The Evening Sun – David Lehman
The poems in this second volume of Lehman’s daily poems are both kinetic and chaotic so its readers don’t know where they’re going but can’t help but ride along. This book has inspired me for years, and I wish I could share that experience with everyone.
Without End – Adam Zagajewski
Whenever I read this book, I consciously feel the tone of both my writing and way of thinking change. Few books consistently have that kind of power over me.
Life on Mars – Tracy K. Smith
This book mixes hard science with science fiction and song lyrics from rock legend David Bowie without disorienting the reader or losing their accessibility. When I read this book, I’m awed by the beauty of the language, but also the beauty of so many Smith describes that would seem to be beyond words.
Calling a Wolf a Wolf – Kaveh Akbar
One of the more recent books I’ve been obsessively rereading, I connect with this one on a deeply personal level. Its themes of addiction and recovery have been central to my life and work as well, so I can’t help but feel these poems as if filled with scenes from my life.
Good Bones – Maggie Smith
Another recent collection, Good Bones is just filled with fantastic poetry. Not much more I can say than that, except that it’s one of those books that folks should read, regardless of whether they like poetry.
Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, including I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and The Prisoners (Brick Road, 2014), and two novels, most recently States of Mercy (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, J Journal, cream city review, River Styx, Rattle, and other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison.