I’m working on a rather ambitiously tall stack of books from my reading list, and picked up two novels, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and Annie Dillard’s The Maytrees, from the library. Which I haven’t even opened yet because of the magnificent richness of poetry books I’m reading:
I won a free copy of Blood Almanac from Sandy Longhorn’s blog. I’ve been enjoying the vivid sense of place these poems evoke, a place very different from New England, but not altogether alien to me: my grandparents were Georgia share-croppers, and I recognize them in some of poems early in the book. Justin Evans, who won the other copy Sandy was offering, wrote a great review here, but I hope to write an appreciation some time soon. I love that its three sections are true delineations, encompass three very different kinds of poems, and admire the ease of each tonal shift.
One of the other titles I’ve been slowly flipping through is Intaglio, by Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis. I had read a few of her poems online, and sent out a call to my poet friends to borrow a copy. Happy me, Kim had one & sent it my way, to keep! Very fortunate, considering how long it’s taking me to read. Her style is so different from mine, so expansive and exuberant, it’s like stepping into bright lights whenever I open the book. Hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two.
Not the last book in my leaning Pisa of a pile, but the last one I’ll mention today, is The Narcoleptic Yard, by Charity Ketz. I admit it, I wanted this one purely for its cover, which perfectly captures the scene from the poem, “Shroud”, from which the book draws its title: “Something // seams the air — what flies between // invents the narcopleptic yard, the wavering / catechism, the bugs // the buds’ red — The air / frills with shirring.” I haven’t spent enough time with this one to really get a handle on the poems themselves, but I like what I’ve read so far.