Alice Fogel's suggestions:
Spillway #17 editor Susan Terris (Tebot Bach Press) is loosely on the theme of "Crossing Borders." This magazine shows the hand and eye of its editor (as opposed to journals that are arranged merely alphabetically, and whose poems could interchange their authors without anyone noticing) with a truly varied range of works that have depth and gravitas, and are genuinely interesting in craft and thought. Without being on some kind of poetic acid trip, these poems still wake you up to that elusive experience of being touched by something beyond the wall.
Inaudible Trumpeters by Elizabeth Robinson (Harbor Mountain Press, 2008). In this lovely book of poems, with her matching initials and last name, Elizabeth Robinson takes the titles and end words from works of the famous E. A. Robinson (1869-1935) and fills in her own original lines to make new, moving poems. They are totally worth it whether you find this structural relationship cool or not.
Cold Pluto by Mary Ruefle (Carnegie-Mellon, 1996). Pretty much all of Mary Ruefle's books are interesting, but this one just won't let go. Figures that it is not available, but you can get her new Selected from Wave Books.
Paradise Lost by John Milton (Penguin Classics). Even though this is basically 17th century soap opera, it is mind-blowing how accurately Milton gets men and women, sex and marriage, desire and fear. Lots of fun to read aloud at parties.
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Alice Fogel's third book of poems, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller in 2008, and in 2009 Strange Terrain (a guide for nonpoet readers and teachers, as well as for poets) came out. A recipient of a fellowship from the NEA and five-time Pushcart nominee, her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry, former Poet Laureate Robert Hass’s Poet’s Choice, TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Crazyhorse, Hotel Amerika, and No Tell Motel. A freelance proof reader and copy editor, she teaches writing for all ages and levels, and is a passionate hiker and backpacker. She is also an award-winning designer and creator of custom clothing, particularly from “upcycled” materials (www.lyriccouture.com). Alice will be the 2012 Writer in Residence at the Carl Sandburg homestead in Flat Rock, NC.