Bookish trend to follow: poetry

Posted by Melissa Eisenmeier on

One of the big trends in the literary world right now is poetry. Here are three recommended by the current shop cat, Zoey, or the retired shop cat, Stan Lee. (Zoey is the pretty grey/brown cat with spots; Stan Lee is the furry, dark, and handsome cat.)

Stan Lee loved Ashley Sugarnotch and the Wolf by Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes. The publisher sent me an advance review copy of it when I ordered a bunch of other books from them in January 2020 for the shop's grand opening. When I tried to flip through  the book, Stan Lee kept sitting on it and refusing to get off, or he'd get off when I tried to lure him off with catnip treats and then promptly sit back down on it. You know it's good if the cat can't keep his paws off it. Ashley Sugarnotch and the Wolf is a story told in syllabic and prose poems that apparently got its start when the author was driving to visit her then boyfriend (they've since gotten married) and would see signs for the towns Ashley and Sugar Notch, according to this blog I found.  I found it amusing that the character of Ashley was described as a bitch in the blog post. I liked Ashley Sugarnotch and the Wolf when I was flipping through it, and it brought to mind Little Red Riding Hood. New, $16. Buy here.

 Lately, Zoey seems like she's especially fond of Daughters of Lilith, since she's been spotted  trying to surreptitiously check it out when she thinks nobody is looking. The book is a collaboration between Donna Lynch and Steven Archer, with poetry by Ms. Lynch and art by Mr. Archer, all of it dedicated to all kinds of women, from muses to murderesses, and everything in between. I'm guessing the "bad girls" in the book appeals to Zoey. She's been enjoying knocking books over as I'm trying to shelve them, then sauntering off and using the hash tag #notsorry when talking about her feline antics on social media later. I've also come in to the bookstore in the morning and discovered she had a wild party the night before, with various cat toys she drug out and left laying on the floor for me to pick up, on more than one occasion. I just think Zoey is hilarious, fun to be around, and absolutely adorable. Plus, the artist and poet are both confirmed cat people, and it's been proven that cat people make better writers. New, $24.95. Buy here. 

Stan Lee loved Hello Darling by Christine Higgins so much that he couldn't keep his paws off it when it first arrived in the shop last year. It explores a mother/daughter relationship, the daughter's struggle with mental health, and the mother's grief when her daughter dies at seventeen. Stan Lee has refused to say what it is he likes about Hello Darling. However, he fell in love with it quicker than he fell in love with the catnip treats I've been buying for him and Zoey, so that should tell you something about how excellent it is. I have to admit, though, that he's right about how wonderful the poems in this book are: the poems in the book are good, if slightly heartbreaking at times. New, $10. Buy here.

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