“At its surface, a cluster of electric clicks.”
—Elise Marcella Godfrey, “Pitchblende”
The new poets anthology, as a tradition, can be described as the expression of three instincts: to praise new voices, map them aesthetically, and assign them a first stratum by naming major contributors. Young Canadian poetry has been mapped and measured, since the baby boom, by a regular supply of editors eager to gather and name the generations after them. Al Purdy’s anarchic Storm Warnings gave way to Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane’s more genteel Breathing Fires. There are other examples too, constricted but often improved by their editors’ honesty about the limits and reaches of their taste. The trio of derek beaulieu, Jason Christie, and a rawlings did one. Carmine Starnino did another.