Martin

Doris Stacy

Dubie Norman

Emanuel Lynn

Fraser Kathleen

Fulton Alice

Galvin James

Gander Forrest

Giscombe C.S.

Gizzi Peter

Goldbarth Albert

Graham Jorie

Guest Barbara

Hass Robert

Hejinian Lynn

Hillman Brenda

Hoover Paul

Howe Susan

Howe Fanny

Joron Andrew

Keelan Claudia

Kim Myung Mi

Lauterbach Anne

Levine Mark

Mackey Nate

Marlis Stefanie

McMorris Mark

Miller Jane

Moriarty Laura

Moxley Jennifer

Mullen Laura

Mullen Harryette

Notley Alice

Palmer Michael

Powell D. A.

Ramke Bin

Rankine Claudia

Ratcliffe Stephen

Revell Don

Robinson Elizabeth

Ronk Martha

Ruefle Mary

Sikelianos Eleni

Shepherd Reginald

Smith Rod

Snow Carol

Spahr Julianna

Stewart Susan

Taggart John

Vogelsang Arthur

Waldman Anne

Waldrop Rosmarie

Waldrop Keith

Welish Marjorie

Wheeler Susan

Wier Dara

Willis Liz

Wright Charles

Wright CD

Yau John

Young Dean


At 1/29/2009 9:03 AM, Blogger Oliver de la Paz said...

Y'know, so much of an anthology's contents depends upon the logic of the composer's justifications.

I don't have much quarrel with the TOC either. Hell, I rarely quarrel over the contents of anthologies anyway. ;-)

At 1/29/2009 10:18 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Oh, I do sometimes. Usually anything that Gioia has something to do with.

At 1/29/2009 1:18 PM, Anonymous Janaka Stucky said...

The absence of Bill Knott is disturbing, but he probably wouldn't give them any poems...

At 1/29/2009 1:45 PM, Blogger Penultimatina said...


At 1/29/2009 3:31 PM, Blogger knott said...

huh is right . . .

why would you think they'd ask me to be in this—

the only anthology that included me in the last decade was collins' and that was lagniappe

i'm a nobrid not a hy

At 1/29/2009 6:23 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I went to a website where you type in a name and it creates a constellation of affinity names. I typed in "John Ashbery" and "Bill Knott" was the closest name.

That probably means nothing, but it was interesting to see.

At 1/30/2009 7:52 AM, Blogger knott said...

i've seen those constellations they're goof . . .

but i admire Ashbery and featured him in my Modpo class back when i taught . . .

see "appreciation: Ashbery's 'Farm Film'" on

my prose blog——

At 1/30/2009 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The usual suspects, mostly - dressed in a new moniker for marketing purposes.

At 1/30/2009 8:41 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


Oh, there's always a bit of that, as there does seem to be a bit of agreement about the strong voices, but still I can't think of another anthology that has Mary Jo Bang, Michael Palmer, Jorie Graham, Dara Wier, and Charles Wright together.

So there does seem to be somethign at work here.

And also there are several names I've not heard of before. That's always interesting (although I think the inclusion of a few of the younger poets here to be perhaps a bit premature for the purposes of the anthology . . . but if the anthology wants to show what the tendency is becoming, then I suppose there does need to be some inclusion of younger poets . . . that's a difficultquestion in putting one fo these together. I'm glad I don't have to do it.).

At 1/30/2009 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

on his rantarium, silliman often straw-dogs Iowa--as many do, of course--but he of all people should know better--this antho is the new popomo iowa constellation, her colleagues and associates and all their pals--and nothing wrong with that--if you don't like it--organize your own anthology. plus, i like the age cramp--i mean--compare this line-up to Legit Dangers? no comparison--hybrid wins.

At 1/30/2009 5:19 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Anon 2,

Well the line-up does look good. I'm looking forward to it. Legit. Dangers, on the other hand, was a very different idea, to include as many people of a certain generation as possible. This is different, as it is mostly an anthology of more established writers.

Does Silliman think about Iowa much? I haven't seen him write about it in a long time. I think the time of Iowa being the thing people point at in some special way is past. Maybe I'm wrong. It just feels to me that when Jorie Graham left, so did that whole conversation.

WV: decks


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