Posted in Adult, Poetry

Finding a Favorite Poet (Guest Lisa Vihos)

This week, I asked Sheboygan Poet Laureate Lisa Vihos if she’d be willing to close out National Poetry Month by sharing some recommendations for poetry she loves! She was kind enough to do so, and here’s what she wanted to share:

When someone asks me “who is your favorite poet?” I am usually at a loss because I don’t have just one favorite poet. I have many! I don’t even have one favorite kind of poetry. By that I mean, I’m not more partial to free verse than I am to formal poems (like haiku, sestinas, sonnets or villanelles). I like them all! If you are writing poems, forms are fun to experiment with because they provide a structure that needs to be maintained, but without sounding forced. That is always a great and interesting challenge. I recently learned of a Vietnamese poem form called a luc bat in which the lines alternate between six syllables and eight syllables, and in which the rhyme scheme is rather complex across the lines:

x x x x x A

x x x x x A x B

x x x x x B

x x x x x B x C

x x x x x C

x x x x x C x D

etc. as long as you want to go! I actually wrote several luc bat poems for the recent project, Poetry by Post, that will be on view in the display case on the first floor of the library in the month of May. See if you can find the luc bats!

As for some favorite poets, I’ll give you a few who I always love to return to, as well as one poet who I just recently discovered. Head to the stacks and look for:

Rumi: Bridge to the Soul by Rumi

Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic. What I love about his poems (in translation, of course!) is the way that they sound very contemporary to me, even though they were written eight centuries ago. His words are so full of wisdom and show the interconnectedness of all things.

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Posted in Adult, Bingo 2021, Bookish Bingo, Poetry

Bookish Bingo Challenge: Poetry or Verse By a BIPOC Author

It’s time for another post to help you out with our 2021 Bookish Bingo Challenge! Below, you’ll find some recommendations for books of poetry by authors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. I’ve tried to focus on new releases in this post as well. Some of the poets might be unfamiliar, but perhaps even those whose names you recognize will have a new book listed that you weren’t aware had come out!

And because no post like this could hope to be comprehensive, and because poetry particularly lends itself to anthologies, I’ve also added a little bit at the end about relevant ones. Descriptions below taken from the publishers via Edelweiss+.

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo (2019) – or listen on Audiobook!

A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land.

In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and “one of our finest—and most complicated—poets” (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.

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Posted in Adult, Poetry

A Poetry Sampler

I’ve pulled a few new poetry books from our shelves of new materials. Rather than try to describe the works themselves, I thought I’d give little samples instead; after all, these poets spent a lot of time choosing their words, so why not feature them! And more seriously, no amount of description of poetry will tell you whether you want to read it; only actually seeing the poetry can.

It’s also an opportunity to link to the area in our catalog that lists our new poetry, which you can now see as a list here!

The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns by Matty Weingast

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