Yesterday we had a thaw, and in the evening you could actually smell mud or moist earth on the air,
a sure sign of spring. It's one of those sensations you don't realize has been missing till it's back, and suddenly, ah, the smell of earth. And then when we woke up this morning it was snowing. Again.
I'm posting early today because early this afternoon I have my last class before spring break, and then we're driving home to NYC. I thought I'd just list a few great new books of poetry here, just to do my bit to shine a little more light on some terrific work.
James Hall's NOW YOU'RE THE ENEMY is new from the University of Arkansas Press. This is a first book by an amazing poet who takes the stuff of family narrative and turns it into myth, fable, and parable His poems are headlong and nervy, and hugely rewarding.
Sean Hill's BLOOD TIES AND BROWN LIQUOR is also a first book, this time from the University of Georgia
Press. Hill grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia, and his book's a kind of ghosting and ventriloquizing of the voices of black Milledgeville throughout the 20th century. Much grace and formal strength combined here with an ear for talk, the particular cadences of local speech.
Marie Howe's new collecton, THE KINGDOM OF ORDINARY TIME, is fresh from Norton, and as rigorously made and as achingly alive as her last book, WHAT THE LIVING DO. Her great gift is to locate the transcendent -- the crisis and opportunity of being -- in the daily moment, in the web of relations between us.
I finished this post and realized I'd forgotten to say that my own FIRE TO FIRE: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS was published by HarperCollins on Tuesday. It's a curious, interesting thing to do, to make a choice among one's own poems. More to say on that, but I'll have to save it for tomorrow.