by a contributor
from Gina Vaynshteyn, author of We Have Two More Months to Live:
- Mindy Nettifee
Her name literally means “Nice Fairy” in German and thus, her poetry is blessed by infinite fairy dust magic. Mindy Nettifee is honest, poignant, and funny; her poems explore her upbringing and what it means to rise up when you have fallen so deeply and devastatingly. Read Rise of the Trust Fall or Sleepyhead Assassins.
- Daphne Gottlieb
Daphne is in your face and her words punch through brick walls. Her poetry deals with feminism, brutality, and violence; it’s not a soft read and it’s a tremendous experience. She finds words and phrases for things that no one else can or would. Read Final Girl and find her on YouTube for the full Daphne experience.
- Ilya Kaminsky
Ilya is one of my professors, so maybe I’m biased when I say that his poetry transcends music and goes beyond wavelengths. But I don’t think so. Ilya Kaminsky is a talented writer who has won almost every single poetry prize there is. Read Dancing in Odessa and be prepared to simultaneously sob and grin like a six year-old.
- Maggie Nelson
Using the words “beautiful,” “serene,” and “complex” doesn’t even justify or half-heartedly describe Maggie Nelson’s poetry. In Bluets, she writes this gorgeous dissertation on the color “blue” and its longing implications. I’ve never seen a poet do that. When I graduated college, I used one of the poems from her book, Something Bright, Then Holes to decorate my cap. I glittered with hope.
- Allison Benis WhiteI was lucky enough to study under her during my undergrad. Allison is one of the nicest, smartest poets I know. Self-Portrait with Crayon is one of those books that masterfully illustrates absence, loneliness, and broken families, and she does this through the lens of Degas.
- Ilya Kaminsky