I normally don’t list my favorite books, certainly won’t compare them to one another, but this year has been filled with so many fine books of poetry. Being my favorites should come with some sort of award … or at least stickers. Haha. I haven’t yet gotten my brain back to reading novels quite yet, maybe 2016 resolution?

I’m horrible at reviews or summaries, so I’ve included just one “golden nugget” from each. Hopefully that’s enough to stir your interest.

On a personal note: as a poet, these exceptional writers make me hate my own material … daily. They are that talented and that good and that wonderful.  They must be stopped. 😉 jk kinda

In no particular order, my loves of 2015:

Bright Dead Things 

Ada Limón

All the shouting before

was done out loud, on the street,

and now it’s done so shushing-ly.


The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison

Maggie Smith

But I can still swirl my hands around her,

and see you in a shock of clover, your bones

gnawed to talc



Andrea Gibson

Scream Timber when they ask you
how you are.

FINE is the suckiest answer.

It is the opposite of HERE.


Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room 

Kelli Russell Agodon

When I was younger, my father said,

The broken ones become artists. 


A painting fell from the wall and I thought, Listen.

Body Thesaurus

Jennifer Militello

Things unfailingly cringe.

Describe being endangered. 


Beth Bachmann

Some things are damned to erupt like wildfire,

windblown, like wild lupine, like wings, one after

another leaving the stone-hole in the greenhouse glass.


Flinch of Song

Jennifer Militello

you + a paper where some commonplace was torn

where our hearts met and our rib cages met and our eyelids felt like water + I was where the door ended a stairwell



I attended Mass Poetry Festival for the first time this year, where I had the privilege of seeing Beth Bachmann and Nick Flynn perform their poetry together. I picked up a few books (Flynn and Militello) as a sort of reunification with reading contemporary poetry after a long absence. This, at a time in my life where I was experiencing a (as life might sometimes do) crumble, has been a surprising and beautiful antidote. Not that it stops all the crumbling, but it does glue some of the dust together nicely. So extra special thanks to MassPoetry, Flynn, Bachmann, and Militello for, how ever unknowingly, cushioning my splat.