This is my final round-up of quotes + links from the 2018 Poet Bloggers Revival Tour, supplemented as always by some other poetry blogs from my feed reader. What a varied and interesting year it’s been! This digest has in most cases constituted Via Negativa’s only real contribution to the poetry blogging community—I tend to be too busy drafting new poems (and blogging most of them, it’s true) to also find the time to blog about poetry, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. But I don’t plan to stop doing a weekly digest… and fortunately, the proper poetry bloggers don’t show any sign of slowing down either.
Introducing the Poetry Blogging Network
Kelli Russell Agodon, one of the co-founders of the Poet Bloggers Revival Tour, has just launched what I suspect might become a larger and more permanent version of it, the Poetry Blogging Network. Click through to sign up.
In addition to designing a nifty badge, Kelli has suggested a focus, envisioning “a group of poets who are dedicated to blogging about their poetry lives, the ups and down of being a writer in the world, along with what they are reading and writing.” She doesn’t say how often people ought to blog, but notes that she herself is “committed to blogging at least 2x a month (with my accountability buddy, Susan Rich, to keep me honest.)” Based on my own experience here at Via Negativa, I would add that getting a co-blogger is another good way to keep the blogging energy going.
Kelli has also volunteered to host the links list, with Valentine’s Day as a deadline for new additions, and I really hope that all the Blog Revival Tour regulars will re-up, and that other bloggers whom I’ve sort of unofficially added to the revival tour over the past year will take the opportunity to add their blog links to this list as well. Also, it would be great if the community were a little more diverse this year in terms of geography, ethnicity, sexuality and gender orientation, poetic style, etc., which might require some of us to make an extra effort to reach out to people who aren’t necessarily already within our cozy social media circles. If there’s one thing the poetry world doesn’t need, it’s more cliques, factions, and in-groups. Let’s build the most inclusive network we can! And also, let’s read and link to each other as often as possible. Please don’t let mine be the only regular digest.
Jesus never watched YouTube
or used glitter glue.
He didn’t dance the foxtrot
or even the hora.
He never rode a school bus
or sharpened a No. 2 pencil.
If he were here, he might marvel
at tweets from Lin-Manuel,
at the array of snack foods
in even the most basic 7-11.
But I think he’d be too busy
tenderly cradling the body
of the latest migrant childRachel Barenblat, Jesus never ate chocolate
to die in government custody,
in the halls of Congress,
searing the earth
with his tears.
For Noël, the French received a gift of unknowingness. It’s a lucky gift! Les gilets jaunes have doled out confusion to their compatriots who are singularly sure of themselves, gifted in the pur et dur, the absolute. Their clipped “mais oui!” or “mais non!” has, until now, been singularly annoying.
In this new moment, when asked about politics, people pause, hesitate, search for words that are taking days and weeks to form. They glance out the window at the full moon, the crumbling cornices, the slate roofs. Roll over, Descartes! Perhaps there are no answers at all!
Yes, the conceptual ways of thinking are sinking under their own weight. The good news is that the French have a great correction in their back pocket. Food, or exquisite attention to the everyday. The marchés are cornucopias of oysters, escargots, fishes, feathered pheasants; they have a milky way of pungent cheese, chocolate and of course the faucets nearly run with wine. Celebrations aren’t just about consumption: they are happenings of community. I also think of Francis Ponge’s poems about oysters and escargots. When systems can’t be trusted, when they fail, go to what you can touch, taste, what is close to the heart. Don’t go to nihilism, go to regeneration. It’s a chance to reimagine what society could be, to clear space for imagination and the beauty of what is. Jill Pearlman, To France: The Gift of Not Knowing
On the back of #PoetBlogRevival, I started the year with good intentions: to blog weekly about the poetry life. How hard could it be? I stuck to my resolution for over six months, blogged sporadically over late summer and haven’t posted at all over the last three months. So what? you might say.
There are many others with much more to say and whose literary achievements are worthy of note (check out, for instance, Matthew Stewart’s annual round-up of the best UK poetry blogs over on his blog, Rogue Strands).
I attended the Forward Prizes for Poetry in introvert mode. Since then, I’ve more or less withdrawn from the poetry world ‘out there’. I’ve begun to feel overwhelmed by e-newsletters, blog posts, web links to further reading and other such means of keeping abreast of poetry what’s news, hip and happenings. Much of it has gone unread. I’m more behind than ever with my reading of the magazines I subscribe to. I’ve been less active on social media, too (no bad thing, that).
