Have you finished your holiday shopping? Because whether you’re a beginning or veteran poet, a regular or infrequent reader of poetry, here are some verse-themed gifts that would make great stocking stuffers:
- Magnetic poetry kits. Have you ever played with one of these? They’re super fun. Leave poetic messages to loved ones on the fridge, or take a break at work and make a haiku on your desk. Dress up a metal picture frame with a personal message. This concept has been around for a while, but I’ve recently seen them in stores again, so they must be making a comeback. Check out www.magneticpoetry.com.
- Subscriptions. I know it sounds boring, but with as many literary magazines as there are in the world, wouldn’t it be nice to have a few just show up on your
doorstep? Plus, while I’m a big fan of online mags, there are some truly fabulous, artful print publications out there that I wish I could permanently display somewhere in my house. Check out Paper Darts, Copper Nickel, Bateau (which is selling all titles for only $5 through Dec. 19!) and Rattle, which are consistently gorgeous and loaded with cutting-edge contemporary poetry. A lot of small presses are also offering subscription packages. Black Ocean, for example, offers subscription packages of books by publication date — $60 for five full-length poetry collections (all released in 2013), plus a copy of the press’ literary journal Handsome, is a pretty sweet deal; or, drop $100 and get everything they’ve ever published, keep what you like best and gift the rest. Chicago-based dancing girl press also offers some bundles: your choice of 5 chapbooks for $25, or a “mix tape” bundle of 5 chaps chosen by the editor for the same price.
- Jewelry. Welcome to Etsy, the land of poetry-inspired bling. Just a simple search for the two keywords “jewelry” and “poetry” yields so many returns, I can’t even summarize them all. My favorite items were Sylvia Plath-engraved silver bangles,
bottlecap necklaces with quotes by everyone from Pablo Neruda to e.e. cummings, and handmade journals with full poems on the front. Lots of sellers offer customization options. If you’re shopping for someone who is into poetry and crafty things, you can’t go wrong here.
- DIY. Well, sort of. CafePress is a site that will print just about anything onto just about anything. If you want a mousepad, coffee mug, magnet, baby onesie or cell phone cover with a poem or a poet’s face on it, this is the site for you.
- Local poetry. Any one of the books by local authors that I’ve reviewed or mentioned in the last year would make a thoughtful gift for any reader. Those books include: “Our Rarer Monsters,” by Noel Sloboda; “The Song of the Toad and the Mockingbird,” by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider; “Brutal Allure,” by Melissa Carl; and “Creek Bed Blue,” by Steve Ausherman. Buy local! Support the arts!
Will you give any poetry-themed gifts this holiday season?