Birnam Wood is one of the most impressive collections of poetry I've read in recent years. It is a work that can sit easily beside Seferis's great poems of exile and return, or beside Elytis's gigantic sequence of the Albanian campaign. This is Europe yearning: 'Exalted were you in my dreams,/ Almost inaccessible like an island/ Sought and sought for years.' -Thomas McCarthy, Poetry International
The poems in Allison Joseph’s latest collection are smart, shameless, and empowered confessions of the best kind. In semi-autobiographical verse highlighting in turns light-hearted and harsh realities of modern black womanhood, these poems take the reader down “A History of African-American Hair,” visit with both Grace Jones and the Venus de Milo, send Janis Joplin to cheerleading camp, bemoan a treacherous first pair of high heels, and discuss “vagina business.” Funny, but never flippant, and always forthcoming about the author’s own flaws and foibles, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman is sure to keep readers entranced, entertained, and enlightened.
Old-school songs play through and beneath these soulful poems, the radio hits of rhythm `n' blues pioneers like Solomon Burke and Junior Wells. Yet what lifts our journey to a new level is the presence of a winsome comic hero named Super Dan, an extraterrestrial with a canine curiosity about human life, from the alcoholic beverages we favor to the intricacies of women's lingerie. Playing Virgil to our Dante, Super Dan takes us deep into that most mysterious of worlds, our own. Beauty awaits you, reader, as do laughter and music. -- David Kirby
Rowing Inland, Jim Daniels's fifteenth book of poetry is a time machine that takes the reader back to the Metro Detroit of his youth and then accelerates toward the future. With humor and empathy, the author looks at his own family's challenges and those of the surrounding community where the legacy handed down from generation to generation is one of survival. The economic hits that this community has to endure create both an uncertainty about its future and a determined tenacity.
"Love betrayed. Lives wrecked. Silence at water’s edge. How does one dissect catastrophe and make peace with it? Lynne Goldsmith searches for answers in this brave, painstakingly rendered collection, which depicts in unflinching detail, the silence and longing of lives that know no poetry. Do bare landscapes listen? Goldsmith asks. Despite all, she finds resilience and an answer: Yes."
—Robert Leonard Reid, author of Because It is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West, a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
From the very first poem in this quiet and intimate collection, Robert Krut inventively crafts image after shape-shifting image, each suggesting an alternate universe designed to help us better understand our real one. From a preacher in a lentil rainstorm to a doorman wearing a hat full of beetles, we meet people (and see places) filled not only with what is real but with what is possible. Between these magical details runs a clear and steady narrative: a speaker who dons the "too-small sweater of summer." Who knows that "danger isn't a bomb, danger is a drip." And who survives "this pension of suffering." The graceful poems in The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire beautifully balance being both agent and acted upon. Krut is a poet of vivid imagery and distinctive voice. --Patricia Colleen Murphy, Hemming Flame
The poems in The Taste of the Earth weave together personal history with the complex cultural heritage of Hedy Habra’s countries of origin. Steeped in memories, loss and longing, these poems invite the reader to revisit Egypt's mythical past and Lebanon’s turmoil, recalling the intersecting roots of culture and language in an act of artistic recollection that bridges time and space. Through the lyrical power of the senses, Habra’s poems bring to life scenes of strife and upheaval as well as profound joy. Such images linger in the mind and keep evolving in search for the permanence of beauty within suffering as they are evoked by trees, houses, fountains and familiar objects, each voice offering with its testimony a broader perspective on the interconnectedness of worlds and universality of emotions.
In Eleanor Kedney's BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY, a brother's heroin addiction is at the center of a family where love is difficult to accept from one another, yet it is the thing that delivers understanding and forgiveness to a sister who bravely carries the family legacy.
