31 Poets Recommend 31 Poetry Books to Read in August: Critical Linking, August 2, 2019

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web, sponsored by David Baldacci’s One Good Deed.

one good deed by david Baldacci


“‘The Sealey Challenge was, initially, just a conscious effort to return to the habit of reading poetry,’ says Sealey, who has since stepped down as ED of Cave Canem. ‘I posted across social media to ask if anyone wanted to join me in reading a book a day in August. Folks did, and the challenge caught on. Now, it’s in its third year. Now it’s tradition.’ Sealey is no stranger to building community—Cave Canem’s programming is all about creating a legacy of Black poetry through workshops, mentorship, readings, and support. So it’s no wonder the challenge has caught on like wildfire. Both poets and poetry readers alike use the hashtag #TheSealeyChallenge and post photos of the books they’re reading during the month, creating a storm of poetry on social media.”

The author of this piece legit slipped into the DMs of each of these poets to get their recommendations. Mad props for those efforts! Now go read some poetry.


“I spent a lot of time, over the next several days, smiling while tearing up. I tried to reply to everyone; I hope I did. So many people—strangers—told me they’d never previously spoken with anyone about being bisexual. I tried to cause no harm: “Thank you for telling me this,” I’d say. “I’m not a therapist, I have no training, but here are places where there are people trained to talk, and listen.” “You’ve helped me feel less alone,” they said. I felt less alone, too. I wished I’d started talking about this part of my life a lot earlier than I had.”

All the bravery kudos to R.O. Kwon and anyone else sharing their truths to empower others.


“My book, The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders, began as an essay on writers’ libraries but quickly grew to encompass public and fictional ones as well. Ancient, modern and imaginary libraries have all accumulated compelling and irresistible stories.

Mysterious filaments connect fictional libraries to each other, and to real libraries. Here are my favourites.”

I’m almost ashamed admit how much time I spent pondering what my favorite fictional libraries might be. Almost.