I have been a bit quiet on this blog lately. I still feel like I'm just winding my way up into the year. This has meant that I've also been an appalling correspondent and way behind on all sorts of tasks. Once I finished working on the books I published last year (this, and this), and finished the year, I kind of collapsed - but in a good way.
What I have been working on is my own poetry, and it has felt really good to reconnect with that. I'm finally feeling like I'm nearly finished a big project - even though I keep on writing new bits for it, not just revising and polishing the poems.
Last year I attempted to read a poetry book a week, and failed. I'm failing already again this year, or at least I would be if that was my goal, but this year I think my goal will just be to read poetry books and record them. So, so far:
Stories I ain't told nobody yet by Jo Carson (1)
This book was among a bunch a friend gave me. They might really be short dramatic monologues in different voices, but they read like poems to me. The voices are all Southern (as in from the US South) - the author is from Tennessee. I found this really interesting, because I think we usually only hear these voices, this accent, when a movie wants a yokel or a redneck.
Urchin Belle by Jenni Fagan (2)
This is one of those gorgeous books produced by Kilmog Press, which has sadly stopped publishing.
Skin divers by Anne Michaels (3)
Dense, rich, often beautiful. Maybe a little too rich for me. I'm going to have to reread this. I read another of her books of poetry years ago, and had a similar response - I both didn't quite like it, and really loved it at the same time.
The Black River by C. K. Stead (4)
I liked how the black river (the styx) kept on turning up in various poems, like a black thread that just gently links things together. Also especially liked a poem where Karl and C. K. meet. C. K. is rather mean to Karl.
That's pretty poor for two months, especially given that there were holidays in there. In my defence, I have finally finished War and Peace. (My assessment: thumbs up, but not as good as Anna Karenina.)