Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Attention Span 2011 | G.C. Waldrep

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Not necessarily my “favorites” over the past year, but these are the eleven books I spent the most time thinking about, in no particular order:

Peter Larkin | Terrain Seed Scarcity | Salt | 2001

Somehow I missed this when it originally came out. A magisterial anthem and model of challenging ecopoetics, stretching towards the post-human (perhaps) but very, very beautiful. I have been fantasizing about quitting my day job and spending the next six years or so studying this text. (Larkin also has a new collection, Leaves of Field, from Shearsman, but I haven’t read it yet.)

Laynie Browne | Roseate, Points of Gold | Dusie | 2011

The best collection so far by a mid-career poet not enough of my friends and colleagues know about.

Laura Mullen | Dark Archive | California | 2011

Adonis, trans. Khaled Mattawa | Selected Poems | Yale | 2010

John Taggart | Is Music: Selected Poems | Copper Canyon | 2010

I still wonder whether one of Taggart’s earlier single volumes (perhaps When the Saints) isn’t the best introduction to his work, but he is an absolutely essential and underrecognized poet. I’m still hoping this volume will convene a larger audience for his work.

Dana Levin | Sky Burial | Copper Canyon | 2011

Peter O’Leary | Luminous Epinoia | The Cultural Society | 2010

Harriet Tarlo, ed. | The Ground Aslant: Radical Landscape Poetry | Shearsman | 2011

If you’ve been wondering where the interesting contemporary British poetry is hiding, you can find quite a bit of it here (including the abovementioned Peter Larkin and also Elisabeth Bletsoe, whose second collection, Landscape from a Dream [Shearsman, 2008], is worth finding).

Zach Savich | Annulments | UP of Colorado | 2010

Maryrose Larkin | The Name of This Intersection Is Frost | Shearsman | 2010

Jonathan Stalling | Grotto Heaven | Chax | 2010

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Also: Forrest Gander, Core Samples from the World (New Directions, 2011); Dan Beachy-Quick, Circle’s Apprentice (Tupelo, 2011); Jean Valentine, Break the Glass (Copper Canyon, 2010); C.D. Wright, One with Others (Copper Canyon, 2011); Timothy Donnelly, The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010); Melissa Kwasny, The Nine Senses (Milkweed, 2011); Harold Schweizer, On Waiting (Routledge, 2008); Seyhan Erözçelik (trans. Murat Nemet-Nejat), Rosestrikes & Coffee Grinds (Talisman, 2010); Mahmoud Darwish (trans. Fady Joudah), If I Were Another (FSG, 2011); René Char (trans. Mary Ann Caws & Nancy Kline), Furor & Mystery and Other Writings (Black Widow, 2011); John Yau, A Thing among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (D.A.P., 2008), Shane McCrae, Mule (Cleveland State, 2010).

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G.C. Waldrep’s latest collections are Archicembalo (Tupelo, 2009) and Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (in collaboration with John Gallaher; BOA Editions, 2011). Projective Industries just released his chapbook, ‘St. Laszlo Hotel.’ He lives in Lewisburg, Pa., where he teaches at Bucknell University and serves as editor-at-large for The Kenyon Review. Waldrep’s Attention Span for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004. Back to 2011 directory.

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