Friday, January 26, 2007

Best Poems of 2006

When I’m reading a book of poetry and I read a poem I want to revisit I slip in a placemark. If, after 4 or 5 rereadings I decide I don’t want to leave the poem behind, I copy it out. I have been doing this since 1989; I have four loose leaf binders filled with other people’s poems. At the beginning of the year I sit down and read aloud all the poems I collected in the previous year. This year I collected 38 poems. 26 of those were haiku. All the haiku were from one anthology. I don’t think I’ve saved that much from one source before. What I kept (in alphabetical order):

Anselm Berrigan ….. “Mercy Flight”

Todd Colby ….. “Labor Day Picnic Poem”

Jordan Davis ….. “Fire Barns”

Amy Fusselman ….. “Journal”

haiku by Jennifer Brutschy, Paul O. Williams (2), Jane Reichhold, Jerry Ball, Mary Fields, Mary Hill, Garry Gay (2), Brent Partridge, Margaret Molarsky (2), Tom Tico (2), Christopher D. Herold, Jim Normington, Steve Sanfield (4), James Luguri (2), Robert N. Johnson (2), John Thompson (2)

Nicolas Guillen ….. “Wake for Papa Montero”

Aime Cesaire ….. “Ex-voto for a Shipwreck”

Allen Cohen ….. “Traveler”

George Green ….. “The Searchers”

Celtic prayer …. from the Carmina Gadelica

Paul Celan ….. from “BREATHCRYSTAL”

Eyak song/poem ….. “Lament for Eyak”

H. C. Artmann ….. “An Optician Has a Glass Heart”

Ko Un ….. “Drunkard”

Judy Grahn ….. “What do I have …”

sources (in parentheses # of poems collected from the source): Heights of the Marvelous c.2000, edited by Todd Colby, St Martins Press, NY (4); What We Carry c.1994, by Dorianne Laux, BOA Editions, Rochester NY (-); Smoke c.2000 by Dorianne Laux, BOA Editions, Rochester NY (-); Poems for the Millennium, vol 1: From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude, the University of California Book of Modern and Postmodern Poetry c.1995, edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris, University of California Press, Berkeley CA (2); The Season on Our Sleeve: selected short poems c.2004 by Bill Knott, published by the author, Boston MA; Book of Hats c.2003 by Allen Cohen, drawings by Ann Cohen, Regent Press, Oakland CA (1); Parthenon West, a San Francisco literary magazine (1); The San Francisco Haiku Anthology c.1992, edited by Jerry Ball, Garry Gay, Tom Tico, pub by Smythe-Waithe Press, Windsor CA (26); Song of Rita Joe: autobiography of a Mi’Kmaq poet c.1996, by Rita Joe, with the assitance of Lynn Henry, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln NE (-); The Best American Poetry 2005 c.2005, edited by Paul Muldoon, series editor David Lehman, Scribner NY (1); Poems from the Coffee Lands c.2004, “prepared for Starbucks Coffee Company by Tidbitbooks” (-); Well-Versed: poems for the road ahead c.2005?, editor uncredited, chapbook produced for AIG, an insurance and financial services group, shipped with an issue of The New Yorker (-); Beeswax Magazine, number one, Winter 2006, Oakland CA (-); The Best Spiritual Writing 1998 c.1998, edited by Philip Zaleski, HarperCollins NY (1); Ice Cream c.2005 by Lelyn Masters, self-published chapbook, Oakland CA (-); City of Buds and Flowers: a poet’s eye view of Berkeley c.1977 edited by John Oliver Simon, Aldebaran Review, Berkeley CA (-); The Work of a Common Woman c.1978 by Judy Grahn, The Crossing Press, Freedom CA (1); West Branch, sp/su 2006, #58, Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA (-); Afterbeats c.1991 by D. Jayne McPherson, Norton Coker Press, SF (-): The New Yorker, from a year’s subscription between 2004 and 2005 (1); Poems for the Millennium, vol.2 c.1998 edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris, University of California Press, Berkeley CA (2)

And if you’re curious:

Best Poems of 2005

Best Poems of 2004

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