Signing off for 2009

Well this is my last post for 2009. It has certainly been quite a year. Looking back, the two biggest things were surviving NaPoWriMo (although I haven’t finished anywhere near as many of the poems as I should have – grr), and The Summer King being published. Pretty decent milestones!

I read lots of good books (and a few bad ones); taught more classes; heard lots of great, good, and bad poetry; wrote a couple of poems I’m really proud of; started lots of poems that I hope will be good (when I eventually get around to finishing them … grr again); wrote some stinkers (bah); managed to get myself embroiled in a couple of controversies (some days I really wish I could be a sheep); and saw my first two issues of Kokako safely out the door and into the wild world.

For the hell of it, here’s my 2009 list.

Poetry Collection of the Year:
Europa, by Monizia Alvi.
Wow, followed by oh wow. Hair-curlingly powerful.

The Blushing Bride Award for Best First Book:
Shared between Anne Berkelely’s The Men from Praga and The Propaganda Poster Girl by Amy Brown.
Two books that just get better and better each time I read them.

The Vinko Bogataj/Eric Moussambani Award:
Get Some by Sonja Yelich.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Didn’t. But I salute the attempt.

Disappointment of the Year:
Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett.
Methinks the well is drying up, more’s the pity. Understandable, and tragic. Pterry, you will be sorely missed.

The Stoke the Bonfire Award for Most Detested Book(s) of 2009:
Cecilia Dart Thornton’s execrable Crowthistle Chronicles, especially Weather Witch and Fallowblade. (Covers shown purely so you can avoid them.)

The Anna Wintour Award for Editorial Helpfulness:
Jeff Hilson for The Reality Street Book of Sonnets.
As well as the (many) issues he and I discussed so vigorously earlier this year, there was one thing I forgot to mention: there are 84 poets, organised by date of birth. And no index.

The Michael Pollan Award for Required Reading:
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.
It was a close race between this and Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science, but the sheer enormity of the whole American fast food thing gives this one the nod. Beg, borrow or steal a copy NOW.

So there you have it. One bibliophile’s personal take on the year’s high(and low)lights.

I’ve put a new batch of poems up for the summer, and plan to kick back with some new collections over the break (as well as working frantically on preparing for the three poetry courses for CPIT Summer School).
Have a merry, poetry-filled holiday season.
See you late January!

2 Replies to “Signing off for 2009”

    1. Definitely better than Making Money. But he’s recycling plots and characters. We had the same story – unlikely new character must save the city! Vetinari’s machinations depend upon him/it! – as in Going Postal and the abomination that was Making Money (and, lets face it, Moving Pictures, The Truth, Feet of Clay, Thief of Time etc). We have beautiful-but-dim girl (again), plain-but-brave-and-intelligent girl (ditto – normally I like this character, but it’s getting predictable) and we have Discworld-minority-of-the-moment saving the day. Think Men at Arms and werewolves, Feet of Clay and the golems, think The Truth and vampires, think Making Money and clowns, think Going Postal and banshees (ok, not so much ‘saving the day’ as providing some ethnic colour, but you get my point) … The whole Glenda/Nutt thing was a rehash of Miss Drapes/Mr Bent. (Ok, I know it’s a classic story, but the details here are just too similar. With Nutt it was a ‘cupboard’ he was afraid to open, and with Bent it was a wardrobe. Both happened in the presence of the plain-etc girl, who supported him through it. Both caused a transformation into something terrible.)

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