This year, we asked guests we’ve featured on The Blood-Jet Writing Hour in 2013 to share with us their favorite books, literary magazines, and reading series from the year.
This post features poet and author of She Has a Name, Kamilah Aisha Moon. She writes:
2013 will always mean a great deal to me. My collection, She Has a Name debuted in October and the first few months have been quite a ride. So I’m already looking ahead: New Year’s Eve is a new moon, and the first night of the new year will grace us with the rare beauty of a supermoon. In fact, two supermoons in one month are on the way! But before rushing headlong into January, here are a few things that dazzled in my quadrant of the literary universe (so hard to speak on just a few—not complete at all) in 2013:
- King Me, Roger Reeves: A sweeping collection of gorgeous, complicated poems from a young poet of ancient vision and wisdom.
- Unpeopled Eden, Rigoberto Gonzalez: A seasoned poet continues to stun and rearrange readers through form and content.
- We Come Elemental, Tamiko Beyer: Lean, startling, bright poems that explore “nature” in fresh incarnations.
- Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, Frank X. Walker: Through persona poems fired in the kiln of imagination, a hero stays in the light and villains are explored with humanity.
- Twerk: Latasha Diggs has made and remixed a world out of this one that is full of surprise and insight.
- Ain’t No Grave, TJ Jarrett: Just get it. Really. Elegant, deep, powerful poems that haunt.
Muzzle Magazine: The poems featured in this magazine consistently elicit audible responses from me as I read them on the screen. The “30 poets in their 30s” series by Laura Swearingen-Steadwell profiled some of the strongest poets emerging today.
Superstition Review: Beautiful, compelling work across genre, you could get lost for hours on this website and be richer for it.
The Sun: This magazine is always a revelation to me. The photography and the writing help center and lift me when it arrives each month. A recent essay by Ross Gay, “Some Thoughts on Mercy,” is one not to miss, not that anything should be missed in this gem.
Split This Rock: All of the programming, the web content and the conferences are indispensable—poetry of provocation and witness indeed!
The Academy of American Poets: Like many others, I start mornings with their “Poem of the Day”, and make it a point not to miss Poets Forum or the other wonderful programs throughout the year.
Cave Canem: Too much power and beauty to attempt to describe…but I do suggest not missing a Cave Canem event in your area, as well as adding books by past and current faculty and fellows to your reading list.
Poetry Society of America: A long-standing celebration of seminal poetry through stellar local and national programming such as the memorial tribute to Seamus Heaney and the Yet Do I Marvel readings this past year.
Poets House: The diverse, engaging readings and exhibits in this beautiful space are indeed a perk of being a New York-based poet.
Page Versus the Stage: The unique format and interaction of the writers invited to this series is exciting and usually turns traditional notions of what’s considered “Page” and “Stage” on their heads.
Red Sofa Reading Series: Based in Philadelphia, host Hila Ratzabi has built a great house for poetry that the people come and return to, again and again.
Berl’s Poetry Shop opened in Brooklyn this year! All things poetry—not just the last row on the 2nd floor in the back. What’s not to like?
Late Night Library is building a wonderful archive of interviews and conversations that are wonderful to listen to late at night or on a lunch break, any time of day.
Kamilah Aisha Moon is the author of She Has A Name (Four Way Books, 2013). A recipient of fellowships to the Cave Canem Foundation, the Prague Summer Writing Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Vermont Studio Center, Moon’s work has been featured in several journals and anthologies, including Harvard Review, jubilat,Sou’wester, Oxford American, Lumina, Callaloo, Essence, Bloom, Gathering Ground, The Ringing Ear and Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. A featured poet in conferences and venues around the country, she has also led creative writing residencies for several arts-in-education organizations in diverse settings. She has taught English and Creative Writing at Medgar Evers College-CUNY, Drew University and Adelphi University. Moon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.
A native of Nashville, TN, Moon currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.