April is National Poetry Month, and since there is never enough celebration of poetry in the world, this week’s Huddle is dedicated to our favorite poets. Poetry is so personal that it was inevitable we’d all have different picks, and yours will likely differ, too.
So, group: Who is your fave?
Grace Chu: My friend Joanna Hoffman! She also has a book.
A few years later, I struck up a friendship with Janice. One that has endured for the last 14 years. She’s a memoirist now, and has written two amazing books, A Halfway Homeless Memoir and Have You Found Her. To this day, her poetry still means a tremendous amount to me, more than any other poet I have read or encountered.
Erika Star: Choosing a favorite poet is a difficult decision, especially with Ani DiFranco‘s book of poetry existing, but I have to go with Dorothy Parker. Not only because I model my sarcasm and cynicism after her, but also because I can’t name a favorite quote without making a list of things she’s said. Oh, and her poetry is pretty good too.
Valerie Anne: LFO. “Summertime girls got it going on, shake and wiggle to a hip hop song. Summertime girls are the kind I like, I’ll steal your honey like I stole your bike.”
Bridget McManus: Shel Silverstein is my pick too. My favorite poem of his is “Too Many Kids in this Tub.”
Since I live in a house of all women (two dogs, one cat and one wife) and we all sleep in one bed I made a little twist on Silverstein’s poem that I say constantly.
Trish Bendix: While picking just one is a little excruciating, I’m going to go with Edna St. Vincent Millay. She’s one of those poets that is both romantic and morbid and optimistic but also a realist. She was also unafraid to write about the women she loved.
Chloe: Yeats, yo. “The Second Coming” gives me goosebumps and never fails to ring true.
Kim Hoffman: Without sounding morbid, I have to go with my girl Sylvia Plath. I am, I am, I am. The Bell Jar is one of my all-time favorite books, and her entire work of poetry was somehow at my side when I was coming out. I embrace the dark side.
But another person who was right there at that time and thereafter when I was dealing with a lot of tragedy was Mary Oliver. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Is one of my greatest little mantras/reminders/motivators. OK, but one last thing, I am obsessed with Billy Collins. His book of poetry, Picnic, Lightning has some amazing stuff. “This Much I Do Remember” perfectly describes the moment you find yourself in a moment with someone.
Jill Guccini: Billy Collins is pretty incredible, and of course Mary Oliver, and Naomi Shihab Nye, and Andrea Gibson, and pretty much every poet ever.
Anna Pulley: SO MANY. Some faves:
Lucy Hallowell: John Milton because the world needs more epic poetry. Just kidding. As a kid I loved Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot; particularly “Macavity: The Mystery Cat.” I’m not a cat person (allergies) but I always loved the image of a criminal mastermind cat.
Elaine Atwell: I am deeply fussy about poetry and could never pick a favorite poet. But Richard Siken‘s collection Crush just rips me to shreds.
Who is your favorite poet?