"Grief, as we all know, is a country without borders, without laws. In her stunning first collection, Eleanor Kedney speaks to it in a language of metaphor, of love and loss, a language of 'howl, full throttle, singing the way children sing / before they learn not to.' These brave, forthright poems deal with a lost, addicted brother, an absent father, a mother making do with a fate as 'thin and papery as moth wings.' Her true subject is pain and the solace of poetry in dealing with it. Indeed, 'the wind is a dangerous thing, ' as is the courage it takes to observe and take note of the beautiful colors of 'a cold and long white sky.' There is magic in these poems, the magic of the imagination used to make remedy and comfort out of the pain of loss. A bravo performance, in so many important ways." —Philip Schultz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
In Star Witness, Orlando Ferrand's rite of passage, the poet lets his personal experiences serve as fuel to ruminate about issues directly related to the human condition. He tells his story with the hope that we may formulate our own questions and consider deeper truths. Does the soul have a gender? Is there a universal identity beyond our ethnic ancestry? Can knowledge become wisdom in our journey on Earth?
Through the retelling of some ancient tales, superstitions, Judeo-Christian legends and motifs, as well as biographical impersonations in the midst of devastation and hope, the poet contends with circumstances revolving around the highs and lows of love and loss, the violence often associated with lust, the alienation experienced by those in exile, and other acute existential crises, and wrestles at the same time with the possibility that we may be living in the twilight of human civilization.
From the rural South Texas of the nineteen fifties to a desert mesa in New Mexico many years later, Anyone’s Son illuminates the moments of a life animated by the author’s yearning, at its root sexual, for the company of another man. In five sections, each one corresponding to a stage in the life delineated here, the author offers scenes from his childhood on a small farm, as well as moments of conflicted adolescence. He explores unmitigated sexual pleasure, sometimes fraught with anguish and shame. He remembers scenes from marriage and fatherhood, from the wreckage and rebuilding that came at midlife. And finally, glimpses from a second marriage, this time unconflicted, to a man, to the right man. At its heart, Anyone’s Son poses an implicit question: What is identity?
Reading Was Body provided a jolt I didn't realize I needed. Using tropes of iteration and erasure, medical mythologies, nude portraiture, phantasmagoria, and "theme and variation" on phrases ranging from "cellar door" to "lighter fluid," Billie R. Tadros bewitches us with language's associative properties. Fun House Mirror Sonnets? Here. The emotional semantics of Hollandaise sauce? Here. These are poems of loss and reckoning; yet these nimble poems also claim life, in tooth and claw, and the possibilities of love. "A Ferris wheel spelling/appellations," a speaker observes, "bulb color." I'm grateful to take the ride. --Sandra Beasley
Heroine may cause a man to feel invincible. Cocaine may make a man feel like he can run past the speed of light. Ecstasy may make a man feel like every nerve in his body is coming alive. Still, no matter how potent those substances may be, it's a fact, love is the most potent drug of all. This fact is especially true when Juan awakens from a two-month coma, unsure of what his life had been. The only time he feels he is close to the truth is in the presence of women with specific characteristics. This shaky memory causes Juan to become the DEA's secret weapon. Once recovered, he is quickly sent on a mission to become a honeypot for the battered, abused wives of Narcos elites.
Kirsten Hampton set out not to write an authoritative history, but rather a poetic narrative about her family that is useful in the ripening reply to questions on an equitable society posed by Loving v. Virginia and larger history. While scholars and media pose hypotheses on the impact of the Loving case, Hampton contributes - through intimate, human experience - to the broadening of our modern consideration of love, law, gender, culture, identity and race.
The World Is A Dark And Lovely Place is a poetry book that describes nature, the fear of drowning, friendship, love and loss in a world that is at times dark but beautiful. My writings here are somewhat influenced by the classic style of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost; but the words, the mood and the settings are entirely my own.
Are you searching for something more in your life? Metamorphosis is a personal testimony of how God can transform lives. Covering topics of depression, anxiety, and searching for something more, the poetry serves as a vessel for God’s light. The words provide hope for the future and insight on how to be strong through Jesus Christ. Anyone yearning for something more will find renewal in this poetry.
This book serves as a treasure map to find the visual and poetic delights that give Vermont its reputation as a haven for the soul. Like the intensity of fresh love where the lover thinks of the beloved night and day, Jon Meyer’s Love Poems From Vermont: Reflections On An Inner And Outer State will last long after you put it down and prompt you to pick it up again.
