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My Poetry Picks for 2013

By Latasha N. Nevada Diggs

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Books I’ve either been blessed with, am coveting gingerly through or still on my must read list, I most appreciate these authors for their fearlessness, their insane dedication to not only their own work but that of others. As 2014 creeps on into the Capricorn chill, I want to make sure I share what little space I have in my virtual living room to these gems.

Ruth Ellen Kocher, domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press)
From the synopsis: “Ruth Ellen Kocher’s award-winning new book reaches beyond the story of historical involuntary servitude to explore the enslavement of devotion and desire, which in extremity slide into addiction and carnal bondage.” In other words, she’s dealing with the dead in ways I don’t know how to yet. Why don’t we know more about her?

Michael Leong, Cutting Teeth with a Knife (Black Square Editions)
Periodic table of elements. Concrete poetry. What Kristina Marie Darling writes “part anatomy lesson, part science textbook, and part credo, Leong ” looks to scientific discourses as a source of insight about literary history.” Basically, one of those books I’ll be referencing for a long time.

R. Erica Doyle, Proxy (Belladonna Collaborative)
Prose poems that are bound to fuck you up. They are not kind and they are not for those with a delicate stomachs. Urbanity. Linguistics. Queerness. Desire. Calculus. Sexy!

Emanuel Xavier, Nefarious (Queer Mojo)
Fourth book from one of the premiere “neo-Nuyorican” spoken word voices and what Eduardo E. Corral calls “raw, brutal. And necessary.” Within the conversation of queer and Latino poetry, this book and this author deserves more attention.

Reginald Harris, Autogeography (Northwestern Press)
Winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, I’ve been waiting some time for this book to be in the world with us common folk. Geographies of black maleness, song, and invention are all here.

And because I gotta sneak these two in (please let me sneak these two in! Please baby Please baby please please baby baby baby Please!): Kamilah Aisha Moon, She Has A Name (Four Way Books), and Randall Horton, Pitch Dark Anarchy (Northwestern Press).


Tarot for the Day: Strength (Reversed), The Tower, The Sun (Reversed)

Movie for the Day: Gap Band “Party Train”

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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, December 26th, 2013 by Latasha N. Nevada Diggs.