Malvern Books’ Best of 2014: Poetry

Happy New Year, Malvernites! If you’re hoping to start 2015 with some stupendous verse, I suggest you take a look at the five books below—they’re our bestselling poetry titles for 2014 (in no particular order), and any one (or all!) of these lovelies would make a dazzling addition to the discerning poetry fiend’s bookshelf…

31 Poems by Dean Young (Forklift, Ohio; $12)

31 PoemsThe perfect introduction to the work of Dean Young, 31 Poems is both a brilliant collection and a beautiful object. (When it was first published, it appeared in the Best Collected category and the Best Physical Artifact category of Coldfront’s Year in Review.)

“Dean Young’s poems are as entertaining as a three-ring circus and as imaginative as a canvas by Hieronymus Bosch.” —American Academy of Arts and Letters

The Book of Joshua by Zachary Schomburg (Black Ocean; $19.95)

The Book of JoshuaA favorite of Taylor Jacob Pate, Zachary Schomburg writes associative, witty, logic-twisting poems that inhabit a surreal dreamscape.

The Book of Joshua … ultimately spins its own myths in a book that is built to feel symbolic, but isn’t really a straightforward metaphor for anything because, within the context of this world, these statements are literal. It’s not allegory but finely figured dream.” —Bill Neumire, Heavy Feather Review

Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot (Wave Books; $18)

Soul in SpaceSoul in Space is the sixth collection from the prolific and extraordinarily talented Kocot, who wowed the Malvern audience with her reading of “Poem for the End of Time.”

“Part riddle, part reverie, and part prayer, the brief lyric poems that compose Kocot’s collection inhabit a charged but quotidian space… Kocot arranges the ephemera of the everyday in relation to each other and to the self as though striking a minor chord.” —Publishers Weekly

Storm Toward Morning by Malachi Black (Copper Canyon Press; $17)

Storm Toward MorningWhen asked in an interview to give a one-sentence synopsis of this collection, Malachi summarized it by saying, “There is nothing more truly peculiar, confusing, and surprising than being entirely alive.”

“Formally exacting and creatively expansive, Black is an intensely inquisitive John Donne for the Millennial generation.” —Publishers Weekly

More Wreck More Wreck by Tyler Gobble (Coconut Books; $15)

More Wreck More WreckWe were delighted to launch More Wreck More Wreck (winner of the 2013 Cargill First Book Poetry Prize) at Malvern Books, and we were not the least bit surprised when it proved hugely popular!

“These poems aren’t just one thing, or another, they are instead stuffed with so much energy that they are spilling all over the pages … More Wreck More Wreck is bubbling with the absolutely kick ass beauty of a great imagination let loose.” —Peter Davis