Short Reads and Poetry

I know there are already a million and one reading suggestions, but I wanted to share some of the prose and poetry I have been lucky enough to come across recently that I loved. The writer’s brevity, and unique narrative choices show how powerful good writing can be. And I hope you too can enjoy them.

Another reason I choose to include poetry is because recently an argument broke out in the poetry world over validity of performance poetry. My own stance is poetry was once a performance art, an oral tradition that became a written tradition. A published poem is available to all, provided they can read. But to dismiss performance poetry to shortsighted. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a literary festival where I saw Martina Evans and two other poets perform their work. I was blown away in particular by Martina Evans, and utterly enraptured by her performance. All the more impressive because she did it from memory! If you’ve never been to a poetry performance, do so, it will deepen your understanding of poetry, and demonstrate why it is an art form that still has so much to give.

Poetry

‘Maiden Names’ by Martin Dyar

‘Facing the Public” by Martina Evans

‘Petrol’ by Martina Evans

Novellas

“We Have Alway Lived in the Castle’ Shirley Jackson

‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ by Sherman Alexie

I’m finding Shirley Jackson’s narrative style fascinating: I love the faulty narrator and off kilter observations; it creates a strangely quiet menace which is both claustrophobic and creepy. Given it’s October, the month of Halloween, a celebration of the of all things supernatural and twisted it’s the perfect choice. 😉

The last book is actually a young teen novel, but I’ve included it because I found it laugh out loud funny, and the way in which Sherman Alexie uses the first person narration refreshing.

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