After waiting a decade for this one, I'm immenselyrelieved. This book's only predecessor was a "landmark" (butlimited) 1988 collection edited by C. Morse and J. Larkin (out of print). Suppose that "reading an anthology" is like "visiting a foreign country." Well, in its well-meant attempt to raise political awareness, that earlier book seemed to trumpet multicultural diversity, which often drowned out artistic excellence in the tradeoff. As if on an official tour of a totalitarian country, I encountered many blatty propaganda lectures, touring the factories and monuments (poems with messages). But where were "the people," the individual poets' voices and craft? Thin work seemed included just so all minority-groups were included. A decade later, not so here this time! In THE WORLD IN US, ideology defers to the hundred true flowers of literary artistry for its own sake. In the 221 poems of these 46 currently-writing American poets, I can (to continue the travel analogy) depart from the Intourist route, can visit the "neighborhood cafes" where true "plural voices" speak--not those of ethnic groups, but of fingerprint-unique individual writers. I see the "flower gardens" of imagery, the "craft shops" of polished language. I view the "playgrounds" where poet-athletes sportively play with fixed forms, with the cool-toned mature control which is good style. In short, last decade's liberationist necessities have matured out here to where the only Message, is the poem's vision itself. You'll surely enjoy. My only regret is that only 46 writers appear. I would have preferred a goal which the editors explicitly rejected, "an overview or a broad sampling of the field." Instead, they sought "a long, curated poetry reading in book form." But my personal preference here cannot be a valid criticism of their decision which was bona fide. And anyhow 221 poems is a rich bouquet indeed.....I was glad to see included, co-editor Lassell's poem "How To Watch Your Brother Die." I taught this perennial blockbuster for semesters in college freshman English 101. Always, its magic turned surly, resistant, and yes, homophobic student-readers into thoughtful, changed appreciators. Now there you do have both political awareness and also poetic artistry pulling in tandem. You also have it in many of the other 220 flowers in this foreign, familiar land.