This was a fiery good year for poetry — maybe it’s just all those poets trying to get a last word in before, you know . . . that thing that didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago. What follows is an attempt at sorting through this surprising bounty for what books kept me coming back to them.
In the poetic spirit of absence being as crucial as presence, let it be known that C.A. Conrad’s “A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon” would be on my list if I wasn’t so sure that I need at least another year with the thing. I likewise suspect Patricia Lockwood’s “Balloon Pop Outlaw Black” might have made it, had I finished reading it. Those are the breaks; here are the books.