Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Pile Of Books Pt. 2

Well, I’ve not made it very far at all into my pile of books, and yikes, in comes another huge batch. Here’s the second batch below. One more batch, I think, to go, and then I’m going to go back to not having any money for books for a long, long time. For this one moment in time, though, I can pretend to be well-read. As you can see, I’m trying to plug some holes that go back a little ways, with the Silliman and O’Hara and Spicer . . . and Oppen . . .

One thing I’ve wanted for a long time is the Kenneth Fearing Selected Poems. I giggled opening it for the first time the other day. Good times. And why three books by Lars Gustafsson? That, my friend, was a mistake. I didn’t know which one or two I should get, and I accidently ordered all three.

As well, having the Waldrop arrive today was excellent after yesterday’s news about the National Book Awards finalists. This is the first year in a long time where I actually like a majority of the finalist batch. Very nice. It caused me to go back to Rae Armantrout’s excellent Versed for a while this afternoon. It’s such a good book. But, you knew I'd say that, as I’ve been saying such things about her work for years. This is a good week.

Buying Spree Pt. 2

Keith Waldrop. Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy
Kenneth Fearing. Selected Poems
Mary Jo Bang. The Bride of E
Lars Gustafsson. Elegies & Other Poems
Lars Gustafsson. The Stillness of the World Before Bach
Rosmarie Waldrop. Dissonance (if you are interested)
Don Share. Squandermania
Michael Theune, ed. Structure & Surprise
Peter Gizzi & Kevin Killian, eds. My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer
Richard Deming. Let’s Not Call it Consequence
John Tranter. Urban Myths: 210 Poems
Frank O’Hara. Selected Poems
George Oppen. Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers
Sasha Steensen. The Method
Oni Buchanan. Spring
Ron Silliman. the Alphabet
Beth Bachmann. TEMPER
Lars Gustafson. A Time in Xanadu
Brenda Hillman. Practical Water
Fredrik Nyberg. A Different Practice
Katie Ford. Colosseum
Michael Gizzi. New Depths of Deadpan
Dan Beachy-Quick. This Nest, Swift Passerine
Joshua Poteat. Illustrating the Machine that Makes the World
C.D. Wright. One Big Self: An Investigation
Frank Stanford. The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You

So what did I miss? What do I still need to get?

And what’s in that big third order that hasn’t come in yet?


At 10/16/2009 12:54 AM, Blogger vazambam said...


Is there room enough for John Levy's "Oblivion, Tyrants, Crumbs" from First Intensity Books? A real treat.

At 10/16/2009 7:39 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I've put it on the list!


At 10/16/2009 8:38 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

What, no Kooser?

At 10/16/2009 8:40 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Apparently it would just make me grouse. And that would be gross.

At 10/16/2009 1:27 PM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

I love (LOOOOOOOOOVE) The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You.

You will have to let me know what you think when you are finished.

At 10/16/2009 2:15 PM, Blogger Don Share said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/16/2009 2:16 PM, Blogger Don Share said...

Lost Roads just reissued two of Frank Stanford's great books: The Singing Knives, and You. They're gems.

Thanx for adding Squandermania to the list!!!!


At 10/19/2009 1:06 PM, Blogger Neil Kelly said...

Did you get the reissue of the Bible? Some killer stuff in there.

At 10/19/2009 7:12 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Jeez, Gallaher. I can’t figure out if you’re just a silly sycophant or a sorry suck-up. It’s obvious that you are selecting poets by name and current popularity in order to impress your friends or desired-to-be friends rather than because of the poetry itself. I can tell that you haven’t investigated these so-called poets or you wouldn’t have purchased most of these books. I am so disappointed. I had great hopes for you.

At 10/20/2009 5:00 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Hi Gary,

Wow, I didn't see that coming. To be honest, most of these books were suggested to me either here on the blog or on facebook, or through email.

If it helps any I'm getting a Kay Ryan book and a Bob Hicok book in my next batch.

I'm hoping you'll see a possible third option: I have $3,000 from the dean of my university to use on research. It's a one-time drop. I'm wanting to buy all the books I can.

You can't really hate all these books, can you?

I'm currently reading Oppen's prose. Is that OK?

At 10/20/2009 5:04 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


As well, if you have some corective books to suggest, suggest away.

(No one suggested the Kenneth Fearing, by the way. That one I've wanted all on my own.)

At 10/20/2009 5:57 AM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Where's Franz Wright?
Where's Deborah Digges?
Where's W.S. Merwin?

At 10/20/2009 6:14 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I have most of Merwin's books, but I don't have the last couple. Someone told me recently that the Sirius is good. I can't remember who. I've not cared much for his later work, to be honest, so I didn't get it. You're suggesting I get it, then?

As well, I have most of Franz Wright's stuff as well, but not the new one. Or Ill-Lit, for some reason.

I don't have any Digges. I haven't thought of her.

You could have just suggested them, you know, or others, without coming on all hard-core. Now I'm worried that if I order them, someone might call me a sycophant to Gary B. Fitzgerald.

I still have $800 or so...

So far the biggest surprise has been the Stanford. What a massively interesting book. Like an avalanche. A 15,300 or so line poem.

At 10/20/2009 9:13 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Gary Pt2,

Actually, I’m reading through this again and I’m coming up with a difficulty in understanding your criticism of my purchasing list. Why shouldn’t I get these books, specifically?

You write: “It’s obvious that you are selecting poets by name and current popularity in order to impress your friends or desired-to-be friends rather than because of the poetry itself. I can tell that you haven’t investigated these so-called poets or you wouldn’t have purchased most of these books.”

When you’re saying that, you’re saying that you have investigated these poets, and either read these books, or else you know the work of these poets well enough to make a blanket condemnation. If you’ve read or purchased these books, why shouldn’t I?

Anyway, I’ve now ordered some books by Merwin, Digges, Wright, Ryan, and Hicok that I didn’t have, but I noticed when I was ordering them that they are all quite popular, much more popular than nearly everything else I’ve gotten so far, which makes me wonder about your accusation that I'm going by "current popularity."

At 10/20/2009 9:20 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Sorry that I can't let this rest, but I want to stress also that my book purchases this fall are with university research money, and that I'm trying to plug holes in my poetry collection.

I fully intend not to like all the books I'm buying, as one can quickly see by my reaction to the Edson, and also my fascination and ambivalence toward the Bedient.

At 10/20/2009 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just read Merwin's Migrations, at first out of curiosity, and then--over the latter 2/3--as an inoculation (i.e., against having to read him again).

Such a promising poet--you see it in The Lice. And then--wonky New Age bathos. The 1970s were not kind to poetry, in this country. Merwin's verse never really recovers its imaginary spark (though there are some nice poems in The Vixen).

Not to be only negative, it’s important to note that he has done some very worthy, journeyman work as a translator. We have Juarroz in English by his hand, and several others, all (insofar as I can tell) in very agreeable versions.

At 10/21/2009 5:23 AM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

John, please accept my apologies for my outburst. I was not having a good day. You have done exactly the right thing. First, how can anyone judge a work without reading it? Second, it would be impossible to buy every book by every poet in the country. You have selected quite a substantial mix, I think. I (inaccurately) used the word sycophant in my little tirade because I saw a number of 'internet' names on there and I am very frustrated by the current state of poetry today (who isn't?).

Again, my humblest apologies.

At 10/21/2009 5:29 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Hey Gary,

Looking back at this list, I do see that with the Share and the Silliman, etc., it could have seemed that way. Just a miscommunication!

It's kind of funny. I got an email from a friend yesterday that said, basically, "I can't believe you don't already have these books. You're really showing us how under-read you are."



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