Over the past few days I've been tempted to post about several end-of-year lists that national papers have published, mainly rewritten versions of publicists' blurbs, but why rework an old gripe?
In fact, I think there's far more interest to be found in Michelle McGrane's intriguing idea over at the Peony Moon blog: she's managed to get a whole host of poets to offer up their lists of favourite collections for 2009. On looking through them, what most strikes me is that a number of lesser-known writers appear repeatedly. Are they "Poets' Poets" or discoveries waiting to be made by the wider world? What's more, is there such a thing as a "Poets' Poet"?
This second question leads us back towards the current and potential readership for poetry - is it confined to other poets or is it far broader? I believe in the latter idea.
Finally, I suppose I should finish off by mentioning my own view of the best of 2009. My favourite collection (read thus far) was undoubtedly Siân Hughes' "The Missing". It barely surfaced in Michelle's vast lists, garnering just two mentions, but I thought it was terrific.
It is rare indeed nowadays to encounter a poetry collection which exudes the traditional values of the art form. This is such a book: it displays an effort...