Recommended by Rich Smith
All books by Mary Ruefle read with the intimacy and immediacy of a handwritten letter from a friend you’ve had since before you were born. And whether she’s publishing a collection of poems (I recommend her Selected Poems from Wave Books), or a collection of essays on poetics (such as the instantly canonical Madness, Rack, and Honey), or an interview in some stupid magazine, you must read it, if you can, because the earth revolves around the sun and love is real. That said, her latest publication is a 10-page stapled essay from Sarabande Books called On Imagination, and honestly it reads like a B-side from Madness with goofy illustrations. Packaging aside, this pamphlet presents one of poetry’s most imaginative minds writing on the topic of imagination—the root of everything bad and everything good about people—and it’s funny, surprisingly painful, and fucking beautiful.