I. This quote. On repeat. “I think stories are necessary, just as necessary as food and love. It’s how we make meaning of our lives.” –Chimamanda Adichie
II. Poetry so good it’s magic. “Now You See It Now You Don’t” by Valerie Bandura. It’s not all in my “Head,” her poems are good. And then she talks about narcissism and shame.
III. On hearts and sleeves and writing about family.
IV. T.S. Eliot said “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. Bad poets deface what they take.” It was a year of defacing. Read about it.
V. “Does it offend them to watch me/ not mourning.” Paisley Rekdal writes of happiness, pornography, flowers. Read all the poems she’s written… there’s something there for you.
VI. So many good books on this year’s National Book Critics Circle. If you haven’t read The Goldfinch, The Faraway Nearby, Elegy Owed, and Milk and Filth … get on it.
VII. “I/ became an envelope/ licking itself/ in anticipation of a letter.” FM Stringer gets it right, “Perfect From Now On.”
VIII. Katherine Larson shows us how the ocean lives, how writers should love. “It loves with its whole mouth/ open”
IX. We should love with our whole mouths open, and slow down to take it all in. “Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It’s what everything else isn’t.” ― Theodore Roethke
X. Obsession done right. Liquor, Perfume, Hair.
XI. A poem turned into a film? Check. The Song of Lunch. (Psst, you can get it on iTunes for $2.)
XII. Guns, dinosaurs, parenting and how writing one toward thing usually means writing something else.
XIII. New work by Maggie Nelson, out loud.
(Cheers! The painting above via artist Julia Jacquette.)