Published Poetry 2012: a Top 10

-Listed by Claire Trévien


As the end of the year approaches, it is customary to attempt round-ups of sorts. Last year, I asked for people’s favourite poetry pamphlets on twitter. This year I will be taking inspiration from last year’s fiction top ten and providing links to the top ten most read published poetry reviews (from this year). If you are looking for gift inspirations or wanting to stumble on something new, you could do worse than take a look at this list.

They are:

1. Four 2011 Poetry Business Prizewinners (Smiths/Doorstop 2012). Reviewed by Sophie Mayer.

2. Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot. Reviewed by Harry Giles.

3. Human Shade by Robert Peake (Lost Horse Press). Reviewed by Martha Sprackland.

4. lapping water by Dan Flore III. Reviewed by Ian Chung.

5. ILK #1. Reviewed by John McGhee.

6. Fleck and the Bank by Rob A. Mackenzie (Salt Publishing). Reviewed by Harry Giles.

7. All the Rooms of Uncle’s Head by Tony Williams (Nine Arches Press). Reviewed by Charles Whalley.

8. Antiphon #1. Reviewed by John McGhee.

9. Poland at the Door by Evelyn Posamentier (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press). Reviewed by Ian Chung.

10. Four Rack Press pamphlets. Reviewed by Angela Topping.

Originally published in 2011, Charles Whalley’s review of Megan Fernandes’ Organ Speech (Corrupt Press) would have otherwise appeared third.

There’s a pleasing presence of webzines and self-published work on this list. Group or anthology reviews also appear to have been popular, though I suspect that the popularity of the Smith/Doorstop and Catechism reviews is in part due to their controversial natures – but if so, where is Eireann Lorsung’s thought-provoking meditation on poetic tourism in Colette Sensier’s début pamphlet How Many Camels is too Many?

So far the least viewed review of a poetry publication is Diidxadó by Víctor Terán (Poetry Translation Centre), which seems a shame considering its reviewer, Judi Sutherland, describes it as ‘Pablo Neruda in a bitter mood’, what’s not to love?

If I were to construct my own personal 2012 list free of the constraints of what has been reviewed in Sabotage, and comprising magazines, anthologies, and pamphlets, I should no doubt curse my poor short-term memory. Such a list would undoubtedly include however: Cat Conway’s Static Cling (Dancing Girl Press, being reviewed soon for Sabotage), Agenda vol. 46 no. 4, Azita Ghahreman’s Poems (Poetry Translation Centre), Kayo Chingonyi’s Some Bright Elegance (Salt Publishing), and Adelle Stripe’s Dark Corners of the Land (Blackheath Books). A couple more impose themselves, but would be ineligible since I have poems in them: Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins), Fuselit: Contraption, and Poems in Which. What would be on your list? Please do share in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Published Poetry 2012: a Top 10

  • December 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

    The Teran pamphlet was lovely – although quite slight. The translator’s comments on dying languages amounted to a bonus essay. Some very good stuff on Sabotage this year, Claire!

  • December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Great list, thankyou. Will be investigating further. One collection just out from Seren Books is ‘On Becoming a Fish,’ by Emily Hinshelwood. It’s good!   All Best, Sally


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