The postings here have been sporadic lately because I was finally moving into a lovely apartment in Seattle. I hope this will be my last move, but you never know. It was exhausting and overwhelming, but one of the rare bright spots was unpacking my poetry books. I keep them in alphabetical order so I can find things easily Despite all the shuffling back and forth, it was full of pleasure. Some poets take up half a shelf or more, with their books and books about them: Ashbery, Berryman, Bishop, Carson, Dante, Dickinson, Eliot, Frost, Ginsberg, Gluck, Goldbarth, Heaney, Homer, Levine, Merrill, Merwin. Plath, Pound, Rilke. Simic, Stevens, Strand, James Tate, WC Williams. From Jonathan Aaron to Martha Zweig. From some of the earliest I read when I was starting to write–Margaret Atwood, Diane Wakowski, Transtromer, Bly, Kinnell, Plath, Stanley Plumly, to recent discoveries–Alice Oswald, Karen Solie, Tim Siebles. From well known to maybe less so: a collaboration between James Tate and Bill Knott titled Are You Ready, Mary Baker Eddy? A beautifully made book, Paul Hannigan’s The Carnation, published by Barn Dream Press in Massachusetts. I remember where I bought many of the books, or who gave them to me: Jonathan Galassi gave me The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barret Browning when he had recently started work at Houghton Mifflin and I interviewed him for an article on poetry publishing in Boston. Or my first reaction: reading Wind in a Box–Terrance Hayes can do anything! Milosz’s Anthology of Polish Poets where I read Szymborska for the first time. And I notice what’s missing: the little paperback of Stevens’ poems, Palm at the end of the Mind, that fell apart after I carried it everywhere with me for years. And I don’t see the first anthology of contemporary poetry I ever owned, Poems of our Moment, edited by John Hollander. As I remember, three of the thirty-seven poets included were women: May Swenson, Adrienne Rich, and Sylvia Plath. It’s possible I finally threw it out. Working my way through my shelves is working my way through my life–but in alphabetical rather than chronological order, so there’s a wonderful weaving back and forth between pieces. There’s a murmur of conversation, whispers and shouts. More than one mover said to me, “You should get rid of a lot of these books.” Over my dead body. I’d love to hear the stories of your poetry bookshelves.