Sunday, April 13, 2008

What I Am Reading

A stack of books about Sappho - Yopie Prins and Ruth Vanita, in particular, I am deeply enamored with.

Fidelity by Grace Paley. This book is so wise in it's content it is nearly heartbreaking to read, but more than the opportunity to spend some time with the poet's mind and think about what she was thinking and feeling, she is doing very interesting things with lineation, spacing, and punctuation in these poems. Reading it has made me savor the conversation at WOMPO about lineation.

Unmentionables by Beth Ann Fennelly. I just read some of this today and it is a delight. The first thing that has struck me about this is what she is doing with poetic sequences and how engaged she is in dialogue with other poets. More to come, I'm sure, I've really only begun it, but am quite enchanted.

Woman Reading to the Sea by Lisa Williams. This book won the Barnard Poetry Prize and again, I've just been grazing in it, but there are some lovely poems in here, particularly ones engaged in midrash - though Williams probably wouldn't call it that - which also makes me think about conversations at WOMPO.

Red Bird by Mary Oliver. After Thirst, which I think in many ways was a departure from her other work, this book seems like a return to many of her themes and is going to delight fans in a major way.

Waiting for my attention are Longenbach's book on the poetic line, Reginald Shepherd's essays newly out from UMich, Orpheus in the Bronx, and the new Jeanette Winterson book, The Stone Gods (a novel), which someone just raved to me about.

This week I am defending my MFA thesis, doing a reading in Maine, and then on Saturday traveling to Mexico for a much needed vacation (and carrying along a big stack of books!)

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