This stunning book contains 66 poignant poems, each imbedded in a photo image of a beautiful place in Vermont. The poems came first, then over the last 16 years the author searched for the right photo image of Vermont for each poem.
When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a dancer. Two months after my retirement, I joined two Zumba classes and, two months later, a ballroom dancing class. I felt free and lighthearted doing what I wanted to do and what I’m passionate about. I also started exploring myself, and while doing so, I looked back at the hardships I had gone through in more than five decades of my life and how I evolved. I’m here more courageous and stronger to continue my life journey. I had written poems before, occasionally, and just recently discovered that I can motivate, encourage, and uplift others through my other passion: writing poetry. Poems that inspire us to rise above circumstances for no matter how hard and how many times we fall, we can get up and keep on going. It does not matter how slow or how long it takes to get back up. It is one’s unfaltering spirit, will, and determination that count, giving our all on whatever we do and bringing out the best in us. Everything is within us, within our reach. It is all up to us. Peace, contentment, and happiness are decisions, and it is up to us to decide.
Two young Latino college students from backgrounds of poverty, with divergent life stories and roots, made vows to live life together--vows buffeted through five decades as their children were born and the couple's careers unfolded, vows tested as they evolved in their values and perspectives on matters miniscule and mighty. But the most vital of all held constant: their commitment to their family and one another. Thus is the foundation of Dearest Papa: A Memoir in Poems, by nationally-recognized author and former Poet Laureate Thelma T. Reyna.
After June is written with a musician’s affinity for and attention to pattern, rooted in the author’s experience as a choral singer since the age of 14. The collection engages complexly with religion, loss, and womanhood. Raised in a Conservative Mennonite community, Gingerich speaks “with an exile’s voice” (Austin Hummel), interrogating the traditions that shaped her with a critical but tender eye. After June grapples with the pain and beauty of living truthfully in a world where the roles we play for others are often in conflict with our own desires. This struggle animates an ambitious first collection, following the writer across the rich landscapes of Ohio and West Virginia, like “an artist, carrying her tools from one job to another” (“Window with Pink Geraniums and Aching Body”), ever searching for the meaning of home, and belonging.
In his return to poetry, David Di Paolo brilliantly examines the socially-charged topics of our times through a collection of poems, a short story, and music. Animal Spirits navigates through our sometimes volatile and divided existence through the symbolism and wisdom of the animals around us, allowing us to gain insight from their life lessons. With lovely artwork from Dace Kidd, Animal Spirits captures the essence of our humanity, and what the totems from our history can teach us about ourselves.
Rich. Dense. Hopeful. Can I Tell You Something? (CITYS) is a tender and brutal book of philosophy. Its collection is composed of 100 poems about age, addiction, disease, poverty, romance, art, friendship and more. Karl's poems are often told through story and capture a temperament not commonly found in modern poetry.
Flores’ poems are a nuanced assembly of our questions, our instincts, and our most concealed emotions like shame, purposelessness, and lust. These poems are accompanied by fifty illustrations by Marta Maszkiewicz to create a powerful thrill for readers looking to be inspired by new ideas and ultimately examine their own lives.
Award-winning author Mathieu Cailler's Catacombs of the Heart takes a soulful look at the human experience in both micro and macro form, exploring second chances, consanguinity, technology, death, and the overall din of daily life.
Jessica Mehta is poet who writes without shame about body, race, and belonging. There's both an unflinching boldness and an unexpected tenderness to the way she treats the rich cast within these pages — the ghosts of past selves, lost loves, and departed family. Constellations of My Body takes readers on an open-hearted journey through life's fires asking what we inherit and what we make ourselves, what it means to be native, to be other, to feel lost and, ultimately, to belong.
In Jessica Mehta’s tenth book, DRAG ME THROUGH THE MESS uncovers what it means to be an indigenous woman in a society where “NDNs” are seen as fashion accessories at best and obsolete at worst. Each poem grips the reader and reveals a king of honest emotion and telling that’s almost unnerving. All the ugliness and hurts of life are explored with a kind of lyrical beauty that causes deep contrasts and juxtapositions. No matter the subject, readers will relate to the work and themes because at the heart of each is a shared experience. The “mess” of life is one everyone shares, and Mehta touches on emotions and feelings at subcutaneous levels.
