In this episode,we begin with a deep dark secret: we don’t really “get” poetry. And as difficult as that is for us to admit, we suspect that some of you are in the same position. But it is almost National Poetry Month, so we decided to go to the experts for this edition of the podcast. You can learn more about National Poetry Month at Poets.org, and be sure to sign up for Knopf’s Poem A Day email newsletter — it really is terrific.
Next, we are thrilled to feature an interview with Michael Schiavo, who is first a poet, but also a bookseller at the renowned Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT. Michael believes that it’s okay to read poetry and not understand the meaning, so that makes him a man we wanted to talk with. Michael has put up, on his site, a wonderfully annotated list of the poets he talked about in this interview.
Michael is the author of The Mad Song and an editor of the literary journal Tight, both of which are printed using the Espresso Book Machine at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont where he is a bookseller. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Yale Review, Tin House, The Believer, LIT, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Normal School, Seneca Review, the Hartford Courant, and elsewhere. He is a contributing editor to CUE and a reader for the Best American Poetry series.
You can see a brief video of Michael reading from The Mad Song on YouTube.
Lastly, we’ve outsourced this edition of “Two Books We Can’t Wait For You To Read,” turning it over to our poetry-loving bookseller friends.
Marie Gauthier recommends The Plath Cabinet by Catherine Bowman. Poet & bookseller extraordinaire, Marie Gauthier worked at the Jeffery Amherst Bookshop in Amherst, MA from 1998 until its closing on Nov. 28, 2008. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, including Cave Wall, Existere, Rattle, Nerve Cowboy, Tulane Review, Good Foot, New Zoo, among others. Her chapbook manuscript, The Opposite of Deaf, was a semi-finalist in Black Lawrence Press’ Fall 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition. She was the recipient of a 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Hunger All Inside, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in September 2009. Visit Marie’s blog at A View from the Potholes.
Michele Filgate tells us about Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud by Robert Pinsky. Michele is the Events Coordinator for RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She lives and breathes for books, hence the name of her blog: Reading is Breathing. Literary fiction is my favorite, but I also love poetry, creative nonfiction, and short stories.Michele is also a Book Reviews Editor for Identity Theory, and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, CBS News, and other publications.
photo credit:Jay Heaviside
We encourage you to write down or print out the title information and shop at your local bookstore. Titles link to LibraryThing, a social networking site that allows you to catalog your home library. LibraryThing also links to various online purchasing options. Here are the books from this post:
Oxford Book of American Poetry by David Lehman, Oxford University Press hardcover
American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry, David St. John, W.W. Norton paperback
Pictures from Brueghel by William Carlos Williams, New Directions paperback
The Plath Cabinet by Catherine Bowman, Four Ways, paperback
Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud by Robert Pinsky, W. W. Norton hardcover
(all information is for the U.S. editions).