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 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 kwledge that we were t alone in our enthusiasm. We knew others felt called to action just as we were. That same afteron 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 vice 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 four books of poetry, including Museum of Accidents and The Bad Wife Handbook, and is coeditor, with Arielle Greenberg, of Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections (IOWA 2008). She teaches poetry, is a certified labor doula, and is studying to become a childbirth educator. Arielle Greenberg is the author of My Kafka Century and Given and coeditor of the forthcoming Gurlesque, with Lara Glenum. She is an associate professor at Columbia College - Chicago.