The poems in Fabulous Beast explore what it means to be a woman divided between biology, ambition, and desire. By reimagining the traditional forms of fable, fairy tale, and myth, and borrowing a bit from magical realism, Fabulous Beast contends with decisions faced by women who no longer fit neatly in traditional roles and so must construct new ones.
Five Oceans in a Teaspoon is an innovative, beautiful and moving collection of short visual poems written by muckraking journalist/poet Dennis J Bernstein, visualized by pioneer designer/author Warren Lehrer.
Thirty-five years after the publication of their book/play French Fries, considered a classic in visual literature and expressive typography, Bernstein and Lehrer have reunited to complete a book of visual poetry they began forty years ago. As with his journalism, Bernstein’s poems reflect the struggle of everyday people trying to survive in the face of adversity.
Lupita Almaraz Aguilar is as hilarious as she is serious, and as quirky as she is brilliant. The Author has been published in University and Law School Journal Publications. This compilation of poems includes her life-long writings that span forty-five years. Some will make you laugh; with others you will reminisce; some will raise an eyebrow; and others will make you cry; because something in this book just resonates with you or someone you know. Her small-town upbringing is the crux of the Author's friendly character and serious determination.
My hope is that this collection of inspirational poetry reflects both the best and worst experiences we face in our life. Most importantly, the poems are a way of offering inspiration, hope, and encouragement to our daily lives. These poems are presented with the intention to promote personal growth and elevating your spiritual growth. I hope you'll read these poems with earnest reflection and consider how they apply to your past and present life.
A poet and anthropologist explores the surprising world of war games in mock Middle Eastern villages in which the U.S. military trains. With deft lyrical attention, these documentary poems reveal the nuanced culture and violence of the war machine--alive and well within these basecamp villages, the American military, and, ultimately, the human heart. Kill Class is based on Nomi Stone's two years of fieldwork in mock Middle Eastern villages at military bases across the United States.
In Karen Kevorkian's third poetry book, the title, Quivira, is a metaphor for a place of unimaginable riches, never to be found, which lured early explorers across the arid southwest. The intensity of such longing is not unknown by those making contemporary quests. The force of such feeling, in sharp contrast to the spare, particular beauties of the High Desert, speaks not only of desire but also to the rough accommodations made for desire unsatisfied. The book is personal but the personal is never detached from events of culture and history.
Recognized by Nikki Giovanni to have “vision beyond his years,” Tiriq R. Callaway delivers his debut poetry book shine through our shade: an evolution of self love, a collection of poetry and prose about resilience and survival. The experiences of hate, prejudice, grief, faith, and hope to self love.
It explores the the problem of acting out of fear, desperation & lack of knowledge of self that lead young adults & many others to a life of careless decisions & adverse consequences. Using personal encounters - as told through several relatable stories & heart-wrenching occurrences from an African American male’s perspective, the author delivers a melodic, vibration of inspirational poetry.
This book evokes emotion that will inspire & illuminate the minds of readers to find the light within, so they too can shine through life’s shade.
Lucas Jacob's debut collection contains something for every reader. A trio of sonnets encompassing both the eighteenth-century missions and the twentieth-century dance halls of San Antonio; a section-long poem sequence that begins and ends in a prison yard in Stalin's gulag, and in between travels the world in the company of history's greatest agricultural botanist; a series of playful interrogations of the rhetoric of the forty-fifth President of the United States. These poems honor the need to find the words for experiences, thoughts, and feelings that exist at, or just beyond, the edge of language.
An extended poetic sequence by Leslie Ullman. Ms. Ullman is author of four poetry collections, most recently Progress on the Subject of Immensity (University of New Mexico Press, 2013. Her first collection, Natural Histories, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and Slow Work Through Sand won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She has published a hybrid book of craft essays and writing exercises, Library of Small Happiness (3: A Taos Press, 2017). She is Professor Emerita at University of Texas-El Paso and teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. Now a resident of Taos, New Mexico, she teaches skiing in the winters at Taos Ski Valley.