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The Best American Poetry 2010 (Best American Poetry)

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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  37 reviews

AMY GERSTLER’S COMMITMENT TO INNOVATIVE POETRY that conveys meaning, feeling, wit, and humor informs the cross section of poems in the 2010 edition of The Best American Poetry. The works collected here represent the wealth, the breadth, and the tremendous energy of poetry in the United States today. Featuring poems from some of our country’s top bards, including John Ashbe
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Scribner (first published September 3rd 2010)
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Liz Mourant
Finding an anthology which is decent, meaty, and not too reflective of the editor's biases so much as a sampling of the many and varied voices and styles available at this time is a hard hard thing to do. However the Norton Anthology of Poetry is a good bet anytime. These one off one year anthologies are hit and miss and I declare that this one is mostly miss. It is too esoteric, in-jokey, intent on portraying coolness under pressure or grace or you know what I mean if you read this which I hope ...more
Tristan
While this did, as always, have a fair number of poems I did not like (I have come to realize I do not like James Richardson's "Vectors" series--at all), but the overwhelming majority were good. As an alphabetical anthology, continuity between pieces is pretty much nonexistent, but that is okay given the enormous number of great poems. This one really does live up to its title "best" in spite of its weak poems. I found some great pieces by "old friends"--James Schuyler, Billy Collins, Sharon Old ...more
Craig
Operation "catch up with BAP" is nearly complete at long last.

Unfortunately, this was another volume that I found disappointing despite being a fan of the guest editor.

Very few pages folded over. Let's see... Favorites from Louise Gluck, B.H. Fairchild (big surprise), Dolly Lemke, Sarah Murphy, and J. Allyn Rosser.

Humor in poetry, for me, is hit or miss. I understand Gerstler's desire to have more humor in her volume, but most of the humor in this volume was a big miss by my sensibilities. I ima
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Steve
First off, these are probably not the 75 “Best” poems from the last year. There’s just too much that gets missed. For example, my sense of it (and I could be wrong) is that the internet journals are way too underrepresented. Given the trends in publishing, one has to wonder just what the fate of some the major print literary journals will be. Electronic journals such as Jacket, Blackbird, and amazingly rich literary portals, such as Webdelsol (which has a whole array of wonderful e-zines), at th ...more
Tiffany Hickox
This is a splendid anthology of poetry from both established and emerging writers. I found myself highlighting and dog-earring my way through the entire book. Highly recommended for all fans of contemporary poetry, especially those who want a taste of what is being published in the literary journals but don't have the means to subscribe.
Rose
Feb 10, 2011 Rose rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I did not like this collection as much as I liked last year's (2009). There were poems by all the regulars (Carson, Walcott, Rich and Merwin among others, which I suppose goes with the territory. There were more prose poems than I usually like to see. Two of my favorites were Anne Carson's "Wildly Constant" (which I was not expecting to like as Anne Carson is usually too much for me) and Sandra Beasly's "Unit of Measure," which was fun, engaging and clever. I did not find myself drawn to finish ...more
SmarterLilac
I wasn't too enthused about this one, having had the inexplicable feeling it might not be the best installment in this series. As usual, however, it drew me in. There's a lot to love in this very in-the-moment collection, including more than a few poems of real emotional resonance (which is what the Best American collections are most known for.) I was also surprised to find as many long poems in here as I did, which is something of a relief. At least there's one poetry forum in this world that i ...more
Luz
We read The Grudge, A Walk In Victoria's Secret, and I never went to that movie at 12:45 in my Creative Writing class. We got to pick any piece off here or "The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009" for a critical review. I ended up doing Carrying on like a Crow by Charles Simic because it was probably my favorite poem in this compilation. My other favorites include: The Grudge,Letter to the Past after Long Silence, What's Left, Namaskar, Oh dont, and Grave.

Overall I enjoyed it, and I loved re
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Katharine Holden
Didn't fall in love with a single poem.
Melanie Faith
While I've purchased several of the Best American Poetry annual anthologies, this year's captured my imagination. Each year there's a different guest editor, and perhaps it shouldn't surprise me that I enjoyed the chosen offerings this go-'round, as I just read Amy Gerstler's wonderfully quirky book of poems, Dearest Creature, a few weeks ago. There are more language experiments and prose poems than usual in this year's selections. My favorite selection so far is Gabriel Gooding's prose poem, "A ...more
John
a couple of duds, but a pretty brilliant collection overall. Favorites:

"Wildly Constant" - Anne Carson
"Come in from the Rain" - Tim Dlugos
"This Poem Had Better Be about the World We Actually Live In" - David Clewell
"At the River"- Louise Glück
"And What, Friends, Is Called a Road?" - Gabriel Gudding
"Q" - Sharon Olds
"Their Faces Shall Be as Flames" - G.C. Waldrep
"Apologia" - Jill Alexander Essbaum
"Blue Yodel of Those Who Were Always Telling Me" - Frank Stanford
"The Perfect Faceless Fish"- Eil
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Kevin
As expected, this was a mixed bag. Some made no sense, others seemed too narrow to warrant inclusion in a Best of series, and some I connected with.

