01 September 2015

Well hello again: poetry in, poetry out

It's been an awfully long time since I've blogged. When I started this blog, I was keen to write about all sorts of things that entered my head. And then I wasn't. But suddenly, as of yesterday, I suddenly felt like putting some stuff up here again. Mainly for me. I'm not sure if anyone is reading this anymore - the heyday of blogging seems to be over - but that's ok.

What I want to blog about is the poetry that I'm reading, and to post links to things I like so I can find them again more easily. And maybe someone else will find them interesting too.

At the moment, I'm in a really fortunate place. Until the end of the year (and hopefully a bit longer) my main occupation is to be a poet. (Thanks Creative NZ!) I'm working on what will, all going well, be my next book. I'm calling it 'How to Live', because that's what it will be about, which is kind of about everything. What I've mainly been doing is reading and thinking, and scribbling a lot in my journal. I've been reading a lot about philosophy and philosophers, about which I'm suddenly and rather belatedly obsessed. I've also been reading some more creative non-fiction books, and some critical essays about poetry. And I've been making a bunch of connections, which is fun, and I hope might make their way into the poems somehow, though as yet I'm not quite sure how. I'm challenging myself with these poems. I'm trying to stretch myself. Sometimes that's a bit scary, which is kind of silly, because what is the danger?

Anyway, I have been feeling in the last week or so that I need to also be reading more poetry. Poetry that will inspire and excite me, and show me possibilities. So I asked some people at lunch the other day (on Poetry Day!) to recommend to me some books by overseas poets (contemporary) that they thought I might like and should read, who isn't Anne Carson (who is probably my poetic hero, but I have her books already. I am rereading them though, and will probably write about her work more in the future).

It's possible that this list might be interesting to other people, so I thought I'd post it here. Also, if you have any more suggestions, feel free to add them.

Helen’s international contemporary poetry reading list

Caroline Bird. Books: Watering Can (2009), Trouble Came to the Turnip (2006), Looking Through Letterboxes (2002), The Hat-Stand Union (2013).

Jill Alexander Essbaum, The Devastation. Also Harlot or Necropolis?

Alfred Starr Hamilton, A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind.

Robert Hass, Praise.

Selima Hill. Books include Bunny (2001), Trembling hearts in the bodies of dogs: new & selected poems (1994), Gloria: selected poems (2008), The accumulation of small acts of kindness (1989), The Sparkling Jewel of Naturism (2014), People Who Like Meatballs (2012), Fruitcake (2009), Violet (1997), The Hat (2008), Jutland (2015).

Ailish Hopper, Dark-sky Society.

Marie Howe. Books: The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008), What the Living Do (1998), The Good Thief (1988)

Luke Kennard. Books include: The Harbour Beyond the Movie (2007), The Migraine Hotel (2009), A Lost Expression (2014), The Solex Brothers (Redux) and Other Prose Poems (2005).

Ben Lerner, Angle of Yaw (also The Lichtenberg Figures).

Patricia Lockwood, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black.

Alice Oswald, In Memoriam (also Dart and Weeds and Wild Flowers).

Clare Pollard (Books: Ovid’s Heroines (2013), Changeling (2011), Look, Clare! Look! (2005), Bedtime (2002), The Heavy-petting Zoo (1998).

Mary Ruefle (I have read Selected Poems, but would like to read some more recent work, including Trances of the Blast and The Most of It).

Richard Siken, Crush.

Richard Siken, The War of the Foxes.

A.E. Stallings. Books include: Hapax (2005), Olives (2012).

Matthew Zapruder. Books include: Sun Bear (2014), Come On All You Ghosts (2010), American Linden (2002), The Pajamaist (2006).


Helen Lowe said...

Wow, amazing list, Helen--& fabulous that you have CNZ support to work on your next collection!

Helen Rickerby said...

Thanks Helen. I'm delighted to find that someone still reads this!