Natasha Sajé, author of the forthcoming chapbook Special Delivery, shares her current reading list.
This past week, I read Astrid Alben’s Plainspeak, Emma Bolden’s House is an Enigma, Nikky Finney’s Hotbeds, Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s Rain in Plural.
In the past month I taught Shara McCallum’s Madwoman and Laurie Ann Guerrero’s A Tongue in the Mouth of Dying.
I’ve been re-reading Larry Levis’s books, and Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems. They don’t feel dated, despite the fact that they are anchored in time and place. I appreciate poems that are formally excellent and intellectually adventurous. I’ve written an essay arguing that punctuation can—and perhaps should—be extraneous in poems.
Special Delivery holds a variety of poetic forms, missives to which the speaker doesn’t expect a reply. The addressees—including the Phaistos disk, Caitlyn Jenner, and the wind—cannot or will not answer, but the reader is invited to take their place. Gender, sexual orientation, and the environment provide contexts for epistemological questions that pepper these poems of longing and wonder, of pique and wit.
Natasha Sajé is the author of three books of poems including Vivarium (Tupelo, 2014); a postmodern poetry handbook (Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, Michigan, 2014); and a memoir-in-essays, Terroir: Love, Out of Place (Trinity UP, 2020). She teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program.