What Poets Should I Read Next?

At the start of each of my four semesters in the MFA program, I posted a call to help me find poets for my student reading lists. The responses were wonderful. (You can still read my requests, and the suggestions for my first, second, third, and fourth semesters on this site.)

Recently, Val and I have been spring cleaning books–since we had reached the point where we needed to either buy another bookshelf (we have six lining the walls of our small cottage), or cull the herd. We ended up selling about fifty books back to Powell’s, and gave away lots of others. With the MFA commencement right around the corner, our hotel in Portland booked just blocks from the main Powell’s store, and my $75 in store credit now converted to a gift card that’s burning a hole in my pocket, the only question left is: what should I buy?

I have been enjoying Yehuda Amichai lately, and want to get some Ibrahim Nasrallah. Newer poets like Shaindel Beers are on my radar. And one could do worse than, say, to stock up on some William Carlos Williams. But I’d love suggestions–particularly if you’ve read something recently that, as Dickinson says, takes the top of your head off. Something you would want to thrust into my hands with a wild gleam in your eye and say, “man, you gotta check this out.”