Five favorite collections at present:
Amy Clampitt, The Kingfisher: Clampitt’s poems give extraordinary insight into humans’ connection to and detachment from the natural world.
Andrew Hudgins, The Glass Hammer: Hudgins is a masterful formalist who tells witty, heartbreaking, unapologetic Southern stories about his childhood. If you admire Frost, you must read Hudgins.
Louise Bogan, The Blue Estuaries: Bogan, perhaps because of her modest production of poems and her acclaim as an editor, is perhaps one of the most unnoticed yet most poignantly empowered and mythic feminist voices of the last century. With all of the stark landscapes, eyes, mirrors, blurry lovers, and shadows in her poems, I have the eerie feeling that the poems are watching me as closely as I am reading them.
Anthony Hecht, The Hard Hours: A perfect collection by the finest poet of the second half of the twentieth century—enough said.
George Herbert, The Temple: Combining the skills of a poet, theologian, architect, and builder, Herbert constructs his ecstatic and supplicated vision of the seventeenth-century Anglican church poem by poem. These are some of the finest lyrical poems written in English.
Bio: Adam Vines is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he edits Birmingham Poetry Review. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Hunger Mountain, Redivider, Sewanee Theological Review, Tampa Review, 32 Poems, among others. He was a finalist for the 2011 Miller Williams Prize, and his collection, The Coal Life, will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2012.