Sunday, August 09, 2015

Summertime & Reading = Poets Crush List Time

If you are looking for poets to read this summer I offer you my 2015 Poets Crush List.  These are poets who I presently cannot get enough of.  I haven't done a PCL since 2013 - for some reason I missed last year but here goes....  the envelope please. (these are in no special order because they are all special.

  • Dean Young - I first met Dean Young in Kansas City as I was monitoring a Masters class at UMKC.  I read is 2011 book Fall Higher and was very taken by the abstraction of his writing. I was further intrigued by the class which lead me to purchase his book, The Art Of Recklessness. A truly cerebral examination of the art of poetry. I still pick up these books and read from them from time to time.
  • Sandra Beasley - I read Sandra's blog (Chicks Dig Poetry)  for a number of years now. She is not near as active a blogger as she once was but I got to hear her read this spring in Minneapolis where she was a featured reader at AWP15. Upon returning  home I read her book Theories on Falling. This dead to the purchase of I Was The Jukebox, and her most recent book Count The Waves. Her approach to the craft of poetry leaves you feeling  excited. 
  • W.S. Merwin - This man is like one of the Deans of contemporary poetry. A national treasure that I return to reread frequently. He has historical ties to some many ineradicable poets who have since left us. I believe this must inform his work in some way. I own two books of his many. They are Migration and The Shadow of Sirius. His work feels very organic to me. 
  • Kelli Russell Agodon - wow! The energy, the inventiveness, Poet and Editor. She is co-editor of Two Sylvias Press which she claims happened as an accident, This Press is doing some magnificent things including but not limited to the Poet Tarot Cards. But that's not why Kelli is on this list. She has published one Chapbook and three poetry collections. All three noteworthy in my opinion. Letters From The Emily Dickinson Room, her second collection really resonated with me. So much so that as her third collection was about to be released I knew it would be good but could it top Letters. Well it did! Hourglass Museum was an adventure that rocked my world. It's a journey both through her museum between pages but a life study of what it means to be an artist/writer/poet! I wish all good things for her growing press, but I hop it never takes her away from her own writing. 
  • Marry Biddinger - Mary is another editor and writer. I saw her at AWP15 and have three of her books that have been very much to my liking and she has won me over as a fan of her work. The first Saint Monica and the second  O Holy Insurgency grabbed my attention as they both were rooted in Catholic culture which I enjoyed. The most recent A Sunny Place with Adequate Water merged the pas and the present in surrealism. 
  • Jessica Smith - I can thank Jessica for my somewhat new interest in experimental poetry. I own two of her books, The Organic Furniture Cellar and her newest Life-List.  Jessica is also a birder, which is pretty cool. I got an opportunity to meet her at AWP15 as well. 
There you have it.  If you have not read any of these poets or their books, there is still time to incorporate them into your summer reading.