Each year since then, (except 2014) I have revisited the poets that were getting my attention. Over the years there have been numerous that were close to making my list but last year last year I shortened the list from 10 to a Crush List Six Pack. Of course that doesn't make the decision easier, but perhaps the choices more significant.
There are some that have been held over from year to year and with good reason. Kelli Russell Agodon is an example of a repeat for several years Her writing and energy has been especially inspiring and I have three of her books each of which I revisit from time to time and her most recent one, quite often. You can see the 2015 list linked here.
And so, now I give you my 2016 Poetry Crush List. Again, a Six-Pack. And there are in not particular order of significance.
1. Marie Howe - author of three poetry books the most recent The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, a book that I have read and found a great deal of kinship with. Howe grew up in a Catholic family and Catholicism culturally informs her work. I read a number of interviews of her and was enthralled with her interview by Krista Tippett on the podcast On Being. I've noted with interest books that have won contests judged by Ms. Howe, It seems that I generally enjoy the same kinds of writing that she finds worthwhile.
2. Richard Siken - author of Crush and War of the Foxes. I've read both of these books. Crush I felt was the bolder of the two but War of the Foxes has it's points. Siken impresses me because he can deal well with the abstract and I'd like to feel I could write with courage that his work exudes. Ah, maybe someday...
3. Rachel Mennies - author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backward. Much the same way I am intrigued by the Catholic culture that can be found in Marie Howe's The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, I am fascinated at the impact of Judaism in Rachel's book. Perhaps even more that Howe, she has woven this deeply into this collection of poems. Jewish culture is less familiar to me, but I find it's imprint on her work appealing. That said, I've read a number of her poems aside from the book and have enjoyed the versatility she demonstrates. Some examples:
- Echo and Narcissus Pittsburgh
- Review #347 For The California Exotic Novelties Butterfly Kiss Vibrator on Amazon.com
- Anatomy II
6. Suzanne Frischkorn - author of Lit Windowpane, Girl on a Bridge and Red Paper Flower. Of these, I have read Red Paper Flower which I believe is out of print. This book was funny and hard hitting at the same time. I desperately wanted to read more when I finished. I'm assuming Girl on a Bridge is also out of print. On Amazon you can find copies priced between $146 and $374. Ouch. But seriously I keep hopeful that we will see some more work from poet soon. Real soon!