2015 New Year's Resolution: Read More Poetry!

January 8, 2015

This year, you may have resolved to eat healthier, quit smoking, or save money. But how about resolving to be open to new inspiration? Poetry offers an accessible read suitable for a quick browse, a languid savouring, or reading aloud.

Not big into poetry yet? Not sure what to read next? Here are a few selection tips and book lists – penned by LPG Executive Director and confirmed poetry lover, Christen Thomas – that will help you find your next best lines, rhyming optional.

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(amended) Graffiti spotted at the corner of Toronto's Publisher Alley, Adelaide and Spadina.

This year, you may have resolved to eat healthier, quit smoking, or save money. But how about resolving to be open to new inspiration? Poetry offers an accessible read suitable for a quick browse, a languid savouring, or reading aloud.

Not big into poetry yet? Not sure what to read next? Here are a few selection tips and book lists that will help you find your next best lines, rhyming optional.

1. Seek out collections that suit your interests.

This sounds self-evident, and trust me, there are rich niches of poetry on just about anything you may fancy. For example, if you’re a baseball fan, here are some surefire hits:

Is art more your thing? Sample poems and poem essays in Asking by Shawna Lemay (Seraphim Editions) about paintings, ekphrasis, beauty, and deep-looking. Peruse a simply beautiful book with striking images crafted in language, Light by Souvankham Thammavongsa (Pedlar Press). JonArno Lawson’s Down the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box (Porcupine's Quill) pairs paper cuts by artist Alec Dempster with poems to delight adults and kids alike.

What about the natural world and the environment?  Invasive Species by Claire Caldwell (Wolsak & Wynn) juxtaposes daily life with climate change.  Light Light by Julie Joosten (BookThug) moves from science of natural history to the contemporary science of global warming. Explore the mindful landscapes of Don Domanski in Bite Down Little Whisper (Brick Books). And hear a poetic, passionate argument against environmental degradation by Di Brant in Now You  Care (Coach House Books).

 

2. Look for local authors.

Hearing a poet read can change your experience of their work. Here are a few suggestions to get you started, then visit the League of Canadian Poets’ site to search poets by any location in Canada.

Maritimes

Montreal

Ottawa

Toronto

Prairies

Vancouver

 

3. Pursue styles that appeal to you.

Narrative, direct, plainspoken:

Experimental, wordplay, Flarf:

Humorous:

 Visual poetry:

 

4. Dive right in!

You don’t need to read the whole book straight through, quickly, or even the poems in order. Browse our full catalogue of poetry here, to find what speaks to you. And there are many, many more collections found via LPG publishers’ direct sites, links here.  

 

Happy year of the poem!

FlarfGood


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