Thursday, February 10, 2011

Publishers Weekly's Top Ten New Poetry; Women and Publishing


A little light reading for you today.

First off: Publishers Weekly lists their top ten poetry books coming out this spring. UC Davis Extension's spring conference, Words in Bloom, features Dana Levin, whose book Sky Burial is just coming out. Levin will be teaching a two-day workshop called "Digging Out the Diamonds—Strategies for Inspiring, Developing and Strengthening Poems." Come write with her! More info at Words in Bloom; enroll by March 14 and save!

Then, for those interested, you might want to check out an article from The New Republic this week about women and the publishing world, called "A Literary Glass Ceiling? Why magazines aren't reviewing more female writers," which you can view here.

Enjoy! ~Kate

PW: Spring Poetry
Death, Money & Space

By Craig Morgan Teicher

This spring will be a strong season for poetry. Alongside the usual crop of "selecteds" from famous poets—including Robert Pinsky, Charles Wright and Marge Piercy—there's a slew of exciting volumes of new poems from well-known and up-and-coming poets.

The season kicks off in February with Money Shot, Rae Armantrout's follow-up to her Pulitzer-winning Versed; in it, she takes on the highs and lows of American commerce with her signature wit and edgy cynicism. In the same month comes a major literary event, Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, which is nothing short of a reimagining of the Bishop canon, with her published and unpublished poems in one gorgeous volume. Then there's the first volume of poems to come from Nick Flynn since he started publishing the memoirs that have made him fairly famous; The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands deals with Bush-era America, new parenthood, and lots of other stuff in fierce, spare poems. Srikanth Reddy's much-anticipated second volume, Voyager, assumes a planetary perspective on the 20th century. Finally, February brings Red Clay Weather, the posthumous last book by Reginald Shepherd, who looks toward God, saying, "How I want to believe."

The lamenting continues into March with Sky Burial, Dana Levin's third book, in which she digs deep into various cultures' mourning rituals in order to mourn her own lost loved ones. And then acclaimed novelist and poet Laura Kasischke joins the Copper Canyon roster with Space, in Chains, a sharp new collection full of prosey verse and versey prose.

Then comes April, which is indeed the cruelest month for poetry reviews editors. Let me now make my annual plea: publishers, please don't publish all your poetry in April; doing so only guarantees most of it gets even less attention from the mainstream media, which will only focus on the biggest books. That said, there's lots of good stuff in April, including a book of dramatic monologues from Noelle Kocot (The Bigger World) and a new book by the legendary Ron Padgett entitled How Long.

After the April poetry showers comes a very unusual flower in May: a hefty collaborative book by two rising poetic stars. G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher's Your Father on the Train of Ghosts was written through e-mail exchanges between the two poets. The result of the collaboration sounds like neither of their poetic voices; rather, it's a weird third voice you'll want to get to know. There's lots more great poetry coming this spring, so if you only read one book of poetry this season, you'll be missing out.
PW's Top 10: Poetry
Money Shot by Rae Armantrout. Wesleyan, Feb.
Poems by Elizabeth Bishop. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Feb.
Voyager by Srikanth Reddy. Univ. of California, Feb.
The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands by Nick Flynn. Graywolf, Feb.
Red Clay Weather by Reginald Shepherd. Univ. of Pittsburgh, Feb.
Sky Burial by Dana Levin. Copper Canyon, Mar.
Space, in Chains by Laura Kasischke. Copper Canyon, Mar.
The Bigger World by Noelle Kocot. Wave, Apr.
How Long by Ron Padgett. Coffee House, Apr.
Your Father on the Train of Ghosts by G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher. BOA Editions, May

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