Off the Shelf: Jeb Livingood

January 7, 2010 — Jeb Livingood, series editor and assistant director of U.Va.'s Creative Writing Program, "Best New Poets 2009: 50 Poems from Emerging Writers," edited by Kim Addonizio. University of Virginia Press.

"This collection stands out among the crowd claiming to represent emergent poets. Much of the editing and preliminary reading was done by emerging poets themselves, which results in an anthology that's fresh and eclectic, and may actually represent a significant portion of the best new poetry being written by the next generation. ["Best New Poets"] assures the reader that poetry, even in a generation of text messaging and MP3 players, is still alive and well. The youthfulness of the anthology, combined with the wide scope of its contents, is apparent in the poems, which are edgy and daring." – Virginia Quarterly Review

In its first four years, the "Best New Poets" series has established itself as a suitable venue for rising poets and a valuable resource for poetry lovers. This annual anthology is made up exclusively of work by writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The poems included in this eclectic sampling represent the top picks from the many that have been nominated by the country's top literary magazines and writing programs, as well as some 2,000 additional poems submitted through an open online competition. The work of the 50 writers represented here provides the best perspective available on the continuing vitality of poetry as it is being practiced today.

Kim Addonizio, who lives in Oakland, Calif., is the author of five poetry collections, including "Tell Me," a National Book Award finalist. Her latest collection is "Lucifer at the Starlite." She will be a guest in the 2010 Virginia Festival of the Book.

Jeb Livingood is the faculty adviser for Meridian, the semi-annual journal published by the University of Virginia, and assistant director of U.Va.'s Creative Writing Program.