A Poet’s Holiday Gift Guide

So, you have a friend who writes poetry.  Here are some gifts for the budding or successful (do they exist?) writers in your life.

  1. Best American Poetry 2011
    This year’s BAP features editor Kevin Young, selecting favorites from a range of contemporary writers: Obama’s inauguration poet, Elizabeth Alexander, the Dickman twins, Carolyn Forche, Komunyakaa, former poets laureate (Billy Collins, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, Charles Simic) and other giants of the poetry world, such as Charles Wright.  If your poet has yet to buy this book, this gift should at least have the appeal of pining jealousy and admiration. (Available in hardback and kindle editions.)
  2. Moleskine Writing Notebook
    As noted on their website, “Moleskine is the heir of the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by great artists and thinkers, including Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-sized travel companion held their sketches, notes, stories, and ideas before they became famous images or beloved books.”  I’ve always gone for the line-less variety, but you can also get story-board style, graph paper, or lined journals depending on your poet’s preference.
  3. uni-ball Stick Micro Point Roller Ball Pens
    Every poet has a favorite pen for writing.  This is one of mine.  I love micro-fine tips, hate roller-balls. The latter is for lefty writers, perhaps.  Check with your writer to see if she has a favorite writing utensil; they make great stocking stuffers!
  4. External Storage: LaCie XtremeKey
    Nothing says “I love you” like “I bought you an external hard drive to back up all your writing in case you spill wine/coffee/tea all over your macbook while you’re at that coffee shop you always go to.”  You don’t have to go for a full 1-TB set up, a nice heavy-duty thumb drive can still show your concern for your beloved writer’s work. LaCie’s ExtremeKey will withstand the pressure of a 10 ton truck, let alone a coffee spill.
  5. Wine
    What good is an extremely durable memory stick if you don’t have some good wine to spill on it?  Check out Woot! Wine for cheap and informed selections of wine if you need to ship some liquid pleasure to your recipient. Beware, though, that not all states allow for the legal shipping of alcohol.  Of course, you can always go to the local Trader Joe’s and pick up a good selection. On the tag, steal a line from Robert Louis Stevenson:”Wine is bottled poetry.” Put a bow on top and call it a holiday.

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