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Best Book of 1996: The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Natalie Eilbert

‘Mina Loy has been a preferred voice in my head, echoing with a signature delirious chant as a kind of primordial poetry mother.’

Biscotti Boys / On Men Who Wear Living as Loosely as Their Suits

Momtaza Mehri

‘salmaan the second son & his mama’s seventh seal by way of underwater & underemployment’

Cassiopeia (three back-to-front songs)

Diana Anphimiadi

‘Anyway, I did not die. / I lined the sky, inside-out.’ Translated from the Georgian by Jean Sprackland and Natalia Bukia-Peters.

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

‘I went to Ilford alone / was handed a pink laminated square’

Darling

Chelsey Minnis

‘It’s dangerous like a very powerful doorbell. / Or a portrait covered with a blanket.’

Every Day Was Ordinary

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

‘A life is an open thing / leaking out into / the air around it.’

Extinction

Sharmistha Mohanty

‘even more it was a wish for boundless spaces, a wish for the inexpressibly wide and broad, for the unharnessing of human life’ – New poetry by Sharmistha Mohanty.

Five Poems

Irene Solà

‘I wore off my tongue / like candy’ Translated from the Catalan by Oscar Holloway.

Five Skeins

Sarah V. Schweig

‘In my crumbling country every day, / people spend their lives standing in lines / to buy designer sneakers.’

Holy Man

Will Harris

‘a man caught my eye as I was about to cross the road / and asked to shake my hand. You have a kind face, he said.’

Home

Emily Critchley

‘to understand life / how to possibly / live in it / break it’

I Wrote a Poem About a Fucking River

Samantha Walton

‘though I’ve sat where torrents recall no slush / I’m drawn by your ceramic explosions’

Reflections on shame in sacred spaces

Kate Duckney

‘At sunset the light is both nasty and nice / in my robe.’

Snakes

Dorothea Lasky

‘In this life // There is always time // To make a comeback’

Swine

ko ko thett

‘I rode bareback, I rode out all the revolutions.’

Tether Tennis

John Kinsella

‘Tryptamine skies and the forehand backhand falter / in earth’s revolutions’

The Feeling Sonnets

Eugene Ostashevsky

‘Making sense of a feeling is like building a boat from water.’

The Reckoning

Armand Garnet Ruffo

‘the earth will heal / eventually / magnificently / when our species / is gone’

There Is No Light of the World But the World

Tim Lilburn

‘The mountain rises and sleeps backward / into a cloud-captured sun’

Though I Have Never Been to Ostia, I Have Seen the Place Where Our Dreams Died

Momtaza Mehri

‘like pasolini’s dream of an african oresteia let us be ridiculous’

Three Poems

Chelsey Minnis

‘I’m going to smash the geraniums. / Do you mind, darling?’

Three poems

Mary Ruefle

‘One of the loveliest possibilities / is that the truth is made of glass’

Three Poems

Sophie Robinson

‘you can call my price by any name and she will come just the same’

Two Poems

Amy Key

‘She is luscious / and plump like marshmallow; part edible baby, / part nosy neighbour.’

Two Poems

Kristín Ómarsdóttir

‘cut a piece from a lip and put in a secret place’ – New poetry translated from the Icelandic by Vala Thorodds.

Two Poems

Andrew McMillan

‘I hadn’t / realised it possible / that I might grow into kinder / ownership of my own looks’

Two Poems

Miriam Bird Greenberg

‘Why wasn’t I better made / to refute assimilation’s maze’

Walk Laramidia

Swati Rana

‘Imagine all the prodigal / People, hoping only to / Escape every human mistake.’

Zeus

Fiona Benson

‘days I talked with Zeus / I ate only ice / felt the blood trouble and burn / under my skin’