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Rounding Up the Best of the Best of 2014

By Harriet Staff


The recommendations are flowing like sand in soapy hourglasses. Lists of best-of-2014 publications are everywhere. Here are some. Some! How could we possibly keep track? These are in not much of a particular order. Gather round!

1. At number 1, naturally, our own Poetry Foundation staff picks in poetry.

2. The Looking Back series from BOMB Daily features extended selections (whether event, architecture, book) from editorial staff and featured artists, including Mónica de la Torre, Lisa Robertson, Andrew Lampert, and more (ongoing).

3. The Academy of American Poets’ list of standout books in 2014.

4. Split This Rock recommends Cathy Lin Che, Douglas Kearney, and more.

5. Dennis Cooper pays insanely precise attention to poetry as well as fiction. Includes Melissa Broder, Lucas de Lima, Cassandra Troyan, Dodie Bellamy.

6. Gawker asked Tracy K. Smith what she read this year.

7. Three Percent ensures we do not neglect the best in new translation.

8. Dazed Digital is eclectic, moving from best Tumblr writing, to best play, to best new journal (Prelude!), and so on.

9. The Philadelphia Review of Books sticks to poetry, and they’re fond of Jennifer Tamayo, Fred Moten, Sommer Browning, more.

10. The Academy of American Poets got straight to the point, and narrowed in on John Coletti’s Deep Code (and a lot of other great reads).

11. The Volta asked poets like John Keene, Laynie Browne, Brandon Shimoda, and more to pick their favorites of 2014. There are some obscure, later titles included here that we’re glad for, including Purdey Lord Kreiden’s Children of the Bad Hour, which made it out just in time.

12. Lemon Hound’s Sina Queyras gave first-book poets some words for thought. “They fail to compel on the whole, or dazzle in the particular. On the other hand, there were a few that really stood out.” She also reminds us that Peter Gizzi’s Selected came out this year, and doesn’t forget Anne Carson “betwixt le Proust.”

13. That old list-making standby, Flavorwire, didn’t let us down, putting Patricia Lockwood, Andrew Durbin, and Dorothea Lasky right up top; and closing with an excerpt from Cecilia Corrigan’s Titanic.

They also summed up what we were just thinking: “If you fell asleep on poetry in 2014, you might not actually be asleep: you might be dead. Poetry this year not only proved itself the liveliest and healthiest genre of writing, it also showed itself to be the most intellectually voracious.”

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.