On the positive side, I’ve written twelve new poems on a theme, with others in the pipeline. And successes are up on last year…Jayne Stanton, 2018: the long and the short of it
2018 has been my biggest year to date for videopoetry. I came to the genre by pure chance in the middle of 2014, after making short experimental and narrative films on and off for about 35 years. Videopoetry completely rejuvinated my film-making, returned my love of it to me at a time I felt it was all close to expiry. In the past four-and-a-half years, I have made over 60 short videos, more than the sum of my film-making over all previous decades. I am so grateful to have been welcomed by the international community of film-makers, poets, curators, editors and audiences that, like me, have come to love this unique genre. Grateful too for the captivating videos and poems by other artists that have inspired and influenced me over recent years.Marie Craven, End of year 2018
Just a couple of weeks ago, I completed judging of the first Atticus Review Videopoem Contest, an event that will now be added to the international videopoetry calendar for future years. Atticus is an online poetry journal coming out of the USA with a large and wide readership. It is one of the few poetry publications worldwide to feature videopoetry as an ongoing feature. It was an honour to be invited by the editors (David Olimpio and Matt Mullins), to be part of kicking off this first year of the contest. I found great pleasure in watching, and sometimes re-watching, the 115 videos sent in to us. The quality was high. In fact, as a film-maker myself, the rich creativity of my peers was humbling, in a good way. And so it was a challenge to select only four awarded videos. These have already been publicly announced, and the videos themselves will be published in Atticus on 11 January. But all four videos are available for viewing now to intrepid explorers of the film-maker weblinks to be found on the awards announcement page.
In 2018 I have completed and publicly released 11 videos, along with a few others that, for various reasons, are currently only available for private viewing. Here are the latest three I have not yet discussed here on the blog…
Though not much in touch with popular amusements, I am touched by bemusement. I like to think of amusement as, to be beguiled by the muse. And she is always here somewhere, waiting to distract me from ordinary thoughts in order to move me towards more ineffible states of being.
Like the sensation I woke to this morning that tugs at me to write a poem with the word frottage in it. I recall hearing this word from the lips of my first woman lover, perhaps I was dreaming of her? I now recall that it is an art technique, which also involves rubbing. The metaphors abound.
And regarding 2019: I want to start a new blog for reviewing poetry chapbooks. I’m trying to figure out where/how to do this so that it will get some visibility. I’d also be happy to buy your chapbooks, and review them. Please send me links and any suggestions you might have for this project. And what to call it?Risa Denenberg, Sunday Morning A/muse/ment
Part of the magic of this poem, for me, is the way it understands how children imagine, how they are formed by chance encounters and stories whose tellers never imagined the impact they might have, and how our childhood is carried in us, and how we can be startled back into it, and in some ways become as powerless as a child. The framing narrative is kept implicit..you used to say …. these stairs …everyone else…..your room.The detail is kept for the stories of each tread, the fabulous tales told to a child who will never forget them. And then there’s the power of the image of one rooted to the foot of a staircase and its narrowing closed off perspective. I love the way poem pivots on that one line .why did you never tell me? In its control and contained love and grief it does everything I want in a poem. […]
So there we are. Thank you to all the cobweb guest poets of 2018. I hope you all have a happy and successful 2019.
Why not make a start by submitting your poems about food, or food related poems, or poems with taste and flavour and possibly a recipe for a better world to The Fenland Reed. It’s a handsome journal edited by lovely folk. Go on. You know you should. Here’s your link. https://www.thefenlandreed.co.uk/submissions John Foggin, Best of 2018. November and December: Tom Weir and Christopher North
There was a time. One time. Sometimes I write depression. Disability? The literature of loss. Situational. There are situations: once, twice, a decade: daily there was beauty. Pain grinding me to bone. I could bear to look at my own hands as he saw them, you know. Also: how small I was when I was dying: how we all loved that. How we all loved me as superhero, triumphant. How once I told all my dreams. This morning the wind rocketed, screaming. A cobalt pre-dawn sky with half-moon and Venus. In sleep I’d walked-out: what that means so clear. But I can’t talk about it—see, time has changed. It’s not safe. Out loud. What you are can and will be used against you. Say: big cat padding through night has become herself an insult, or apology. Treading. Careful, water. Whole silences now. Which means, of course, I no longer know how to be beautiful: how did I do that, again? I can’t think. Up a fire tower, wind-quaked, I left my coat in the car. All drugs on board and hyperopic to farthest horizon. Everything close gone dark and blur, but vanishing point a fierce, bright clarity. How relieved I was, finally. Calm. Waking, there was only deafening wind. Memory of being. Beautiful. Of everything, aloud. How did this happen is the question of literature. How does a person come to this? JJS, December 29, 2018: the question of literature
Merry 5th day of Christmas and Happy New Year, with some thoughts, hopes, and plans for the coming year…
Marly Youmans, At the threshold of years: a few resolutions
- Turn in two final book manuscripts.
