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I am probably the wrong person to review Robert Lecker's new book on English-Canadian literary anthologies. I do teach English-Canadian literature and have done so going on a dozen years now.
To undertake my task, I assembled as many earlier anthologies as possible, up to and including my Bar Mitzvah Anthology.
Lecker (English, McGill University) offers a sustained historical study of the elements that contributed to the evolution of English-Canadian anthologies of poetry and prose, from 1837 to 2010.
According to Braddock, the failure of anthologies to "secure a patrimony" for poetry equal to the museum pushed literary Modernism into the surrogate, institutional roost of the University Archive.
It appears that this strategy is meant to complement two previously published anthologies: Harold B.
One may always quibble with matters of selection and omission in anthologies. More important than those specifics is the way in which the text as a whole reflects both the state of the field and the needs of the classroom, and in this regard Fitzgerald and Sebastian, with their team of editors, have made a landmark contribution.
It may surprise some to note, given the tone and volume of the negative reactions to the anthology (as well as the championing of Dove about greater diversity), that the increase of representation is not as dramatic as one might imagine when compared to other recent anthologies. Dove's representation of writers of color is 10 percent better than in The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry and 2 percent better than in Twentieth-Century American Poetry.
While this approach is similar to that of traditional monuments of music and study anthologies in the print environment, moving away from the "wrapper" of the individual volumes in such a series makes it easy for the user to forget the monuments approach through which one might.
Perhaps the best place to start is with these important anthologies. This abbreviated list of SF and essays on the field, listed by editor, will give you a solid background--and provide many hours of fine reading.
Many of these poets, too, went on in the intervening years to be represented in other anthologies that draw on the work of the region's latter twentieth-century poets, including books such as Robert Higgs, Ambrose Manning, and Jim Wayne Miller's two-volume collection Appalachia Inside Out: A Sequel to Voices from the Hills (University of Tennessee Press, 1995); Joyce Dyer's Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (University Press of Kentucky, 1998); and Sandra Ballard and Patricia Hudson's Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia (University Press of Kentucky, 2003).
(Ones that appear often on syllabi in the areas in which I teach include Jon Butler and Harry Stout's Religion in American History [1997] and Jonathan Sarna's The American Jewish Experience [1997].) Anthologies also serve as statements about how history is written and how it should be written, manifestos of sorts.