Best Things I Read in 2013

Books, Philosophy, Poetics, Poetry, Prose, Science, Translation January 25, 2014

Apparently, most people make such lists at the end of the year rather than a month into the next.

Apparently, also, lots of people read what is published in the same year, whereas I merely buy those books and feel proud and then read dead people or people I’ve already read.

Generally, this means I’m taking classes over whose reading lists I have no control or that I am attempting postponement of pleasure, which is a thing some of you may know about though most of you will probably be questioning the sanity of such nefarious sacrificial tendencies.

As I have been, imaginably, awake this whole night due to self-diagnosed insomnia* caused by unnecessary thinking about life events, I have decided to give you my list of best things I read in 2013.

[*I wrote this post yesterday and saved a draft. Following writing this post, which I did in a moment of extreme alertness useful to the writing of blog posts but not to reading PhD things, I slept for sixteen hours. So clearly, no insomnia.]

For reference:

things = book-length works, chapbooks included

read = read for the first time, re-reads not included



Nathalie Quintane. C.S. Giscombe. Lorine Neidecker.

Amal al-Jubouri. Hagar Before the Occupation, Hagar After the Occupation. 2008. Translated from the Arabic by Rebecca Gayle Howell with Husam Qaisi. Alice James Books, 2011.

Jorge Carrera Andrade. Micrograms. 1940. Translated from the Spanish by Alejandro de Acosta & Joshua Beckman. Wave Books, 2011.

Inger Christensen. alphabet. 1981. Translated from the Danish by Susanna Neid. New Directions, 2001.

Eduardo C. Corral. Slow Lightning. Yale University Press, 2012.

Robert Creeley. Selected Poems, 1945-2005. Edited by Benjamin Friedlander. University of California Press, 2008.

Beverly Dahlen. A-Reading Spicer & eighteen sonnets. Chax Press, 2004.

H.D. Helen in Egypt. 1961. New Directions, 1974.

T.S. Eliot. Four Quartets. 1935-42.

Adam Fagin. T’s Alphabet. Little Red Leaves Textile Series, 2013.

Graham Foust. To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems. Flood Editions, 2013.

Forrest Gander. Science & Steepleflower. New Directions, 1998.

CS Giscombe. Giscome Road. 1998. Dalkey Archive Press, 2004.

Barbara Guest. Fair Realism. Sun & Moon Press, 1989.

Matthew Henriksen. Ordinary Sun. Black Ocean, 2011.

Fanny Howe. Gone. University of California Press, 2003.

Marni Ludwig. Pinwheel. New Issues Press, 2013.

Lorine Neidecker. Lake Superior. Wave Books, 2013.

Véronique Pittolo. La Révolution dans la poche.  Al Dante, 2009.

Allan Popa. Drone. Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2013.

J.H. Prynne. Kitchen Poems. 1968.

Nathalie Quintane. Jeanne Darc. Éditions P.O.L., 1998.

Mike Schorsch. An Introduction to Venantius Fortunatas for Schoolchildren or Understanding the Medieval Concept World through Metonymy. Anomalous Press, 2013.

Prose: Fiction


Flanner O’Connor. Virginia Woolf.

Samuel Beckett. The Unnameable. 1953. Translated from the French by the author. Grove Press, 1958.

Lydia Davis. Almost No Memory. 1997.

Elizabeth Hardwick. Sleepless Nights. 1979. New York Review of Books, 2001.

Flannery O’Connor. The Violent Bear It Away. 1960. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996.

Marie Redonnet. Rose Mellie Rose.1987. Translated from the French by Jordan Stump. University of Nebraska Press, 1995.

Virginia Woolf. Jacob’s Room. 1922.

Virginia Woolf. The Waves. 1931.

Marguerite Yourcenar. Memoirs of Hadrian. 1951. Translated from the French by Grace Frick in collaboration with the author. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1954.

Prose: Nonfiction

Roland Barthes.

Roland Barthes. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. 1977. Translated from the French by Richard Howard. Vintage, 2002.

Vilém Flusser & Louis Bec. Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste. 1987. Translated from the German by Valentine A. Pakis. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

Paul Ricœur. On Translation. 2004. Translated from the French by Eileen Brennan. Routledge, 2006.

Mary Ruefle. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Complete Lectures. Wave Books, 2012.

Rosmarie Waldrop. Dissonance (if you are interested). University of Alabama Press, 2005.

[edited to add: Best Things I Watched in 2013  June 24, 2014]

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