John Poch, editor of 32 Poems Magazine, starts off April’s Poetry Month Celebration with his list of the five poetry books he thinks you need to run out and buy. Tune in tomorrow—and the rest of this month—for more poetry book recommendations by poets you know and love.
1. The Last Predicta by Chad Davidson
I’d rather read a new poem by Chad Davidson than any poet of my generation. For word play, gigantic conceits, line by line surprise, and contemporary culture looked at with wisdom rather than condescension, you just can’t beat it.
2. Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman
One of the smartest poets we have, enamored of silence and able to make beautiful sounds with it. Some have blamed him for sounding like Hopkins, Donne, and Herbert. I praise him for that, but he’s really doing his own thing, completely, writing some of the most daring poems of our generation.
3. Half Life by Meghan O’Rourke
Lines chiseled from stone, yet poems that make you feel deeply. I’ve read this book over and over, and I never change my mind about it.
4. Things Are Disappearing Here by Kate Northrop
One of the most subtly gorgeous books I’ve ever read.
5. Bucolics by Maurice Manning
So idiosyncratic you’d think no one could pull this off, but he does. I wish I’d written it.
BIO: John Poch’s most recent book of poems is Dolls (Orchises Press 2009). He teaches at Texas Tech University.