We asked Kurt Olsson, winner of the 2016 Spacks Prize for his book Burning Down Disneyland, what books he’s enjoying now:
- Garden Time, W.S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press)—the poems tend to strike the same chord, but what a wonderful chord.
- You Never Know, Ron Padgett (Coffee House Press)—Padgett does what he does as effortlessly as tying his sneakers. Damned funny to boot.
- I Never Knew What Time It Was, David Antin (University of California Press)—a poet I’d never heard of before I read his obituary in the New York Times. I’m still under the spell of his “talk poems.”
- Extracting the Stone of Madness, Alejandra Pizarnik (New Directions)—scary good scary poet who killed herself at 36.
- Unthinkable Tenderness, Juan Gelman (University of California Press)—like Pizarnik, another Argentine poet trying to make sense of the unspeakable.
Plus The Shape of a Pocket, John Berger (Vintage)—late essays by a polemicist who wrote with the eyes of a painter and the sensibility of a poet.