Here we are, at the starting gate for ten weeks of summer reading. I’ve ordered up a short stack of books, and they are at the ready.
My Emily Dickinson by Susan Howe, 138 pages (20 per day). Though this book has been on my shelves since I learned about it in ModPo, I confess I have not yet read it. It was in my Winter Reading stack. I’m determined this time. Library books, because they come with a due date, invariably take precedence.
The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics, and Madness of Ezra Pound by Daniel Swift, 283 pages (41 pages per day). This book appeared in a “Briefly Noted” column in The New Yorker magazine. Ezra Pound is also in the ModPo syllabus, and I’d like to know more about him.
The World and Other Places (stories) by Jeanette Winterson, 228 pages (33 pages per day). My attention was called to this author by an anthology authored by Ali Smith titled, The Book Lover. Winterson’s short story, “The 24-Hour Dog,” is included in this collection. This story hit me hard, and I wanted to know more about Winterson. As luck would have it, she has written a memoir with the title “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” This is a quote from Winterson’s adoptive mother. I don’t often read memoirs, but the writing in this one amply rewards the reader. So, now I am moving on to read more of her stories.
The Descent of Alette by Alice Notley, 148 pages (22 pages per day). This is a feminist epic poem written by another ModPo poet. We studied an excerpt from this poem during the ModPo “off-season” this year, and I want to read it in its entirety. It promises to be a difficult journey.
I look forward to reading with everyone. It’s hot as blazes in Texas, as per usual when moving into July. Good time to stay indoors with a book!