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.


  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...

  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.

  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?

  4. American frontiersman + British Romantic poetry = James Dickey

  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.