The Definitive List of Must-Read Poetry Books from 2016 (So Far)


Dianoia, Michael Heller (April; Nightboat)

After publishing more than twenty collections of poetry, it’s no longer a surprise to read Michael Heller’s grandly romantic lines. Here, he turns his wisdom most effectively to moments of quiet tragedy, such as when one realizes the disappointment of life (“Allotments”) or when a child’s innocence is lost (“Funereal”). By Dianoia’s end, Heller embraces the Platonic title in full, blowing up the form established in the preceding sections and infusing his melodic prose with graphics to create a portrait of an artist (or the idea of one) as unique as any other you’d see this year, in poetry or otherwise. – SB