Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I sometimes check out poetry books from the local library, just to prove there is demand for poetry books. That's how I came to read a poetry collection ANOTHER AMERICA / OTRA AMERICA by Barbara Kingsolver who is more familiar to me as a novelist. Kingsolver's poetry book was one of six poetry books I checked out that day, with the other authors more widely known as poets. Well, all I can say is that Kingsolver's poetry blew away the poems of others who are more lauded as poets. Here is a sample by Barbara Kingsolver--an unexpected relished discovery for, among other things, practicing "social poetry" before 'twas hip enough to be so labeled:
for Juana, raped by immigration officers and deported

Give me your hand,
he will tell you. Reach
across seasons of barbed wire
and desert. Use the last
of your hunger
to reach me. I will
take your hand.
Take it.

he will spread its
fingers from palm
to look inside,
see it offers nothing.

with a sharp blade
sever it.

The rest he throws back
to the sea of your
blood brothers.
But he will keep your hand,
clean, preserved in a glass case
under lights:
he will say
of the great
of my country.

And here's moi latest Relished W(h)ine List:

ANOTHER AMERICA / OTRA AMERICA by Barbara Kingsolver, with translations by Rebeca Cartes

ARCHIPELAGO DUST, poems by Karen Llagas (in manuscript)

POEMS SINGKWENTA'Y CINCO by Alfred Yuson (excellent energy for an old man (wink))

GOD DAMSEL, poems by Reb Livingston (a welcome, and all-too-rare sophistication in its poetic approach)

COOKING WITH ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES, poems by Francis Raven (witty and smart)

MONDO CRAMPO, poems by Juliet Cook (nice harmony in concept and design that supports text)

NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW, "Linked poems" by Jean Yamasaki Toyama, Juliet S. Kono, Ann Inoshita and Christy Passion (in manuscript form. A project where the sum is greater than its parts--befitting how these poems were written to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the wonderful Bamboo Ridge! And speaking of poet-discoveries (or at least poets new to me), this Christy Passion's poetics and poems are wonderful!)

HEARTH, poems by Simon Pettet

SILVERONDA, poems by Lucy Harvest Clarke

TOURMALINE, poems by Dorothea Lasky

EITHER SHE WAS, poems by Karin Randolph

HORSE DANCE UNDERWATER, poems by Helena Mesa

THE CONTORTIONS, poems by Nicole Mauro

GOODNIGHT VOICE, poems by Dana Ward

QUANTUM JITTERS, poems by Patricia Carlin

THE DOORS OF THE BODY, poems by Mary Alexandra Agner

NIGHTBIRDS, poems by Garin Cycholl

GIVEN SUGAR, GIVE SUGAR, poems by Jane Hirshfield

SAVED: RESCUED ANIMALS AND THE LIVES THEY TRANSFORM by Karin Winegar with photographs by Judy Olausen

VANISHED, novel by Joseph Finder

1994 Tinto Pesquera Ribera Del Duero
2002 JP Belle Terroir
Weisinger's of Ashland Mescolare Red Wine Lot 17 (Yummy! Thanks Meredith!)