Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Best Of 2008

Here’s my end of year list. Obviously, “best” means “best of what I’ve read” and there are millions of books I haven’t read. The lists under each heading are in alphabetical order. So for what it’s worth…

Best poetry collection published in 2008
Event – Judith Bishop
Me and the Dead – Katy Evans-Bush
Nigh-No-Place – Jen Hadfield
Zeppelins – Chris McCabe
Troy Town – Matt Merritt

Best poetry collection published in some other year
Stretch of Closures – Claire Crowther
Report from the Besieged City – Zbigniew Herbert
Yeah Yeah Yeah – Roddy Lumsden
Paradise Lost – John Milton
A Book of Lives – Edwin Morgan

Best Collected/Selected
Selected Poems (1977) – Zbigniew Herbert
Selected Poems – Michael Hofmann
Scales Dog – Alexander Hutchison
Without End – Adam Ragajewski
Collected Poems – James Schuyler

Best poem I've written this year

Probably ‘Derrida’, part 1 of a two-part poem called ‘Married Life in the Nineties’. Not that there’s been any great enthusiasm from magazine editors to publish it(!), but it will appear in my forthcoming collection.

Best poetry magazines
Magma
I’ve seen one issue each of Succour and Mimesis and both were very good.
The Dark Horse’s articles are of the highest quality.

Best poetry webzines
Horizon Review
qarrtsiluni
Stride

Best poetry events
Every month at the Great Grog (As organiser, I wouldn’t want to single anyone out).
August Kleinzahler at the StAnza International Poetry Festival.
Frances Leviston and Ian McDonough at the Shore Poets in November.

Best non-poetry books
Black Sea – Neal Ascherson
Falling Man – Don DeLillo
Street Without a Name – Kapka Kassabova

6 comments:

Dave said...

I'm honored that qarrtsiluni made the list, Rob. (No link, though? Well, I suppose we're pretty Goggleable.)

Rob said...

I'll add the links tomorrow, Dave.

Rob said...

No shortage of links now!

Matt Merritt said...

I'm honoured too, Rob. Glad you liked Troy Town so much, and thanks very much for all the mentions you've given it.

You've reminded me of a few books I must get after Christmas - Katy's, and Chris McCabe's, for starters.

Anonymous said...

Hofmann's Selected was definitely top of my list this year. Also enjoyed his translated Selected of Durs Grunbein, and Sebald's 'After Nature'. And 'Scales Dog' of course.

Sorlil said...

I recently picked up a copy of Nigh-No-Place, only flicked through it as of yet but looking forward to getting into it.

Interesting you mention Claire Crowther, I've always really enjoyed her poems when I've seen them in magazines or journals, I think her book will be on my 'to buy' list once I've got through all my current reading purchases. Ahh the making of books hath no end, lol!