Best Selling Poetry

Really, what’s with all the Mary Oliver? I understand Billy Collins’ popularity–he’s funny, easy to understand, and he’s highly exposed in the media. But Mary Oliver? Hallmark card nature poet.  The Buck (Charles Bukowski) resurgence also makes sense. His birthday got a lot of press over the last few weeks (he would have been 90), and it’s hard not to be at least moderately interested in a writer who says fuck that often, plus his book Sloughing Toward Nirvana has one of the coolest titles in poetry. Here are the top ten contemporary poetry best sellers for the week of August 8. For the the complete list go here.

1 1 The Shadow of Sirius (paperback) by W. S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press) 50
2 10 The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 (paperback) by Charles Bukowski (Ecco) 87
3 7 The Best of It by Kay Ryan (Grove Press) 24
4 2 Ballistics (paperback) by Billy Collins (Random House) 28
5 3 Red Bird (paperback) by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press) 74
5 6 Evidence by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press) 74
6 12 Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010 by Maxine W. Kumin (W. W. Norton & Company) 8
6 4 Thirst (paperback) by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press) 153
7 8 Leavings by Wendell Berry (Counterpoint) 46
8 11 The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems (paperback) by Billy Collins (Random House) 173
9 9 Here, Bullet by Brian Turner (Alice James Books) 119
10 5 New and Selected Poems: Volume Two (paperback) by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press) 173