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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

Mary Oliver holds on to the top spot on this week’s contemporary best-seller list with her latest, A Thousand Mornings. The #3 spot also belongs to Oliver with her long-standing best seller, Swan. Still hanging in the top 5 are Sharon Old’s Stag’s Leap at #2, David Ferry’s Bewilderment at #4, and Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars at #5. New to the list is John Tottenham’s Antiepithalamia: & Other Poems of Regret and Resentment. Tottenham’s book is the perfect accessory to readers committed to the single life, “a sequence of mean-spirited love poems, paying particular respect to the institution of marriage, and a meditation on the subjects of regret and resentment. Morbid, bitter, self-pitying… perhaps, but offered in the spirit of giving as a tonic to those who are not blissfully content in love and work, and as a bracing antidote to the disease of unconvincing positivity that seems to infect almost every area of contemporary culture.” Also debuting on the list is Martín Espada’s The Trouble Ball. In a review of The Trouble Ball, Howard Rosenberg writes, “Espada again uses poetry as an outlet for his desire to reveal the suffering that oppression can cause. By illuminating the invisible, he exposes castigators of both man and animal in language accessible even to those reluctant to read poems.” Kim Young’s Night Radio enters the list at #26 this week. “Set against the sprawling backdrop of Los Angeles, Night Radio excavates the kidnapping and sexual assault of a young girl and the resulting layers of trauma exacted upon her and her family. Working within the paradox of the insufficiency of language and the necessity of expression, these poems elevate overwhelming experiences into near-mythic narrative.” Finally, Susan Wheeler’s Meme and David Gewanter’s War Bird premier on the list, tied at #29.


Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, October 26th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.