Before I begin this post I will confess (a Friday theme, it seems) that generally I'm annoyed with most anthologies.
The ones with the good bios and useful introductions never seem to be the ones with the poets I want to read/teach. The ones I really dig end up out of print or broken into two parts (a la Norton Modern Po...boo). I won't even mention all of the controversial and sometimes glaring omissions.
I've made it my goal to use as few anthologies as possible these days, in order to use single-author small press books instead. I do dig small press anthologies, however.
That said, here's my question.
How do you feel about the editor(s) of an anthology including themselves in said anthology?
Maybe I'm exposing my litmag-exclusive background in editing and literary publishing, but the idea of including yourself in the book you are editing confounds me. It puzzles me the most when it's something momentous like The Top 100 Poems Of All Time and the editor is someone who has not published extensively elsewhere. Isn't this just inviting extreme scrutiny and potentially torrential whining in the blogosphere?
Any thoughts on this phenomenon? I'm always threatening to put together an anthology of Poetry of the Body in my bounteous spare time, and if I do you certainly won't see my poetic bods in there.