As the last of the bustle of the old year fades away, the concentrated ring of poetry serves as a fine launchpad for a new year of reading. Here are four 2013 collections and one forthcoming to cast you forward into 2014.
- The Best American Poetry 2013 ed. by Denise Duhamel & David Lehman (Scribner). Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and New York State Laureate Jean Valentine share page room with Wendy Barker and Adrienne Su in what has long been considered one of the top curated lists of individual poems on offer.
- Roget’s Illusion by Linda Bierds (Marian Wood: Putnam). Due in March, Bierds’s latest title uses Peter Mark Roget’s explanation of an optical illusion as the impetus for poems that explore the human quest to express our experiences in the world.
- Unexplained Fevers by Jeannine Hall Gailey (New Binary).
This lively and addictive collection begins with “Once Upon a Time” and from there unfolds in a sharply observed commentary on fairy tale characters, from a sleeping princess who planted her own briar wall to a prince who wonders whom he rescued.
- Getting Lucky by Nicole Steinberg (Spooky Girlfriend).
Constructed out of text taken from the pages of Lucky magazine, these smartly composed, sharp-toothed poems resonate with pop culture critique.
- Incarnadine by Mary Szybist (Graywolf).
A perfect fit for the season of Epiphany, Szybist’s transcendent poems of love and faith are deeply examined, finely crafted, and full of immersive images and rhythms.