What do you do if you find it hard enough to keep up with one online record of things you’ve enjoyed? Start up another one, of course. With a backlog of poetry collections I’ve dipped into but never read all the way through, I’ve decided that 2008 is going to be the year of fifty-two poets, in which I read a book of poetry each week (a single collection, rather than a selected or collected works). No other rules: just one book of poetry, by a different poet, each week.

Carol Ann Duffy, Rapture (Picador, 2005, winner of the 2005 T.S. Eliot Prize)
Inna Lisnianskaya, Far from Sodom (translated by Daniel Weissbort) (Arc Publications, 2005)
Michael Schmidt, The Resurrection of the Body (Smith/Doorstop Books, 2007)
Lynne Wycherley, North Flight (Shoestring Press, 2006)
Nadine Brummer, Out of the Blue (Shoestring Press, 2006)
T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (Faber & Faber, 1962)
Gillian Allnutt, Lintel (Bloodaxe Books, 2001)
Saul Williams, She (MTV Books, 1999)
Saul Williams, Said the Shotgun to the Head (MTV Books, 2003)
Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (Dover Publications, 1994)
Paul Farley, The Ice Age (Picador, 2002)
John F. Deane, Manhandling the Deity (Carcanet, 2003)
R.S. Thomas, The Stones of the Field (1946, from the Collected Poems, Phoenix, 1993)
Jean Sprackland, Tilt (Jonathan Cape, 2007, winner of the 2007 Costa Poetry Award)
Ian Duhig, The Lammas Hireling (Picador, 2003)
Tobias Hill, Midnight in the City of Clocks (Salt Publishing, 2007; my edition Carcanet, 2004)
Roger McGough, The State of Poetry (Penguin, 2005)
Seamus Heaney, Electric Light (Faber and Faber, 2001)
Richard Price, Lucky Day (Carcanet, 2005)
George Szirtes, Reel (Bloodaxe Books, 2004, winner of the 2004 T.S. Eliot prize)
Czeslaw Milosz, Second Space (HarperCollins, 2005)
*
Don Paterson, Landing Light (Faber and Faber, 2003, winner of the 2003 T.S. Eliot prize and the 2003 Whitbread Poetry Award)
Alice Oswald, The Thing in the Gap-stone Stile (Faber and Faber, 2007 – originally OUP, 1996)
Mimi Khalvati, The Meanest Flower (Carcanet, 2007, Poetry Book Society choice)
Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings (Faber and Faber, 1964, 2001)
Nancy Mattson, Writing With Mercury (Flambard Press, 2006)
Ted Hughes, Crow (Faber and Faber, 1970, 2001)
Kathleen Jamie, The Tree House (Picador, 2004)
Luci Shaw, Polishing the Petoskey Stone (Regent College Publishing, 2003)
Alice Major, The Office Tower Tales (University of Alberta Press, 2008)
Tomas Tranströmer, The Deleted World (Enitharmon Press, 2006)
Jamie McKendrick, Crocodiles and Obelisks (Faber and Faber, 2007)
Harry Smart, Fool’s Pardon (Faber and Faber, 1995)
Lavinia Greenlaw, Minsk (Faber and Faber, 2003)
John Burnside, Gift Songs (Jonathan Cape, 2007)
Sean O’Brien, The Drowned Book (Picador, 2007) Winner of the 2007 Forward Prize
Fiona Sampson, Common Prayer (Carcanet, 2007)
Sophie Hannah, Pessimism for Beginners (Carcanet, 2007)
Philip Gross, Cat’s Whisker (Faber and Faber, 1987)
Jen Hadfield, Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe, 2008)
Stewart Henderson, A Giant’s Scrapbook (Spire/Hodder & Stoughton, 1989)
Gwyneth Lewis, Parables and Faxes (1995, from Chaotic Angels: Poems in English, Bloodaxe, 2005)
Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Tell it Like it Might Be (Smokestack Books, 2008)
Tom Pow, Dear Alice (Salt Publishing, 2008)
Sam Meekings, The Bestiary (Polygon, 2008)
Helen Farish, Intimates (Jonathan Cape, 2005)
Maura Dooley, Life Under Water (Bloodaxe Books, 2008)
Elizabeth Bishop, North & South (1946; Complete Poems, Chatto & Windus, 2004)
A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad (Dover Thrift Editions, 1990, following the authorised 1924 edition)
U.A. Fanthorpe, Christmas Poems (Enitharmon/Peterloo 2002)
Graham Plender, The Common Sharing (Raddle Bank House, 2006)
Charlotte Mew, Selected Poems (Fyfield Books/Carcanet, 2008)
Kathryn Simmonds, Sunday at the Skin Launderette (Seren, 2008)

* Marks where I’d finished reading everything previously unread on my shelves and started looking for new poetry.

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3 Responses to “a year of reading poetry”


  1. 1 Jeff Barrett 16 July, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Hi, I love your piece on Alice Oswald and wondered if you would be happy for me to publish it on Caught By The River (address above).
    all the best,
    Jeff


  1. 1 June « fifty-two poets Trackback on 9 June, 2008 at 1:46 pm
  2. 2 forty-one: Gwyneth Lewis, Parables and Faxes « fifty-two poets Trackback on 10 November, 2008 at 3:22 pm

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