Friday, November 25, 2011

Poetry Makes a Great Present: There's a Book for Every Person on Your List

Some of you may have already been up shopping already; it's Black Friday after all.  But if you still have shopping left to do, why not give poetry?  Today, I offer a list arranged by subject matter, where I hope you'll find something for everyone on your gift-giving list.

Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive; in fact, it's only the books that I've read in the last few years.  I figure that Shakespeare already has plenty of fans, so I'm promoting poets who are alive and writing interesting work right now.  And there are many books that I hope to read, but I haven't yet, and so to include them would feel like cheating--there are always future years and later lists, after all.

And there's you!  Feel free to leave more recommendations in the comment area.

Tomorrow, I'll have a complete list of the books below that have a spine, complete with descriptions of the books and the publisher and year.  On Sunday, I'll do the same for chapbooks.  But this post was getting long, so here's an abbreviated list (and you'll notice some overlapping).

For readers who like poems based on mythology and fairy tales:


The Doors of the Body by Mary Alexandra Agner (chapbook)

A New Red: a fairly tale for grown ups by Lana Hechtman Ayers

Frontier Literature by Shefali Choksi

Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon

Cyborgia by Susan Slaviero

For readers who want apocalyptic poems

Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse by Darcie Dennigan

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Modern Life by Matthea Harvey

Quarantine by Brian Henry

National Anthem by Kevin Prufer

Torched Verse Ends by Steven D. Schroeder

Cyborgia, by Susan Slaviero

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

For readers who like their poems dipped (or drenched) in savage notes

Prairie Fever by Mary Biddinger

Saving Daylight by Jim Harrison

Blood Almanac by Sandy Longhorn

Mercy Island by Ren Powell

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

For readers who want poems rooted in the body

Small Knots by Kelli Russell Agodon

Theories of Falling by Sandra Beasley

Another Circle of Delight by Rachel Dacus (chapbook)

237 More Reasons to Have Sex by Denise Duhamel and Sandy McIntosh (chapbook)

Harlot by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Oh Forbidden by Jill Alexander Essbaum (chapbook)

The Animals Beyond Us by Michael Hettich

What Feeds Us by Diane Lockward

No Sweeter Fat by Nancy Pagh

For readers who would rather have a novel

Saint Monica by Mary Biddinger (chapbook)

A New Red: a fairly tale for grown ups by Lana Hechtman Ayers

From the Fever-World by Jehanne Dubrow

Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon

The Meager Life and Modest Times of Pop Thorndale by W. T. Pfefferle

For readers who like their poems rooted in history

From the Fever-World by Jehanne Dubrow

Town for Trees by Justin Evans

The Third Winter of War: Buchenwald by John Guzlowski

The Freedom Business by Marilyn Nelson (poems) and Deborah Dancy (art)

Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey

For the sociologists on your list, particularly the ones who study class issues

Passage to America by Elisa Albo (chapbook)

Saint Monica by Mary Biddinger (chapbook)

Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

Stealing Dust by Karen J. Weyant (chapbook)

For the sociologists on your list, particularly the ones who study race issues

Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey

For the readers who want to explore motherhood

Frontier Literature by Shefali Choksi

Underlife by January Gill O'Neil

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Kimiko Hahn

Blue Positive by Martha Silano

Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey

Keeping My Name by Catherine Tufariello

For the readers who like poems inspired by art or literature that’s not fairy tales or mythology

Framed in Silence by Lynn Domina

Little Novels by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton (chapbook)

The Alchemist's Kitchen by Susan Rich

For readers who like poems dipped (or drenched) in pop culture


Kinky by Denise Duhamel

Oyl by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton (chapbook)

Dating the Invisible Man by Gwen Hart (chapbook)

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

For readers who like quirky characters

Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum? by Nin Andrews (chapbook)

The Meager Life and Modest Times of Pop Thorndale by W. T. Pfefferle

Waiting for Pentecost by Nancy Craig Zarzar (chapbook)

