To help me with this, I received a fantastic Christmas gift: my partner gave me his own version of a poetry starter kit, with a number of books of trustworthy contemporary poets to kick off the new year. I thought I'd list them all here with links, as we've listed great poetry books on SotB before. It's always worth spreading the word!
In no particular order:
New Selected Poems of Stevie Smith (New Directions)
Martin Espada's A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen (Norton)
Maureen N. McLane's Same Life (FSG)
Denise Levertov's Making Peace (New Directions)
Audre Lorde's Coal (Norton)
Robert Hass's Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Philip Levine's Breath (Knopf)
Pablo Neruda's Odes to Common Things (Bulfinch)
Federico Garcia Lorca's Ode to Walt Whitman & Other Poems (City Lights)
Grace Paley's Fidelity (FSG)
As I start to read through this incredible collection of poetry books, I can look to Jeff Gordinier's advice. You'll recall that he's been in touch with us here at SotB before. In fact, he's the one that provided a list of contemporary poetry books referenced earlier in this post. Well he has a relatively new post over at the Poetry Foundation blog giving us all permission to flip through poetry books. It's liberating. Thanks, Jeff!
And happy new year!