Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon has been named the new poetry editor for The New Yorker. The Irish-born Muldoon (who also edited the Best American Poetry anthology in 2005) joins the ranks of English-born Glyn Maxwell at The New Republic and Yugoslav-born Charles Simic at Paris Review. And Simic is also now the Poet Laureate of the United States. Has anyone spoken to Lou Dobbs about this? Should we be concerned that Europeans are taking jobs away from American poets? Or is editing the kind of work that Americans are no longer willing to do? All kidding aside, this seems another example of the healthy internationalization of American literature that has been going on recently. Maybe it’s time to put away ideas like Best American this-and-that in favor of publishing the best work, period—regardless of where it appeared or where the writer was born or lives now. Maybe we can also hope that an Irish poet such as Muldoon will have an eye for harder-hitting, more topical poetry than we’re used to seeing in mainstream American magazines.
PUBLISHED: September 20, 2007