20 Favourite Poetry Books of 2015


It was a great year for poetry books. I read more than a hundred, and so many of them were so good that I couldn’t do their richness justice with a favourites list of fewer than twenty. And I know there are many more great ones out there that I haven’t gotten to yet. Forty unread 2015 titles still sit expectantly on my shelves. And then there are those I haven’t even heard about yet–sometimes news travels slowly in poetry world. Please pass on your recommendations so that I can add them to my reading list! But at this moment, as the year rings out, here are my 20 favourites of 2015, listed alphabetically by author:

Oliver Bendorf, The Spectral Wilderness (The Kent State University Press)

Marie-Ève Comtois, My Planet of Kites (translated by Stuart Ross & Michelle Winters) (Mansfield Press)

Tonya M. Foster, A Swarm of Bees in High Court (Belladonna)

Angélica Freitas, Rilke Shake (translated by Hilary Kaplan) (Phoneme Media)

Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn (Penguin)

Leah Horlick, For Your Own Good (Caitlin Press)

Liz Howard, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent (McClelland & Stewart)

Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf)

Jeanette Lynes, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (Wolsak and Wynn)

Shannon Maguire, Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (BookThug)

Lo Kwa Mei-en, Yearling (Alice James Books)

Kathryn Mockler, The Purpose Pitch (Mansfield Press)

Sachiko Murakami, Get Me Out of Here (Talonbooks)

Monica Ong, Silent Anatomies (Kore Press)

K.I. Press, Exquisite Monsters (Turnstone Press)

Armand Garnet Ruffo, The Thunderbird Poems (Harbour Publishing)

Chika Sagawa, The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (translated by Sawako Nakayasu) (Canarium Books)

Natalie Scenters-Zapico, The Verging Cities (Center for Literary Publishing)

Richard Siken, War of the Foxes (Copper Canyon Press)

Sonya Vatomsky, Salt is for Curing (Sator)