What poetry I’ve finished reading this week. Scroll to the bottom of the list to read about the motiviation behind this page.
Also, I’ve written some short impressions of a few of the poetry books I’ve finished. Hot takes, really. Move fast and review things. The author’s name, if it’s a hyperlink, will take you to the mini-review.
35/ Week of 26 August
- Reginald Shepherd, Red Clay Weather (Pittsburgh, 2011)
Also, there are some changes coming. See this.
34/ Week of 19 August
- Ken Babstock, On Malice (Coach House, 2014)
- Tracy K Smith, Wade in the Water (Graywolf, 2018)
33/ Week of 12 August
Another week with nothing finished. Mired in several longer things, as well as the arrival of two new books, a Collected and a very large Selected.
32/ Week of 5 August
Nothing. See this.
31/ Week of 29 July
- Robert Bly, The Light Around the Body (Harper & Row, 1967; Norton, 2018)
- Laura (Riding) Jackson, Selected Poems in Five Sets (Persea, 1993)
30/ Week of 22 July
- Reginald Shepherd, Otherhood (Pittsburgh, 2003)
- James Lenfestey, The Marriage Book (Milkweed, 2017)
29/ Week of 15 July
- Robert Bly, Silence in the Snowy Fields (Wesleyan, 1962; Norton, 2018)
- Philip Levine, What Work Is (Knopf, 1991)
- Tom Clark, Easter Sunday (Coffee House, 1987)
28/ Week of 7 July
- CD Wright, The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All (Copper Canyon, 2016)
- Frank O’Hara, Meditations in an Emergency (Grove, 1957)
27/ Week of 1 July
I’m this close to finishing a few books, but I haven’t wanted to rush them, and I’ve had so many distractions…
26/ Week of 24 June
Nothing. Didn’t pick up a book of poetry except to move it out of my way reaching for something else.
25/ Week of 17 June
- Harryette Mullen, Urban Tumbleweed (Graywolf, 2013)
Also, on being half-finished with Finished.
24/ Week of 10 June
- Tomas Tranströmer (Bly, trns), The Half-Finished Heaven (Graywolf, 2001, 2017)
- Jenny George, The Dream of Reason (Copper Canyon, 2018)
23/ Week of 3 June
- Tomas Tranströmer (various translators), For the Living and the Dead (Ecco, 1995)
22/ Week of 27 May
Another week in which I didn’t actually complete anything. I’ve been drifting through some poetry collections that are re-reads for me, but the bulk of my reading has been non-fiction and several novels. But I have posted a few more short “hot takes.”
21/ Week of 20 May
Nothing. Between Anniversaries, which I just started last week, and pushing almost everything else aside to finally finish Through the Eye of a Needle, I have devoted very little time to reading poetry.
In the meantime, here are four “hot takes” — I hope to post a few more this week.
20/ Week of 13 May
- Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015)
- Melissa Stein, Terrible Blooms (Copper Canyon, 2018)
19/ Week of 6 May
- Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855 Edition) (Penguin Classics, 1986)
- Ron Padgett, Big Cabin (Coffee House, 2019)
- Todd Boss, Closer than Home (self-published, 1993)
18/ Week of 29 April
- Christopher Logue, War Music (FSG, 2015)
14–17/ Finished in April
- Ronald Johnson, ARK (Flood, 2013)
- John Matthias, Collected Longer Poems (Shearsman, 2012)
- Jim Harrison, Dead Man’s Float (Copper Canyon, 2016)
- JH Prynne, The White Stones (NYRB, 2016)
- Claire Wahmanholm, Night Vision (New Michigan Press, 2017)
- Claire Wahmanholm, Wilder (Milkweed Editions, 2018)
(Update on “Finished” for April.)
13/ Week of 25 Mar
- AR Ammons, Selected Poems (Library of America, 2006)
- Ursula Le Guin, So Far So Good: Final Poems 2014–2018 (Copper Canyon, 2018)
12/ Week of 18 Mar
- Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Oceanic (Copper Canyon, 2018)
- Rosemary Tonks, Bedouin of the London Evening (Bloodaxe, 2014)
11/ Week of 11 Mar
Nothing. Here’s why.
10/ Week of 4 Mar
- Tracy K Smith, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011)
- CK Williams, The Vigil (FSG, 1997)
9/ Week of 25 Feb
The third week in a row with only one completed book.
- Paisley Rekdal, Imaginary Vessels (Copper Canyon, 2016)
8/ Week of 18 Feb
- Basho (Corman, trns), Backroads to Far Towns (White Pine, 2004)
7/ Week of 11 Feb
- John Taggart, Is Music (Copper Canyon, 2010)
6/ Week of 4 Feb
- WS Merwin, The Lice (Copper Canyon, 2017)
- Anslem Hollo, Guests of Space (Coffee House, 2007)
5/ Week of 28 Jan
- Galway Kinnell, Three Books (Mariner, 2002)
- Nicola Stӑnescu (Cotter, trns), Wheel with a Single Spoke (Archipelago, 2012)
- Tomas Tranströmer (Fulton, trns), The Great Enigma, New Collected Poems (New Directions, 2006)
4/ Week of 21 Jan
- Harryette Mullen, Recyclopedia (Graywolf, 2006)
- Linda Gregg, In the Middle Distance (Graywolf, 2006)
3/ Week of 14 Jan
- Paul Celan (Joris, trns), Breathturn (Green Integer, 2006)
- GS Giscombe, Prairie Style (Dalkey, 2008)
- Rimbaud (Ashbery, trns), Illuminations (Norton, 2011)
2/ Week of 7 Jan
- Larry Levis, The Widening Spell of the Leaves (Pittsburgh, 1991)
- Erin Belieu, Slant Six (Copper Canyon, 2014)
- Mary Ann Caws (ed), Pierre Reverdy (NYRB, 2013)
1/ Week of 31 Dec
- Ken Babstock, Days Into Flatspin (House of Anansi, 2001)
- Ursula Le Guin, Wild Angels (Copper Canyon, 1975/2018)
- Shirley Kaufman, From One Life to Another (Pittsburgh, 1979)
Too Many Books…
At the end of 2018, I realized my pile of poetry to be read had gotten out of control. Many were books I’d begun but not yet finished, or browsed through but to which I felt I had never given a full and close reading. But quite a few others were books I had not yet so much as started.
So I have resolved that I will complete two books of poetry each week in 2019 until I have reduced my poetry TBR stack to my satisfaction.
I say “complete” rather than “read” since there is a sizeable population of very large volumes that I haven’t started and which I know I could never begin and finish in a single week. So in order to complete two books, I’ll probably need to be juggling more like three or four books at a time. So be it.
To hold myself accountable, this page is the ongoing log of poetry books I’ve finished in 2019. I plan to update this each Sunday.