After We All Died – Allison Cobb
A cyclical patterning that plays through worms, rats, Motley Crue, thinking “of shit as the tenebrous edge between the living and the dead.”
Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry – Jane Hirshfield
While I read tons of poetry, I love keeping an ear out for the bigger arrangements and so I’ve always got a book on poetics or craft on the side. Hirshfield’s is one of my favourites.
The Mean Game – John Wall Barger
Any collection of poetry that opens with an “Urgent Message from the Captain of the Unicorn Hunters” has my loopy heart. When my imagination is on low, I sometimes find myself waking up with my face pointed in the direction of Barger’s book. It refuels!
The Road In is Not the Same Road Out – Karen Solie
Solie’s lines tune you into the cosmic undercurrent that is poetry, drawing together blue jay vocalizations, traumatized food, gunpowder in wine, and the dead.
Admission Requirements – Pheobe Wang
Wang’s book is like a map that doesn’t confuse itself with the territory, but rather dreams through futures and digs through layers of the past. It’s a big, heavy map that you will treasure!
Kevin Spenst is the author of Ignite, Jabbering with Bing Bong (both with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Surrey Sonnets (JackPine Press), and most recently Upend (Frog Hollow Press: Dis/Ability series). In 2020, his third book of poetry will be coming out: Hearts Amok: a Memoir in Verse (Anvil Press). He lives on unceded Coast Salish territory with the love of his life Shauna Kaendo.