Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Book Bag

It's summer and I've replenished my book bag. Here are some of the titles I'm reading now or will be reading soon.


Perfect Dragonfly, A Commonplace Book of Poems Celebrating a Decade & a Half of Printing & Publishing at Red Dragonfly Press (Red Dragonfly Press, 2011) ~ This is a substantial, wonderful collection of contemporary poetry, beautifully printed. It includes work by Lyle Daggett, Louise Erdrich, David Allan Evans, Dorianne Laux, and 64 other marvelous poets. Scott King, the press's founding editor, selected the poems and contributes a delightful introduction to "the world of poetry [he entered] by trespass." Anyone unfamiliar with the poets associated with the press will find the work in this volume engaging and memorable. Order directly from Red Dragonfly Press.

Stateside, Poems by Jehanne Dubrow (TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, 2010) 

Talking Diamonds, Poems by Linda Nemec Foster (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2009) 


Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter, A Life, Patricia Albers (Knopf, 2011) ~ I just completed reading, and very much enjoyed, this first (perhaps definitive) biography of abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, and I found a cache of information unknown to me before, such as Mitchell's privileged background, her eidetic memory and synesthesia,  her intimate relationship with Samuel Beckett, her period as a competitive — and champion — figure skater, and her mother's background as a published poet with ties to Poetry magazine. Albers, who also wrote a biography of Italian photographer Tina Modotti, Shadows. Fire. Snow, spent a decade researching and writing this book. The descriptions of Mitchell's paintings are often lush and the details often have a "you are there" feeling about them. Mitchell lived hard and was most alive when painting.


A Place to Live and Other Selected Essays of Natalia Ginzburg (Seven Stories Press, 2002) ~ While in college and studying Italian, I did an independent study of the novels of Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991), a stunning writer. Only recently did I find this selection of her essays translated into English by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. 

Origin of Inspiration: Seven Short Essays for Creative People, Samuel Adoquei (Sam Adoquei Editions Ltd., 2011) ~ Based on a series of lectures presented at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City, this collection by Ghanian Samuel Adoquei, author of How Successful Artists Study: Effective Learning Ideas and Knowledge for Artists, seeks to answer the question posed by one of his students: "Where do creative people get the inspiration to work?" His essays range over the pursuit of passion, finding your vision, having a meaningful purpose, uncovering inspirations "in disguise", and exploring how art becomes timeless. Adoquei intends the book to benefit any creative person, whether a musician, visual artist, actor, writer, or entrepreneur.


State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins, 2011) ~ I no longer read much fiction but a fan of Patchett's Bel Canto and other work, I'm eager to dig into this adventure story set in the Amazon jungle.


Kathleen said...

Love your book bag! A particular Red Dragonfly favorite of mine is Freya Manfred.

Annie Boreson said...

Your book bag has some wonderful selections!

Megan Willome said...

I read "State of Wonder" in less than a day. Very engaging.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Just added the Joan Mitchell biography and the Ann Patchett novel to my list ... you never cease to share new wonders with me. Thanks for all you do.