- Continue running the Christ Church Cooperstown women’s group another year–next up, a book discussion about the curious medieval document, The Cloude of Unknowyng. (Last year, there was one book event–Buechner’s Godric.) Figure out some more wild outings and events and workshops, often arts-related.
- Send out at least one poetry manuscript.
- Do some work for Fr. James Krueger’s meditation retreat Mons Nubifer Sanctus in Lake Delaware with my friend Laurie, now that we’re both on the board.
- Read more. 2018 was a bad year for reading because I was stretched a bit too thin. I want to read more classical writers and also some of the early Christian mystical writers. More poetry and stories. And the stack of unread novels.
- Make like a tree and put forth green leaves. Drink from deep sources.
- Work on that odd idea for a new novel. Secret, of course.
Improve my health to avoid losing months to illness…
- Skip blurbing other people’s books for at least a year (because I couldn’t manage those commitments in 2018.) […]
I still remember walking across campus with my friend Stephanie as she explained to me about this new idea in the tech world: Blogging. Why would anyone choose to write journal entries that would be shared with the world? It was like leaving your journal on the bus or better yet, giving a stranger specific access to your thoughts. What a weird idea, I thought; it will never catch on I told her.
And here I am in my ninth year of Blogging at Blog Post Number 1,000. How did that happen?
The truth is, I do remember why I started. I wanted the casual and low stakes world that blogging provides. As a poet, it’s too easy to fuss over each comma and semi-colon. I wanted to see what would happen if I published work that didn’t need to be polished to a high sheen. I also had a very practical reason: The Alchemist’s Kitchen, my third book was about to be published and I had no idea how to publicize it. Friends of mine, Kelli Russell Agodon and January O’Neil had been blogging for years and finding real connection with other poets through the process. I thought I’d give it a try.
Blogging allowed me to connect with other poets and writers, many of us just becoming familiar with this thing called Publicity. We did virtual poetry tours interviewing each other when our books came out and sharing poems that we loved from dead mentor poets (Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov) as well as from work just appearing in journals. We wrote articles on how to organize a poetry reading for optimum success and shared information on favorite writing retreats. In other words, we were creating a network of poets who were neither academics or poet rockstars — anyone with access to a laptop, with access to a library was invited to the party. Susan Rich, PBN for Blog Post Number One Thousand – 1,000
I took part in the Great Poet Bloggers Revival, launched by Donna Vorreyer and Kelli Russell Agodon, which challenged poets to publish one new blog post per week in order to help everyone feel more engaged in the community.
This year, I managed to put together 63 blog posts — not all of these were put out weekly as intended and not all focused on poetry. But I’m feeling happy and confident about the amount of blogging I managed to do in 2018.
Out of all the blogging I’ve done in the past year, I am most proud of the eight poet spotlight interviews I’ve conducted. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of and learn from the poetry community — and since I’ve been lax on participating or attending readings and open mics, being able to still feel connected through these interviews has been wonderful. Andrea Blythe, Building Poetry Community: My Blogging Year in Review
OMG, is it time for a Poetry Action Plan? Why, yes. Yes it is!
What, you may ask, is a Poetry Action Plan, or PAP?
It is a road map for how to think about your writing life. I have created a plan for the past 11 years and it has served me well–even in the years when I didn’t think I needed a plan.
There are four steps to creating a PAP.
1. Define your goals. What is most important to you as a writer?
2. Be realistic about what can you achieve.
3. Track your progress.
4. Prepare for setbacks BUT be open to opportunities wherever they appear.
And if I had to add a fifth step, I’d say don’t be too hard on yourself for not accomplishing a goal.
