Ah, Black Friday, our most Holy of Days. I assume that you’re all reading this on your phone while waiting at Wal-Mart to buy your new flat screen dishwasher or whatever. But, just in case you’ve already been trampled, I have some suggestions for Giftmas presents you can order right from your hospital bed!
First off, I’m assuming you already bought ten or twenty copies of The Ship is Sinking. I feel like this guy every time I mention it, so let’s speak no more of that book except to say you can purchase it on amazon or straight from me or…
Ahem. Let’s talk about other people for a change.
You know Lawrence Gladeview by now, right? A typical Gladeview poem is straight-forward, funny, and human. Always accessible: Perfect for the folks in your life who don’t read poetry, or think they don’t like poetry. Seek out his first collection, Just Ignore the Beer Stains, then grab Lowlifes, Fast Times & Occasionally Love. This year, his excellent chapbook Praying For a Spare, the story of a group of bowlers finding comfort and friendship along the lanes, was part of the Punk Chapbook Subscription from Epic Rites Press.
Praying For a Spare reminded me of another fantastic book I read this year, Waiting at the Dead End Diner by Rebecca Schumejda. This one’s a full length collection of poetry drawing on Schumejda’s years as a waitress. It reads like a novel, and is really pretty awesome. Her previous book, Cadillac Men, is about running a pool hall with her husband; I haven’t read it yet but would like to, in case you’re shopping for me.
Kevin Ridgeway is another favorite of mine. Inventive, exciting poems. He’s published everywhere, just search around and you’ll find a ton of his work. I loved an earlier chapbook from him, All the Rage, but recently was impressed with On the Burning Shore, a new one from Arroyo Seco Press. A really nice collection of poems reflecting on his younger years, nostalgic but never sappy. Great stuff. There’s also an earlier chapbook of his out there called Burn Through Today that I haven’t read, in case you’re still shopping for me.
How about one more? If you haven’t yet, read R L Raymond. Raymond writes poems that tell stories, that satisfy, that intrigue. His first collection, Sonofabitch Poems, is probably his most accessible. Powerful, brutal poems there. Then there’s a chapbook called Weakdays and a full length called Half-Myths & Quarter Legends that both offer a hell of a ride. He released another chapbook, anTipas, earlier this year, though print copies are sold out as I understand, so if you missed out, I guess you missed out.
This post is getting long. For the sake of brevity, I’ll just say that pretty much anything from Epic Rites Press or Lummox Press is worth the money, and would make a great Giftmas present. Order something at random, even. Your Great Aunt Susan is sure to love whatever you get her.