Nicholas Baker’s novel about poetry, The Anthologist, with its misfit hero losing his girlfriend and jeopardizing his literary career because he is unable to write an anthology introduction — actually does justice to poetry. This book is both humorously entertaining and enlightening. After reading The Anthologist, you will want to explore one of the many poets that Baker mentions, such as W.S Merwin, who has a book listed below. Baker feels that as infants we learn to talk with rhyme and then are forever drawn to it - we begin with Dr. Seuss' Hop On Pop and then later love Coldplay's rhymes. The poet/narrator actually writes free verse, but he hopes rhyme makes a come back in poetry. His likes to write poems that are about one nice thing that happened to him that day. In contrast, some of the new poetry collections below are responses to tragic events.
New Poetry Books at APL
Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni is a companion of sorts to Giovanni's 1997 breakthrough, Love Poems. In this collection, the poet explores the public and private nature of both love an loss -- her mother's death as well as the 2006 massacre at Virginia Tech, where Giovanni teaches.
Endpoint and Other Poems is John Updike's final book of poems, who reportedly completed the manuscript just months before he died. His poem "Ex Basketball Player" has long been the most viewed poem on the Poetry Foundation site.
Fire to Fire: New and Selected is the 2008 National Book Award winner by Mark Doty. The collection spans Doty's work from 1987 to the present, including the landmark 1993 release, My Alexandria.
The Shadow of Sirius is a collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory and was called Merwin's "best in a decade".
Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno is about her daughter's murder. In 2003, an ex-boyfriend of Leidy Bonanno strangled her to death with a telephone cord. The murder and its aftermath are the subject of this collection of poems. David Kirby, in the New York Times, said of the collection, "The note of sorrow dominates the book, but it isn't a one-note book."