As I have mentioned, Last year, after dealing with the death of my ex-husband at the end of 2016, I was just trying to stay above water. We were used to our little system of pick ups and drop offs. And while I never thought I had enough time, I really missed (and still miss), the balance of another parent, for everything from child care to having another voice in the room. But I managed, somehow, to get a few things done.
In 2019, I will:
January Gill O’Neil, OMG, is it time for a Poetry Action Plan? Why, yes. Yes it is!
- Get ready to move to Mississippi! I had this as last on my list, but really, this is Job 1. The kids and I are moving this summer to Ole Miss for nine months. So all of my energy is going to making the transition as smooth as possible. *Gulp*
- Write a poem a week. I didn’t write very much in 2018. It was painful not writing, but I just never found my groove. This is just a part in the evolution of my process, I tell myself as I wallow in a pool of self pity. But, it’s time to get back to basics.
- Submit to eight top-tier journals. Believe it or not, I sent poems to three journals. Still waiting to hear back from two. I was asked to submit a few places. Admittedly, I regret not writing or sending out in 2018. Won’t make that mistake again.
- Help Rewilding find the widest audience possible. See my last post.
- Laugh more.
I keep saying I’m not going to try to finish my manuscript anytime soon—that I’m going to wait until I’m done having kids. But if you have ever finished a manuscript, maybe you can relate to the pull it has on you—I want it to be READ. I want it to be out in the world. And as much as I tell myself it isn’t the right time, I can’t promote it right now, I can’t spend money on contests or time on editing—here I am, printing off a paper copy to do the work of “ordering the storm”—rearranging the poems into a final arc—then the paper edits, poem cuts, poem additions….this isn’t at all when I intended to work on this manuscript, but I feel like my writing is stalled in a way, built up around this work that needs to be “birthed”—and as much as I hate the analogy of the book being “my baby”—no, not at all—I can relate it to that horrible waiting period, overdue, heavy with new life. It is a little bit like having a child that no one has met. At the same time, I want to do this right. I love my past publishers—they have been great to me—but I think that I need to win a contest to get the book any attention. I can’t manage five kids homeschooling and teaching online, plus book promotion to the scale that a small press would require. The goal is that I’d like my poems to be read by real live human beings. Now I need to just figure out the best way to make that happen. Renee Emerson, Paper Edit
Sometimes the critique offered is not something I can figure out how to make my own, or how to grapple with it in the given poem. Especially if I’m unclear about the problem the critique suggestions are meant to solve, I can’t comfortably settle into the solution. I can try things but have no ability to gauge the success or failure of the attempt.
Or sometimes I understand and agree with the critique, but just can’t make the given poem hold up. When I turn one screw, the whole thing gees or haws to one side or another. The center cannot hold. (Maybe a revolution should be at hand…)
At any rate, receiving and using critique is very tricky. First, I have to have sufficient distance from the piece to be able to see it NOT through the rose-colored-glasses of first-love and also NOT through the who-wrote-THIS-hopeless-piece-of-crap smeared window. I gotta be cool, man, real cool.
Then I have to be willing to play around, try anything, mess things up, break things open, dismantle and remantle. That can be hard. I know what I wanted the poem to do. Sometimes a critique wants to take the poem in a different direction. It can be very hard, sometimes impossible, to allow that process. That doesn’t mean the critique isn’t right on; it just means that I don’t have enough distance yet, or as a writer I’m not yet skilled enough to figure out how to follow through, or I just don’t want to go in that direction, for whatever misguided (or guided) reasons.
Sometimes a critique is off base. Sometimes a critique is not well grounded itself. You have to be open enough to both consider a critique, and to discard it. That takes a level of self-confidence that to some borders on hubris. Own it. You might be wrong in the long run, but at least you can be honest about the fact you considered an idea but then turned it away.
As I’ve noted before in this space, one of the most important editing tools is time. Sometimes I just have to put it all away, poem and critique and notes and versions. Move on, at least for the moment.Marilyn McCabe, Abandon Hope; or, Grappling with Critique
Neither starshine nor moonlight.
Instead, snow shine wraps me
in diamond dust at midnight’s hour.
Clouds cling to the earth, yet
a thousand celestial luminaria
light this solstice night. In the yard
a host of snow angels pressed Bonnie Larson Staiger, Solstice: Seraphim in Snow
everywhere. No sounds, no footfalls.
