Day 13: Daniel Nester’s 5 Favorite Poetry Books

April 13, 2011

Welcome to Day 13 of National Poetry Month. 32 Poems is celebrating by sharing five favorite poetry books each day this month in order to:

1. Promote contemporary and, hopefully, new-to-you books.

2. Promote the work of the writers taking the time to recommend their favorite books.

Please consider ordering the recommended books and also checking out the work of the recommenders. We include a bio at the end of each post.

With no further ado, Daniel Nester shares his five favorite poetry books:

  1. Amanda Nadelberg, Isa the Truck Named Isadore. A tour-de-force of a debut. From the first time I read her poems, I published it every chance I could get. Check out her sestina here.
  2. Barbara Louise Ungar, Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life. My colleague at The College of Saint Rose writes a poem-cycle on “was-bands,” life, love. Torch songs au go-go.
  3. Jeanann Verlee, Racing Hummingbirds. When will we finally admit so-called slam poets can hang with we elbow-patchers on the page? This is a good place to start.
  4. Julie Carr, 100 Notes on Violence. A big leap forward from an already forward-looking poet. This is an important book.
  5. M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong! I just ordered this, so I can’t offer a blurb. I’ve just heard good things about it—use of source materials with poems. Looking forward to reading this.

BIO: Daniel Nester is the author of How to Be Inappropriate, a collection of humorous nonfiction. His first two books, God Save My Queen and God Save My Queen II, are collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen. His work has appeared in a variety of places, such as, The Morning News, McSweeney’s, The Daily Beast, Time Out New York, and Bookslut, and has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2003, The Best Creative Nonfiction, and Now Write! Nonfiction. He is an associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. He is managing editor of the group culture-slash-literature blog We Who Are About To Die. Find him online at and on Twitter.

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