What I did over (the last week of) summer vacation...
Certainly couldn't afford to, but this past week I decided to reread the poetry books I keep rereading. Trying to think of why I keep coming back to these volumes, I realized that I was thinking too much. Let's just say riveting narrative, muscle, muscle, muscle, guts. Let's say porch stories, inherent music. Let's say I'm a creature of habit.
For the record (not in the order I crave them, but in the order I picked them up):
Sherry Fairchok, The Palace of Ashes
June Jordan, Haruko/Love Poems
Stephen Dobyns, Velocities
Rafael Campo, The Other Man was Me: A Voyage to the New World
Tyehimba Jess, Leadbelly
Steve Davenport, Uncontainable Noise
Diane Ackerman, Jaguar of Sweet Laughter
Elizabeth Alexander, Venus Hottentot
Roger Fanning, The Island Itself
Jan Beatty, Boneshaker
Richard Wright, Haiku: This Other World
Lydia Melvin, South of Here
Sharon Olds, Strike Sparks
Roger Bonair-Agard, Tarnish and Masquerade
Remica Bingham, Conversion
Douglas Goetsch, Nobody's Hell
Kwame Dawes, Wisteria
Frank X Walker, Buffalo Dance
Tony Gloeggler, One Wish Left
And what a week it was. I hope this list will pique your curiosity, spark a discussion, at the very least lead you to check out and discover a poet you didn't know before. Questions and conversation welcome. Post your own can't-resist list!
Happy summer perusing.
Patricia Smith has been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” She is the author of seven books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (2017); Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle...