Top 5 Poems of 2017

Despite everything, 2017 has been a pretty great year.

Punch Drunk Press came into existence in 2017. What started as nothing more than a monthly open mic out of a local bookstore has blossomed into a beautiful community, a publishing company and a literary site with a strong online presence. For that, the staff at Punch Drunk Press would like to sincerely say thank you.

Looking back at the year, PDP wanted to take some time to let our readers know what our favorite poems of the year were (in no particular order)

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Poornima Laxweshmar

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ho
By Poornima Laxmeshwar

In Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ho, Laxmeshwar incredibly weaves words together to show us the strange way that a person can find power and true beauty in that which the world may otherwise see as profane.

Estefania
Estefania Munoz reading at Don’t Yell at Me, Longmont CO

God Complex
By Estefania Munoz

Munoz captures us from her very first line:

I am god and I am riddled with leprosy

From there, Munoz continues to repaint the image of God. Aptly titled, this poem is both complex and immediately accessible, firing flares into the air with so many well-executed lines.

or/as
(the single white female twin ouroboros binary system)
By Zach Blackwood

In or/as, Blackwood creates vulnerability by sharing an almost awkward intimacy and rhythm:

i want to single white female you
but i want you to single white female me.
i want to be a single white female star orbiting around your single white female star.
i want them to see us through a telescope.
to suckle from your toes while you suckle from my toes.
we can be the single white female twin ouroboros binary system, and and we can be a heavenly event.

Small moments like the double use of “and and” provide a very personal insight to what the poet was feeling and the nature of his connection with this other person. Between that and actionizing phrasings like “i want to single white female you”, the Punch Drunk staff really felt this piece deserved recognition.

Eddy Jordan
Eddy Jordan

Trying not to see John Mellencamp as my Artist Shephard
By Eddy Jordan

This is one of those short ones that hits hard. Not a lot to say but to let the poem really speak for itself:

“But remembering mom’s 
careful explanation 
of how a thing can hurt
so good and me 

not fucking getting it
until she died and 11
years after that 
when I wrote
this.”

In 9 brief lines, Jordan creates memoir and emotion. He takes us from the lighthearted with the title into a realization of true feeling in a moment of loss and the nature of pain and how as we come of age we learn hard truths like this one.

Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein
Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein

“This Fall I Will Teach a Course on Loneliness”
By Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein

This poem’s largest success may be the utilization of turning loneliness into a course, and how this creates a certain emotional disconnect from an otherwise very involved experience. If that weren’t enough this poem is very tangential in emotion and feel. One stanza that caught specific attention was:

Major assignment: You, Self.
Major Obligations: Other, Them.
Required reading: Emily Dickinson.
Extra Credit: Call your mother.

Lichtenstein reminds us of the large dynamic of expression that can be tapped within poetry by answering personal questions of loneliness through the lens of a hypothetical course.

It is important to note that Lichtenstein’s poem was also the most viewed poem on the site in 2017.

Honorable Mention: Duffy, French, Blair, Bella

In fall of this year, PDP put out a call for submissions from women writers. From over 60 submissions, many of which included incredible work, we selected four women to hijack the site for the month with interviews and snapshots into their world, along with, of course, incredible poetry. Emily Duffy, Stina French, Emily Blair and Lana Bella are four incredible wordsmiths who each in their own right brought a sense of bravery and identity to a very new site, and there’s no way to look back on our year without bringing to attention their accomplishments.

Thank you all for a wonderful 2017. We are all very excited for 2018. We’ve got a lot planned and hope you’ll join us along the way.

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Featured Image by Robbie Masso. Find him on Facebook, instagram, and his website.

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