Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Star’s Top 100 Books of 2011 -

The Star’s Top 100 Books of 2011 -

Among the Top 100 the Star select the following Poetry Books:

  • “Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems,” by Mark Jarman (Sarabande Books). Following the development of Jarman’s poetry and his uncompromising vision of poetry-making as sacred work, our contributor, Michelle Boisseau, found herself amazed again and again at how the unaffected discipline of Jarman’s craft helps him plumb the reaches of human experience. One of the most moving and exhilarating experiences she had this year reading poetry.

  •  “Anthony Hecht: Selected Poems,” edited by J. D. McClatchy (Knopf). Hecht, who died in 2004, was a poet of technical brilliance and terrifying depths who made unforgettable poems that have achieved permanence in the American canon. 

  •  “Space, in Chains,” by Laura Kasischke (Copper Canyon). It takes a poet of Kasischke’s extraordinary gifts to render fragmentation and loss with the intense clarity of dream in her eighth collection. • “The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry,” edited by Ilan Stavans (Farrar Straus). Work by 84 poets from 16 countries, translated (by the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Samuel Beckett and W.S. Merwin) from Portuguese and Spanish as well as from languages like Mapuche and Zapotec. This thrilling, dynamic multilingual anthology includes monumental figures like Borges and Neruda and introduces to wider audiences indigenous poets like Elicura Chihuailaf and younger poets remapping the New World.

  • “The City, Our City,” by Wayne Miller (Milkweed Editions). The muse of this exquisite collection is an imagined contemporary metropolis (with flashes of Kansas City, Miller’s current city) that thrives simultaneously with the lost cities it has risen from and falls toward, allowing the poet’s urbanites to grasp the continuity of human tragedy and joy. 

  •  “Taller When Prone,” by Les Murray (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). In the newest of his 14 poetry collections, the brilliant Murray crosses the globe and his beloved and infuriating Australia, leveling his muscular wit at our foibles in poems that are inventive, tender and water-tight. 

  •  “The Wrecking Light,” by Robin Robertson (Picador). Coming from a place along the icy fathoms of the North Sea, the currency of this major Scots poet is spare, heart-rending lyrics and haunting narratives that suggest the salt glinting from the granite.
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