If you are a writer and a serious reader of literature, there are some books worth adding to your hands-on library collection. I will be recommending various "take-a-look" and "must-have" books from time to time.
For those of you who missed Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-PO Listserv (Red Hen Press, 2008) when it was first published, you might want to consider it now.
This is a truly innovative book with a compelling organic structure. The mini-essays form a kind of bridge among the various poems. Think of their use and purpose in this book as being similar to the prose sections in Paterson by William Carlos Williams. As with the structuring of Williams' epic poetry classic, the mini-essays in Letters serve to create a holistic "story." In both books, the prose pieces are like stepping stones set in a lyric river which help us navigate swiftly moving water. In addition, the creation of this anthology is fascinating. The synopsis on the back cover says:
"Letters to the World is the first anthology of its kind—a feminist collaboration born from The Discussion of Women’s Poetry Listserv (Wom-po), a vibrant, inclusive electronic community founded in 1997 by Annie Finch. With an introduction by D’Arcy Randall and brief essays by the poets themselves reflecting on the history and spirit of the listserv, the book presents a rich array of viewpoints, and poems ranging from sonnets to innovative forms."
Below is a picture of me (left) with Annie Finch (middle) and another poet at the Letters panel discussion at AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) national conference in 2008.