Bettering American Poetry
A note on our editorial history and practice:
The first Bettering American Poetry project was initiated by Amy King, who gathered together a group of poets with complementary yet distinct approaches to politics/poetics to serve as co-editors of the first anthology project. Bettering American Poetry 2015 was born out of both rage and hope, with an eye toward better publishing practices and the championing of vital artists.
Each subsequent anthology's editorial team will be comprised of poets who were published in previous editions of Bettering American Poetry, as well as guest editors as yet unrelated to the Bettering project. This way, we hope to trouble the distinction between poet & editor, publisher & published, in ways that are productive and exciting. And as this series grows, we hope to build a large and supportive network of readers & writers that can take our project in new directions and build altogether new projects.
The Bettering American Poetry Series and its publisher, Bettering Books, are curated by Sarah Clark, Amy King, and Héctor Ramírez. As curators of the series, Sarah, Amy, and Héctor supplement the selections made by editors where and if necessary (for instance, in the event that one editor cannot fulfill their duties, or if we simply feel the need to bring more underrepresented voices in the room). However, it is ultimately the role of each anthology's editorial team to take charge of the content, shape, direction, and aspirations of their project however they see fit, beyond the general mission of the Bettering American Poetry Series.
We do not believe in "objective" reading practices. We do not believe in spotlighting the "best" poems from a given year. We do not believe there is any one way to master the role of editor/curator/publisher. We believe in active & passionate reading, transparency in mission & masthead, and committing ourselves to building a series that is an organism, not an institution.
Each book we put out will be an act of resistance & a space of refuge.
-Sarah & Amy & Héctor
Bettering American Poetry 2016
Bettering American Poetry 2015
Bettering American Poetry 2016 is the second anthology in the Bettering American series, forthcoming from Bettering Books in Fall 2017, co-edited by:
Kaveh Akbar / jayy dodd / Joshua Jennifer Espinoza / Muriel Leung / Camille Rankine / Michael Wasson
Bettering American Poetry 2015 is the first project from Bettering Books, co-edited by:
Kenzie Allen / Eunsong Kim / Amy King / Jason Koo / David Tomas Martinez / Héctor Ramírez / Metta Sáma / Vanessa Angelica Villareal / Nikki Wallschlaeger / Sarah Clark / Airea D Matthews