The National Book Critics Circle has polled a number of famous writers and critics to come up with the most commonly recommended books of 2007. Most of the National Book Award winners and nominees made the cut, including, Denis Johnson, Robert Hass, and Edwidge Danticat.
View the rest of the NBCC picks here.
I haven't written a Moondoggy Recommends in a while but in the spirit of the NBCC's list, I wanted to make a list of a few of my favorite poetry books of 2007. In no particular order they are:
1. Dean Young - Embryoyo
A good Dean Young poem is like being trapped in a fun(mad)house. His work is surreal, hilarious, and tragic. Often in the same poem.
2. David McGimpsey - Sitcom
Sitcom is McGimpsey's best book to date. Epic, funny, melancholy, and oh so satisfying like a good In-N-Out burger. Bet you can't just read it once!
3. David Solway - Reaching for Clear: The Poetry of Rhys Savarin
Winner of the the 2007 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, Solway transports the reader to the island of Dominica with the help of his created heteronym and tour guide, Rhys Savarin. Beautiful!
4. Robert Hass - Time and Materials
My all-time favorite Hass book is still Human Wishes but Time and Materials shows us Hass' most recent works, spanning 1997-2005. The poems in this collection are meditative and grounded in the beauty of the physical world, however, there are also a number of political poems like "Bush's War" that are more hit-and-miss for me.
5. Mark Strand - Man and Camel
Not a big book - there are only 23 poems - but their quality makes up for their quantity. The poems in Man and Camel are haunting, mysterious, and spare. Like a reading an Edward Hopper painting.
There are probably more but these are the books that pop into my head immediately.