These are books I read, for the first time, with great joy and curiosity last year, not necessarily those that were published in 2018. If excellent recent books are missing from this list, it is probably because I haven’t read them yet.
Adonis. Concerto al-Quds. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. Yale University Press, 2017.
Ghayath Almadhoun. Adrenalin. Translated from the Arabic by Catherine Cobham. Action Books, 2017.
Nanni Balestrini. Blackout. Translated from the Italian by Peter Valente. Commune Editions, 2017.
Jasper Bernes. We Are Nothing and So Can You. Commune Editions, 2015.
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. Hello, the Roses. New Directions, 2013.
Wilson Bueno. Paraguayan Sea. Translated from the Portunhol by Erín Moure. Nightboat Books, 2017.
Marty Cain. Kids of the Black Hole. Trembling Pillow Press, 2017.
Serena Chopra. Ic: A Sociolinguistic Conspiracy Theory. Horse Less Press, 2017.
Mónica de la Torre. Public Domain. Roof Books, 2008.
Terrence Hayes. American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin. Penguin, 2018.
Johannes Heldén. Astroecology. Translated from the Swedish by Kirkwood Adams, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Johannes Heldén. Argos Books, 2017.
Ann Jäderlund. Which once had been meadow. Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson. Black Square Editions, 2017.
Francis Ponge. Nioque of the Early-Spring. Translated from the French by Jonathan Larson. The Song Cave, 2018.
Laura (Riding) Jackson. Selected Poems: In Five Sets. 1970.
Lisa Robertson. Proverbs of a She-Dandy. 2018.
Nathaniel Rosenthalis. A Shirt for Today. Yes Poetry, 2018.
Muriel Rukeyser. The Book of the Dead. 1936.
Christopher Smart. Jubilate Agno. 1759-1763.
Eleni Vakalo. Before Lyricism. Translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017.
Uljana Wolf. Subsisters: Selected Poems. Translated from the German by Sophie Seita. Belladonna*, 2017.
Zang Di. The Roots of Wisdom: Selected Poems. Translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman. Zephyr Press, 2017.
H. D. Notes on Thought and Vision and the Wise Sappho. 1919.
Jeffrey Kittay and Wlad Godzich. The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics. University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
Cookie Mueller. Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black. Semiotext(e), 1990.
Michael W. Twitty. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. Amistad Press, 2017.
There are many excellent books I didn’t finish, through no fault of the book. I just got sidetracked or was forced to give up the book for something like re-reading a book I was teaching or writing my goddamned dissertation. A very few among these unfinished excellences: Jos Charles’s feeld (which, thankfully, I’m now reading with my poetry workshop students), Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, about half a dozen volumes of translated poetry I’m reading for the BTBAs, and another half a dozen works of nonfiction that I will finish, yes, I will, in 2019.