Dean and I got home Saturday afternoon after a layover in San Jose, where (in the foothills) it had actually snowed!
Opening our mail I was delighted to find a copy of Louise Gluck's new book Averno, that I had pre-ordered months ago. Even though I had spent the last few days inundated with books and poets, I was so excited to see it! She is one of my favorite poets, and one of the few poets whose books I look forward to reading immediately. As soon as I can get my hands on a copy. I sat down to read even before unpacking my suitcase.
Averno is a crater in southern Italy, that the Romans believed was the entrance to the underworld. The book opens with the long poem "October" and sets the scene for the myth of Persephone that will serve as the back-story to many of the poems. It's a great read (once through so far): stay tuned. And an added point of interest: the stunning cover image is an aerial view of red hot lava in the active crater of Mt St. Helen, here in Washington State, with a stoic Mt Rainier glimpsed on the distant horizon, as if to say, Watch out. I'm going to blow next.
Also on my post-AWP reading list:
On Louise Gluck: Change What You See (purchased at the same time as the above; a collection of essays on Gluck's work)
Digerati: 20 Contemporary Poets in the Virtual World (looking forward to reading the work of the other po-bloggers included here)
Legitimate Dangers (I started this before I left for AWP. It was fun to have some faces to apply to names, and I recognized more than a few of these poets at the conference)
Kenneth Koch: Collected Poems (after a fantastic panel discussion on his life and work
Bellini in Istanbul, Lilias Bever
Flying Out with the Wounded, Anne Caston (who gave a fantastic presentation on the Poetry & Medicine panel)
A Mnemonic for Desire: Steve Mueske (Gorgeous cover, Steve. Can't wait to read the poems)
Journey to the Lost City, Jonathon Aaron
Gloryland, Anne Marie Macari (from Alice James Books, who published Brian Turner's Here, Bullet, which is rumored to have sold almost 10,000 copies now)
Body of the World, Sam Taylor
American Linden, Matthew Zapruder (looking forward to hearing more about the Poetry Bus Tour)
In the Middle Distance, Linda Gregg
Here's to You Mister Robinson, Andrew Mister & Anthony Robinson (how can you resist a chapbook with a beer bottle on the cover?)
The Canary #5 (edited by Tony Robinson)
Image (Art & Spirituality; out of Seattle Pacific U.)