From the Newsstands

Don Share’s Poetry of Multiplicity

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Posted on October 2nd, 2013 at 10:51 am

October 2013 issue of PoetryNew Poetry editor Don Share’s first issue has arrived, with collage cover from the great Tony Fitzpatrick (who many will recognize from those Steve Earle albums). Here’s a bit of Share positioning himself as the incoming editor of America’s most conspicuous literary magazine:

I’ll always be looking over my shoulder as 
I move forward: a bad way to walk or drive, but a time-tested way of editing Poetry. The composer Van Dyke Parks, when asked about the tension between eclecticism and traditionalism, said that it was wonderful when somebody called him a “futuristic traditionalist.” 
I hope to be called that someday, too.

A glance all the way back to 1914 fortifies and emboldens me. Quartermain’s essay in this issue takes as an epigraph these lines from William Carlos Williams’s “At Dawn”—

O marvelous! what new configuration will come next?
I am bewildered with multiplicity.

Nearly a century later, Poetry receives about 120,000 poems a year. At the dawn of my tenure as editor, I share Williams’s exuberance: it’s a joy to be bewildered with poetry’s multiplicity.

The entire piece is worth reading, of course, particularly for Share’s lucid overview of Poetry’s editorial history.