Thursday, August 05, 2004

In Praise of the Good Stuff

here is a list of books I received the past week:

Behave, Rant 66 by Steve Tills (dPress 2004)
bad-ass poetry from one helluva a poet. Tills reminds me a bit of Catullus in his venom. this collection is a necessary antidote to latterday poemizing.

* * *

Behind the Blue Canvas by Eileen Tabios (Giraffe Books 2004)

a collection of erotic stories. Tabios has the gift to meld sex, life and text. no subject is taboo. I dig how she creates the life of a poet with great sensualities and hungers. wonderful.

* * *

Dear Dad by Bill Luoma (Tinfish 2000)

a lovely chapbook of prose poems about the poet's relationship with his father.

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Ring of Fire by Lisa Jarnot (Salt 2003)

I've not read this straight through. I am a big Jarnot fan and look forward to curling up with it. oh, am I the only one who likes to look at photos of other writers? well, I think the author's photo on the back of this book is pretty cool, good to look at, she with a wide, friendly smile.

* * *

Wolf Tongue: Selected Poems 1965-2000 by Barry MacSweeney (Bloodaxe 2003)

this is the book I've been waiting for. however, it is not a comprehensive collection, MacSweeney spent his life publishing in the small-presses, so collecting his books is sometimes an arduous undertaking. I would love to see one big Collected MacSweeney, but alas this book will do. MacSweeney died in 2000 after a lifetime of alchoholism, which is chronicled in his book, Book of Demons, and has been reprinted here. MacSweeney was a friend of J.H. Prynne and others from Cambridge, a wild, wild poet.

* * *

Collected Poems by Tom Raworth (Carcanet 2003)

this is one fat fuck of a doorstop, and absolutely essential for every poet/reader. get it, now!

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To Hold in my Hand: Selected Poems by Hilda Morley (Sheep Meadow Press 1983)

got this tonight at Beers Books, a used bookstore. I've read some poems by Morley here and there through the years but now I have some of her work in my hands.

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Brisees: Broken Branches by Michel Leiris, translated by Lydia Davis (North Point Press 1989)

got this tonight at the above-named bookstore. a collections of essays on various topics. bought it primarily because of a very short text, "Epilepsy," I read standing in the stacks.

* * *

Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters by Judith Halberstam (Duke University Press 1995)

a critical work by feminist/queer theorist Halberstam on Gothic monstrosities in horror films.

* * *

Big Smoke: New Zealand Poems 1960-1975 edited by Alan Brunton, Murray Edmond and Michelle Leggot (Aukland University Press 2000)

this book is the Big Find in a long, long time. I've been wondering how to get the books of fellow poet/blogger Mark Young and now I'm quite literally salivating. this is the book, I believe, that got Young writing again. the collection gathers together the writings of New Zealand poets and documents a scene of discovery and experimentation. there is a really cool autographed poster for a reading reproduced that is a photo of a bearded Young with James K. Baxter (also bearded) and David Mitchell. the poster reads: An Evening of Poetry, Barry Lett Galleries, Aug. 20, 8 pm. I feel very lucky in finding this book. there is even an inscription in gold ink on the frontispiece: Happy Birthday Kirsten/ Your 10th Oct. 2000/ love, Richard.

hey, wait, that's my name. what the huh?


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