Starting Today contains 100 poems written during - and responding to - Barack Obama's first 100 days in office. The poems included in this anthology, except for Elizabeth Alexander's inauguration poem, were all written no more than a day before they appeared on the popular blog ""Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days"". The result is a work that documents the political and personal events of those crucial days through a variety of contemporary poetic voices, from the ebullient to the admiring, from the pithy to the loquacious. Editors Rachel Zucker and Arielle Greenberg explain in their enthusiastic introduction: 'In those jittery, pre-inaugural hours, it became clear to us that our exhilaration stemmed, in part, from the knowledge that we were not alone in our enthusiasm. We knew others felt called to action just as we were. That same afternoon we compiled an e-mail list of poets - friends, acquaintances, and folks we admire - from across the country and across generations. Could we get one hundred poets to commit to writing a new poem during the first one hundred carefully watched days of the new presidency? And could we get them to respond overnight, so that our project would coincide with Barack Obama beginning his job? Yes, we could! Poets wrote back immediately and with gusto'. Difficult to categorize but easy to enjoy, the poems in ""Starting Today"" offer something for every type of poetry reader, from the novice to the seasoned. This smart, timely collection offers a swirling portrait of the American Zeitgeist - a poetic reportage that demonstrates spontaneity, collaboration, immediacy, and accessibility.
RACHEL ZUCKER is the author of The Last Clear Narrative (WUP, 2004) and Eating in the Underworld (WUP, 2003), and winner of the Barrow Street Poetry Prize and the Center for Book Arts Award.