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Over the last twenty-five years, the Best American Poetry series has become an annual rite of autumn, eagerly awaited and hotly debated: “an essential purchase” (The Washington Post). This year, guest editor Denise Duhamel brings her wit and enthusiasm and her commitment to poetry in all its wide variety to bear on her choices for The Best American Poetry 2013. These acts of imagination—from known stars and exciting newcomers—testify to the vitality of an art form that continues to endure and flourish, defying dour predictions of its demise, in the digital age. This edition of the most important poetry anthology in the United States opens with David Lehman’s incisive “state of the art” essay and Denise Duhamel’s engagingly candid discussion of the seventy-five poems that made her final cut.
Denise Duhamel is professor of English at Florida International University. She is the author of many poetry collections, including Two and Two and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems. Duhamel has also coedited, with Maureen Seaton and David Trinidad, Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. The recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she has been anthologized widely, appearing in six volumes of The Best American Poetry.
David Lehman, who founded The Best American Poetryseries in 1988, is the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry and the author of seven books of poetry, including When a Woman Loves a Man. He teaches in the graduate writing program at the New School and lives in New York City and in Ithaca, New York.