Monday, April 7, 2014

It's National Poetry Month; Therefore Buy Books. Part II

Here's my second round of poetry book recommendations. I hope you find something here that makes you want to hit that Buy button. Let's do more than just read poetry. Let's support it with our purchases.

Oliver de la Paz
Requiem for the Orchard (Univ of Akron)
Won the University of Akron Poetry Prize
Click Cover for Amazon

Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard is a love letter to memory and its ability to both sustain and shatter us beyond the “dust of ourselves,/ cold, decisive, and purely from the earth.” de la Paz renders in beautiful and exacting language the tenderness and ferocity of boyhood, alongside the enduring vulnerability of parenthood. Out of such intimate recollection a generous wisdom blossoms.  
                                                                        —Jon Pineda

Read 3 poems with audio
Read 4 poems at Diode

Ellen Bass
Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press)
Click Cover for Amazon

Observant, curious, honest, not fancy but beautifully measured and crafted, Ellen Bass’s poems take on the whole cloth–she looks at wasps and bad habits and infidelity and old Jewish ladies, tomato fungus and the million other phenomena of our average lives. Plenty of bad news, here, plenty of heartbreak. Call her a midwife, call her a priest, if you’re from Berkeley, call her a life coach: in some way her poems talk us through it. She has a radiant, capable heart, a sense of humor, and knows her art. Reading her poems fills me with respect and gratitude.
                                                                       —Tony Hoagland

Read "Pleasantville, New Jersey, 1955" on Poetry Daily.
Read sample poems.

Susan Laughter Meyers
My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (Cider Press Books)
Click Cover for Amazon

These keenly inventive stanzas, unfurling like fragments of film, infuse the literary landscape with a refreshing and commanding cadence. With one swift, memorable stroke, Meyers has assured her place in the canon. 
                                                                   —Patricia Smith

Read "Coastland," Q&A, and audio at Blogalicious.
Read "Dear Atamasco Lily" featured at Linebreak with audio.

Adele Kenny
What Matters (Welcome Rain Publishers)
Click Cover for Amazon

In Adele Kenny's finely wrought meditations on grief and loss, she never forgets that she's a maker of poems; in other words, that the poem in its entirety is more important than any one of its utterances, phrasings, or laments. What Matters straddles two of the exigencies of the human condition: diminishment and endurance. It abounds with poems that skillfully earn their sentiments. 
                                                                      —Stephen Dunn

Read sample poems.
Read "Like I Said," with Q&A, video at Blogalicious.

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