The Best Poems From The Year

[Re-posted from December 22. Today is the last day to take advantage of The Poetry Society of America’s holiday membership drive. Please consider supporting their work here. Review all of our poetry picks from 2014 here.]

There isn’t another political or current affairs blog I know of that has poems suddenly poking up all over the place. It’s one of the things I’m proudest of here at the Dish – because it makes the implicit alicepoint that wisdom comes in many guises and that there are more ways to understand life than explainer-journalism. All of this is very fine and dandy in theory, but none of it would be possible in practice without our Poetry Editor, Alice Quinn. In the world of poetry, Alice is a legend. Her impeccable taste and depth of knowledge, her passion for the form, and her dedication to its survival and its necessity are the stuff of literary lore. And sometimes it seems not only that she knows a poet’s work, but that she actually knows him or her, and is or was a friend. So when I think of how we can sustain the kind of culture that the now-dying liberal arts magazines once did, I hope the integration of poetry into blogging is one small sally into the prevailing winds.

Alice was Knopf’s poetry editor from 1976 – 1986 and the New Yorker’s poetry editor for the next twenty years, and is now the executive director of the Poetry Society of America. And, every Christmas, we invite our poetry-loving readers to express their appreciation by joining the Society. This year, they are running a special year-end membership campaign from now until January 2nd. While supplies last, anyone who joins at the basic membership level gets a signed, limited-edition broadside of “Frogs” by Gerald Stern with an extra $10 donation. Any donation is tax-deductible – and for a short time, you also get a beautiful broadside in the bargain.

Sign up for your membership here.