Because my friend Michele has requested so especially, I've put together a list of some of my favorites of the small press poetry books I've recently acquired and read.
1. Blood Makes Me Faint But I Go For It, by Natalie Lyalin (Ugly Duckling Presse)
I've loved the decidedly strange, but wondrous poetry of Natalie Lyalin since reading her chapbook from UDP, Try a Little Time Travel back in 2010. There's a distinct voice that leaps from poem to poem, that I trust in its confidence even though it's telling me things I've never heard before. Her new collection delivers on a lot of the same qualities that drew me in with her chapbook. Read more about it in her interview here. She's part of UDP's Eastern European Poets Series.
2. Her Book, by Éireann Lorsung (Milkweed Editions)
I picked up Éireann Lorsung's Her Book last summer at Malaprop's Bookstore when I was on vacation. I read through it in only two nights while still in Asheville because it was such a compulsive reading experience for me. Infused with wildness and lyric language. Insects, weedy flowers, and the calm of northern England. These poems are as atmospheric as they are storytelling. There is a much better review of this book here.
3. Girl Show, by Kristy Bowen (Black Lawrence Press)
Kristy Bowen's new collection of poems delivers carnival as collage and fabulism and matriarchy. Each one is chock full of things, objects. A vivid and lyrical specificity that accumulates into story, and sometimes prairieland prophecy. It's the mid-century, mid-country midway of our imaginations. Read an interview with Kristy here.
P.S. She's my editor at the envelope-pushing dancing girl press!
4. Darling Hands, Darling Tongue, by Sally Rosen Kindred (Hyacinth Girl Press)
Sally Rosen Kindred's re-imagining of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy
is a woman-centered world with a very particular focus on the body:
girl, woman, fairy. These poems pull adult themes from the children's
story that we all noticed, but perhaps did not examine as closely before
now. The way a girl's changing body shuts her out of one world and
pushes her into another. Hips. Lips. "[T]wo bones from the tongue/ of a
lark." My particular favorite from this chapbook is "Notes from a Fairy
Autopsy." Read an interview with Sally here.
I'm sure you've probably noticed a trend here. My tastes tend to steer me more toward poetry written by women about women and girls. This definitely shows up in my writing as well. No apologies.