Posts Tagged ‘amanda auchter’

Second Book Summer

It’s been a great summer of reading.  It’s also been the summer of second books, with a lot of second collections by many of my favorite poets.  If you have not read these great books, put them on your fall reading list.  

 The Wishing Tomb by Amanda Auchter  (Perugia Press)  New Orleans takes center stage in Amanda Auchter’s second poetry collection.   Exploring the Crescent City’s deep history through  a strong lyrical voice, readers learn about Fred Staten, a nightclub performer who was also considered as the King of Voodoo; Sister Francis Xavier Herbert, an Ursuline nun who was the first woman pharmacist in America; and Maryann Albert, the mother of Louis Armstrong.  The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina also is present in this collection, although it is not the focus, as Auchter dives into the diverse and mysterious past that has created this resilient city.  (First Book: The Glass Crib)

Notes to the Beloved by Michelle Bitting  (Sacramento Poetry Center Press)  Winner of the 2011 Sacramento Poetry Center Book Contest, Notes to the Beloved is collection containing poems that are caught between the lyric and the narrative.  Whether she is describing a wife watching her husband untangle holiday lights or retelling Alice in Wonderland’s fall through the rabbit hole, Bitting creates magic, making familiar stories just a little bit surreal. My favorite poem “Boys Like You” can actually be found online here.  (First Book: Good Friday Kiss)

The Children by Paula Bohince (Sarabande Books)  Fans of the Scrapper Poet know how much I love Paula Bohince’s work, and her second collection, The Children, did not disappoint. Writing serene pastorals, Bohince plucks elements from the natural world — bees, milkweed pods, dogwood —  to create a world of isolated beauty.  Still, with poems like “Everywhere I Went That Spring, I Was Alone” anyone reading this book will wander away feeling  just a little bit lonely. (First Book: Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods)                               

Home Burial by Michael McGriff  (Copper Canyon Press)  A work of gritty working-class landscapes, Michael McGriff’s Home Burial details places and people of hardship.  Whether he is describing a pastoral-like scene of deer bones and rats or retelling a story about catfishing,  McGriff draws the reader into a world of tough and stubborn living.  (First Book: Dismantling the Hills)

The Death of Flying Things by Gabriel Welsch (WordTech)  Gabriel Welsch returns to rural Pennsylvania (a favorite place of mine, if I do say so myself) in his second collection, where he explores both the wonder and tragedy of  rural life where interactions between humans and the natural world are favorite subjects.  (First Book: Dirt and All Its Dense Labor)

Great News for Two Great Poets!

I want to start March off on a right note by celebrating some great news for two poets. 

Amanda Auchter has just announced that her second manuscript, The Wishing Tomb, has won the 2012 Perugia Press Book for Women.  Not only do I love Amanda’s work (If you haven’t read The Glass Crib, which was published last year, you should!), but I also love Perugia Press!

My friend and fellow Pennsylvania poet, Gabriel Welsch, has a new book coming out this year.  However, Steel Toe Books has just announced that Gabe’s third full length collection of poetry, Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse, was selected during last year’s open submission period.  Great title! And so fitting — let’s hope that the world does not end before the book is published!

Mid-January Break

So far, 2012 has brought me two acceptances (yay!) and one rejection (not so yay — but that is one towards my 100 rejection goal!).  This past week, I read through the proofs for my new chapbook and also managed to prep for the start of school.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about a recent blog post by poet Amanda Auchter.  In her post, Amanda talks about the motto of her MFA program which asked its students to “Read 100 Books. Write One.”  I think the program wants its students to read 100 books in the course of their studies — which would be a bit difficult.  When I was in grad school, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t read 100 books per year or even in the two years I was in the program. 

However, now I easily read 100 books per year.  In fact, last year, I read over 200 books.  How many of these books are poetry books, you may ask?  I looked at my list (I keep track of titles) and it appears that I read 90 poetry books (including chapbooks and anthologies) last year — about 40 of them were published in 2011.  I would love to set a new goal for myself and read 100 poetry books in 2012 — but that would be difficult, especially since in January (so far) I have only read four! Still, even though I said that I don’t want to make too many resolutions this year, I would like to have the overall goal to write at least one poetry book review per month and post this review here. 

Look for January’s review in the next week or so!