As poetry month comes to an end, I would like to take a few moments and reflect on some of my favorite poets. I have always been an avid reader, but poetry was something I wasn't super into until about five years ago.
In a university poetry class, I was assigned Songs of Unreason by Jim Harrison. I fell in love with this collection and every thing about it. I went into it with very low expectations. It was a poetry collection about horses and rural living - I am a suburban girl through and through, but it was beautiful.
To date, it is the only Jim Harrison collection I have read, but I plan on reading more. If you haven't read anything by him, I highly suggest Songs of Unreason.
What can I say about this woman? No one embraces being a bad ass poet quite like Kim does. I've read a lot of her poems, her fiction, some things she has helped edit, etc. I love her because she's not afraid of anything when it comes to writing. She is an outstanding poet and such a voice for the modern women.
She also published an anthology called Dorothy Parker's Elbow about writer's and tattoos. That's how I learned that Dorothy Parker (another great poet) and a bunch of other authors and poets had/have tattoos.
Side note: I am pretty sure reading Kim Addonizio's poems is what pushed me over the edge to get my first tattoo. The first collection I read by her and my first tattoo were very close in proximity. Thanks, Kim.
Nikki Giovanni came to my university and did a poetry reading. The next day I ran into her at a local Starbucks (it was a small university town, so, not too many Starbucks to go to) and fan-girled over a poet. I have been in love with her poetry since I discovered "Woman" and I had the opportunity to be face-to-face with her in a Starbucks. Of course, I used that opportunity to say "Oh my god, you're Nikki Giovanni!!" which caused most people in Starbucks to turn and look at me like I was crazy. It's my generation's fault for not having an appreciation of Great Poets.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to see her speak. It was life-changing.
I am just discovering Ms. Leav and I love her. Every time I read one of her poems, most of which have to deal with love or writing poetry, I feel like they explain an exact feeling I have had. Plus, she plays around with style and form and she does so very boldly. I love poets who aren't afraid to play around and experiment with different forms.
She also has awesome art too, so, go google her!
Side note: Her boyfriend, Michael Faudet, just published Dirty Pretty Things, also a poetry collection. I just bought it and am excited to read it.
I had to do at least one classic poet and Elizabeth Bishop is a great one. She was another one who liked to play around with form. She put so much effort in her poetry and took care to make sure the poems were the way she wanted them. There were some poems (I believe "Waiting Room" was one) that she would work on for ten years or so before she published.
Plus, I feel that she helped pave the way for women writers of this generation with how open they could be.
Poetry will always be a big part of my life. These are just a few poets I love who have had an influence on me. I am always looking for new poems/poets to fall in love with and I can only wish that one day my local bookstore will have a bigger poetry section.