I've been reading some books of poetry lately, just started to, at least. I've been so busy lately. One thing that struck me is that some poets feel, smell, sound so, well, "Male". And other poets so "Female". Just like stereotypically, certain men like watching certain television shows and certain females like watching certain television shows, I wondered whether I prefer certain styles or certain tones that skew a certain gender? There are so many poets that break these conventions of course. But if I were to scale certain poetry books certain ways, would that be deathly sexist? For example, I think Ben Lerner feels very "Male" to me, but then again, so does Mary Jo Bang. So does Dean Young and Tony Hoagland and Matt Hart and one of the Dickman brothers, I can't remember which one. I feel slightly uncomfortable with these arbitrary labels, but this is how I feel when I read certain poets. Then there are others like Alison Benis White (my favorite) and Rick Barot (also my favorite) who feel more Female. Some of Haas' early work feels more female to me too and I love his early work. This is strange and dangerous stereotypical territory to tread in, but in truth, I am not implying that Male poetry is more cerebral or intellectual at all. It has something to do with tone.
Terrance Hayes Lighthead
Timothy Donnelly The Cloud Corporation
Rachel Zucker The Bad Wife Handbook (again)
Tony Hoagland Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty
John Gallaher Map of the Folded World
Craig Morgan Teicher Cradle Book
Ange Minko Shoulder Season
Back soon with some micro reviews, hopefully.