For readers who love all things Asian

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Kimiko Hahn

For readers who like poems rooted in place

Passage to America by Elisa Albo (chapbook)

Town for Trees by Justin Evans

The Animals Beyond Us by Michael Hettich

The Alchemist's Kitchen by Susan Rich

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

Punching Through the Egg of Space by Richard Allen Taylor

Little Spells by Emma Trelles (chapbook)

Tropicalia by Emma Trelles

For readers who like poems rooted in nature

Town for Trees by Justin Evans

Toxic Flora by Kamiko Hahn

The Wave-Maker by Elizabeth Spires

For readers who enjoy word play and other surrealist experiments

Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room by Kelli Russell Agodon

I Was the Jukebox by Sandra Beasley

The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly

The Insomniac’s Weather Report by Jessica Goodfellow

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Kimiko Hahn

Modern Life by Matthea Harvey

Cadaver Dogs by Rebecca Loudon

Torched Verse Ends by Steven D. Schroeder

For readers who want to explore modern life particularly as women experience it

Small Knots by Kelli Russell Agodon

I Stand Here Shredding Documents by Kristin Berkey-Abbott (chapbook)

Saint Monica by Mary Biddinger (chapbook)

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Kimiko Hahn

Broken Sonnets by Kathleen Kirk (chapbook)

No Sweeter Fat by Nancy Pagh

Blue Positive by Martha Silano

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception by Martha Silano

For readers who want to explore modern life

Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room by Kelli Russell Agodon

Ka-Ching! by Denise Duhamel

Unmentionables by Beth Ann Fennelly

Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon

Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

The Animals Beyond Us by Michael Hettich

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty by Tony Hoagland

Trill and Mordent by Luisa Igloria

Temptation by Water by Diane Lockward

Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

The Alchemist's Kitchen by Susan Rich

Torched Verse Ends by Steven D. Schroeder

Punching Through the Egg of Space by Richard Allen Taylor (chapbook)

For readers who would rather be eating

What Feeds Us by Diane Lockward

No Sweeter Fat by Nancy Pagh

The Alchemist's Kitchen by Susan Rich

For readers who want poems that explore loss (especially of a loved one)

Passage to America by Elisa Albo (chapbook)

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Kristin Berkey-Abbott (chapbook)

Town for Trees by Justin Evans

She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

The Third Winter of War: Buchenwald by John Guzlowski (chapbook)

The Narrow Road to the Interior by Kimiko Hahn

Quarantine by Brian Henry

The Animals Beyond Us by Michael Hettich

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty by Tony Hoagland

Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds by Eleanor Lerman

Geometry of Dreams by Barbra Nightingale

Mercy Island by Ren Powell

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey

Keeping My Name by Catherine Tufariello

For the Astronomers, Mathematicians, and Physicists on Your List


She Returns to the Floating World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

The Insomniac’s Weather Report by Jessica Goodfellow

A Pilgrim's Guide to Chaos in the Heartland by Jessica Goodfellow (chapbook)

Geometry of Dreams by Barbra Nightingale

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception by Martha Silano

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

For the man on your list who assumes that poetry is for females:

Odes to Tools by Dave Bonta (chapbook)

The Meager Life and Modest Times of Pop Thorndale by W. T. Pfefferle

Torched Verse Ends by Steven D. Schroeder

For readers who want their poetry dipped (or drenched) in spirituality:

The Boatloads by Dan Albergotti

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Kristin Berkey-Abbott (chapbook)

Saint Monica by Mary Biddinger (chapbook)

Framed in Silence by Lynn Domina

Harlot by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Dark And Like A Web: Brief Notes On and To the Divine by Nic Sebastian (chapbook)

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

Keeping My Name by Catherine Tufariello

2 comments:

Dave said...

Thanks for including Odes to Tools in the "manly" section. :)

Kristin said...

Thanks for your wonderful writing and editing work.