No crinkle of crenelated wings.
Everything is red this morning – the soil, the river, and water draining my throat –
bloody like the spout from the hawk’s neck.
Stars wheel though darkness as in creation-time nameless but with the identity
of my dead mother.
Where are the homes of birds, food for the bees, the sun whose rays must penetrateUma Gowrishankar, A Tale From The Forgotten Land – II
the graves of my people?
I do hope that this machine lasts longer, but I also know that five years seems to be the life of many a major appliance these days. Kristin Berkey-Abbott, The Sounds of Washing
I think of my grandmother who had a washing machine on a porch that had no room and no electric for a dryer. She took the wet clothes to the clothesline at the back of the yard every week of her life until her heart attack prompted the major life change of moving to an assisted living facility. Her heart attack happened as she was hanging clothes on the line. She collapsed and stayed there, under the clothesline, under a hot August sun, until her neighbors checked on her late in the evening after she didn’t answer the phone.
It was not the first time I realized that my family is made of pretty stern stuff. On days when I feel disheartened or discouraged, I think about my ancestors, and I find the courage to keep going.
I also realize that almost everything I face is nothing compared to what they went through. A washing machine that goes wonky? Kitchen cabinets that are delayed? I can hear the ancestors snorting at the thought that I have troubles.
It’s been a good morning. I’ve read some poetry; the new collections by Terrance Hayes and Kevin Young are amazing. I wrote a poem that’s nowhere close to what they’ve done, but writing is the winning of the battle. I’ve got a load of sheets in the dryer. I’m happy that yesterday gave us an appointment for the delivery of the cabinets: Feb. 4–hurrah!
And now off to take care of my physical body–spin class calls!
This Christmas has mostly been about recovering from minor arthroscopic surgery to correct a torn meniscus in my left knee. My stitches came out on 19 December and I had hoped to do a lot of writing because, coincidentally, my husband and two grown-up children have been visiting a close family friend in Australia for two weeks so I’ve had the house to myself. The truth is, not a lot of writing has been done and I’ve missed my noisy, demanding, distracting, annoying but totally fantastic family very very much – far more than I thought I would – and they’re not back until January 4!
But I have established a kind of routine, including exercising to increase and improve my mobility post-op, and I have completed some boring but necessary jobs that I’ve been putting off for far too long. These include donating old poetry magazines to charity shops, reshelving poetry books that have been piled on the floor and making room for my own books by putting some of the children’s books into storage. I know, exciting stuff.
Exercising on a new static bike – a present from husband, Andrew – has been a wonderful opportunity to listen to the radio. In fact, rediscovering the vast catalogue of dramas and dramatisations available on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4Extra (via the BBC Radio iPlayer app which I connect to my Bluetooth speaker) has been one of the key pleasures of my holiday. Cycling away on my bike, I’ve listened to and enjoyed dramatisations of Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and ghost stories by M R James. I’m now listening to readings of Sylvia Plath’s Letters. I can’t help but feel inspired by her energy, her hard work, her ambitions, her hopefulness, even knowing how badly everything turned out in the end for her. Josephine Corcoran, Christmas Retreat
Glass: A Journal of Poetry has released its annual list of recommended reading in poetry. I keep a list, too, of favorite poems throughout the year so I thought I’d share a few with y’all. These are in no particular order and are not all of the poetry I’ve saved over the past year. But, these are definitely stellar poems in some of my favorite journals. I hope you’ll click through and read them.Charlotte Hamrick, A Few of My Favorite Poems 2018
Louisiana Requiem by Heather Treseler in Frontier Poetry.
Hurricane, 3rd Day by Melissa Studdard in New Ohio Review.
The Peaches by Jericho Brown in The Adroit Journal.
Eve in the Blood by M. Stone in Avatar Review.
Finishing School by Emma Bolden in Black Warrior Review.
Spectacle by Lindsay Illich in Foundry.
Visitation by Marissa Glover in Barren Magazine.
Upon the Blue Nile by Bola Opaleke in the Pangolin Review.
Voucher by Jack Bedell in Ucity Review.
Europa by Echo Wren in Rattle.
Fish Love by Bryanna Licciardi in The Mantle.
Anniversary Poem by Michael Maul in Dodging the Rain.
