Producing A Poetry Congeries is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. As any editor knows, writers tend to have big egos, and some of us are bat shit crazy and/or assholes. But we make beautiful poems that mean and matter, so I deal with it as I have for my twenty years as an editor, for Connotation Press and elsewhere.
The worst thing about editing A Poetry Congeries is that, each August, I have to produce a “Best Of” retrospective of the year’s offerings. It makes me crazy because I love all of these poems. Damn you, Ken Robidoux, for making me do this.
As I write each year, what might constitute a “favorite” batch of poems changes with my human needs at the moment; that is, the choices would be different if I had to do it in a month or two. But today, as I sit in my quiet office at East Carolina University on a Saturday in July, after a tough move from eastern NC to Raleigh, after absorbing the horrors of the Trump regime, after reading through the poems again, here are the three choices I’ve made for each month A Poetry Congeries appeared since last September.
I have also decided that this Greatest Hits album needs a bonus disc, so I’ve also provided a link to the fabulous guest-edited selection of Native poets Natalie Diaz put together for us. Natalie came to me with the idea a couple of years ago, and we went back and forth for a while. It’s a joy and blessing that it all came together. Okay, grab a local craft beer and come with me on this journey through the past year. On second thought, grab the whole six-pack. Hugs, y’all.