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 3rd, 2012
Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In
  1. January 8, 2012
     mbh

    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!

  2. March 19, 2012
     Nino Manaog

    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!