National Poetry Month Playlist: T.A. Noonan’s Picks


To celebrate National Poetry Month, our Sundress editors are sharing some of their favorite poems, most influential poems, and poems that they are really digging right now. Put them all together, and you have the Sundress Poetry Playlist!

Today’s picks come from SAFTA’s Literary Arts Director and Sundress Publications Associate Editor T.A. Noonan!

“America,” Allen Ginsberg
Picture it: I’m a high-school freshman reading Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Frost. I flip through my textbook and find “America.” My mind was blown. (Seriously, I didn’t even know you were allowed use the word “fuck” in a poem before reading Ginsberg.) This poem was the first to make me realize that there was so much about poetry I didn’t know and needed to find out.
“Angels of the Love Affair,” Anne Sexton
Pure invocation, this is easily my favorite Sexton poem and one of the most influential poems of my life. I’d read “Her Kind” at eighteen or so and thought, Okay, she wrote about witches. Maybe I can do that, too. But it was “Angels of the Love Affair” that convinced me that the stories I wanted to tell with The Bone Folders were worthy.
“Fall,” Robert Hass
I was lucky to take an independent study in Contemporary Poetry as an undergraduate, and this was the very first poem we read there. It still resonates, reminding me simultaneously of childhood and marriage, fear and delight.
“To Judge Faolain, Dead Long Enough: A Summons,” Linda McCarriston
Another piece introduced to me in the aforementioned independent study, “To Judge Faolain, Dead Long Enough: A Summons” was the first poem addressing domestic abuse I’d ever read. To this day, the last few lines strike me as the most brutal curse ever committed to paper.
War Music, Christopher Logue
It almost feels like cheating to pick this, as it’s a multi-volume project. Still, Logue was the first to get me to rethink the nature of translation, and I really have a thing for book(s)-length projects.
Nox Anne Carson
Another cheat. Really, I could pick anything from Anne Carson. I’ve made no secret of my intense love affair with her work. That said, this book moved me to tears from the moment I saw it. No mass-market book I own will ever be as beautiful. No elegy will ever feel as real.
T.A. Noonan is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently four sparks fall: a novella (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, 2013) and Dress the Stars (Dusie Kollektiv, 2013). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming inReunion: The Dallas Review, Hobart, Ninth Letter, specs, Delirious Hem, Phoebe, and more. A weightlifter, crafter, priestess, and all-around woman of action, she will be moving to Knoxville in January 2014 to serve as the Literary Arts Director for the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

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