But that's not all!
We've put together a list of our favorite books we read in 2012 and we're posting that list here to help you find the perfect gift for the earnest or ironic literary type in your life.
With no particular formatting conventions, here come the recommendations:
Dan BoehlAntigonick detail, Bianca Stone
Anne Carson's Antigonick, New Directions, 2012. I bought it simply for Bianca Stone's unconventional depictions of Ann Carson's recalibrated cast of characters. But then you get Carson, too. Win, win. From the Guernica review:
"It may be tempting to dismiss the illustrations as merely quirky—one of the Chorus bears the Star Trek insignia on its chest, while elsewhere a figure wears a football helmet. But these touches serve to heighten the absurdity and dark humor of the senseless world Carson has created."
Lauren Berlant's novella/dictionary entry called Desire/Love. You can buy it or download it. Because "Without fantasy, there would be no love."
Ann Kim's Lobster Palaces, Flood Editions, 2012. Her incredible music will lullaby you into a wondrous stupor. These spacious poems are gorgeous, light things. These poems are much much more mysterious than that.
I recommend Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (Coffee House Press, 2011) for poetry people who like fiction and fiction people who like poetry. It's a very funny and philosophical look into the mind of a writer: the ego that believes itself both genius and fraud.
My recommendation is Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang. It's an amazing first collection with loads of wit and intelligence.
Dispatch from the Future by Leigh Stein, another first collection full of humor and talent.
I haven't read any small press books that aren't Birds' recently so I'm going to recommend, without ever having read it, the second edition of Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology which is due to be released March of next year. The last edition is interesting partly because it is so big, partly because it has so many different kinds of people in it and partly because of the 18 essays on poetry by various authors. If you are able to meet any of these authors, I recommend doing that in addition to reading their poems/essays/writing.
I'd say Dana Ward, This Can't Be Life.
A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, CAConrad, Wave Books, 2012.
Bluets, Maggie Nelson, Wave Books, 2009.
Mother Was a Tragic Girl, Sandra Simonds, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012.
Mercury, Ariana Reines, Fence Books, 2011.
Ventrakl, Christian Hawkey, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010.
Brink, Shanna Compton, Bloof Books, 2012.
TOO BRUTE! TOO BRUTE! by Dakotah Burns (Agnes Fox Press), JUNK PARADE by Anne Holmes (Dancing Girl Press), I SAW THE DEVIL WITH HIS NEEDLEWORK by Bianca Stone (Argos Books), THE ICE POEMS by Paige Taggart (DoubleCross Press) - chapbooks!
My recommendation is The Cat and the Cuckooby Ted Hughes. Not a new book, but if you're a poet and you know a kid (2-6 or even older) who loves animals, this book would make a unique gift. Check this stanza from "Goat," "Though nobly born / With a lofty nose / I'm as happy with the Thorn / As I am with the Rose" or this opening stanza from "Toad," "The Toad cries: First I was a thought. / Then that thought it grew a wart. / And the wart had thoughts / Which turned to warts."
I've gone through Zach Schomburg's Fjords, Vol. 1 several times since I bought it in March. Every time I read it, it takes me to a whole other world within this one, and it's a good place to be.
Jacqueline Waters, One Sleeps the Other Doesn't, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011.
Joe Brainard, The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, The Library of America, 2012.
Lisa Robertson, Magenta Soul Whip, Coach House Books, 2009.
Christopher Nealon, The Dial, Song Cave, 2012.
Elieen Myles, Snowflake/Different Streets, Wave Books, 2012.
Thom Donovan, The Hole, Displaced Press, 2012.
Matthew Dickman's new book Mayakovsky's Revolver. His skills sharpen; the grief evolves even further; I loved it.
Chris Vitiello's Obedience (Ahsahta, 2012) With Obedience, Vitiello further exposes the acts of writing and reading--in time--and the relationships that are possible between author and reader.