Rich in religious and artistic imagery, Trouble the Water is an intriguing exploration of race, sexuality, and identity, particularly where self-hood is in constant flux. These intimate, sensual poems interweave pop culture and history—moving from the Bible through several artistic eras—to interrogate what it means to be, as Austin says, fully human as a “queer, black body” in 21st century America.
Author: Rafael Campo
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2013-10-02
In his sixth collection of poetry, the celebrated poet-physician Rafael Campo examines the primal relationship between language, empathy, and healing. As masterfully crafted as they are viscerally powerful, these poems propose voice itself as a kind of therapeutic medium. For all that most ails us, Alternative Medicine offers the balm of song and the salve of the imagination: from the wounds of our stubborn differences of identity, to the pain of alienation in a world of unfeeling technologies, to the shame of the persistent injustices in our society, Campo’s poetry displays a deep understanding of hurt as the possibility for healing. Demonstrating an abiding faith in our survival, this stunning, heartfelt book ultimately embraces the great diversity of our ways of knowing and dreaming, of needing and loving, and of living and dying.
The title of this richly textured book derives from two of the three mysterious letters left by Emily Dickinson--the ones addressed to "Dear Master." Lucie Brock-Boido has imagined a series of letters echoing devices found in Dickinson's own work. "We feel we are in the presence of something entirely new, " says Bonnie Costello in The Boston Review. "Not even Brock-Broido's wonderful first book, A Hunger, prepares us for this bold encounter." From the Trade Paperback edition.
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
Author: Richie Hofmann
Publisher: Alice James Books
Release Date: 2015-10-12
"The delicate arc of these poems intimates—rather than tells—a love story: celebration, fear of loss, storm, abandonment, an opening forth. Richie Hofmann disciplines his natural elegance into the sterner recognitions that matter: 'I am a little white omnivore,' the speaker of Second Empire discovers. Mastering directness and indirection, Hofmann's poems break through their own beauty."—Rosanna Warren This debut's spare, delicate poems explore ways we experience the afterlife of beauty while ornately examining lust, loss, and identity. Drawing upon traditions of amorous sonnets, these love-elegies desire an artistic and sexual connection to others—other times, other places—in order to understand aesthetic pleasures the speaker craves. Distant and formal, the poems feel both ancient and contemporary. Antique Book The sky was crazed with swallows. We walked in the frozen grass of your new city, I was gauzed with sleep. Trees shook down their gaudy nests. The ceramic pots were caparisoned with snow. I was jealous of the river, how the light broke it, of the skein of windows where we saw ourselves. Where we walked, the ice cracked like an antique book, opening and closing. The leaves beneath it were the marbled pages. Richie Hofmann is the winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University MFA program, he is currently a Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry at Emory University.
A unique anthology that illuminates the history and the art of translating poetry into English Into English presents poems, translations, and commentaries in an extraordinary format for readers to experience the intricacy and artistry of poetry in translation. Editors Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer invited twenty-five contributors, all of whom are translators and most of whom are also poets, to select one poem in another language and three English translations of it and provide an essay about the challenges of translating it. This wide-format anthology offers the original poem side by side with the translations, so readers can compare several different ways a poem can be rendered into English. Organized chronologically, the anthology opens with a poem in ancient Greek by Sappho beside translations by Anne Carson, Willis Barnstone, and Mary Barnard, followed by an essay by Karen Emmerich. The original poems are by poets from across time and from around the world, including Basho, Rilke, Akhmatova, Garc�a Lorca, Szymborska, Amichai, and Adonis. The languages represented are many, from Latin to Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Haitian Creole. More than seventy translators are included, among them Robert Bly, Ruth Fainlight, David Hinton, Rosemary Lloyd, Khaled Mattawa, and W. S. Merwin.Into English becomes a chorus in celebration of world poetry and translation—what George Kalogeris, quoting Virgil, describes as “song replying to song replying to song.” Contributors include Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Willis Barnstone, Chana Bloch, Karen Emmerich, Danielle Legros Georges, George Kalogeris, J. Kates, Alexis Levitin, Jennifer Moxley, Carl Phillips, Rebecca Seiferle, Adam Sorkin, Susan Stewart, Cole Swensen, Arthur Sze, Stephen Tapscott, Sidney Wade, Ellen Dor� Watson, and David Young.
