Alta Journal is honored that two poems published in our quarterly magazine are included in The Best American Poetry 2022, from guest editor Matthew Zapruder and series editor David Lehman.
James Cagney’s “Proof,” a meditation on race, gender, and faith involving a man with no navel, ran in Alta’s Winter 2021 issue. Born and raised in Oakland, Cagney won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for his first book, Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theory, in 2019. His Martian: The Saint of Loneliness will be released on September 27.
Inspired by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Brenda Hillman’s “[to the voice of the age]” was published in Alta’s Summer 2021 issue. Hillman is a chancellor emerita at the Academy of American Poets and a teacher at Saint Mary’s College of California. She’s written 12 collections of poetry, including In a Few Minutes Before Later, which comes out October 4.
In his introduction, Zapruder writes, “The poems in this volume…seemed to be searching as in a dream for something not easily said or known. These poems are active, full of a spirit of questioning, searching for a different way of being.”
We are so pleased that Zapruder recognized these qualities in the works by Cagney and Hillman. Congratulations to them and all the other poets honored in this year’s edition of The Best American Poetry.•