Monday, August 14, 2006

New Books

After my summer stint at Bishop's U. my bank account runneth over ... into my credit card. As a gift to myself for my hard work, I've finally gotten around to ordering some poetry books that have been on my list, a number of them at least, for some months now:

Crush by Richard Siken
Saying the World by Peter Pereira
Some Ether by Nick Flynn
Selected Poems by Robert Creeley
The Naomi Poems: Corpse and Beans by Saint Geraud (AKA Bill Knott)
Practice, Restraint by Laura Sims
The Little Ice Age by Maureen Seaton
Strike Sparks: Selected Poems by Sharon Olds
Rose by Li-Young Lee
The Orchard by Brigit Pageen Kelly

+ some resources:

The Call to Create: Liberating Acts of Imagination by Linda Schierse Leonard (which I reviewed here... gave away my first copy, this is a replacement)
A Poet's Companion by Kim Addonizio (figured a poet always needs one)
Dictionary of Poetic Terms (formerly Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms) ed. by J. Myers, 2003 ed.

Some tips on ordering books through the internet: prices can vary wildly. Shop around! Since I live in Canada, my default dealer is Orders are made in Canadian $, most of the books are shipped within Canada (I avoid therefore possible customs charges), and orders of $39 or more are eligible for free shipping (if you choose books that fit within their free shipping criteria.) Books that on the face of it look a lot cheaper from American dealers often turn out to be more expensive with currency conversion and international shipping rates... and take longer besides. Sometimes though a particular book can be ridiculously expensive from that is far cheaper from say, Abe Books or Powell's. Case in point: the one (used but clean) copy of Call to Create on was $58 CN; the copy in similar condition I ordered from Abe Books was $11 US + $6 shipping for a total cost of about $20 CN. The one 1988 issue of Dictionary of Poetic Terms on was a whopping $88 Can. I got a brand new 2003 issue direct from University of Chicago Press for $23 US + $7 shipping -- maybe $36 Canadian. So far in my bookbuying I haven't been hit with customs charges (they can be steep!). Customs charges don't apply on items valued at less than $20; the few items I've bought for more have slipped under the wire anyway. Fingers crossed for this batch!

One obvious trick I've just recently copped onto: when you find an interesting book, put it in your shopping basket but don't go ahead and buy it until you make a quick check with other dealers first.

Abe Books has proven to be an amazing source for rare and hard-to-find books. How else could I have laid my hands on a decently priced 1968 copy of Bill Knott's Naomi Poems? (More will be written about that remarkable poet in later posts.) Powell's is good too. Does anyone out there have any other suggestions? How about suggestions for poetry books written since, say, 1995?

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