Best Poetry I Read in 2014

For 2014, a new category in my top 10 book lists: Poetry! I seem to be reading more and more poetry each year, which is a trend that I enjoy, but I also don’t think I have the slightest idea how to write about poetry. So, here’s my top 10 for the year, sans review.

1. Every Riven Thing, by Christian Wiman

Every Riven Thing: Poems

2: Some Ether, Nick Flynn

Some Ether

3: The Shadow of Sirius, W.S. Merwin

The Shadow of Sirius

4: Once in the West: Poems, Christian Wiman

Once in the West: Poems

5: Collected Poems, Philip Larkin

Collected Poems


6: Actual Air, David Berman

Actual Air

7: Astonishments, Anna Kamieńska

Astonishments: Selected Poems

8: Stay, Illusion, Lucie Brock-Broido

Stay, Illusion: Poems

9: Incarnadine: Poems, Mary Szybist

Incarnadine: Poems

10: Against Which, Ross Gay

Against Which

Honorable Mentions

  1. Delights and Shadows, Ted Kooser
  2. Faithful and Virtuous Night, Louise Glück
  3. The Wingless, Cecilia Llompart
  4. Metaphysical Dog, Frank Bidart

What books of poetry did you enjoy this year?

Coming up next: Top 10 books of nonfiction and fiction I read in 2014.

3 thoughts on “Best Poetry I Read in 2014

  1. Thank you for this list. I will look forward to expanding my horizon. This past year I liked reading Dana Levin’s “In the Surgical Theatre” which is raw and excruciating but the thought of angels hovering over the open body is strangely haunting, beautiful, sad, grotesque, creepy, and immanent—heaven coming down to earth. So much poetry is transcendent but this is in the category of immanent.

    Another is Carolyn Forche’s book Blue Hour. Taking a month to read the poem on earth. This is stream of consciousness that has been refined and made tedious, beautiful, unceasing, alive, narcotic, riveting.

    And finally, Grace Paley’s book from the grave, Fidelity, which is poetry from the end of life. That alone makes it interesting and special.

    Thank you for giving me my reading list for 2015. Cheers

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