HOW WE ACTUALLY BUY POETRY PUBLICATIONS
So, I read a lot of poetry (feel free to see moi Relished W(h)ine List) and am fortunate that I am able to read said lot through many gifts sent my way by poets & publishers, library borrowings, as well as review copies sent to Galatea Resurrects. But I also do BUY poetry publications. Here's a list of my most recent purchases, which doesn't actually reflect any particular taste of mine because purchases account for a minority of the poetry I read. I am preparing a poetry survey related to purchases (purchases, not trades or comps or thefts) of poetry publications; that will be my next blog post. But for now, here's part of my answer to that survey: "What poetry publications have you bought recently?"
The list below includes some non-poetry collections but which wouldn't probably have interested me if the authors hadn't been known to me first as poets. These are the poetry publications (or poets' publications) I actually shelled out money for in the last 10 months (which is as far as my record-keeping goes). It's a short list, which surprises me, but which relates to my impending poetry survey (next blog post):
Poetry Publications Bought Since November 2007 (which is as far as my record-keeping goes):
FOURSQUARE publications edited by Jessica Smith ("bought" because I'm a subscriber to this wonderful poetry chap series)
THE WIDENING, novel by Carol Moldaw
THE TRANSLATOR'S DIARY, poems by Jon Pineda
IMAGO, poems by Joseph Legazpi
THE BOOK OF FUNNELS, poems by Christian Hawkey
THIS POEM / WHAT SPEAKS? / A DAY, poems by Tom Beckett
THE DEAD EMCEE SCROLLS: THE LOST TEACHINGS OF HIP-HOP, poetry by Saul Williams
TEN LITTLE INDIANS, short stories by Sherman Alexie
THE CANCER JOURNALS, essays by Audre Lorde
RED SHOES, poems by Honor Moore
A SEMBLANCE: SELECTED AND NEW POEMS 1975-2007 by Laura Moriarty (I would have bought it but Laura wouldn't take my money but it's on my list as something for which I would have shelled out bucks)
POETRY AND COMMITMENT, essay by Adrienne Rich with afterword by Mark Doty
THE BIRD CATCHER, poems by Marie Ponsot
POETS & WRITERS Magazine (I'm a subscriber)
MY NAME IS ESTHER CLARA, biography by Laurel Johnson
XQ281, poem by Jennifer Martenson
THE BODY: AN ESSAY, poetry by Jenny Boully
POETRY AS INSURGENT ART by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
AMIGO WARFARE, poems by Eric Gamalinda
AMBIENCE IS A NOVEL WITH A LOGO, poetry by Tan Lin
BOOKING PASSAGE: WE IRISH & AMERICANS, memoir/cultural study by Thomas Lynch
FATA MORGANA, poems by Reginald Shepherd
ORPHEUS IN THE BRONX: ESSAYS ON IDENTITY, POLITICS, AND THE FREEDOM OF POETRY by Reginald Shepherd
MISTRESS BRADSTREET: THE UNTOLD LIFE OF AMERICA'S FIRST POET, biography by Charlotte Gordon
NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (1956-2006) by David Shapiro
LONGING: SELECTED POEMS by Jaime Gil de Biedma, Trans. from the Spanish by James Nolan
FROM NOTHING TO SAY (Belladonna chap) by Ann Lauterbach
EXCERPTS FROM THE SCORES OF PERMEABLE STRUCTURES: A PERFORMANCE ESSAY IN STEREO (Belladonna chap) by Laura Elrick
VERTIGO SEEKS AFFINITIES (Belladonna chap) by Sharon Mesmer
DRAFT 43: GAP (Belladonna chap) by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
FROM : EAR SAY (Belladonna chap) by Barbara Cole
RUMOR (Belladonna chap) by Elizabeth Robinson
THE SOLACE OF OPEN SPACES, essays by Gretel Ehrlich
CATCHING LIFE BY THE THROAT: HOW TO READ A POEM AND WHY: POEMS FROM EIGHT GREAT POETS by Josephine Hart
THE THIRDEST WORLD: STORIES AND ESSAYS BY THREE FILIPINO WRITERS by Eric Gamalinda [the poet], Gina Apostol and Lara Stapleton
from THE TRADITION by Juliana Spahr
KALI'S BLADE by Michelle Bautista
FRAGILE REPLACEMENTS by William Allegrezza
UNPROTECTED TEXTS: SELECTED POEMS (1978-2006) by Tom Beckett
My own books: ECSTATIC MUTATIONS and MY ROMANCE
I bought the above publications not because they presumably are fabulous works. I mean, none of the above disappointed but I don't just buy things because they're fabulous (since I can't afford to buy ALL fabulous poetry publications). For examples:
--I bought the two books by Jon Pineda and Joseph Legazpi because I'm committed to supporting Filipino poets.
--I bought the book by Marie Ponsot because she once was a contest judge for my press, Marsh Hawk Press (insert here a side-promo about Marsh Hawk Press' next contest being judged by the justifiably-esteemed Forrest Gander!).
--I suspect I bought Adrienne Rich because ... she's Adrienne Rich.
--I bought the Sherman Alexie because the book was on deep-discount sale and had not much paid attention before to him though one can't help but hear about him; ditto with Audre Lorde.
--I bought Jennifer Martenson and Jenny Boully because both were writing footnote-type-poems, a form I was researching at the time since I'd done it in my BRICK book without knowing its other practitioners.
--I bought Laurel Johnson's biography of her mother because it was situated in early 20th century U.S.-American history whose lifestyles I was researching at the time.
--I bought Carol Moldaw's book because I'm often curious about how poets write novels.
--I bought copies of two of my early books (the last thing I needed) to financially help out their publisher. Similarly, though I am interested in the works of the Belladonna chap authors, I might not have privileged buying these chaps over other poetry publications were I not motivated by wishing to modestly help out, financially, their wonderful publisher.
--The purchase that I would say represents a purely blog-driven purchase are the two books by Reginald Shepherd; these were actually bought for me by one of Meritage Press' European customers in lieu of receiving a cash payment -- by having that customer send me something via Amazon, we avoided the currency rate expense that would have come up had he sent me a check; pressed for time, I used the opportunity to order Shepherd's books about which I became curious as a result of his blog.
--For similar reasons to buying Shepherd, I bought a book I published by Juliana Spahr as a trade for another European customer, so as to avoid currency-rate conversion charges (this is really high finance, yah?)
--I bought three books I published by Bautista, Allegrezza and Beckett because they are published either through POD or short-run printers so when demand arises, I have to purchase the books in order to sell them (thanks for the logistics reminder, Mark).
--I bought the Josephine Hart because I'ma a fan of her novels and wanted to see how she would read a poem.
--The four publications in the above list which I can say I bought purely because I thought them great reads -- based on sampling their pages first at the respective bookstores -- were the books by Christian Hawkey (which would come to inspire a new series of poems by Moi); Honor Moore (whose poems also inspired parts of some recently-written novels); Saul Williams; and Gretel Ehrlich (not yet read, but I did buy it because the pages I sampled at bookstore were lovely).
--Last but not least, I would buy and read anything by Eric Gamalinda who is a world master in poetry and is my NUMERO UNO BET for someday receiving the universal recognition given to Neruda, Rilke, etc-other-world-acclaimed poets.
In preparation for my survey, wanna think about which poetry publications (if any) you have bought so far this year?