Guest Editor: LYN HEJINIAN


The Best American Poetry is not just a poetry collection; it’s an eagerly anticipated event. Like its predecessors, The Best American Poetry 2004 is a definitive “who’s who” and “what’s happening” in American verse, spotlighting the most talented poets at work today in the United States.

The Best American Poetry 2004 celebrates the vitality and richness of poetry in the United States and Canada today. In her provocative introduction, guest editor Lyn Hejinian, herself among the most acclaimed and innovative contemporary writers, expresses the need for this anthology. "Meaning in poetry," she writes, "is created by the linking together of poems to form the large, ancient, and ever new human undertaking of thinking together about the things that matter to us." Through her selections, Hejinian has created an essential nexus — a meeting place for readers to encounter and commune with an extraordinary range of poets. She has brought together renowned figures such as John Ashbery, Anne Carson, and Billy Collins as well as many new and unheralded voices from whom we're going to be hearing a lot more in the future.

With illuminating comments from the poets on their work, and series editor David Lehman's insightful foreword evaluating the current state of the art, The Best American Poetry 2004 is an indispensable addition to a series that has established itself as the first word on what's new and noteworthy in the poetry of our times.

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