The Lower Mississippi River is its own life force. Those governed by the river plead, beg, and offer gratitude. Above all, they understand the Mississippi is a god who takes care of them but also takes their beloveds away. Dobbins began River Mouth, a body of narrative persona poems, when Memphis flooded in 2011. She turned to The Memphis Public Library and the steamboat smokestacks of last century, writing with an urgency to heed history's words and the persons--the ones calling out and imagined between lines of research. Ghost queens and their alligator god speak through the River Mouth with deckhands, sharecroppers, shanty preachers, and pilots. They school us not just in the meaning of family and work, but they expose the farce into which all of us--regardless of geography and time--are lured: the farce of control."Dobbins is not only a writer of poetry but a student, attuned to the ancestry of the elegiac, whose strong grasp of craft reflects how and why the tradition of lament has been so integral to poetry's migratory patterns. Poets like Dobbins simultaneously follow and influence its direction. Whether a lover, a landscape, or even a former version of the self, we are beings surviving loss; we are beings surviving the tension of movement--from past to present, and the question of the future... Dobbins proves a trustworthy guide into the elegiac. From subtle, extrapolating metaphor to repetition of themes and images, from careful line breaks to lyrical assonance, she proves to be a poet to be watched." --Caitlin Mackenzie, The Rumpus "Over and over in these poems, Dobbins navigates between husband and lover, commitment and infidelity, between the graves of the dead and bed of the living. Image by image, the narrator of this book seeks dominion over the chaos of the personal. In the end, the poet recognizes and her poems tell us, there is only trying. I cannot wait to read what Heather Dobbins next brings us." --Sarah Wentzel, The Common
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.
Author: Nikky Finney
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2007
More than one hundred contemporary black poets laugh at and cry about, pray for and curse, flee and return to the South in this collection of poems, which features contributions by Nikki Giovanni, Kevin Young, Cornelius Eady, Sonia Sanchez, and other notables. Simultaneous.
Author: Phillip Williams
Publisher: Alice James Books
Release Date: 2016-01-18
"This gorgeous debut is a 'debut' in chronology only. . . . Need is everywhere—in the unforgiving images, in lines so delicate they seem to break apart in the hands, and in the reader who will enter these poems and never want to leave."—Adrian Matejka Phillip B. Williams investigates the dangers of desire, balancing narratives of addiction, murders, and hate crimes with passionate, uncompromising depth. Formal poems entrenched in urban landscapes crack open dialogues of racism and homophobia rampant in our culture. Multitudinous voices explore one's ability to harm and be harmed, which uniquely juxtaposes the capacity to revel in both experiences. From "Agenda": I. While two women kissed in their house I watched a jury hide bullets in a Black boy's body, all rigor mortis and bass line. I landed in Chicago, a lead box. The airport showed CNN and a Black mother could not be heard over gate changes, bistro jazz. Subtitles gathered and faded like gossip while I made my mouth vacant in my hometown. I carried a fever of insufferable noise that skin, illuminated by a hoodie, held close, a forced kin. Phillip B. Williams has authored two chapbooks: Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc.) and Burn (YesYes Books). A Cave Canem graduate, he received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Poetry, the Southern Review, West Branch , and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing as a Chancellor's Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of Vinyl Poetry.
*Finalist for the 2017 PEN Open Book Award* *Finalist for the 2016 National Book Award* Solmaz Sharif's astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family's and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter. At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout this collection are words and phrases lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; in their seamless inclusion, Sharif exposes the devastating euphemisms deployed to sterilize the language, control its effects, and sway our collective resolve. But Sharif refuses to accept this terminology as given, and instead turns it back on its perpetrators. "Let it matter what we call a thing," she writes. "Let me look at you." Daily I sit with the language they've made of our language to NEUTRALIZE the CAPABILITY of LOW DOLLAR VALUE ITEMs like you. You are what is referred to as a "CASUALTY." --from "Personal Effects"
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.
Author: Liz Kotz
Publisher: MIT Press (MA)
Release Date: 2010-02
A critical study of the use of language and the proliferation of text in 1960s art and experimental music, with close examinations of works by Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, John Cage, Douglas Huebler, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, La Monte Young, and others.