Day 29: Erin Elizabeth Smith | Five Favorite Poetry Books

April 29, 2011

We hope you’ve enjoyed the previous 28 days of poetry book recommendations from more than 30 poets. For National Poetry Month, we’re pleased to have brought you roughly 175 poetry book recommendations from 35 poets in 30 days. Here are five more from Erin Elizabeth Smith:

From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger by Lorna Dee Cervantes

A friend once referred to the books she carries with her as her teddy bear books, and if any book functioned in that way for me, it’s this collection, which somehow manages to resonate whenever things gnaw at me the most.

Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts by Jorie Graham

This brilliant first collection is shockingly beautiful in its reflections on an American landscape that seems almost rife with philosophy and desire.

Donkey Gospel by Tony Hoagland

A book that is funny, heart-breaking, and ragingly honest. It’s also a “must-teach” every semester for me, in that it’s probably the most successful texts to break down young writers of their notions of what poetry is.

The Fact of a Doorframe by Adrienne Rich

I would argue Rich is one of the most talented writers not just of our generation, but of any. In her collected works, it’s easy to remember why she’s a living legend still.

I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl by Karyna McGlynn

I was left haunted by this book, a film noir in verse, for days afterward. The play with time, voice, language, and ambiance is unparalleled in any contemporary work I’ve read to date.

BIO: Erin Elizabeth Smith is the author of two poetry collections — The Naming of Strays and The Fear of Being Found. Her work has previously appeared in 32 Poems, Water~Stone, Crab Orchard, New Delta, and Yalobusha. She serves as the managing editor of Stirring and The Best of the Net Anthology and teaches in the English department at the University of Tennessee.

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