It has become the Forward’s tradition to highlight five memorable poetry releases of the year (see the 2010, 2011 and 2012 selections). And while some names may look familiar to our readers, others are appearing here for the first time. Please consider this list a conversation starter, and let us know who you would like to see added to the mix.
Also, please note that the works below are listed in alphabetical order — there’s no ranking here.
By Charles Bernstein
University of Chicago Press, 208 pages, $25.00
For the past few decades, Charles Bernstein has been a seminal figure in the world of avant-garde poetry; in the past decade, his engagement with Jewish poetics has come to define, for many fellow artists, a new, profound, and immediately relevant way of engaging with one’s Jewishness. “I am a Jewish man trapped / in the body of a Jewish man,” writes the poet, and it is up to the reader to enjoy all of this “entrapment’s” trappings, trimmings and bells. The first collection of Bernstein’s new work in eight years, “Recalculating” spans numerous registers of experimentation. See full review of “Recalculating” here.