Charles River

Charles River
Upper Limit Cloud/Lower Limit Sail


"Messianicity is not messianism ... even though this distinction remains fragile and enigmatic." (Jacques Derrida)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Poetry Roundup 2014

This is not a “best of” list since the very idea of arranging yearly readings fetishizes the new and builds obnoxious hierarchies; it also reinforces spurious notions of critical omniscience. Most year-end Best Of lists are less about critical acumen than the dominant market forces of Big Publishing or Hollywood studios and the ways in which the circulation of the eternal same flourishes. It depresses me when I read a review of the same middlebrow novel over and over and over in The Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, NYRB, LRB, etc. This is why a review publication like Rain Taxi is invaluable for its devoted attention to the small press scene, where so much vital literature is being published. The public relations machine of Big Pub produces an overwhelming and monotonous conformity and a banal chorus of yea-sayers. Anyway, I don’t spend my time on all that. It’s not so much that I’m a snob. I just a have a different set of priorities. So “best” poetry is a silly category, finally. There’s too much poetry in any given year to take in and far too little of it that comes my way. I can’t pretend to even have been aware of a very small percentage of the work circulating through the poetry sphere. A few of these titles were not published in 2014 but this is the year I discovered them, so they’re new to me.

Robert Adamson | Net’s Needle | Flood Editions

Ed Barrett | toward blue peninsula | Pressed Wafer

Daniel Bouchard | Art + Nature | Ugly Duckling

Amy Catanzano | Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella | Noemi Press

Thomas Devaney | Calamity Jane | Furniture Press

Joseph Donahue | Red Flash on a Black Field | Black Square

Rachel Blau DuPlessis | Interstices | Subpress

Joel Felix | Limbs of the Apple Tree Never Die | Verge

Allen Grossman | Descartes’ Loneliness | New Directions

Fanny Howe | Second Childhood | Greywolf

Pierre Joris | Barzakh: Poems 2000-2012 | Black Widow Press

Pierre Joris | Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry | FSG

Hank Lazer | N24 | little read leaves textile

Jackson MacLow | Complete Light Poems | Chax Press (Jan 2015)

Joseph Massey | To Keep Time | Omnidawn

Jennifer Moxley | The Open Secret | Flood Editions

David Need | Rilke’s Roses | Horse and Buggy Press

Fred Moten | The Feel Trio | Letter Machine

Jeffrey Pethybridge | Striven, the Bright Treatise | Noemi Press

Karen Randall | Extruded Gilgamesh: an introspection & Inanna: of the Entangled Ligatures & the Dearth of Thin Ink | Propolis Press

Claudia Rankine | Citizen | Greywolf

Robert Seydel | Songs of S. | Siglio/Ugly Duckling

Harvey Shapiro | A Momentary Glory: Last Poems | Wesleyan

Lissa Wolsak | Of Beings Alone | Nomados

Jay Wright | Disorientations: Groundings | Flood Editions