Poetry Wish List

I rarely buy books. I’m a public librarian. The access to books that I have makes it easy to read ALL THE BOOKS… and then politely put them back. I’m thinking of keeping a list in 2017 of the books that I purchase to see if I can identify any patterns. It might make a cool blog post too.

One pattern I already know about myself is that I generally purchase more poetry books than other genres.  Some of that is about lack of access. The fiction area at my library has multiple book shelves, with several rows. The poetry area has one. If my library doesn’t have a particular poetry book, I generally get it through ILL, but sometimes it’s still unavailable. The other reason I buy more poetry books though is because I attend poetry readings and I like getting them signed.

The three books that I haven’t purchased from 2016 that I want are Bestiary, The Sobbing School, and The Big Book of Exit Strategies.


I want Bestiary because it won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize (and it made the longlist for the National Book Awards). If Nikky Finney likes it, then it must be good.


The Sobbing School is on my buy list mostly because I attended a writing workshop with Joshua and I liked the sample of poems he shared. You see how I used his first name like I know him? Only a little, but still.


Jamaal May’s first collection of poems, Hum, knocked my socks straight off. I expect to be sockless again with The Big Book of Exit Strategies.

I also want Fearful Beloved by Khadijah Queen, but that was published in 2015. When I requested it through ILL, I didn’t have enough time to finish it. I was sad to part with it.

So you know, if you feel like sending me the gift of poetry, at least you know which books I want. 🙂

Or, or, if you don’t know what books to get a poetry fan in your life, choose one of these.

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