Winner of the Levis Reading Prize "Tell me a story / of speed and tell it to me fast for the light is / gaining and I will wake and with this body / break the barrier between what I dream / and what my dreaming means." Sometimes a fact swings down like a hammer and we are changed. The fact of loss, the fact of desire, and all the wild, unruly facts of history hammer down and sparks fly up. This, then, is a collection of facts. In a rushing, rolling style, poems sweep to the edge of falling apart, take great delight in defying that dissolution, and come upon a thing redemptive and clarifying: the fact of love. In a world that "doesn't really care / whether we live or die," Steve Scafidi writes, "tell it you do and why." Against the harrowing fact of death, Scafidi celebrates dream and desire and the sweet erotics of springtime. Witnessing the budding of muscle trees, the nakedness of a lover, and the furious plowing of a river in the month of April amounts to a sensual equivalent of hope. And yet, the facts of history - from Troy to Rome to Montgomery, Alabama - arouse a great dread of our own cruelties. The truth of the South, the poems show, is often a brutal mix of ignorance and force that America learned from the great classical civilizations. From the unthinkable to the quietly heroic, somehow we have emerged. Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer celebrates that fact most of all.
Author: David Lehman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-09-08
The premier anthology of contemporary American poetry continues with an exceptional volume edited by award-winning novelist and poet Sherman Alexie, now with a new essay by Alexie on reactions to the 2015 publication. Since its debut in 1988, The Best American Poetry has become a mainstay for the direction and spirit of American poetry. Each volume in the series presents the year’s most extraordinary new poems and writers. Guest editor Sherman Alexie’s picks for The Best American Poetry 2015 highlight the depth and breadth of the American experience. Culled from electronic and print journals, the poems showcase some of our leading luminaries—Amy Gerstler, Terrance Hayes, Ron Padgett, Jane Hirshfield—and introduce a number of outstanding younger poets taking their place in the limelight. A leading figure since his breakout poetry collection The Business of Fancydancing in 1992, Sherman Alexie won the National Book Award for his novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He describes himself as “lucky enough to be a full-time writer” and has written short stories, novels, screenplays, and essays—but he is at his core a poet. As always, series editor David Lehman’s foreword assessing the state of the art kicks off the book, followed by an introductory essay in which Alexie discusses his selections. The Best American Poetry 2015 is a guide to who’s who and what’s happening in American poetry today.
In her third collection, From Nothing, Anya Krugovoy Silver follows a mother, wife, and artist as illness and loss of loved ones disrupt the peaceful flow of life. Grounded in the traditions of meditative and contemplative poetry, From Nothing confronts disease and mortality with the healing possibilities of verse. Whether remembering the sound of whispered secrets on a family vacation or celebrating a favorable PET scan, in Silver’s keen observations of seemingly mundane moments we glimpse the divine. As she addresses profound questions about how to make meaning out of suffering, Silver’s poems attest to the power of art to help us face difficult realities in an often painful world. “I’m ransacked by the pain and love and urgency of this book. These aren’t pretty, redemptive poems about cancer and loss; they're gritty oracles that divide joint from marrow as we stand before coffins, stillbirths, and mastectomy scars. This is one of few poets just brazen enough to be human. In short, Anya Silver doesn’t screw around.”—Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky and A Thousand Vessels
Winner of the National Book Award in 1991 “This collection amounts to a hymn of praise for all the workers of America. These proletarian heroes, with names like Lonnie, Loo, Sweet Pea, and Packy, work the furnaces, forges, slag heaps, assembly lines, and loading docks at places with unglamorous names like Brass Craft or Feinberg and Breslin’s First-Rate Plumbing and Plating. Only Studs Terkel’s Working approaches the pathos and beauty of this book. But Levine’s characters are also significant for their inner lives, not merely their jobs. They are unusually artistic, living ‘at the borders of dreams.’ One reads The Tempest ‘slowly to himself’; another ponders a diagonal chalk line drawn by his teacher to suggest a triangle, the roof of a barn, or the mysterious separation of ‘the dark from the dark.’ What Work Is ranks as a major work by a major poet . . . very accessible and utterly American in tone and language.” —Daniel L. Guillory, Library Journal
Poetry. Memoir. LGBT Studies. Do you have a poet whose every poem you want to read? Trish Salah might be that poet. Written between lyric and language poetries, and exploring the transgender fantasies encoded in feminist, autobiographical, anthropological and psychoanalytic archives, LYRIC SEXOLOGY VOL. 1 could be your book. Drawing upon Freud's interpretation of the memoirs of the jurist Daniel Paul Schreber, alongside gender theories, polemics and case studies dating from the end of the 20th century to beginning of the 21st, Trish Salah samples and remixes the clinic and the club, dystopia and draughty apartments, re-presenting an emergent transgender subject in all (or at least some) of her/hir/his/their messy contrariness and queerly multiple biomythographies. One might even call this composite a syncretic strategy for building a conceptual, poetic world in a single volume. But, inevitably, more is left out than in. Salah revels in the conflicts of undermining specialization: "i need to take a shower. i'm troubled by / increasingly distorted fanfictions, psychotic or melancholy, / with the loss of canon." Nevertheless her text shimmies its way through the regulatory regimes of race, class and genre by always bringing us back to glib reality: "we all need haircuts though." Roof Books is proud to publish this revelatory manuscript.
An "astounding" (Terrance Hayes) debut collection of poems - Winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series Competition In this ���powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet's personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax's innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.
An authoritatively translated, single-volume compendium of two of the early twentieth-century German poet's most beloved sequences offers insight into Rilke's influence, ability to identify with the world, and perspective on life as a spiritual quest. Original.
From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a poignant collection of autobiographical poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark. The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward's collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence--so clear and pared-down, they become universal. From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society's expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward's bone resonate to the core of what it means to be human. "You will come away bruised. You will come away bruised but this will give you poetry." Foreword by Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division
Author: Kim Addonizio
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2009-02-16
In this fresh approach to writing poetry, the coauthor of the perennially popular The Poet's Companion offers sharp insights into the craft of writing. "The creative process is just that," maintains Kim Addonizio. "Not a means to an end, but an ongoing participation." A widely acclaimed poet and finalist for the National Book Award, Addonizio meditates on her own process as she encourages writers to explore both their personal and political worlds, to seek inspiration from poets new and old, and to discover the rich poetic resources of the Internet. Lively, accessible, and informative, Ordinary Genius?provides wisdom gleaned through personal experience and offers a heady variety of writing exercises. Chapters on gender, addiction, race and class, metaphor and line invite each individual writer to find and to hone his or her unique voice. This is the perfect book for both experienced writers and beginners eager to glimpse the angel of poetry.
Author: Rainer Maria Rilke
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Release Date: 2011-05-01
Sonnets to Orpheus is Rainer Maria Rilke’s first and only sonnet sequence. It is an undisputed masterpiece by one of the greatest modern poets, translated here by a master of translation, David Young. Rilke revived and transformed the traditional sonnet sequence in the Sonnets. Instead of centering on love for a particular person, as has many other sonneteers, he wrote an extended love poem to the world, celebrating such diverse things as mirrors, dogs, fruit, breathing, and childhood. Many of the sonnets are addressed to two recurrent figures: the god Orpheus (prototype of the poet) and a young dancer, whose death is treated elegiacally. These ecstatic and meditative lyric poems are a kind of manual on how to approach the world – how to understand and love it. David Young’s is the first most sensitive of the translations of this work, superior to other translations in sound and sense. He captures Rilke’s simple, concrete, and colloquial language, writing with a precision close to the original.
Release Date: 2001
Genre: American literature
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