I’ve been trying very hard to catch up with my reading lately, but new books and magazines seem to fill up my bookshelf without me noticing. Among my recent reading, issues of Ambit, Iota, Smiths Knoll and Poetry Review. Recent books include Michelle McGrane’s The Suitable Girl, J.L. Williams’ Condition of Fire, Alasdair Paterson’s on the governing of empires, Helena Nelson’s Plot and Counter-Plot, A.B. Jackson’s Apocrypha, and I’ve just finished Katy Evans-Bush’s Egg Painting Explained. These are all original and interesting books, and I’ve enjoyed reading them. I’ll also highlight J.O. Morgan’s Natural, Mechanical, published by CB Editions. This is an astonishing book-length biographical poem. It’s an amazing achievement, disturbing, engaging and vivid.
On my ‘current reading’ shelf are Magma 50, Best American Poetry 2010, an anthology No space but their own, new poems about birds, published by Grey Hen Press, and the new Roddy Lumsden collection, Terrific Melancholy. I’m also working through a Vikram Seth collection I picked up at the SPL book sale. He spent some time in China, and this collection contains a Chinese section.
I’ve just received Chris Stringer’s The Origin of Our Species, but not started it yet, and on order are new poetry collections by Simon Barraclough, Isobel Dixon and Mark Waldron. And (say it quietly) I’ve just bought a Kindle, with the aim of catching up with previously unread classics, which are much cheaper in this form.
I’m beginning to list poems I’d like to see in my next collection, which is in discussion at the moment. I’m hoping it will be out for my 70th birthday in 2012.
So many books, so little time.