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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Books Under the Tree

Fragile Acts
We're getting ready for the New Year's celebrations, which is the most important holiday of the year here. So every year I take down all the Christmas decorations prior to putting up the traditional New Year's ones, because frankly the New Year's door hanging, made from straw, paper and an orange, and the sticky ricecake tower can't compete with all the Christmas glitz, and it's only fair to give my husband's culture equal time. So I've just taken down the tree, and now I will tell you what was under it for me on Christmas day.

First though, let me mention that prior to Christmas, I got  Allan Peterson's Fragile Acts, my first purchase of the McSweeney's poetry series, and it is bound so lavishly that the book is worth getting for it's simple aesthetic beauty as an object. Which shouldn't be a surprise when you learn that Peterson was a visual artist in his working life (he's retired now), though I'm not sure how much creative control a poet has with the publisher in this case.

Here's what I got on Christmas (some from my parents, some from my husband):

Selected Poems by Mary Ruefle
Indeed I Was Pleased With the World by Mary Ruefle
Charms Against Lightning by James Arthur
Partially Kept by Martha Ronk
Vertigo by Martha Ronk
Gravesend by Cole Swensen

So lots of great reading coming up for me, as these books were all on my wishlist. Swensen in one of my all-time favorite poets, and Mary Ruefle and Martha Ronk are current interests. James Arthur's work I happened to discover online during the past year, just in time for his debut volume.

And what about you, what did you get bookwise this holiday season?


traditional door hanging from Wallcoo.com

mochi tower, borrowed from www.caslt.org

4 comments:

Mari said...

Nice book haul, Jessica! I got Jack Gilbert's Collected, Louise Gl├╝ck's Poems 1962-2012, and Sharon Olds's Stag's Leap. Of course I wanted several more, including Cynthia Cruz's second book, but the first two are hefty hardcovers and I didn't feel I could ask for more. Happy New Year from Pasadena!

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Mari, I wanted the Jack Gilbert too, but thought I'd use up too much goodwill if I asked for it! So we had the same idea but different strategies. But I got some cash from my mother-in-law, so ......

I'll look out for Cynthia Cruz, a new name to me.

Mari said...

Cash from the MIL... now that's progress! : )

Here's a recent review in the NY Times of Cruz's second collection The Glimmering Room. Her first collection Ruin is simply fantastic. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/books/poems-on-mortality-by-c-k-williams-and-cynthia-cruz.html

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks for this link, Mari. I've added Cynthia Cruz to my current wishlist!