Recommendations from Claire
Claire has been celebrating national poetry month and occupying herself during quarantine by reading some of the books of poetry on her bookshelf at home. Pictured here with her housemate's cat, Percy.
"I started National Poetry Month by returning to a book I had read before. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is minimalist, straightforward, and striking all the same. What I love about re-reading poetry (and books in general) is that it beats against my heart differently every time, now more than ever. The themes of trauma and recovery that carry through Milk and Honey spoke to me now in an entirely different way than they did two years ago.
Hapax by A.E. Stallings is contemporary in totally different mode than Rupi Kaur's work. Stallings is a new formalist: she uses poetic structures and rhyme schemes well worn in poetic tradition, and also employs many allusions to classical Greek stories. But her poetry feels anything but old or dusty: she breathes life into the old figures, modernity into the formal structures, and her work feels as tangible as anything might.
Space Struck, a debut book by Paige Lewis: This is a collection that I had to pause while reading and hold to my chest, one that I know I will revisit, re-read, re-interpret, and carry with me, whether physically or in a bit of my soul. It’s surreal, it’s honest, it dances between the points of things, of the vast and the intimate, of playfulness and reverence, of the past and the deep and personal now.
Next up in my to-read pile is Bright Dead Things, by Ada Limón. This collection has been recommended to me by beloved professors, and by friends. It’s from Minnesota’s own Milkweed Editions, and I couldn’t be more excited to open the pages and let it carry me on in this last week of national poetry month, of April, into whatever May come."