'Tis the season to curl up with a great book, so we asked a handful of local writers to pick the works recently penned by their peers that made an impression on them in the past 12 months.
Name: George Bilgere
Affiliation: Professor, John Carroll University
Résumé: 2003 Cleveland Arts Prize in Literature, author of "The Good Kiss" (2002), "Big Bang" (1999) and "The Going" (1995)
Local Picks: "The Zones of Paradise" by Lynn Powell, "Lake Erie Blue" by Susan Grimm and "You Remind Me of Me" by Dan Chaon
Lasting Impressions: He says "Zones" is "a great book of poetry — funny, sexy and very accessible. It's a look at marriage and sensuality. Terrific."
On the Nightstand: Student essays and Garrison Keillor's anthology, "Good Poems"
Name: Susan Grimm
Affiliation: Poetry editor, Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Résumé: "Lake Erie Blue" (2004), "Almost Home" (1997)
Local Picks: "Guide to Native Beasts" by Mary Quade, "Wild and Whirling Words" by H.L. Hix, "Stalking the Divine" by Kristin Ohlson
Lasting Impressions: Grimm says Quade has an "unusual approach to her work. She brings in new tropes and takes on interesting subjects."
On the Nightstand: Eight finalist manuscripts for the Poetry Center, two of which will be published in 2005.
Name: Michael Geither
Affiliation: Professor, Cleveland State University
Résumé: Co-author of the play "Blue Sky Transmission" (2002)
Local Picks: "Guide to Native Beasts" by Mary Quade, "You Remind Me of Me" by Dan Chaon
Lasting Impressions: "Quade will be the biggest thing in poetry in the next 10 years. Scholars will take her seriously, yet [her work] is very accessible."
On the Nightstand: Two Carol Churchill plays: "Top Girls" and "Far Away"
Name: Sarah Willis
Affiliation: Adjunct professor, Hiram College and John Carroll University
Résumé: 2000 Cleveland Arts Prize in Literature, "A Good Distance" (2004), "The Rehearsal" and "Some Things That Stay" (2001)
Local Picks: "You Remind Me of Me" by Dan Chaon, "In the Blind" by Eugene Martin, "First Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood" by Thrity Umrigar
Lasting Impressions: "In the Blind" is "a powerful book written with poetry, yet very edgy and unique."
On the Nightstand: "Two or Three Things I Know for Sure" by Dorothy Allison and "The Best American Short Stories of the Century" edited by John Updike