Among my favorites were Sandra Beasley's "Unit of Measure", Jeffery McDaniel's "The Grudge", Camille Norton's "The Prison Diary of Bartlett Yancy Malone", Jeffrey Richardson's "Vector 2.3: Fifty Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays", David Trinidad's "Black Telephone", and Mark Wunderlich's "Coyote, with Mange".
Cornelio
Love it. Every year this annual anthology never fails to inspire, to touch, to think, make me hold my breath, let out a sigh, or just find myself still. It always demonstrates how alive poetry is, how powerful words are. And it's a book that will beg for re-reading, and it will just keelp getting better. Sure, there are poems I love more than others, but I always seem to take something for each of them. And that's something.
Steven Tomcavage
The quality of poetry anthologies largely depends on the choices of the editor. Amy Gerstler, the editor for The Best American Poetry 2010, obviously loves prose poetry, and if she has to choose verse, she goes for very wordy verse. These are not my favorite types of poetry, so I found this collection a bit tiresome, but if page after page of dense text is your thing, this might be for you.
Rita
Jan 27, 2012 Rita rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I think the huge range of experimental styles made this volume feel a bit disjointed, and after a while I ended up skipping a few, which is quite unlike me. Every now and then I found a gem and I'd think, "I wish there were more poems like *that* in here." I don't think most of these poems will leave a lasting impression on my literary landscape.
Kayla Rose
I liked several of the poems in this book, but ultimately I looked at it the same way I do most contemporary poetry: "Huh?" I still prefer my "elders", like Yeats and Pound. Not a bad book, and definitely accessible to people who aren't poetry enthusiasts, but something I will likely be selling back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.
Elizabeth
If this is the "best" poetry of 2010 that the editor(s) could find, I think perhaps they weren't looking very hard. There might even have been more prose in this than poetry, and I was unimpressed by most of what poetry there was. I probably won't be picking up another one of these collections.
Sarah
Not a bad collection, though there were a few poems that I didn't care for (or I thought were too long). They feel like they are in a particular style. Perhaps it is just the format, but I feel like I am missing the context of a longer collection with many of these.
Rynell
Poetry is very subjective. I read a lot of poetry and I wouldn't say that the poems in this book are the BEST of 2010. There are many great poems included, but I wouldn't say that they are the very best. Who can agree on the best anyway?
Deni
I've been trying to read all of the new poetry that we order at the library and so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that I was already familiar with several of these poems! Great validation that we've been picking some good titles.
graham
Anthologies are so hard -- I loved some bits (Fleda Brown's "The Dead" is a standout), liked some others, disliked many and plain just didn't get a fair swath -- so I'll go middle of the road on this one.
Velvet Jane
I'm not sure the best poets are actually in this book. There are a few good ones and a handful of great ones. But if these are the best of American poetry in 2010, America has some studying to do.
Woody
Oct 29, 2012 Woody added it
This year's iteration is MUCH better than last year's, IMHO. B/C the editor changes year-to-year, that will be the case, but I am really digging some of the lines and stanzas this time!
Liam
Mar 03, 2011 Liam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
The Foreword and Intro were both good, the first few poems are intelligible to me. Overall this was a good collection I liked Tate's Depression and Yeager's litany of questions.
Bernadette
A little too much prose for my liking. Also, too many "known" poets who are past their ripe age and I would have liked to see more emerging poets
Tina Schumann
I am so simpatico with Gerstler. I KNEW she would pick good ones, and indeed she has. Lovin' it. Don't pass up reading her introduction either.
Sara
Apr 01, 2013 Sara added it
A handful of the utterly wonderful, but too much of the same (dark, mainly, or trying too hard). I didn't like the introduction, which is rare.
Nina
I always enjoy the foreword and the guest editor's intro. Gerstler likes prose poems and there are several in this edition.
Shelly
Some real magic mixed with a little ho hum. It is worth it for the great ones, especially the few poets I am just discovering!
Hannah
Some of the poems were really amazing, others I wondered why they were put in this anthology.
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