|Poet Amber Decker Begins Her Journey|
This was my first experience editing an anthology and I learned so much! I worked with a fantastic team of people including Catherine Barnett, Ilya Kaminsky, Brian Turner, Beth Allen, and Jared Hawkley. And then there were the leagues of fact checkers, proof readers, permissions coordinator --- and a host of other key players. I can't imagine doing such an undertaking alone.
The idea for this book came from a conversation Ilya Kaminsky and I had a number of years ago when he came out to Seattle to give a reading at Highline Community College where I teach. We bemoaned that fact that young poets wanted to get out and see the world but had little idea how to make this happen if their pockets weren't lined with gold. Surely, there must be a book that could inspire poets to do what other American poets had done before them. Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin, Phil Levine, and Yusef Komunyakaa all spent considerable time living outside the United States. And they wrote about it -- how it influenced their poetics and their worldview.
The book also contains a large resource section with information on how to apply for grants, fellowships, and jobs abroad. It's a book I plan on using as I dream about poetry trips to India and Italy, Turkey and Thailand. Happy travels!