So, it’s poetry month. I know I should be doing something with that, but umm…do I have to? Is April really the cruelest month? I’m really not good with poetry. I want to be, but I’m not. Yes, I have degrees in French and English Lit, and yes, I have read a fair amount of poetry. But, dude.
I certainly don’t have a lot of experience reading Canadian poets, though I can highly recommend Alexis Kienlen’s two books of poetry, She Dreams in Red and 13. I have also read and enjoyed At First, Lonely by Tanya Davis (a former poet laureate of Halifax).
In non-Canucks, I’m trying to find some of Benjamin Alire Sáenz‘ work. His YA book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, was one of my favourite reads of last year and, among its many good points, discusses the pleasures of poetry in a way that made me really want to dig into more poems. Saenz has apparently written poetry himself, and I look forward to trying it out.
I tend to like story-telling poems (ie: T.S. Eliot), but I also somehow never get the feeling that I can really discern what’s good and what’s bad. I can only say which poems make me feel something and which don’t, but I have no real language to explain why, most of the time.
So, in this cruelest month, I’m going to do two things:
1. I’m going to ask you, dear readers, for some poetry recommendations, especially (but not exclusively) Canadian ones.
2. I’m taking the lovely Rosemary and Reading Glasses offer to be anyone’s Poetry Concierge this month if you email her with responses to her questions. It’s quite a bold thing, to attempt to be someone’s poetry concierge, but I’m sure she’s up to the task. I can’t wait to see what she recommends to me!
I completely forgot to mention Gregory Scofield as a Canadian poet I’m going to have to pick up. I went to one of his readings and he totally blew me away.
Recommendations you all have sent me on Canadian poets:
Marita Dachsel (especially Glossolalia)