Poetry. Anthology from the Boston University MFA Poetry Class of 2018. In his afterword to this anthology of poetry by his recent students in the Boston University MFA program, Robert Pinsky observes, "This collection of poems demonstrates that a group [of poets] can be remarkably creative, enormously imaginative—a quality that arises not from unanimity but from its opposite. The pronounced, even idiosyncratic differences among these eight young poets have manifested an unusual, engaging whole. All of us who know them agree that they are remarkably gifted as well as consistently generous with one another and with the world. The group is confident enough to produce this collection, with that confidence based in a shared understanding that as artists they are gifted in various, fluid ways."
There is perhaps no greater cliché than the image of the lone and lonely poet, writing verse in isolation, and that makes this splendid collection all the more insightful, for it demonstrates that poetry not only can be a communal undertaking, but that it can be made all the better for arising out of community. All of these young poets display a mastery of form, of language and line, and though the voices are each unique and distinct, the resulting chorus is harmonious. Pinsky also observes that these poets "look out at the world." They understand the mission of poetry to document, and to challenge. True, they
often write from intensely personal perspectives, but for all the passions and pains, revelations and mysteries, these poems and poets never seem to cry "look at me," but rather "look at us," see who and what we are and where we have to go. As Pinsky, one last time, puts it, "The personal, here too, is also social." To read this anthology is to be assured that the future of poetry is in good hands. And that is good reason to be happy.
Contributors: Emily Yaremchuk, Kathleen Radigan, Lauren Peat, Rebecca Levi, Eric Hertz, Daniel Hardisty, Libby Goss, and Madeline Gilmore