reading 100 poetry books in 12-ish months

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Some of the best kind of trouble in my life has come from Jill saying, “Wanna do this?” And then we do this.

Most recently, she lured me in with Danielle Mitchell’s “The Year I Read 100 Books.” I started August 25, and — no matter how good/bad it turns out (I am already behind, for example) — I have decided to document the journey here at my blog, which is way overdue for a dusting off.

My reading list is organized with the most recent on top so if, by chance, you stop by more than once for an update, you only have to scroll forever if you have forever to scroll! Note that I’ve extended the time frame to 12-ish months right out of the gate. My days of being so ambitious all the damn time are way behind me. Still, I’m invigorated by the attempt.

15. (in progress)
Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky / 2019, Graywolf Press

14.
every love story is an apocalypse story by Donna Vorreyer / 2016, Sundress Publications

13.
Autoplay by Julie Babcock / 2014, MG Press

12.
By My Precise Haircut by Cheryl Clarke / 2016, The Word Works

11.
Groundspeed by Emilia Phillips / 2016, University of Akron Press

10.
Half-Hazard by Kristen Tracy / 2018, Graywolf Press

9.
The Second O of Sorrow by Sean Thomas Dougherty / 2018, BOA Editions

8.
Misery Islands by January Gill O’Neil / 2014, CavanKerry Press

7.
A Cruelty Special to Our Species by Emily Jungmin Yoon / 2018, HarperCollins

6.
What I Learned at the War by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish / 2016, West End Press

5.
Paradise, Indiana by Bruce Snider / 2016, Pleiades Press

4.
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes / 2018, Penguin Books

3.
Be Recorder by Carmen Gimenez Smith / 2019, Graywolf Press

2.
In the Pockets of Small Gods by Anis Mojgani / 2018, Write Bloody Publishing

1.
The Octopus Museum by Brenda Shaughnessy / 2019, Penguin Random House

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NOTES:

  • UPDATE/WARDROBE CHANGE (09-21-2019) –> When I first launched this post, I was including some quotes and notes with each title, but I have realized a couple things: #1/ that’s going to end up being one hell of a looooong list and #2 / it doesn’t give me room to say what I may want to say about each title. I think my instinct was to make keeping track in this way meaningful without being too time-consuming, but having some kind of response to the books has become more important… even if it slows me down. So I’m giving each of the books its own post (and I backdated the first few to when I finished them). This list, as it accumulates, links to those posts.
  • The featured image in this post highlights a line from In the Pockets of Small Gods by Anis Mojgani

8 comments

  1. I’ve read 23 so far this year, about to add 2 more, not counting poetry zines, it’s either you READ poetry or WRITE poetry (or something else). Deadlines are made to be broken.

  2. Hi Carolee! I’m so excited that you’re taking up the challenge. As you’ve read, I definitely think it’s a transformative experience and will affect your writing in positive ways. I wouldn’t say one reads or writes poetry, I’d say one reads AND writes, because reading poetry encourages, inspires, and educates you into writing your own poems! There is always time for both. Good luck on your journey! You’ve already tackled some great books, even some difficult ones (Brenda Shaughnessy, for example, is one of the most complex writers of our generation).
    All the best,
    Danielle

    1. thanks for stopping by, danielle! appreciate the challenge you’ve created as a chance to read as much (a little more, actually) as i was reading when i did my MFA. it’s a great idea!

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