11.03.2004

Library Love

I went to the library last week to check out some new books of poetry to read on my bus ride to and from school:

Invisible Bride, Tony Tost
Shelter, Laura Jensen
Snapshots for a Serial Killer, Robert Peters
Sleuth, Elaine Sexton
American Linden, Matthew Zapruder
Granted, Mary Szybist
The Porch Is a Journey Different From the House, Ever Sasky
Goodnight Architecture, Gretchen Mattox

I just finished Tost's book this afternoon. I was really taken with it. It had a nice tension between an autobiographical I and this overpowering data-obsessed voice. I think "Unawares" is one of my new favorite poems ever. The whole book felt very Calvino-esque to me: waxing philosophical at times, playing with conventions of narrative, etc. An enjoyable read, and very different from most everything else I've read lately.

I started Shelter but I'm just not getting in to it. Jensen's poems seem very flat to me. And this may be because they're spare lyrics, which present a challenge to me personally as a reader, so I'm going to stick with it and see if anything resonates.

I would love it if people would drop some good, contemporary reading suggestions in my comment box as they think of them.

5 comments:

  1. G.C. Waldrep's Goldbeater's Skin. After reading the rave review/interview in the May/June's Poets & Writers, I felt I had to have this book... and haven't been disappointed.
    It's funny... a friend of mine lent me American Linden, which she bought from the author in a writer's workshop in the Vermont...haven't yet read it... will be interesting to trade views on it...

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  2. To get a taste of G.C. Waldrep, he is interviewed in Here Comes Everybody, & among the links to his work, at least a couple of poems from the book, namely Deliverance and Heave-Ho. There are two other poems though not in those links that are must reads: Against the Madness of Crowds, a sensational poem printed in its entirety in said issue of Poets & Writers (that made me order the book), & Fatal Exception, a poem I can't resist reading to anyone who might be interested.

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  3. Right now I'm reading & enjoying Maurice Manning's second book "A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone." The narrative poems in the book trace the life of Daniel Boone. Far from being just a stereotypical woodsman who only thought with his hands, the poems give Boone a complex intellectual interior. And the book ends with an amazing essay that connects the American frontier & the Romantic movement in English poetry. Sounds crazy, no?

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  4. American frontiersman + British Romantic poetry = James Dickey

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  5. Hey I just finished re-reading "A Jest of God" by Margaret Laurence, it gets better and better everytime I read it. You should check it out, everyone should check it out.

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