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.
Seacrest. Out.

Originally Published: August 9th, 2007

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), winner of an NAACP Image Award; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American...

  1. August 9, 2007

    New "Can't Resist" Poet: Juan Felipe Herrera
    A friend gave me Giraffe on Fire for my birthday and I just could not find a way in but the language in the poems was definitely calling me so I picked up Border-Crosser With a Lamborghini Dream and fell in love with Herrera's work.
    Really looking forward to reading his next volume 187 Reasons Mexicans Can't Cross the Border

  2. August 9, 2007

    hey o
    i'm on the case, checking mr. herrera out. even his titles are intriguing...

  3. August 10, 2007

    Thanks, Patricia, that's a compliment of the highest order.
    Here's my short "can't resist" list of late:
    Aracelis Girmay, Teeth
    Bob Hicok, This Clumsy Living
    Martha Collins, Blue Front
    Tim Seibles, Hurdy-Gurdy
    August Wilson, Joe Turner's Come and Gone

  4. August 10, 2007

    Lists I do adore.
    Don't Let Me Be Lonely, Claudia Rankine
    Glass, Irony & God, Anne Carson
    Dien Cai Dau, Yusef Komunyakaa
    Dark Sky Question, Larissa Szporluk
    My Sweet Unconditional, ariel robello

  5. August 11, 2007

    Again with the titles: "Glass, Irony & God." Geez.

  6. August 11, 2007

    The Book I keep revisiting:
    Lisel Mueller Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (1996, poetry)

  7. August 11, 2007
     Marie-Elizabeth Mali

    Sharon Olds, Strike Sparks (me too, this week!)
    Martín Espada, Alabanza
    Mark Doty, Atlantis
    Marie Howe, What the Living Do
    Mary Karr, Sinners Welcome
    Stephen Dunn, Different Hours and The Insistence of Beauty
    Kim Addonizio, Tell Me

  8. August 11, 2007
     Steve Davenport

    Wow, Patricia, and I thought I was nearing the end of my summer reading list.