5 Top Reads for 2011:
The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis (Revised and Expanded Edition) 2004 Johns Hopkins University Press.
Birthday present. Better late than never. I almost bought the first edition in 1997, but held off due to the $75 price tag. I only saw one used copy at Moe’s for $35 and still hesitated. I kept thinking about it and went back but no luck – gone. I’m going through the same hesitation about the Eigner Collected, so if the pattern holds true I’ll get that in about 2018.
Kit Robinson. Works.
Basically I read 16 of Kit’s 20 books in preparation for a reading and conversation over at Canessa Park on July 25. If you only read one – The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems – is the way to go. I’m not always a fan of the “Selected” but this is a good one. If you want a few individual volumes: Windows (1985), Balance Sheet (1993), Train I Ride (2009). (Also recommend the Grand Piano performance from 11/18 available at the Holloway Series on-line video. No really its fun.)
The Iliad. Homer trans. George Chapman. Everyman edition
Chapman published this in 1611 after working on the translation for years. The translation has the charge of Elizabethan language. For me the fact that Chapman was a playwright comes thru in the movement of the language. Ultimately, Keats was right. (Also worth noting that the King James Bible came out in 1611.)
Three Novels. Elizabeth Robinson (Omnidawn 2011)
Elizabeth and I were part of a reading put on by Kevin Killian called The Unexpected: An afternoon of poetry in honor of Fran Herndon (9/24/11), along with George Albon, Lewis Deforest Brown, Norma Cole, Matthew Gordon, Colleen Lookingbill and Steven Seidenberg. Coffee afterwards and the gift of a good book. You can’t beat that.
Mark Linenthal. A reading from 1979 (recorded by David Highsmith) posted at A Voice Box.
I consider myself fortunate to have had 2 classes with Mark Linenthal during my time as SFSU. I’d never actually heard him read his own work, and here it is. Not all readings or readers are created equal and this reading sounds pretty close to the memory, which is to say warm and intelligent with a great care for poetry -- period. Not work that we would call experimental today, nevertheless solid work, give it a listen. (Also I have to admit I listen to Penn Sound and A Voice Box a lot.)
I could blab on but here you go.