Some major favorites this year:
Lisa Robertson—Magenta Soul Whip/R's Boat—I started the year working on the LR issue of With + Stand, and so felt that the first several months of 2010 were completely steeped in her writing and thinking. Love these both; they're very different, but both have her insistently brilliant beauty.
Kenneth Irby—The Intent On—I had a chance to meet Ken Irby when he was out here, and he was a very lovely and magnanimous person. This book is sublime: overwhelming, jaw-dropping, huge, impossible, graceful, so impressive.
Henri Meschonnic (trans. by Lisa Robertson and Avra Spector)—"A Rhythm Party Manifesto"—<<http://xpoetics.blogspot.com/2010/08/rhythm-party-manifesto-by-henri.html>>—"Against all poeticizations, I say there is a poem only if a shape of life transforms a shape of language and if reciprocally a shape of language transforms a shape of life." Stunning. Damn smart.
Jennifer Moxley—"Fragments of a Broken Poetics"—Chicago Review Spring 2010— I used one of these aphorisms in introducing a poetry unit to 8th graders—which is impressive, for a document so carefully considered, to be meaningful to 13-year-olds. This was the quote: "Poems demand a concentrated lingering to which we are unaccustomed. This is why they cause discomfort. When we stand still in one place, attempting to document and respect the details, we feel as vulnerable as a small creature in an open field beneath avian predators. Rapid and sequential page turning gives us a sense of progress and accomplishment, relieving us from the double threat of frustration and impatience.” Field mice unite.
Rob Halpern—"Restoring 'China'"—Jacket 39—<<http://jacketmagazine.com/39/perelman-halpern.shtml>>—I love Rob's insistence on the context (and not just the context but the small press/limited run context) of Soup for Perelman's famous (via Jameson's famously wack reading of) "China." Great, thoughtful, generous essay.
Erica Lewis and Mark Stephen Finein—camera obscura—taught this book to 8th graders this year. I loved the play of memory/time/image in the pages. Beautiful, and a great conversation starter.
Lauren Levin—Not Time—did a 30 word review of this project, here <<http://the30wordreview.blogspot.com/2010/10/not-time-by-lauren-levin.html>>—have had the opportunity subsequently to read the larger manuscript that it's part of, and have truly been enjoying every minute.
Journals issues I had work in that were absolutely humbling in their gorgeousness: ON: Contemporary Practice #2; Versal #8; 1913 #4.
Some things that I've just recently gotten my hands on that I'm sure will be on the list for next year: yr book Haecceities; this summer's P-Queue (Andrew Rippeon's intro there on bridges and collectivity is great); Geof Huth's Eyechart Poems; The Collected Eigner.
Book I really wanted to read this year but haven't yet: Ronaldo Wilson's Poems of the Black Object.
Also feels slightly odd to not have any Leslie Scalapino on here—as it feels like her year in the collective consciousness, one I certainly participated in, if only obliquely.