It is poetry Friday, just barely, a little left in the night. I’ve been thinking of poetry today even if I didn’t get a post up.
I want to add to my poetry collection. I have many shelves (seven so far) of poetry. I was going to say more for children than adults but I don’t think that’s true. It’s probably 50/50. I’m not interested in adding any classic poets. We have a lot of those and they are not one I turn to again and again. I’m looking for contemporary poets. The trouble is that some poets are prolific and it is hard to decide which books of theirs to buy first.
So here’s your chance – tell me about your favorite books by contemporary adult poets. I have read some of Mary Oliver and Billy Collins but which books of theirs are your favorites? Who else should I seek out?
I just got WHAT FEEDS US by Diane Lockward. Want to get EVE’S RED DRESS too. I’m thinking of adding a couple of William Stafford collections. He’s always great to come back to. And I finally got Ferlinghetti’s A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND.
Like you, I’d like to add to my collection. So I’m anxious to see what others recommend.
Thanks, Jama. I haven’t read any of those. I will go check them out.
The only poetry book I’ve read over and over is Gary Snyder’s THE BACK COUNTRY. (I’ve probably recommended this one before.)
Oh, I’ve also read Shakespeare’s sonnets over and over, but that’s probably as classic as you can get!
Yes, and I bought it on your rec and really like it! Thanks.
You already have Nancy Willard’s SWIMMING LESSONS, I assume.
I am a big fan of Carl Phillips’ THE REST OF LOVE (FSG).
I am very poorly read in poetry so no, I don’t know or have either of these. On the list. (I have a big Powell’s credit so I figure poetry shopping is a good thing.)
Ted Kooser is brilliant. “Tattoo” is my favorite modern poem.
Thank you. another vote for Ted.
Rita Dove’s Sonata Mulattica!
I love Louise Gluck’s work (although she, personally, scares me), in particular Vita Nova.
I like Frank Bidart’s Desire, but as a warning, a lot of people find him to be a difficult poet (nicest man, though, and he loves dogs).
Also, anything by Mark Strand. I get a kick out of his Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More, which is a collection of list poems.
Love love love list poems. So thanks for that. Mark Strand reminded me that I meant to buy some Mark Doty so I will ad that to the list. I will look at the others you mentioned to. Thank you!
Re: Mary oliver
Thanks, Tracie. I don’t know Jane Kenyon so I will check her out. I haven’t bought any Sharon Olds (horrors, I know) so that’s a good reminder. Ack, and Ted Kooser. A familar name but nothing on my shelf. I knew you’d have some good ones.
Check out HERE, BULLET by Brian Turner. I reviewed it for Guys Lit Wire last fall.
Ted Kooser’s book, VALENTINES, is wonderful, and feels like a gift (which makes sense, given it’s origin – the link is to my review at my blog).
If I were to pick one Billy Collins book to start with, it would be SAILING ALONE AROUND THE ROOM, which collects up some poems from earlier books and adds a few new ones. That said, I own at least 5 of his collections.
For Mary Oliver, NEW AND SELECTED POEMS is a good place to start.
Kay Ryan’s THE NIAGARA RIVER is marvelous.
Pat Mora’s ADOBE ODES is great – I purchased a copy for myself and another for my mother after reading a library copy.
Thanks, Kelly. I got HERE, BULLET on your rec a while back and really enjoyed it.
I appreciate all the other ideas. Now to go see how they stack up against my Powell’s credit. LOL
Definitely kid friendly, I recommend John Grandits, especially Technically, It’s Not My Fault
Re: Concrete Poetry
Thanks. I have that book and do like it a lot.
Oooooo… one of my favorite subjects!!!
Mary Oliver — Dream Work
Jane Kenyon — Otherwise
Raymond Carver — A New Path to the Waterfall
Mark Doty — Sweet Machine
Rita Dove — Grace Notes
Billy Collins — Picnic, Lightning
W.S. Merwin — The Vixen
Lucille Clifton — The Book of Light
Li-Young Lee — The City in Which I Love You
Oh, and Even in Quiet Places — William Stafford. Maybe Fuel — Naomi Shihab Nye. Some Gary Snyder for sure. Lord. Can I come shopping with you????
Oh man…so many great books. Thank you thank you thank you.
Would love to go book shopping with you!
Great question, Susan. I never heard of Jama’s recommendation, so I too am going to look up Diane Lockward. I echo recommendations for Mark Doty. An anthology I love is Claiming the Spirit Within a sourcedbook of women’s poetry ed by Marilyn Sewell, which includes poems by Naomi Shihab Nye (she wrote for adults before becoming perhaps better known for children, with lots of narrative poems), Sandra Cisneros, Molly Peacock (her first collection esp has lots of poems relating to childhood; and she was a teacher for a while), and Dorainne Loux: all are fanastic, and this anthology would give you a taste. Jules at Seven Imps blog recently recommended Green Stars by Charolotte Hilary Matthews and I’m loving it. Many take childhood as its subject, showing both the harsh and the sweet. Likewise Rough Cradle by Betsy Sholl.
Thanks Jeannine. Many I haven’t heard of here. I will check them out.
was Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2006-2008
here’s comment on one of her books –
“Each poem in Contrary Visions is like a painting in an illuminated manuscript, marking not the passage of months, but the progress of the soul toward harmony.”
Thank you so very much.