Best American Poetry 2016 (2017 Reading Book #115)

While I sometimes find these “Best American” collections to be a total toss-up in not always the best way, I was absolutely delighted in this poetry anthology. This is a great way to discover poets and read a wide variety of poems. I really adored this collection so much that … Continue reading

Insight Into the Native American Experience: Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas (2017 Reading Book #89)

One perspective I’ve realized I don’t read a lot of is the Native American perspective. I also only tend to read poetry by Native Americans. It’s something I hope to work on, and this poetry collection was a great reminder of the importance of their experiences and stories. I really … Continue reading

A Diverse, Unexpected Playfulness with Form: Monica Youn’s Blackacre (2017 Reading Book #86)

Contemporary poetry–or at least the poets I’ve been reading–is all about playing with form. Along with playing with form, there also seems to be a playfulness with approaching topics. Youn’s poetry seems to hit upon the same issues and images just from different angles. I really liked how different poems … Continue reading

An Interesting Combination: Solmaz Sharif’s Look (2017 Reading Book #83)

The poems in this collection are such an interesting and unexpected combination of content. I thought it was really cool how terms from the military dictionary were used. It made for a really interesting juxtaposition. I also enjoyed the vareity of forms used throughout the collection. It seems that contemporary … Continue reading

Stunning & Expansive: Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds (2017 Reading Book #81)

The poetry in this book is absolutely stunning. It covers so much ground and weaves together so many different images and issues. Vuong is a master at playing with form and the format of the poem does a great job of supplementing the words. I found myself dog-earing many poems I … Continue reading

A Little Beyond My Comprehension: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee (2017 Reading Book #78)

This work was a really interesting combination of elements and forms. It almost seems to push past poetry into some greater piece of art. I’m always fascinated by what we categorize as poetry and the variety that exists within that genre. This is definitely a work that pushes boundaries and previously … Continue reading

Of Music and History: June Jordan’s Directed by Desire (2017 Reading Book #75)

This was a stunning collection of poetry to spend some time with each day for the month or so I spent reading it. Jordan’s poems cover a lot of ground–history, politics, race, sexuality, gender, religion, and so much more. I felt like I got a good sense of her experiences … Continue reading

It All Ran Together: Jim Harrison’s The Shape of the Journey (2017 Reading Book #56)

It took many months of reading to make my way through Jim Harrison’s collected poems. I really like how it got me in the groove of reading a couple of poems each day. But I gotta say, all these poems ran together after a while. I did enjoy seeing how … Continue reading

Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard (2017 Reading Book #35)

I am guilty of many things, one of them being that I didn’t read Pulitzer Prize-winning Native Guard by Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey until this year. I feel all the shame. Trethewey is a powerhouse of a poet–something I’ve known from years of studying her poems in classes. I’m struggling to … Continue reading