Saturday, December 28, 2013

Good 2013 poetry moments: Reginald Harris's Autogeography (twice)

There's always so much happening with poetry, and I always...always feel like I'm too far behind, constantly playing catch up. Through all the interactions with students and the reading and the blogging, I have these really cool and good standout book and poetry moments. Over the next few days, I'll try to mention a few.

One of those moments happened some months ago. I purchased Reginald Harris's volume Autogeography (2013) at some point during the summer and started reading it.I enjoyed Autogeography so much that I back-tracked and purchased and then read Harris's 10 Tongues: Poems (2002).

I'm apparently not tapped into the right channels, because I don't hear enough about upcoming volumes by black poets. But Harris's book was the winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, which meant it did receive some pre-publication publicity. The book was published in April, and I felt late when I purchased it in early June.

Autogreography, I noted in my blogging plans, was one of the books I would write a couple of entries about during the fall semester. Before I did, the "moment" happened. At some point in August, Harris, whom I had never met, mailed me a copy of his book Autogegraphy. What an honor!

I was pleased to receive yet another copy of Autogeography, which now meant I had a reading copy for home and one that I could and did share with students during one of my browsing sessions on contemporary African American poetry. It's not everyday that I receive mail from poets, and certainly it's even rarer to receive a poet's volume of poetry. So the series of events that led me to adding two copies of Autogeography (and 10 Tongues) to my collection represented one of the good, unexpected poetry moments of 2013.

Good book moments in 2013
Reginald Harris, Autogeography, and playing across the page
12 Years Earlier: From Reginald Harris's Autogeography to 10 Tongues   

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