During May and June, No Tells is featuring "Recommended Summer Reading" selections by No Tell contributors.
Adam Deutsch's recommendations:
Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda, (Bulfinch Press)
This is a pretty quintessential title for those who are looking to be reminded of the magic of compressed language and the wonderfully simple WCW "no ideas but in things" lesson we might sometimes forget. This particular edition has the original spanish on the left, translation by Ken Krabbenhoft on the right, and even if you don't know spanish, reading it aloud simply for the sound is fantastic.
Search Party: Collected Poems by William Matthews (Mariner Books)
Some of his earlier titles are not easy to find, and this is a pretty solid selection--though the selected from his first book removes a pretty sad layer that changes everything. The best part of Matthews, for me, is his ability to surrender the attachment to his own identity, and dive into the fears: "Irony, self-accusation,/ someone else's suffering./ The search is that of art."
Sublimation Point by Jason Schneiderman (Four Way Books)
Masterfully one of the most inclusive books of poetry of recent years. The voice of the poems is honest, compassionate, unhidden. The poems are from study and intellect, but the allusions don't show-boat or bully the reader. It's a book I return to at least twice a year, and it feels new every time.
Funny by Jennifer Michael Hecht (University of Wisconsin Press)
This is great because it's not what you expect. It's not a book of joke-poems, cheap gag, or easy trick. The book is full of long, brave, confident poems with excellent timing and grace. It comes from a philosophy--which you'll get on the tail end because Hecht's Funny includes an essay at the back, which is a gift. It's a bonus track that enriches the whole album.
The Shout by Simon Armitage (Harcourt)
If nothing else, read the first poem, "The Shout." This book was the British poet's debut in the U.S.. I'll be reading it this summer because it's one of those books I've been trying to finish for years. Every time I try, I get caught in the lines of a piece, and have to linger a while to take it in. Some books just can't be done in one sitting--and they're usually magnificent.
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Adam Deutsch lives in San Diego, CA. Some poems have appeared with Juked, Caffeine Destiny, Slurve, Anti-, No Tell Motel, and Gander Press Review. He is an Editor at Cooper Dillon Books and can be found at adamdeutsch.blogspot.com.