From Guest Editor Amy Gerstler's introduction:
A word about taste. When I began this yearlong process of, to quote the late great David Foster Wallace, "deciderization," I was determined to do my best to represent the entire range of American poetry at the present time. There would be poems of every school, persuasion, and methodology included! I would read from sea to shining sea to find them! Looking back through the anthology as it stands now, I am once again whacked in the head by what I realized not very far into the process: that I could no more escape my own proclivities, preferences, and tastes when editing this book than I can when writing my own poems.
In a way, working on the anthology turned out to be more akin to writing a poem than I would ever have guessed. Themes, modes, and ideas I've long been obsessed with: women's bodies and lives, sex, dogs, the devil, the dead, lists, drugs (psychotropic and otherwise), disease, epistolary literature, prayers, coming of age, dregs, graveyards, ghosts, religion, insanity, love, animals, drunkenness, mordant wit and other pet topics long resident in the pest house of my head make multiple appearances here. Sometimes during the process of assembling the anthology I got very lost and overwhelmed, as I often do when writing, it felt almost as though the book began to exert a burgeoning will of its own, with its own hungers, tidal pulls, quirks, and requirements, just as it sometimes feels when a poem I am wrestling with is taking shape . . .
from The Best American Poetry 2010. Buy a copy and read the full intro plus David Lehman's forward and 75 wonderful poems chosen by Amy Gerstler.
And join Amy tonight, at the Best American Poetry 2010 launch reading. Details here.