Martha Silano's selections:
National Anthem by Kevin Prufer (Four Way Books)
So many books released this year with National, Republic, and American in the title, but Prufer’s rises above with its post-apocalyptic gems about America’s darkest hour ; they’re smart, lyrical, and almost always left me going “sheesh, how did he pull that off?”
Speaking of books with American in the title, Kary Wayson’s American Husband (Ohio State University Press) is a long-awaited miracle. Gaaawd, I have loved Ms. Wayson’s work for over ten years and am so, so happy to see she finally has a book we can all have and hold. Even at her dreariest (“My umbrella isn't in case but the cause
of the rain
coming down, and my soul is a shovel buried in the flowers”) all order of lyrical-masterful-rain-spattered-tulip springtime flows from her pen.
Lucia Perillo’s Inseminating the Elephant (Cooper Canyon) because Perillo gives MS the finger and makes us laugh at the same time.
Rachel Zucker’s Museum of Accidents (Wesleyan) because poems like “Lines to Stave Off Suicide” remind us what it felt like to be a country paralyzed with fear and grief.
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Martha Silano's books are Blue Positive (Steel Toe 2006) and What the Truth Tastes Like (Nightshade 1999). New work is just out or forthcoming in The Journal, The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, The Best American Poetry 2009, and Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA.