Tag Archives: Mary Oliver

Books Acquired Recently: AWP Edition

This morning I got back from the 2019 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Portland. It was a fantastic time! I saw some authors that I love and encountered some new writers whose work I cannot wait to check out.

As usual when I go to conferences, the bookfair was a highlight of the trip. AWP’s gigantic bookfair is legendary. It is, frankly, overwhelming, even for a hardcore bibliophile/book-buying addict such as myself. I acquired 17 books. I was able to get Awkward-Rich’s, Berggrun’s, Chee’s, Chen’s, Davis’s, Dawn’s, Dentz’s, and Tedesco’s signed. Note that all of the books except Chee’s are published by small independent presses, which are more important to support than ever. I bought most of the books from the publishers themselves, but I got Awkward-Rich’s, Chee’s, Chen’s, and Smith’s from the Powell’s display at the center of the fair. Powell’s handed out free commemorative tote bags and pins with purchases from their booth, both neat souvenirs.

I also bought a Walt Whitman Brooklyn Poets t-shirt–I couldn’t resist. I also wanted to get the Audre Lorde shirt, but they were a bit pricey ($25.60 each) so I will have to get it another time.

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Sympathetic Little Monster. Los Angeles: Ricochet Editions, 2016.

Berggrun, Chase. Red. Minneapolis: Birds, LLC, 2018.

This book is an erasure poem created from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Chee, Alexander. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays. Boston: Mariner Books, 2018.

Chen, Ching-In. The Heart’s Traffic: A Novel in Poems. Los Angeles: Arktoi Books, 2009.

Dangarembga, Tsitsi. This Mournable Body. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2018.

Davis, Todd. Some Heaven: Poems. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2007.

Dawn, Amber. How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013.

Dentz, Shira. the sun a blazing zero. New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2018.

Hopkinson, Nalo. Report from Planet Midnight Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2012.

Jih, Tristan Allen, and Adam Vines. Day Kink: Poems. Greensboro, NC: Unicorn Press, 2018.

Le Guin, Ursula K. “The Wild Girls” Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2011.

Sato, Hiroaki. On Haiku. New York: New Directions, 2018.

Scenters-Zapico, Natalie. Lima:: Limón. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2019.

Smith, Danez. Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.

Soto, Christopher, ed. Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color. New York: Nightboat Books, 2018.

Tedesco, Adam. Mary Oliver. Fruita, CO: Lithic Press, 2019.

This is a book of poems about Oliver. Meta!

Tovar, Virgie. You Have the Right to Remain Fat. New York: Feminist Press, 2018.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Dykstra, Lenny. House of Nails: The Construction, the Demolition, the Resurrection: A Memoir of Life on the Edge. New York: Morrow, 2016.

As I have said here before, I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, so I buy every book I can find about them. Dykstra’s second memoir (after Nails, which was published after the 1986 baseball season) was just published, and I bought it right away and read it this past weekend. It is an interesting book (and has blurbs from Jack Nicholson and Stephen King, which is quite impressive), and I learned some fascinating things about both the Mets and Dykstra (his discussion of Davey Johnson as a manager is especially revelatory), but my primary takeaway from the book is that Dykstra is a terrible person. He claims to have learned from his mistakes, but this supposed growth is nowhere evident in the tone of the book.

King, Michael A. Fractured Dance: Gadamer and a Mennonite Conflict Over Homosexuality. Telford: Pandora Press U.S., 2001.

As I do more and more scholarship on queer Mennonite literature, I thought it would be helpful to read this book, one of the first explicitly dealing with LGBT issues and Mennonitism. It approaches the subject from a theological perspective rather than a literary one, but the theological aspects of Mennonite literature are inescapable (as much as some in the field would like to get away from them), thus one must be somewhat conversant with theological texts to write about the literature.

Oliver, Mary. Thirst. Boston: Beacon, 2006.

I read a few poems by Oliver in an anthology as an undergraduate and didn’t like them, but then recently found out from a friend that Oliver is queer, and that some of her more recent poetry is explicitly so. Therefore I decided to give her another reading. I am interested to see how or whether my poetic tastes have changed in the intervening fifteen years.

Talese, Gay. The Voyeur’s Motel. New York: Grove, 2016.

I read an excerpt of this book several months ago in the New Yorker and was hooked. The book was just published this week, and I can’t wait to read it. It might be suitable for my  course on obsessions.

All of these books were bought on amazon.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature, Sports

Richard Hugo’s Poetry

I just finished reading through Richard Hugo’s Selected Poems, and the collection is an excellent one. I love the sense of place in Hugo’s poems, whether he is out in nature fishing, or sitting in a small town cafe, or writing about his travels in Italy, or describing his life in Montana. In “Letter to Kizer from Seattle” he writes about “the primal source of poems: wind, sea / and rain,” and while as a city person I am not especially enamored of nature, I appreciate the way Hugo speaks about it in his poems because it is always a specific place rather than a general force. I can always visualize the nature in his poems, unlike its depiction in the work of other nature poets such as Galway Kinnell or Mary Oliver. I like many poems in the collection because they evoke place so well, even when they are about other subjects. For instance, “Letter to Kathy from Wisdom” is a love poem, but it is inspired by “this town I’m writing from, where we came lovers years ago to fish.” “Kennedy Ucciso” is about John F. Kennedy’s assassination on the surface, but really it is about being an American who feels like an outsider in Italy. Hugo’s poems pay homage to their settings, showing that geography can be just as important in poetry as it is in fiction.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature