Are you looking for a new book of poems, for yourself or a friend? Then check out the suggestions from Ron Slate's On the Seawall. Some of these books are titles I have mentioned previously on this blog. Many others are new titles hot off the presses. Something here for everybody.
Nineteen Poets Recommend New and Recent Titles
November 29th, 2010
For holiday-time reading and gift-giving, here are 21 poetry collections recommended by 19 poets – Hank Lazer, Ange Mlinko, Tony Hoagland, Tara Betts, Lisa Russ Spaar, Philip Metres, Ken Chen, Julie Sheehan, Rusty Morrison, Joel Brouwer, Todd Boss, Robert Cording, Elaine Sexton, Leslie Harrison, Deborah Woodard, Aaron Belz, Don Bogen, Amanda Auchter, and Aaron Baker.
I've been reading the novel All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost. It takes place in the 1980's and onward, starting in a poetry MFA program that sounds oddly enough like Iowa. It's fascinating to read the representation of poetry workshop, the students hopes and dreams and ambitions for poetry, and a love affair that seems to be developing between one of the professors and a (soon to be former) student. It's amazing how this novelist (who apparently is a director at Iowa?) can make the whole poetry MFA world sound so dramatic and crucial and relevant. Check it out.
*Starred Review* Chang is director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and here she weds her professional knowledge of writing-seminar dynamics to her lucent style, producing a stunning novel that more than fulfills the promise of her early work (Hunger, 1998; Inheritance, 2004). Miranda Sturgis is an exceptional poet, and though her critiques can be ruthless, graduate students at the renowned writing school where she teaches fight to gain admission to her seminars. She proves to be a tantalizing and enigmatic figure to her students, especially Bernard Blithe, one of the most serious poets in the class, and Roman Morris, who fairly burns with ambition. Chang shows the two men, one who regards poetry as an avocation, the other as a means to an end, to be essentially similar in one devastating way: their intense loneliness, which comes from sacrificing all personal relationships for the sake of work. Among the many threads Chang elegantly pursues—the fraught relationships between mentors and students, the value of poetry, the price of ambition—it is her indelible portrait of the loneliness of artistic endeavor that will haunt readers the most in this exquisitely written novel about the poet’s lot. --Joanne Wilkinson"