As a graduate student, I had the pleasure of attending a reading by the legendary poet John Ashbery. When asked about the experience of editing the 1998 edition of The Best American Poetry, Ashbery said that he wished the series were called Some Poems. In that spirit of lighthearted arbitrariness, here are 10 inspiring, illuminating, and provocative poetry books published in 2012, all of which should appeal to everyone from casual readers to poetry aficionados. -Gina Myers
In pieces that are more essayish than poemish, Sonics in Warholia offers extended meditations, both far-reaching and deeply personal, surrounding the biography of–and addressed to the ghost of–Andy Warhol. You can read more about it here.
In Partyknife, Dan Magers recreates an under the influence walk through New York City nightlife. The focus and drive for this hipster persona only seems to be the next party, the next hookup, the next existential crisis.
This book is appropriately found in the “humor” section on the McSweeney’s site. In The Emily Dickinson Reader, Legault offers concise summaries of each of Dickinson’s poems, which frequently are reduced to whom Emily would want to or not want to have sex with.
how to survive a hotel fire is the debut full-length collection by Angela Veronica Wong. The voice that emerges through these poems is sharp, neurotic, thoughtful, and witty. Watch out for this poet.
At readings, Brown introduces his new book as a translation of Baudelaire’s Fleurs de Mal, but any reader will quickly see that “translation” isn’t quite what’s happening here. Punk meets hip-hop and is filtered through classic literature in this entertaining and humorous read.
The New York School punk-poet icon’s latest is two books in one, each with its own themes and concerns, but unified by the characteristic short lines and quotidian subjects that readers expect from Myles. Read more about it here.
Mullen weaves together language from bridal magazines, romance novels, and the Iraqi war to create something unsettling and yet not unrecognizable.
This Granary Press re-issue has been out of print for over 40 years. A classic document of the New York School, Bean Spasms is a sprawling collaboration that many are getting to read in its entirety now for the first time.
CA Conrad is an absolute force in the world, and his dedication to making his life poetry has resulted in a gorgeous new collection, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, which consists of twenty-seven (soma)tic exercises and the poems that resulted from them.
Best known as a visual artist, Joe Brainard’s writing finally gets the attention it deserves. This Library of America collection brings together Brainard’s great masterpiece I Remember with other poems, journal entries, short stories, and interviews.
Honorable mentions: Ben Kopel’s Victory, Sally Delehant’s A Real Time of It, Daniela Olszewska’s cloudfang :: cakedirt, Hoa Nguyen’s As Long as Trees Last, Emmanuel Hocquard’s The Invention of Glass (translated by Cole Swenson and Rod Smith), Ben Mirov’s Hider Roser, Megan Kaminski’s Desiring Map, and Evan Glasson’s Vital Pursuits.