Modern Poetry Books I Can’t Put Down This January
Clementine Von Radics is one of my favorite modern poets, and she’s also a great social media follow. This collection came out in 2015, and it’s full of some of the most haunting imagery of any poetry book I read in my 20s. Filled with simplistic but crushing language that spills out the darkest corners of relationships, depression, and the sometimes pain of existence, this book is sure to leave you feeling emotionally exhausted when you’re done.
Set up in a seasonal structure that begins in winter and ends with spring, Newman explores natural beauty and ugliness with breathtaking imagery. The thing that stands out most to me about this collection is how often an ugly scene is described so beautifully that I have nostalgia for a place that probably no one really wants to be. I think that’s the point. How many moments of beauty do we allow to slip by like they are mundane? If we could just wrap our heads around the way ugly things really do have intrinsic value, we might open ourselves to an entirely new world.
“The difference between a garden and a graveyard is only what you choose to put in the ground” – Rudy Francisco
Rudy has seen a lot of success through Button Poetry’s youtube channel and live performances, which sometimes doesn’t translate well to book form, but Helium makes the transition flawlessly. This collection discusses love, self-reflection, but the most intriguing parts to me are the deep cultural critiques that focus on class, race, and gender that finds shared humanity between all of us.
If you liked this list. I’ll be back soon to give you more suggestions, as I try to read my way through 2020.