The Boston Review's poetry editor recommends authors whose poetry collections are as surprising as they are insightful.
From The Week:
Ten Walks/Two Talks by Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch (Ugly Duckling, $14). In this book about New York, inspired by the travel diaries of the Japanese poet Basho, Cotner and Fitch perfected a style—hip, wry, goofy, chill, patient, wide-eyed, curious, wise—that’s as difficult to pin down as it is infectious. Reading this book enhances the way you perceive what’s new as it gently reanimates what you think you already know.
The Waste Land and Other Poems by John Beer (Canarium, $14). This tongue-in-cheek homage to various literary monuments (including works by Marx, Rilke, and, of course, Eliot) is also a serious sendup of literary momentousness. Beer might have found 100 ways to go wrong in this audacious debut, but he writes his way around all of them and triumphs.
English Fragments: A Brief History of the Soul by Martin Corless-Smith (Fence, $19). With great discernment and one of the best-tuned ears in poetry today, British-born Corless-Smith sifts excerpts from his vast reading into lyric fragments of rare elegance.