Saturday, October 21, 2006

Poetry Lists

I used to be a compulsive list-maker, but I haven’t made a list in a long time. Tonight I decided to go through the poetry books on my shelf and choose my 25 favourites. This proved an impossible task so I narrowed it down. The poets had to be alive and only one volume per poet was allowed. I couldn’t include anything I’ve read that wasn’t on my shelves (for example, books I’ve borrowed from the Scottish Poetry Library). The books had to be in English.

Here’s the list in alphabetical order:

Simon Armitage – Zoom!
John Ashbery – Where Shall I Wander
Ros Barber – How Things are on Thursday
John Burnside - The Good Neighbour
Michael Donaghy - Conjure
Carol Ann Duffy – Mean Time
Douglas Dunn - Elegies
Stephen Dunn – New and Selected Poems
Bernardine Evaristo – The Emperor’s Babe
Marilyn Hacker - Desesperanto
Seamus Heaney – Opened Ground
Kathleen Jamie – The Queen of Sheba
Philip Levine – New and Selected Poems
Roddy Lumsden – Mischief Night
Edwin Morgan – Selected Poems
Sinéad Morrissey – The State of the Prisons
Paul Muldoon – Moy Sand and Gravel
Don Paterson – Landing Light
Rik Roots – The Rik Verse
James Sheard – Scattering Eva
Charles Simic – Looking for Trouble
John Stammers – Stolen Love Behaviour
George Szirtes – Reel
Wislawa Szymborska – View with a Grain of Sand
Robert Wrigley – Lives of the Animals

Then I decided to make a list of my top 5 poetry chapbooks. I barred the HappenStance Press chapbooks from this. It would have been impossible to choose between them:

Jim Carruth – Bovine Pastoral (Ludovic 2004)
Anna Crowe – A Secret History of Rhubarb (Mariscat 2004)
Norbert Hirschhorn – The Empress of Certain (Poets Corner 2005)
Edwin Morgan – Demon (Mariscat 1999)
Donny O’Rourke and Richard Price - Eftirs/Afters (Au Quai 1996)

I thought about doing a list of poetry e-books, but as I’ve read only two – by Julie Carter and Paula Grenside – there wasn’t much point. However, both are highly recommended!


Hedgie said...

Drat -- you've stirred up the obsessive-compulsive in me, and now I'm gonna have to listify, too. sigh Mine will be over at "The Compost Heap" later this evening.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting List, I may have to go and make a list too. But the top two are definitely:

Margaret Attwoods selected poems
Rebecca Elson's Responsibility to Awe (though she couldn't make your list as she died a few years ago).

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