Some anthologies of new poetry try to take a stand, declare a school, say what poetry is now and what it should be. Burt, a poet himself, couldn’t include all of his peers in his book, but it seems like he’d like to: what’s most striking is how little he wants to limit the field. His pleasure, and he assumes yours, comes from understanding poetry’s breadth and possibility, not its narrow pinnacle. For a reader like me, daunted by all the poets I haven’t read, his expansive essays breathe air into each poem and give me a dozen handles to hold them by. I’m left with sixty poet’s names that mean something more to me now, sixty roads, more or less traveled, to set out on.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA