I do most of my best poetry reading online. I usually have a few journals and collections out from the library, and get through maybe one of these a week, but somehow my mind files this under “reading for knowledge and education” rather than “reading for pleasure”. I’ve been a performance poet much longer than I’ve been a page poet, so while I know my way pretty well around the former I’m still getting to grips with the latter: I get poetry books from the library in order to learn more about the history of written poetry and about prominent poets, and I get journals in to learn about contemporary print poetry culture. I do still enjoy this reading and appreciate the poetry, but I do my best reading when I’m reading poems online. I subscribe to several poem-a-day feeds and poetry blogs in order to get my poetry fix, in order to surprise me and make sure I read things I might not otherwise encounter, and that means that when I’m reading these poems I’m reading them because I want to read the poetry, rather than for some external purpose. That’s why it’s my best reading.
It also means I can share the poems I like there more easily: many of them have Facebook or Twitter “like” buttons, which I must get round to using them more often. Right now, going through recent bookmarks, it means I can share a bumper crop of poetry that’s recently made me go wow. Just open these up in your browser and save the tabs, and the next time you want some computer poetry time, check them out. It’s a bit of a wide range, though we all have out predilections: you’ll see that I’m a sucker for poetry involving birds, bugs and animals, that I prefer shortform to longform, that I like things that pleasure my ear, and that too many poetry feeds focus solely on American poetry.
Anyway, I hope you find something to love here. Oh, and if you have good online feeds to recommend, let me know!
Traci Brimhall: Noli Me Tangere
Joanna Klink: Pericardium
Susan Kinsolving: Trust
D.A. Powell: Release the Sterile Moths
Maryann Corbett: Two Funerals
Chris Preddle: Grass
Major Jackson: Letter to Brooks: Spring Garden
Robert Archambeau: The People’s Republic of Sleepless Nights
Danielle Cadena Deulen: Lemon
Anne Stevenson: Granny Scarecrow
Jessica Young: When he left, how many birds did he leave?
Jenna Cardinale: Detachable
Anita Skeen: What the Seed Knows
David Harris Ebenbach: The sparrows gather nearby…
And a special mention to the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems 2010, edited by Jen Hadfield. This beautifully selected and presented collection had me astonished over and over with the joy of poetry. I loved every moment, and will love every moment again. Go read.