Indie Next poetry bestseller list

The ABA has announced its "2009 Indie Next List Poetry Top Ten" based on "the enthusiastic nominations  of independent booksellers nationwide." A full pdf of the list, plus commentary, can be seen at

The 2009 Indie Next List  Poetry Top Ten

1. Evidence: Poems by  Mary Oliver
(Beacon, $23, 9780807068984  / 0807068985)
"Simple and unadorned, Evidence invites the reader to pass through the  transcendent beauty of the natural world and the mysteries of life, love, and  death. Oliver lightly places uncomplicated images, unfastening a complex world,  inviting imagery that falls quietly onto the heart like the music of a summer  rain." --Dianne Bruhin, Colorado State University Bookstore, Fort Collins,  CO

2. Fire to Fire: New and  Selected Poems by Mark Doty
(Harper Perennial, $15.99  paper, 9780060752514 / 0060752513)
"This career-spanning collection showcases fleeting moments and fragile  memories, as Doty explores lights and bodies that touch fire and change. Tattoos  rewrite flesh, cities shine with surprising grace, and men hold hands at the  edge of an abyss. Read this and remember that poetry can change the angle of  your eyes and the reach of your gaze as you look out onto a kindled, golden  world made familiar and new." --Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita,  KS

3. The Romantic Dogs: Poems  by Roberto Bolano, Laura Healy (trans.)
(New Directions, $15.95  paper, 9780811218016 / 0811218015)
"Roberto Bolano's star is so ascendant right now that there is no need  for me to point out anything but his name on the cover of this book. Let me  simply say that Bolano was a poet before he was ever a novelist, and it shows  here. The work is insouciant, literary, and historically nihilistic. It's been  one of my favorite books of the past year." --Dustin Kurtz, McNally Jackson  Books, New York, NY

4. Ballistics: Poems  by Billy Collins
(Random House, $24, 9781400064915  / 1400064910)
"I love the self-consciousness and humor Billy Collins brings to poetry.  His poems are alive with a friendly, kind regard for what it means to be human.  He has the great talent to not only craft memorable lines, but also to achieve  what all great poets do, to tug on us and remind us to appreciate the moment  we're in right now. A delight to read and read again." --Drea Firth, Maria's  Bookshop, Durango, CO

5. In Search of Small Gods  by Jim Harrison
(Copper Canyon, $22,  9781556593000 / 1556593007)
"In Search of Small Gods is Jim Harrison's twelfth book of poetry  -- and my favorite so far. This collection exhibits a fine sense of humor along  with a sharp awareness of the tragic human condition. The poems contain fish,  birds, death, peonies, many beloved dogs, various wacky speculations, and a  few regrets and tall tales that wander off into strange dreams. Harrison skillfully  calls all this to our attention, and the world and all these things shine through  this book." --Karl Pohrt, Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, MI

6. A Foot in the Mouth: Poems  to Speak, Sing, and Shout by Paul B. Janeczko, Chris Raschka (illus.)
(Candlewick, $17.99,  9780763606633 / 0763606634)
"A Foot in the Mouth features great poems for reading aloud. With  tongue-twisters and poems for one voice, two voices, or more, these poems will  get kids moving and loving poetry. (And this is an excellent recommendation  for teachers to bring poetry alive in their classroom.)" --Shelly Plumb,  Harleysville Books, Harleysville, PA

7. In Praise of the Unfinished:  Selected Poems by Julia Hartwig, John and Bogdana Carpenter (trans.)
(Knopf, $25, 9780307267207  / 0307267202)
"In her only collection available in English, Julia Hartwig's In Praise  of the Unfinished is a profound meditation on life at the boundaries of  History and Time. In exquisite distillations of experience and perception, Hartwig  -- one of the brilliant poetic masters from Poland -- explores philosophical  and emotional depths without losing herself or her readers in obscurantism or  trite turns of phrase. She is a poet of the universal rather than the narrow,  and we should be grateful for her words." --Shawn Wathen, Chapter One Book  Store, Hamilton, MT

8. Bicycles: Love Poems  by Nikki Giovanni
(Morrow, $16.99, 9780061726453  / 0061726451)
"A new book of poetry by my favorite contemporary poet is immediately cause  for celebration. Her strong, clear voice shines on every page. A fantastic collection!"  --Michael Burns, Howard's Bookstore, Bloomington, IN

9. What Goes On: Selected  and New Poems 1995 - 2009 by Stephen Dunn
(Norton, $24.95, 9780393067750  / 0393067750)
"Stephen Dunn addresses issues large and small, though mostly large: love,  death, divinity, morality, responsibility. Words are perfectly chosen, and so  many of these poems deserve to be read out loud, and often. A perfect introduction  to the work of this Pulitzer Prize winner." --Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books,  Tampa, FL

10. Bucolics by Maurice  Manning
(Mariner, $14 paper,  9780156034753 / 0156034751)
"My absolute favorite collection of poetry this year! These poems effloresce  with wonderment for the natural world. They are rich with agrarian imagery and  soulful inquiry; they are joyful, reflective, and heart-achingly lovely."  --April Nabholz, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis, OR

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