Poem Sampler

Best of 2007

Our year-end list of favorite reads, listens, and looks.

by The Editors

It's that time of the year . . . the snow blanketing the ground . . . at least in some areas . . . eggnog . . . mistletoe . . . ? ! . . . MISTLETOE?! . . . Festively illuminating this scene are ye olde hearth-like computer monitors blazing long into the night . . . For your reading enjoyment, we've rounded up some treats: the site's most popular poems, features, and podcasts . . . and editors' picks, for those "on the go" . . . Click . . . write some comments . . . forward some links . . . guess what the bestselling poetry book of '07 was. See you January 9!


Our Favorite Articles

1. Enter Sandman by Rachel Aviv
Why are there conflicting claims over the authorship of the popular religious poem "Footsteps"? The curious mental phenomenon of cryptomnesia might suggest an answer.

2. "Plenty of Sublimated Rin Tin Tin" by Jessica Winter
In this wild Q&A, avant-garde director Guy Maddin confesses his ardor for all things Ashbery.

3. The Poem as Comic Strip #3 by Russell Edson and Jeffrey Brown
Acclaimed graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown, who originally wanted to be a poet, transforms a Russell Edson poem.

4. Albert Goldbarth and His Robots by Richard Siken
Talking to the poet about gravity, labor, and yesterday's tomorrows.

5. How a Resurrection Really Feels by Brandon Stosuy
The Minneapolis rock band The Hold Steady give a shout-out to John Berryman.

6. Five-Book-a-Week Diet by Paisley Rekdal
This is your brain on too much poetry.

7. Imperturbable Buddha by Raphael Rubinstein
Not likely. Why Gertrude Stein didn’t like this likeness, or likenesses, for that matter.

8. Just Get the Poems Out There by Shanna Compton
How one writer found her home among the poet bloggers.

9. When Yellow Ribbons and Flag Waving Aren’t Enough by Nathaniel Fick
An ex-soldier's take on recent war poetry.

10. Genius Envy by Geoff Dyer
How Rodin's failure inspired Rilke, and other curious routes of tribute.

Our Favorite Podcasts

1. Excuse Me While I Offend You
All about flarf.

2. He Wasn't Always Such a Confessional Guy
Troy Jollimore talks about Robert Lowell's "Skunk Hour."

3. Kay Ryan on Robert Frost
Our greatest American poet collected the wisdom of chicken farmers.

4. Tough Poem? Call the Poet
Dean Young talks about writing toward the invisible reader.

5. Enough with the Poetry Already!
A reading by Naeem Murr from his essay "My Poet."

6. “To Wear Words in the Plainest Light”
Anne Stevenson on Welsh prosody, Elizabeth Bishop, and winning the Neglected Masters Award.

7. Read These on Your Death Bed
Helen Vendler on last poems by Stevens and Merrill.

8. She's Awake!?!
Poems about parenthood and sleep deprivation.

9. History's Lost and Found
Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey reads from and discusses her work.

10. God Is Annoyed
Charles Simic reads and discusses Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert.



Most Popular Articles

1. Reading Guide: John Donne by Stephen Burt
"The Sun Rising" is so romantic it is almost hard to read.

2. Original Gangsta by Stephen Burt
How the poems of 18th century poet Alexander Pope prefigured modern hip-hop rivalries.

3. Clever Upstart Declares: You're All Doomed by Travis Nichols
Dispatch from a reading by National Book Award finalist Ben Lerner.

4. The Poem as Comic Strip by David Heatley and Diane Wakoski
Graphic novelists let loose in our archive.

5. You Call That Poetry?! by Ian Daly
How seven letters managed to freak out an entire nation.

6. Poetry on Deadline by David Biespiel
Life as a poetry columnist.

7. Desire to Burn by Tim Appelo
Did Kurt Cobain die because he misread a poem?

8. The Poem as Comic Strip #2 by Gabrielle Bell and Emily Dickinson
Another graphic novelist let loose in our archive.

9. Bob Dylan: Henry Timrod Revisited by Robert Polito
When Bob Dylan lifted lines from an obscure Civil War poet, he wasn't plagiarizing. He was sampling.

10. Mother Goose Makeover: A Sign of the Times by Bruce Lansky
Popular American children’s poet and publisher Bruce Lansky has his own take on reinventing time-honored nursery rhymes.

Most Popular Podcasts

1. Avant-Garde All the Time
UbuWeb editor Kenneth Goldsmith takes us on a tour.

2. Linda Bierds
Producer Marcie Sillman profiles poet Linda Bierds.

3. Tough Poem? Call the Poet
Dean Young talks about writing toward the invisible reader.

4. Get Me Out of Here
Readings from poets who are tired of the city.

5. I've Known Rivers
The poetry of Langston Hughes.

6. So Much Depends On
Richard Swigg samples from the recordings of Williams, recently added to PennSound’s audio library.

7. Make a Shield for My Son
J.D. McClatchy on Auden during wartime, and a reading by Auden of "The Shield of Achilles."

8. God Is Annoyed
Charles Simic reads and discusses Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert.

9. The Joy of Sax
Jazzing up Billy Collins.

10. Clint Eastwood's Women, the Poetry Glut, and Other Fun Topics
Listening in to a phone call between poets Tony Hoagland and Dean Young.


Originally Published: December 21, 2007



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Bestselling Poetry Books of the Year

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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