Prose from Poetry Magazine

100 Years

by The Editors

It’s now been a full century since that intrepid and ingenious woman, Harriet Monroe, founded a small but seismic magazine for modern poetry. Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Marianne Moore: the story is well-known by this point. Much has changed in a hundred years, though Monroe’s commitment to eclecticism (“The Open Door,” as she called it), critical rigor, and general decency have been bedrock principles even for the editors who sometimes fell short of them. In the next twelve months we’ll look back at some of the highlights and lowlights of these hundred years, though it won’t be a primary focus. Centenary celebrations can be a lot of bother and blather for those outside the institutions having them, so our goal is to mark the occasion with a few well-chosen pieces and portfolios that we think our readers will find interesting, and to get on with our main business of discovery. Thus, in this issue, V. Penelope Pelizzon’s essay on lost but worthy poems from the early years of Poetry is paired with Eliza Griswold’s timely dispatch from the overrun and politicized island of Lampedusa. Alert readers will recognize the brand new Pegasus on the cover this month, which is the first of twelve we have commissioned from some of our favorite contemporary illustrators. And be sure not to overlook the first of our “Back Page” features, which all year will present curious (and various) artifacts from the magazine’s history.  

Originally Published: January 3, 2012


On January 7, 2012 at 4:36pm mbh wrote:
congratulations on 100 years! as a chicagoan, i am proud and delighted by poetry magazine and its enduring contribution not only to american verse, but to the cultural life of this great city. more broadly, the poetry foundation is one of america's quiet but highly effective crown jewels. best wishes for another century of pioneering greatness!

On March 19, 2012 at 3:16am Nino Manaog wrote:
The first Poetry copy I held (December 2005 issue) was
given by Luis Cabalquinto, a New York-based Filipino
poet who writes in Bikol and English.

The gift was a wonderful treat to the polished
sensitivity and sensibility, each of which is carefully
published in one slim volume.

To the one hundred years of Poetry, Cheers!

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This prose originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2012

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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