Who are you reading?

June 16th, 2008

A while back Poet Mom wrote this post about who the top selling poets in the US seem to be: either dead (Gibran, Whitman) or well-known (Seamus Heaney, Mary Oliver). It wasn’t that Poet Mom was suggesting that the poets on the list aren’t quality poets, but that there are so many good contemporary poets writing today that don’t seem to get attention (to the extent that poets in modern America are getting any attention at all); that casual readers of poetry reach for names they’re familiar with and aren’t willing to read a new name in poetry the way they might be willing to read a new name in fiction.

Which got me wondering. Who are you reading these days? Who’s the last new – new to you, that is – poet you stumbled upon and how did you make the discovery? What’s the last book of poetry you bought? I’m reading Dorianne Laux and Anna Akhmatova at the moment. My most recent “discovery” is Jack Ridl; his poem “From our House to your  House” in the current issue of Poetry East spoke to me enough to inspire me to order his book Broken Symmetry, and while I was at it I also ordered this and this.

So tell me. Who do you like? Who do you read? Who’s on your “must read” list?