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Top Ten: Grolier Poetry Book Shop

By Ola Topczewska, Crimson Staff Writer

Grolier Poetry Bookshop, established in 1927, claims to be the “oldest continuous poetry book shop in the United States.” The store specializes in books of verse, publications produced by small presses and universities, trade publications, and spoken word recordings. Their current best-selling works include several volumes written by local poets. Grolier Poetry Books is located at 6 Plymouth St. in Harvard Square.

1. “Poems”, by Ben Mazer (local poet)

2. “A Village Life” by Louise Glück (local poet)

3. “A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry” edited by Czeslaw Milosz

4. “Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems” by Franz Wright (local Poet)

5. “Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair” by Pablo Neruda.

6. “Before a Common Soil” by Ifeanyi Menkiti (Local Poet and Owner of the Grolier)

Published in 2007, this is Ifeanyi Menkiti’s fourth and most recent collection of poetry. Menkiti, has taught Philosophy at Wellesley College for over 30 and first published a collection of poetry in 1971.

7. “Illuminations by Rimbaud”/ John Ashbery Translation

Illuminations, published in 1886, was the work of a young and soon-to-be disillusioned French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. “If we are absolutely modern—and we are—it’s because Rimbaud commanded us to be,” John Ashbery, who translated this edition, says in the preface.

8. “Human Chain” by Seamus Heaney.

9. “Life on Mars” by Tracy K. Smith

10. “Nox” by Anne Carson

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