Rita Dove, a scholar and former poet laureate in the USa , included previously unanthologized women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, alongside recognised luminaries in the anthology but Helen Vendler, professor of poetry at Harvard and herself an editor of several anthologies took a dim view of the line-up.
In the Nov. 24 New York Review of books Vendler reviewed the new book, taking Dove to task in terms she may live to regret. “Why,” she wonders in an especially combustible line, “are we being asked to sample so many poets of little or no lasting value.”
The controversy has been lighting up the blogosphere on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, Marguerite Maria Rivas wades in with her take on the issue.