Monday, December 14, 2015

Melissa Lee-Houghton's "Beautiful Girls": A sixth excellent Christmas present

Here's a sixth Christmas book suggestion: Melissa Lee-Houghton's Beautiful Girls (Penned in the Margins, 2013).
I first read this book at a time when I was not reading much poetry (the only time in my adult life that that was the case), and it re-invigorated my reading of poetry, and I read it multiple times.

(If I humbly mention that there's also my book of poems, I hasten to add that when I "listen" to Melissa Lee-Houghton, I am in the state that I imagine Thomas Hardy could have been with respect to Louis Armstrong – the state of sheer astonishment.)

Monday, December 07, 2015

John Agard's "Alternative Anthem": a fifth excellent Christmas present

Here's a fifth Christmas book suggestion: John Agard's Alternative Anthem, his 2009 volume of selected poems.
Of if you want a collection rather than a selection of Agard's poems, I also recently read his wonderful sequence Clever Backbone, which spins out variations on the evolution of Homo sapiens going back to the African savannah several million years ago. It's 60 14-line poems that are sometimes very close to being sonnets and sometimes a bit farther.

Or if you prefer a more recent collection, there's Travel Light, Travel Dark from 2013, another excellent collection of Agard's brilliant poetry.
(And of course this wouldn't be one of my recommendations if I didn't mention that there's also my book of poems.)