Sept/Oct 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 5 NonfictionSeptember 1, 2015 |

Devotion and Witness

Before the Door of Cod: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry, Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson, eds. Yale University Press, 2013.425 pp. $35.00. Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English 1500-2001. Carolyn Forché and Duncan Wu, eds. W.W. Norton, 2014. 641 pp. $29.95.   I think it is safe to say that the days of the Big Canonical Poetry Anthologies that for much of the last three quarters of a century dominated the market—at least the college textbook market—are numbered. Partly this is because few academics, poets, or editors can agree on what constitutes the canon. For evidence of this you need to look no further than the dust-up that recently took place between the venerable critic Helen Vendler and Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Rita Dove over Vendler's review of the Dove-edited Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry. This was played out—with a lot of ingenious verbal fireworks, with name-calling on both sides, and in Dove's case with a lengthy self

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David Wojahn’s most recent collection of poetry, For the Scribe, appeared from the Pitt Poetry Series in 2017. His previous collection, World Tree (Pittsburgh, 2011), was the winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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