Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Buying Guide - Lucy Biederman

Lucy Biederman's suggestions:

For the daughter on your list: Granted by Mary Szybist (Alice James Books)
This book ROCKS. E.g., "When I Was a Spoon In My Mother's Kitchen": "I can think so clearly, / it's like dreaming."

For anyone reading this who doesn't already have it: The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel (No Tell Books)
A poem in it by Noah Eli Gordon has THIS in it: "The perfect companion's a photograph of sand // Unexpanding, elegant universe / something something something the end" and a poem by Reb has THIS: "Love in a hand basket. / Hell in my heart," and the last poem in the book is absolutely amazing.

For the human on your list: It's Not You, It's Me: The Poetry of Breakup ed. Jerry Williams (Overlook)
The worst thing about this book is being seen with a book called "It's Not You, It's Me: The Poetry of Breakup," but I am seen with it ALL THE TIME because it includes so many excellent poems by contemporary poets I love (like J. Allyn Rosser, Amy Gerstler, Kevin Prufer).

For your post-avant-garde associates: American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics ed. by Claudia Rankine & Lisa Sewell (Wesleyan University Press)
I believe that everything is a construction except deals, and this book comes with a bonus CD. It also feature analytical essays and beautiful poems by writers like Susan Wheeler, Stacy Doris, and Myung Mi Kim.

For the 900 people you know who say, I just don't understand poetry: The Making of a Poem by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland (Norton)
I love this book, because Strand and Boland do a really thorough but un-condescending job of explaining the various poetic forms, and their examples of the forms are wide-ranging and awesome, like for the "Open Forms" section, Sharon Olds's poem "The Language of the Brag": "I have done with you wanted to do, Walt Whitman, / Allen Ginsberg"

For the smarty-pants on your list: One Kind of Everything: Poem and Person in Contemporary America by Dan Chiasson (U of Chicago Press)
Chiasson talks so freshly and intelligently about poets like Frank Bidart and Frank O'Hara that it almost‚ almost, makes me want to write a paper or something.

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Lucy Biederman's life is like an episode of Queen for a Day, but still she buys small-press poetry books from independent sellers. Her chapbook The Other World is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in Spring 2012.

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