Book Review

The Best American Poetry 2017

bap2017David Lehman, Series Editor

Natasha Trethewey, Guest Editor

Simon & Schuster, Sep 5, 2017

ebook, 256 pages

Genre(s) Poetry, Anthology

Source Author’s Rep (NetGalley)

Other books in this series: This series began in 1988 and has published an anthology every year since.


Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner and nineteenth US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, The Best American Poetry 2017 brings together the most notable poems of the year in the series that offers “a vivid snapshot of what a distinguished poet finds exciting, fresh, and memorable” (Robert Pinsky).

Librarian of Congress James Billington says Natasha Trethewey “consistently and dramatically expanded the power” of the role of US Poet Laureate, holding office hours to the public, traveling the country, and reaching millions through her innovative PBS NewsHour segment “Where Poetry Lives.” Marilyn Nelson says “the wide scope of Trethewey’s interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.” With her selections and introductory essay for The Best American Poetry 2017, Trethewey will be highlighting even more “elegant and necessary” poems and poets, adding to the national conversation of verse and its role in our culture.

The Best American Poetry is not just another anthology; it serves as a guide to who’s who and what’s happening in American poetry and is an eagerly awaited publishing event each year. With Trethewey’s insightful touch and genius for plumbing the depths of history and personal experience to shape striking verse, The Best American Poetry 2017 is another brilliant addition to the series.

About the Editor:

David Lehman is a poet and the series editor for The Best American Poetry series. He teaches at The New School in New York City.

My Disclaimer:

I was provided a free copy of this book by the author’s representative, NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review: ✭✭✭✭⭑

This is a powerful and moving collection of poems that speak of the condition of life in our country and in our homes and families. Some were sad. Some were painful. Some were elegant and wonderful. And some were just so much gibberish. Remember this is my opinion. Poetry is a personal experience and needs to speak to the reader.

There are 75 poems in this collection. I chose 24% of the collection, that’s 18 poems that really spoke to me personally and had particular meaning to me for one reason or another. I read the bios and comments on those poets and really enjoyed them. They made the poems even more meaningful to me and connected me to the poets more personally. I’m very glad this section was done the way it was with the comments from the poets on their state of mind when they wrote these particular poems. I haven’t read any of the previous collections in this series, so I don’t know if this is the standard format, but I really liked this inclusion.

I fully intend to seek out previous years’ collections and read some of them. The quality of the poetry is impressive. It also struck a chord within me to continue my own pursuit of poetry, as I too enjoy writing in the free-form style. I entered the giveaway, but if I don’t win, I fully intend to buy a print copy of this book to keep on my shelf and enjoy.

I can’t recommend this highly enough to those of you who enjoy poetry. And to those of you who aren’t that familiar with it, give this book a try. You may find that this will appeal to you and speak to you as it is really about our lives today as we live it and see it played out on the nightly news and in the papers. Kudos, to Natasha Trethewey for her efforts.


Best American Poetry 2017 by David Lehman

Best American Poetry 2017

by David Lehman, Natasha Trethewey

Release date: Sep 05, 2017

Enter to win a copy of Best American Poetry 2017, this year’s addition to the brilliant series of the most notable poems of the year, edited by Pulitz…more


Format: Print book

Availability:10 copies available, 268 people requesting

Giveaway dates: Aug 09 – Sep 06, 2017

Countries available: US

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