A Year in Poetry (or what did I read this year?)

So, at the end of 2013, it occurred to me that the giant stack of poetry books on the top of my bookshelves awaiting their turn was getting slightly dangerous. In case of tectonic instability, one might possibly have an issue with an avalanche of poetry. So, I set myself a task. “Self,” I said, “You should read a poetry collection each week in 2014 and thereby deplete this stack.” Excellent idea! Except for this to work, I would have to not purchase any new poetry collections during the year. And we all know that idea is complete folly.

So, 2014 is drawing to a close, and yes, I have read a collection each week, but I have also purchased many a fetching new book. And so, I still have a stack of unread books on the top of my poetry bookshelves. Another year’s worth of reading undoubtedly. And because reading a collection each was invigorating, edifying, and just plain fun, I shall continue.

Here is 2014’s treasure (in alpha order):

  • Abide by Jake Adam York
  • Animal Eye by Paisley Rekdal
  • As Is by James Galvin
  • Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford
  • Blue Hour by Carolyn Forché
  • Bone Map by Sara Eliza Johnson
  • Bough Down by Karen Green
  • Break the Glass by Jean Valentine
  • Burn This House by Kelly Davio
  • Dangerous Goods by Sean Hill
  • Day Unto Day by Martha Collins
  • Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower by Sarah Lindsay
  • Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich
  • Elegy Owed by Bob Hicok
  • Eva-Mary by Linda McCarriston
  • Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman
  • Fall Higher by Dean Young
  • Fireproofing the Woods by Katy McKinney
  • Gabriel by Edward Hirsch
  • Glass Armonica by Rebecca Dunham
  • Headwaters by Ellen Bryant Voigt
  • Heredities by J. Michael Martinez
  • Holy Heathen Rhapsody by Pattiann Rogers
  • Human Chain by Seamus Heaney
  • I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets by Tom Sexton
  • In Search of Small Gods by Jim Harrison
  • Incarnadine by Mary Syzbist
  • Interpretive Work by Elizabeth Bradfield
  • Lie Awake Lake by Beckian Frtiz Goldberg
  • Many Parishes by Adrian Koesters
  • On the Spectrum of All Possible Deaths by Lucia Perillo
  • Once in the West by Christian Wiman
  • One Above & One Below by Erin Belieu
  • Praise by Robert Hass
  • Sailing by Ravens by Holly Hughes
  • Spacecraft Voyager 1  by Alice Oswald
  • Stolen Air – Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam (translated by Christian Wiman)
  • The Boss by Victoria Chang
  • The Earth Avails by Mark Wunderlich
  • The Exchange by Sophie Cabot Black
  • The Game of Boxes by Catherine Barnett
  • The Infinitesimals by Laura Kasischke
  • The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe
  • The Miniature Room by Rebecca Dunham
  • The Moon Before Morning by WS Merwin
  • The Plum Flower Dance by Afaa Michael Weaver
  • The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis
  • The Widening Spell of the Leaves by Larry Levis
  • Through the Second Skin by Derek Sheffield
  • To the Place of Trumpets by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
  • What the Living Do by Marie Howe
  • Without by Donald Hall

By the way, if you add in all of the fiction and non-fiction that I read this year, the tally is 101. I did spend an inordinate amount of time on cross-country plane flights, and since I don’t sleep well on planes (or overnight in airports), I plowed through quite a few more books this year than last.

Here’s to 2015, another year of magnificent poetry! Thank you, poets!