A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.


Summer Reading List

Tearing a page from my fellow Living Poetry co-organizer and blogger extraordinaire, Tara Lynne, here are the books I’m reading this summer:

Books on my summer reading list include “Life on Mars” by Tracy K. Smith and all three poetry collections of Richard Blanco.

  1. The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (edited Rita Dove) – Yes TPAoTCAP is a mouthful, but it is chock full of poems and poets from a cross-section of society.
  2. Three books by double life poet, Richard BlancoCity of a Hundred Fires (1998) Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), and Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012). I’m hoping to land an interview with him for the blog.
  3. Life on Mars (2011) by Tracy K. Smith  – Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Smith is also Cave Canem alumna.
  4. Radial Symmetry (2011) by double life poet, Katherine Larson. Larson won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 2010.
  5. Where I Must Go (2009) by Angela Jackson – or as we call her at Cave Canem, “Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty!” This book was the poet-playwright’s first novel and received a great review in the NY Times!
  6. Practical Grammar In Which Words, Phrases, and Sentences Are Classified According to Their Offices; And Their Various Relations to One Another (2012) by Stephen W. Clark. A recent NY Times article mentioned this book in relation to diagramming sentences.
  7. The Undertaker’s Daughter (2012) by Toi Derricotte  – The latest collection of poems by this Cave Canem co-founder.


I’m also planning to borrow Audre Lorde’s biomythography, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (2011), from someone in my Goodreads circle!  What books do you have on your list? Let me know by leaving a comment.