Layering joy and urgent defiance--against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone--Trethewey's work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey's first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet's own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an "opus of classics both elegant and necessary,"* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet's remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.
*Academy of American Poets' chancellor Marilyn Nelson
A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 at Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, NYLON, BuzzFeed, Publishers Weekly, and more.
*Winner of The Griffin International Poetry Prize and the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Award*
The title section of Kim Hyesoon's powerful new book, Autobiography of Death, consists of forty-nine poems, each poem representing a single day during which the spirit roams after death before it enters the cycle of reincarnation. The poems not only give voice to those who met unjust deaths during Korea's violent contemporary history, but also unveil what Kim calls "the structure of death, that we remain living in." Autobiography of Death, Kim's most compelling work to date, at once reenacts trauma and narrates our historical death--how we have died and how we survive within this cyclical structure. In this sea of mirrors, the plural "you" speaks as a body of multitudes that has been beaten, bombed, and buried many times over by history. The volume concludes on the other side of the mirror with "Face of Rhythm," a poem about individual pain, illness, and meditation.
"...Terse and yet lyrical, floating in white space on the page like stark, intimate thoughts, Soft Targets is a riveting example of how we cannot take the body out of thinking, and we shouldn't." ―Lit Hub Deborah Landau's fourth book of poetry, Soft Targets, draws a bullseye on humanity's vulnerable flesh and corrupted world. In this ambitious lyric sequence, the speaker's fear of annihilation expands beyond the self to an imperiled planet on which all inhabitants are "soft targets." Her melancholic examinations recall life's uncanny ability to transform ordinary places--subways, cafes, street corners--into sites of intense significance that weigh heavily on the modern mind.
"O you who want to slaughter us, we'll be dead soon/enough what's the rush," Landau writes, contemplating a world beset by political tumult, random violence, terror attacks, and climate change. Still there are the ordinary and abundant pleasures of day-to-day living, though the tender exchanges of friendship and love play out against a backdrop of 21st century threats with historical echoes, as neo-Nazis marching in the United States recall her grandmother's flight from Nazi Germany.
Through her many projects across numerous genres, Mary Ruefle has proven herself a singular artist, drawing many fans from around the world to her unique vision. With Dunce she returns to the practice that has always been at her core: the making of poems. With her startlingly fresh sensibility, she enraptures us in poem after poem by the intensity of her attention, with the imaginative flourishes of her being-in-the-world, which is always deep with mysteries, unexpected appearances, and abiding yearning.
A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection
Set in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, Diana Marie Delgado's debut poetry collection follows the coming-of-age of a young Mexican-American woman trying to make sense of who she is amidst a family and community weighted by violence and addiction. With bracing vulnerability, the collection chronicles the effects of her father's drug use and her brother's incarceration, asking the reader to consider reclamation and the power of the self.
2019 National Book Award Longlist
"With Build Yourself a Boat, Camonghne Felix heralds a thrillingly new form of storytelling."
--Morgan Parker, author of Magical Negro
This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look at what might come after. A view of what floats and what, ultimately, sustains.
Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.
A piercing debut collection of poems exploring gender, race, and violence from a sensational new talent
In her arresting collection, urgently relevant for our times, poet Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called "comfort women," women who were forced into sexual labor in Japanese-occupied territories during World War II.
In wrenching language, A Cruelty Special to Our Species unforgettably describes the brutalities of war and the fear and sorrow of those whose lives and bodies were swept up by a colonizing power, bringing powerful voice to an oppressed group of people whose histories have often been erased and overlooked. "What is a body in a stolen country," Yoon asks. "What is right in war."
Moving readers through time, space, and different cultures, and bringing vivid life to the testimonies and confessions of the victims, Yoon takes possession of a painful and shameful history even while unearthing moments of rare beauty in acts of resistance and resilience, and in the instinct to survive and bear witness.
A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
A stunning new collection by the award-winning young poet and translator
Like, that currency of social media, is a little word with infinite potential; it can be nearly any part of speech. Without it, there is no simile, that engine of the lyric poem, the lyre's note in the epic. A poem can hardly exist otherwise. In this new collection, her most ambitious to date, A. E. Stallings continues her archeology of the domestic, her odyssey through myth and motherhood in received and invented forms, from sonnets to syllabics. Stallings also eschews the poetry volume's conventional sections for the arbitrary order of the alphabet. Contemporary Athens itself, a place never dull during the economic and migration crises of recent years, shakes off the dust of history and emerges as a vibrant character.
Known for her wry and musical lyric poems, Stallings here explores her themes in greater depth, including the bravura performance Lost and Found, a meditation in ottava rima on a parent's sublunary dance with daily-ness and time, set in the moon's Valley of Lost Things.
Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize
Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection
The extraordinary new poetry collection by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States
Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else
Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade
Sizing up the heart's familiar meat?
We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.
Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,
Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.
--from "Unrest in Baton Rouge"
In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America's contemporary moment both to our nation's fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smith's signature voice--inquisitive, lyrical, and wry--turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence. Here, private utterance becomes part of a larger choral arrangement as the collection widens to include erasures of The Declaration of Independence and the correspondence between slave owners, a found poem comprised of evidence of corporate pollution and accounts of near-death experiences, a sequence of letters written by African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, and the survivors' reports of recent immigrants and refugees. Wade in the Water is a potent and luminous book by one of America's essential poets.
"Giannisi's poetry is a wonderful combination of the classical and the underground avant-garde. Trained both in architecture and Ancient Greek, her poems tackle the problem of how to inhabit the spaces we live in--from the abandoned lot and the swimming pool to the page of the book. What a pleasure to have the full Homerica series in Brian Sneeden's lyrical translation."--Karen Van Dyck
"Sneeden is a meticulous translator and a poet in his own right. He brings Phoebe Giannisi's work to life with immediacy and conviction."--Edmund Keeley
"Ana Bozičevic invents a new language of 21st century displacement: a displacement that occurs not just in space and in time but in heart, vision and mind.The poems in JOY OF MISSING OUT range from Croatian farm fields and embroidered dresses to life spent online, emoji, chain stores and drugs. Always: emotion. No filter, she writes. Bozičevic is a master of the startling lyric: her poems transport, but they can also kick dirt in your face in the last line. Her casual poems are formidably informed and, also, great." --Chris Kraus
In these marvelously wide-ranging essays, Margaret Atwood explores her lifelong relationship to science fiction, as a reader and as a writer. At a time when the borders between genres are increasingly porous, she maps the fertile crosscurrents of speculative and science fiction, utopias, dystopias, slipstream, and fantasy, musing on the age-old human impulse to imagine new worlds. She shares the evolution of her personal fascination with SF, from her childhood invention of a race of flying superhero rabbits to her graduate study of its Victorian antecedents to the creation of her own acclaimed novels. Studded with appreciations of such influential writers as Marge Piercy, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kazuo Ishiguro, H. Rider Haggard, Aldous Huxley, H. G. Wells, and Jonathan Swift, In Other Worlds is as humorous and charming as it is insightful and provocative.