Like most readers and writers, I'm crazy for book covers. It's the reason I look forward to working on the Best New Poets cover each year.
From 2005 to 2010, the Best New Poets look was straightforward and simple, using one bold color and a black and white photograph to set the tone for the exceptional writing inside.
But when it came time to create the 2011 edition, we wanted to make a splash with something very different. That year, and again in 2012, we were pleased to work with talented St. Louis illustrator Dan Zettwoch. (Read about his first graphic novel, Birdseye Bristoe, in Slate, or pick up a copy.) Dan's imagination brought a new energy to Best New Poets and helped us shift the anthology's visual direction.
We'd broken out of the template, and it felt great. But as we began to prepare for the 2013 edition, the need to establish a clear and focused Best New Poets brand emerged. How did we hope to accomplish this? With a cover that didn't look or feel like a template. Something that could change easily from year to year without feeling stale. Something that struck the right balance between polished and playful. Which leads us to our cover for 2013.
Because we rely on submissions and select a new guest editor each year, the tone of each Best New Poets edition is tough to predict. How can one look encompass all that the anthology has to offer? How can it prepare readers for what's inside? Atomicdust took on the task of finding a solution, creating a look that's equal parts bold, funny, and human.
We hope you like the cover as much as we do, and that you'll pick up a copy when the book is released in November.