Attention Span 2011 | Jordan Stempleman
Joseph Bradshaw | In the Common Dream of George Oppen | Shearsman | 2011
This collection is the imagining of Oppen’s time away from poetry in Idaho, after Idaho. The listening hard to those poems that never came from that time: thoughts unwritten as poems; actual poems; talks with the Elephant Man and Jack Spicer; Bradshaw talks with Bradshaw himself through the form of the essay; a sifting through the silences found in biography and verse.
Rachel B. Glaser | Pee On Water |Publishing Genius | 2010
A collection of short stories that encourage you to sit on the wet lawn near a dog in a sweatshirt with your tongue in the mouth of someone becoming somewhat special, some history books open in your lap as you hold the Nintendo controller in both of your hands pressing a+b+a+b+a+b+a+b+select+start then, just before you start feeling “woozy” because of the smell of your somewhat special person’s deodorant, you begin to grow increasingly excited for tip off of game six of the NBA Finals.
Daniel Borzutzky | The Book of Interfering Bodies | Nightboat | 2011
This is what I wrote to Daniel in a FB exchange regarding this book: “One of the most important books of poetry I’ve been in for months. Rarely seen an American poet able to write about our U.S. underbelly without sacrificing the poem or giving way to lyric gloss. This book is so important and I’ll tell everyone who loves poetry and anyone who’s unsettled about what they sense is out there to read it slowly. I can’t help but to think this book is what Stevens had in mind when he talked of the imagination being grounded in reality. But of course, Stevens so often brought the world so far into his head, and you seem to acknowledge the messiness of the world. This book gets at the paralysis created by tragedy. You’ve done it.”
Michael Kimball | Us | Tyrant Books | 2011 (First Tyrant Books edition)
Oh, death. This is as available as language can get on the subject of watching the person you love get sick, get a little better, and then not. This is how slow I imagine letting go will be. Caring for as long as someone can care, then strained like never before to pull back.
Mathias Svalina | Destruction Myth | Cleveland State University Poetry Center | 2010
Mathias Svalina knows in the beginning both the imagination and the actual world began their forms together, roughly alike. Humor accumulated. Waste was accounted for. Sadness instructed, forgot, told stories and carefully pulled the lid off the ant farm before starting all over again, uncomplicated and aware as humanly possible.
Heather Christle | The Trees The Trees | Octopus | 2011
There is a workshop (not a poetry workshop, silly; the dusty, dirty alone kind) where all the things like airplanes and falsely blue skies are sent, so they can lose their dreadful statistics, so they now grow eggs that could pass for scissors, and celebrate birthdays that straighten out our lives, speaking up in a honest enough voice, without question.
Mark Leidner | Beauty Was the Case That They Gave Me | Factory Hollow | 2011
Mark Leidner knows that what is most offensive is what we are capable of saying we are like, only to say were are not like that at all. These poems may prove O’Hara downright wrong about what he said concerning romantic comedies. These poems make me feel like I have nothing to lose – that I am stupid, that I am so so wasteful when I don’t return home from belt shopping with an image and an idea locked in a shootout with a room full of heartless people convinced they are falling in love.
Jordan Stempleman’s most recent collections of poetry are Doubled Over (BlazeVOX Books, 2009) and No, Not Today (Magic Helicopter Press, forthcoming). He co-edits The Continental Review, teaches writing and literature at the Kansas City Art Institute and curates A Common Sense Reading Series.