Category Archives: Poetry


I like poetry, but more in theory than in practice because I have trouble staying in the habit of reading it. But for the last month or so, I’ve been slowly working through Mary Oliver’s Devotions, which is a collection … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 4 Comments

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (and The Green Knight)

When I made plans earlier this week to go see The Green Knight, I thought it would be interesting to revisit the original 14th-century poem on which this movie is based. I’d read the poem in college (it was the first … Continue reading

Posted in Bookish films, Classics, Poetry | 5 Comments

Blue Horses Rush In

This is a short book of poems and stories by Navajo author Luci Tapahonso. I found it completely enjoyable to read in a quiet, personal way: it feels as if Tapahonso is talking to me, telling me about her experiences, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Short Stories/Essays | Leave a comment

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming is only the second book I’ve read by Jacqueline Woodson. (The first, her spectacular picture book Show Way, is about seven generations of the women of an African-American family, from slavery through civil rights, and the instructions … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 11 Comments

The Crossover

I’ve mentioned my book club with Matthew several times already this summer. The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander, was one of the books I put on my list for him to pick from, and I was really glad we got to … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Poetry | 2 Comments

The Truth About Small Towns

Lo these many years ago, Jeanne gave me a copy of this book of poetry by David Baker, who is someone who lives in her own small town. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since, because I don’t read … Continue reading

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Grief is the Thing with Feathers

A man and his two sons are grieving the loss of his wife (and their mother) when a crow turns up, promising to stay until he wasn’t needed anymore. The crow observes the family, and the family tries to come … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Poetry | 11 Comments

The Tijuana Book of the Dead

My sister gave me this book. “I don’t read a lot of poetry,” she said. “I guess it doesn’t say much to me. But this poetry — this is my language.” Luis Alberto Urrea writes novels, poems, and short stories. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 6 Comments


I had a birthday in July, and I received a copy of Anne Carson’s beautiful book-artifact Nox, in which she explores — in poetry, in Latin, in photography and letters and art, in what is said and not said — … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Poetry | 7 Comments

Brown Girl Dreaming

Poetry is a perfect medium for memoir, as Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood memoir in verse attests. In Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson uses free verse to tell the story of her childhood, beginning before her birth in Ohio in 1963, moving through … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Poetry | 7 Comments