Recommendations Abound

1) Is there anything better than recommending a poet you recently discovered? I'm leaning toward a sound and loud, "No, there is not."

E.g., I encourage you all, far and wide, to find yourself a copy of Tom Hennen's exquisite Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems (Copper Canyon, 2013).  Haunted by the rural plains of his Midwestern Minnesota, with its chilling winters and unsentimental summers, Hennen's poetry veers a bit dark but is rarely cynically so. I'm especially fond of his poem "Pick a World." Those final lines of each stanza, oh my!

One world
Includes airplanes and power plants,
All the machinery that surrounds us,
The metallic odor that has entered words.

The other world waits
In the cold rain
That soaks the hours one by one
All through the night
When the woods come so close
You can hear them breathing like wet dogs.



 2) Rebecca Solnit and Robert Macfarlane are two of our favorite authors interested in, for lack of a better term, place -- where we are and want to be, what it looks like, and why it's always in the process of changing. When they speak up, we listen. 

E.g., their conversation with Orion Magazine about the evolving state of nature writing. Don't have time for the full conversation? Then definitely check out their respective lists of recommended books and essays










3) Then there are recommendations we accept only a little begrudgingly.

E.g., those in Natasha Vargas-Cooper's piece, "Why We Should Stop Teaching Novels to High School Students." I confess, I find her logic here one-half maddening and the other half flat-out wrong. And yet . . . her list of recommended non-fiction fit for high school students is pretty fantastic. Don't let me jade you on the argument, though. Decide for yourself. We can argue about it in the store sometime.