"Scavenger Loop," David Baker (W.W. Norton & Company, 2015) and "Autoplay," Julie Babcock (MG Press, 2014)

"Scavenger Loop," David Baker (W.W. Norton & Company, 2015)


Why you'll love it:

Expansive, reverent and utterly unhurried, David Baker's poems lift up the moment and show how moments are universal. "Scavenger Loop," his newest (and ninth!) collection of poems is Baker at his best, and then some. Everywhere are trees and green places, but what is at the heart of this book is how growth and loss are necessarily connected. Baker unravels this cycle, looking at weeds, flowers, genetics and GMOs, heirlooms, memory and death. Devastatingly beautiful, this book pays homage to both origin and remnant, declaring "[k]ernel :: cell :: syllable."

See for yourself:

"But now ghosts/ of deer and possum, feral// cats, voles, the smaller field mice…come/ to crouch/ beside the blackened/ pool each night,/ all week, stone// and starlight/ where the water was. Let them/ drink deeply here…"

-from "Who Knew"

"Autoplay," Julie Babcock (MG Press, 2014)


Why you'll love it:

Julie Babcock writes both fiction and poetry, and her first book of poems, "Autoplay," resounds with the knack for narrative. You'll recognize many of the characters in these poems (including Alice, Jonah, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol and Sleeping Beauty), but Babcock reanimates their worlds with fresh revisions. Ohio itself is both a character (a feminized being) and a prominent setting for many of these poems. Through Babcock's keen, curious eye, we visit burial mounds, caves and painted barns and newly appreciate their dark secrets and stories.

See for yourself:

"Hot as a dragon's tongue./ Summer girls think of boys/ and caves. How to enter/ until limestone drips.// They breathe against the mirror,/ draw initials in the vapor…"

-from "Bedroom"

Note: See Julie Babcock read on Thursday, June 11 as part of Paging Columbus at OSU Urban Arts Space (6-8 p.m.). More info: uas.osu.edu