Sleeping with the Dictionary – Harryette Mullen

It’s deft and funny and it constantly twists through common phrasings, making them new.

Poems and Antipoems – Nicanor Parra

It’s so wonderfully conversational and suggestive, so expansive and unresolved.

The Performance of Becoming Human – Daniel Borzutzky

It’s not trying to make you feel better about your complicity.

Alphabet – Inger Christensen

She personalizes the universe. The book is a form of both unspooling (the Fibonacci sequence) and of respiration (the movement between the intimate and the expansive).

Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers – George Oppen

Reading the fragments and unfinished elements of a writer whose life was marked by a long spell away from publishing is fascinating. I go back to this book more than the Collected Poems, which I go back to often.

Fred Schmalz is an artist and poet whose first collection, Action in the Orchards (Nightboat Books), responds to encounters with dance, music, and visual art. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Conduit, A Public Space, and elsewhere. He makes art with Susy Bielak in the collective Balas & Wax.

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