Resurrection Update – James Galvin
Recommended to me by my professor, I read this book over the course of three months in graduate school. I dropped out of my MFA but went away with the memory of this book and many others. I bought it and reread it once a year. This book is much of Galvin’s early work: with his surrealist ecology about living in the West, personal details but engrossing images, and the way he makes even the smallest, profane occurrence appear miraculous, this is a book that stays with you.
Slow Lightning – Eduardo C Corral
I read this collection when I studied under Eduardo and fell in love with his work, as well as his personality and teaching methods. He is not afraid to break convention in order to mold a poem into something that has collected blood and sweat in its craftsmanship. His ekphrastic poems, poems that face authenticity of individual sexuality, and amazing images have stayed with me and I eagerly await his newest collection, Guillotines, coming out sometime in the near future.
Rookery – Traci Brimhall
I bought this book on a whim not knowing how deeply, after reading, this book would define my idea of human love and darkness as equals. I adore Brimhall’s ability to build upon love with shadows and images of our other nature, specifically in this collection. I always find haunting images in her work and I always come away gasping eager to learn something from how she forms beauty out of the mundane or ugly situations in her narratives.
I absolutely have loved everything by this poet. I have been confused at a lot of his poems and then reread them to realize this was his original intention. My emotional state is the same as someone in the 21st Century eating 13th Century food: it looks and does an amazing work on my palate, but I have no idea sometimes as to why. One of my favorite lines comes from Schomburg in a poem from Fjords vol 1: “This is how you love: you try over and over again to throw a red balloon across the river from a tree.”
Having lived in the Appalachian Mountains for undergrad, I return a lot to Charles Wright for images of landscape and the soul. His books Scar Tissue and Black Zodiac deeply influence me in how they look for the soul of everything visible even if it appears to not have one at first. I have loved his books since I first began reading them at my small mountain college and still try to reread them or read the ones I have not yet encountered or collected yet.
Samuel J Fox is a queer writer of essays and poetry living in North Carolina. Samuel is the poetry editor for Bending Genres LLC and has appeared/is forthcoming in publications and places such as Vagabond City Lit, Muse/A Journal, and Gone Lawn. Samuel is the author of a chapbook from Three Drops Press, Mythos, and a microchap from Ghost City Press, Irreverent Glossolalia. Samuel tweets (@samueljfox).