It’s almost 2019, and if you’re like me (or January O’Neil, who has a cool “poetry action plan,” you start thinking about your intentions for the year ahead – what you hope for, what you can plan for, what you are envisioning. This year’s Vision Board had a lot of animals in it, and more words about inspiration and creativity. I realized the last two years had been all about survival – first the liver tumors and the cancer diagnosis, then the surprise of neurological symptoms and the MS diagnosis. I’m hoping this coming year to be fewer doctor appointments, more wonder – less about survival, more about creating and befriending and embracing the world.
From the AWP conference in March in Portland to sending out two poetry manuscripts – one about the journey of the last two years and one about the history of women and witchcraft, which I was just shuffling through last night to think about organization and which poems to leave out and which to add. I’m going to get more serious about sending out both – I only sent out book manuscripts four times last year, but I sent out over 150 submissions (!!) total, including fiction and essay attempts, and published about fifty poems, which seems like an okay ratio, but I had no idea I had submitted so much.
Other life goals include cultivating more friendships and socializing a little more, paying more attention to my body and treating it like something to take care of and not push, and spending some time (!!) meditating or doing something restful and creative every day, maybe even just five minutes of art or writing before bed. Also, trying to value my time more. One of the things about getting serious diagnoses is that it makes you re-think what you spend your time and energy on. What are the essential things for living for you? Spending time outside, reading good things, and time consciously building a life – whether that’s balance or motor-skill exercises, or reaching out to a new friend, or time spent noticing the new flowers in your garden to the kind of moon that rises. Or the visitors to your neighborhood – the day after Christmas, this bobcat visited our street! Jeannine Hall Gailey, Two End of the Year Poems in ACM, and Dreams, Goals, and Inspirations for 2019
Happy New Year and big thanks to such an incredible online community of poets, writers, and supporters! I started actively posting and promoting this poetry blog in October 2014, and have seen a constant increase in traffic, likes, and followers. I’ve met some amazing and talented people along the way.
My blog really started out as an experiment, to just share the things I’ve learned in the last year or so as I began actively submitted my poems and other writing to different markets. It does seem there is a need for clear, concise, and quick ways to stay updated on calls for submissions, contests, writing tips, especially those with a focus on poetry. I’d love to hear from my readers if they have suggestions for information I can share or other resources they find helpful in their quest to publish poetry. Trish Hopkinson, Happy New Year and Thank You! – My submission & blog stats, 250K+ views in 2018!
I love hearing about people’s favorite books, and regularly shop and read from lists published everywhere every December. I’ve even written a short discussion of my favorite genre books in 2018, to appear in Strange Horizons’ annual roundup a few days from now.
But I’m skeptical of these lists, too: “best” for whom, when, and why? For what purpose? I’ve found no single critic out there who shares all of my own tastes and obsessions, even though I’m part of a demographic heavily represented in literary journalism. What makes a book powerful is partly latent in the text, but is also contingent on circumstances. Even for one reader, the stories or voices that feel most necessary can vary from day to day. There’s no value-neutral, objective “best” out there.
I can certainly name the poetry books that most wowed me this fall, that I kept wanting to share: If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins by Terrance Hayes, and, a little belatedly, Barbie Chang by Victoria Chang. Does that make them the best? It means they’re really good, for sure.
But I also bought poetry books for friends, marking a few poems for each that I thought would especially appeal. Asghar and Chang were on that list, but so was Ada Limón’s The Carrying, which I also remembered loving–and as I reread it, the book gained even more force. Some books grow over time. Does that make Limón’s book the best, even if a December reviewer barely has enough perspective to see it? Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment by Alessandra Lynch worked like that for me, earlier this year. On first encounter, I felt frustrated by how the poems skirted the central subject–rape–but the successive readings you have to do for a reviewing assignment changed my reaction to profound admiration. And while I just read Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art, I can say it’s almost unbearably powerful, and maybe you should read it wearing oven mitts–where does THAT criterion go in the rankings? Really, I liked or loved almost all of the poetry collections I read in 2019 (listed below, excluding things I didn’t like enough to finish)–but I have no idea which will mean most to me five years from now.Lesley Wheeler, Best for what?–reading 2018
Just when you think your workTom Montag, from The Wishin’ Jupiter Poems: Just When
is done, Coyote says
we haven’t even begun.