How Do Poets Choose A Collection Opener?

This is great info…

Chicago Review of Books

Opening poems establish the tone of a book. Sometimes they set up the stakes, the themes, the images that will recur. It is relatively common practice now that a poem will begin the book, set off from the poems that follow, as a sort of prologue. In a way, this offers the book two opening poems, one that acts as an overview or preview, one as the launch point. Without a prologue-poem, I find myself asking that much more of the opening poem, to cover the ground of both beginning the book and preparing me for the rest of it. And yet, I don’t want a book without surprise. I would never want an opener to give away too much.

For this sampler, I invited four poets to share their thoughts on opening poems, all of whom have prologue-poems in their new books.

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s loss of…

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