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Book Meme, Poetry Friday

August 27, 2010

Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry

Officially, this was yesterday’s Book Meme but I got used to saving poetry for Fridays, when I was editing for Women’s Voices For Change.

Speaking of which- today, WVFC has a great piece on Emily Dickinson. She’s one of my favorite poets to read about, though her poems are not among my favorites. Her life and eccentricities intrigue me. Modern writers have tackled her reclusive life in ways I’ve enjoyed, from Billy Collins’ Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes to Jane Yolen’s short story “Sister Emily’s Lightship.”

As for favorite poem or collection: I have a few.

Anthology: Poetry 180 and its sequel, edited by Billy Collins. Contemporary poets. I wish he’d do another volume, because I like the range he presents.

Billy Collins is a pretty close choice for favorite single poet for me, but there’s also John Berryman, Elaine Equi and Andrea Hollander Budy, depending on what mood I’m in. Also Derek Walcott.

One of the most mindblowing poetry experiences I ever had was a concert that combined Black 47 with Irish Gaelic poets reading both in Gaelic and in translation. It was under the auspices of the People’s Poetry Gathering… and I wish they’d do another. It was just… incendiary, really.

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