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Three books to recommend

I have been reading and re-reading three first rate books of poems, and want to recommend them to interested readers. 


Gospel Night by Michael Waters.  A varied, tightly crafted but capacious book ranging over many subjects: love and sex, music, history, odd bits and facts collected with an eye for unexpected connections, and a wise, witty voice that animates every line.

Father Dirt by Mihaela Moscaliuc: a debut book that ranges from the author's native Romania to America, filled with powerful, haunting poems about growing up under Communism, with people disappearing, children left to fend for themselves on the streets, and an ancient culture of fables that somehow endures.  Many of the poems are wound tight with the tension of an old language that underlies the painstakingly learned new one of an adopted country. 

Soutine by Rick Mullen.  Talk about a tour de force: a narrative poem, written in terza rima, about the life and work of the painter Chaim Soutine, woven with the author's own experience as a poet, painter, and inhabitant of a private underworld that is illuminated by Soutine's own life.