Best Poetry

David Orr writes about the best books of poetry published in 2015. Interestingly, Orr must follow editorial policy and not include a few excellent contemporary poets because the Times must avoid even the hint of favoritism which might be demonstrated by naming one’s friends or acquaintances to a top 10 list.

Although I still contend that my literary focus has been traditionally poetry, I did take a turn into drama when at graduate school and I have been concentrating on all the novels I missed along the way for 20 or 30 years now. Since I have been reading novels to catch up, I have neglected keeping up with the world of poetry and it’s lists such as Orr’s that help me keep my interest alive.


Am I too self-centered to think that many other readers are in the dark about newly published poetry and are hoping for a little push from a top ten list to re-kindle that urgent desire to read poetry?

Then I recommend you go to the New York Times Sunday Book Review and read David Orr’s excellent review of the Best Poetry of 2015.

Here is just a hint:

Mary Jo Bang, “The Last Two Seconds.” A restless, analytical collection in which the emotional force of disasters both personal and public …

Christopher Gilbert, “Turning Into Dwelling.”  … a nimble observer of his own kaleidoscopic mental states…

Linda Gregerson, “Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976-2014.” …  syntax, which pivots and drops from line to line as if she were navigating through each poem on rope swings…

Marilyn Hacker, “A Stranger’s Mirror: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2014.” … swashbuckling wielder of poetry’s most challenging forms…

Devin Johnston, “Far-Fetched.” …  a demonstration of restraint’s emotional resonance….


Troy Jollimore, “Syllabus of Errors.” … intelligent, soulful and amusingly self-aware…

Robin Coste Lewis, “Voyage of the Sable Venus.” … powerful lyric poet in the traditional sense …

Ada Limón, “Bright Dead Things.” … relaxed, winningly unpretentious voice …

Cate Marvin, “Oracle.” Violent, morbid, tender and funny…

Lawrence Raab, “Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts.” … eminently approachable, low-key lines are never quite as affable as they seem….

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