Reading List: March 2016

From Poetry Magazine
By Lindsay Garbutt

The Reading List is a feature of Poetry magazine's Editors' Blog. This month contributors to the March 2016 issue share some books that held their interest.

Francisco Aragón
Christopher Sindt's The Bodies is the work of a poet from Northern California, which is my way of saying: it feeds from the multiple aesthetics that have flourished there. It deepens the gesture begun in his chapbook, The Land of Give and Take. I'd describe his poetics as a theology of nature. On the one hand, it's a lyricism that fiercely resists tidy narratives. On the other, it often relies (in a good way) on other texts as springboard. At the risk of over-simplifying in an attempt to offer something useful in such a reduced space, The Bodies feels like an idiosyncratic alchemy that recalls the best of Robert Hass and Michael Palmer.

Speaking of another text as source of inspiration, The Jane and Bertha in Me by Rita Maria Martinez is the result of a fruitful obsession. I first encountered this project in her chapbook, Jane-in-the-Box. I remember wondering: Will she try to sustain this in a complete book and succeed? The answer is an 81-page YES. Let me put it this way: I haven't read Charlotte Brontë's novel, yet I relished Martinez's book for the way it creates this quirky, yet passionate universe unto itself, one where (to quote Nin Andrews) the "Gothic sensibility of Jane Eyre joins the surreal world of contemporary American culture."

See the full reading list on the Poetry Foundation website.