The Kenyon Review has just published a new anthology of work culled from the magazine over the past seventy years. Editor David Lynn writes:
Readings for Writers is a very different creature from your usual anthology…A different principle of selection comes into play: choosing stories, poems, and essays from across the decades to provoke lively responses from writers today, to inspire and challenge…the selections here are intended to inspire active response—pen to paper, fingers to keyboard.”
All in all, it looks like a terrific volume for teachers of writing, not to mention anyone who is engaged in the practice of writing short stories, essays, and poems. Contributions are arranged chronologically, beginning with Randall Jarrell, Allen Tate, and Dylan Thomas–all published in the magazine’s first year, 1939–and ending with Cara Blue Adams, whose essay appeared in 2009. Along the way areworks by the likes of Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Pynchon, Sylvia Plath, Nadine Gordimer, V.S. Naipul, Don DeLillo, Robert Haas, Annie Dillard, Billy Collins, Virgil Suarez, Czeslaw Milosz, Pablo Neruda, W.S. Merwin, and many others–82 selections in all.
I was browsing the contents page when, quite by surprise, I came upon “A Life in Pods,” an essay of mine which appeared in the magazine in 2008. I’m thrilled to be included in such amazing company, and can’t wait to get my copy and dig in.