Best American Poetry 2016 ARC REVIEW

Best American Poetry 2016 (The Best American Poetry series)

Best American Poetry 2016
Published by Scribner
Publication expected 6 September
224 pages
NetGalley ARC

Book Page (Publisher’s Website)


I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley.


The premier anthology of contemporary American poetry continues—guest edited this year by award-winning poet Edward Hirsch, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the president of The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

The Best American Poetry series is “a vivid snapshot of what a distinguished poet finds exciting, fresh and memorable” (Robert Pinsky); a guiding light for the mood and shape of modern American poetry. Each year, this series presents essential American verse and the poets who create it. Truly the “best” American poetry has appeared in this venerable collection for over twenty-five years.

A poet of decided brilliance since his 1981 debut collection, For the Sleepwalkers, Edward Hirsch curates a thoughtful selection of poetry for 2016 and an Introduction to be savoured. Jumpha Lahiri said of Hirsch, “The trademarks of his poems are…to be intimate but restrained, to be tender without being sentimental, to witness life without flinching, and above all, to isolate and preserve those details of our existence so often overlooked, so easily forgotten, so essential to our souls.” Hirsch’s choices for this collection reflect the soul of poetry in America. As ever, series editor David Lehman opens this year’s edition with an insider’s guide and a thoughtful contemplation of poetry today.


From Sentence by Christopher Bakken

No one predicted we’d be sitting there,
Just come in from a blizzard to that bar,
And three beached fishermen in the corner would interrupt
Their beans to stare at us, then return to eating, since we
Were strange, but cold enough to be left alone….


I really enjoyed reading Best American Poetry 2016. I enjoyed it even more than last year’s edition. Most of the poets are new to me and I always enjoy discovering new poets to read and obsess over. I enjoyed contemporary poetry and poetry that is quite narrative and uses free verse. This collection contains a lot of poems in the style and structure I enjoy. I enjoyed every poem in Best American Poetry 2016. This is very strong and enjoyable collection. Best American Poetry 2016 published newer poets alongside established greats such as Philip Levine and Jorie Graham. This is a good thing. My favourite poems include 32 Final Fantasy Football Teams by Joseph Chapman & Laura Eve Engel, Self-Portrait on the Street of an Unnamed Foreign City by Jennifer Grotz and Maid Maleen by Anya Silver. I’d highly recommend Best American Poetry 2016 to anyone who likes contemporary poetry.




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