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The literary tradition of persona, of writing poems in voices or from perspectives other than the poet’s own, is ancient in origin and contemporary in practice. The embodiment of different voices is not only a dramatic and creative moment, but also a moment of true empathy, as the author moves beyond his or her own margins to fully inhabit the character, personality, and mindset of another human being. While there are a great number of poems written in persona, both historically as well as in the modern poetic landscape, there are no anthologies currently in existence that collect and celebrate the diverse writers who work in this mode today—or the divergent voices and characters they create.
Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz have selected a superb collection of approximately 200 persona poems. These poems embody characters from popular culture, history, the Bible, literature, mythology, newspaper clippings, legends, fairy tales, and comic books, to name just a few, and their diversity is reflective of the wide range of authors working in this genre. The anthology will also contain brief explanatory notes written by the poets to help historicize and contextualize their characters and personae.
University of Akron Press
Brown, Stacey Lynn and de la Paz, Oliver, "A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry" (2012). The University of Akron Press Publications. 160.