African American Poetry
Don't Call Us Dead: Poems
Don't Call Us Dead
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 1555977855

Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry
Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection

" Smith's] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy."--The New Yorker

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality--the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood--and a diagnosis of HIV positive. "Some of us are killed / in pieces," Smith writes, "some of us all at once." Don't Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America--"Dear White America"--where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
Bone
Bone
Paperback      ISBN: 014313261x
"yrsa daley-ward's bone is a symphony of breaking and mending. . . . she lays her hands on the pulse of the thing. . . . an expert storyteller. of the rarest. and purest kind." --nayyirah waheed, author of salt.

From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, a poignant collection of poems about the heart, life, and the inner self.

Foreword by Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir

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 resonates 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."
A Fortune for Your Disaster
A Fortune for Your Disaster
Paperback      ISBN: 1947793438

"When an author's unmitigated brilliance shows up on every page, it's tempting to skip a description and just say, Read this Such is the case with this breathlessly powerful, deceptively breezy book of poetry." --Booklist, Starred Review

In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author's black friends wanted to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'." It's about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside--from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor's dogs--to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.

Wade in the Water: Poems
Wade in the Water
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 1555978363

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.

A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter
A Good Cry
What We Learn from Tears and Laughter
Paperback      ISBN: 0062399462

The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements, turned hearts and informed generations. She's been hailed as a firebrand, a radical, a courageous activist who has spoken out on the sensitive issues that touch our national consciousness, including race and gender, social justice, protest, violence in the home and in the streets, and why black lives matter.

One of America's most celebrated poets looks inward in this powerful collection, a rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.

As energetic and relevant as ever, Nikki now offers us an intimate, affecting, and illuminating look at her personal history and the mysteries of her own heart. In A Good Cry, she takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents' marriage and her early life. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and joy: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her. Nikki also celebrates her good friend, Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou's death in 2014.

Life on Mars
Life on Mars
Paperback      ISBN: 1555975844

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize

* Poet Laureate of the United States *
* A
New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice *
* A New Yorker, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year *

New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith, whose lyric brilliance and political impulses never falter (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself
To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What
Would your life say if it could talk?
--from No Fly Zone


With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures, and oddities of human existence. In these brilliant new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant, and revisits the kitschy concepts like love and illness now relegated to the Museum of Obsolescence. These poems reveal the realities of life lived here, on the ground, where a daughter is imprisoned in the basement by her own father, where celebrities and pop stars walk among us, and where the poet herself loses her father, one of the engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. With this remarkable third collection, Smith establishes herself among the best poets of her generation.
Wade in the Water: Poems
Wade in the Water
Poems
Hardcover      ISBN: 1555978134

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.
How to Be Drawn
How to Be Drawn
Paperback      ISBN: 0143126881
A finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award

In How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes's background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates the principle of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes's award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.
Silencer
Silencer
Paperback      ISBN: 132871554x
"Tough talk for tough times. Silencer is both lyrical and merciless-Wicker's mind hums in overdrive, but with the calm and clarity of a marksman."
--Tim Seibles, author of One Turn Around the Sun and finalist for the National Book Award

A suburban park, church, a good job, a cocktail party for the literati: to many, these sound like safe places, but for a young black man these insular spaces don't keep out the news--and the actual threat--of gun violence and police brutality, or the biases that keeps body, property, and hope in the crosshairs. Continuing conversations begun by Citizen and Between the World and Me, Silencer sings out the dangers of unspoken taboos present on quiet Midwestern cul-de-sacs and in stifling professional settings, the dangers in closing the window on "a rainbow coalition of cops doing calisthenics around/a six-foot, three-hundred-fifty-pound man, choked back into the earth for what/looked a lot, to me, like sport."

Here, the language and cadences of hip-hop and academia meet prayer--these poems are crucibles, from which emerge profound allegories and subtle elegies, sharp humor and incisive critiques.

"There is not a moment in this book when you are allowed to forget the complexities of a black man's life in America. These poems evoke so much--strength, beauty, passion, fear. There is the quiet, ironic pleasure of life on a cul-de-sac juxtaposed with the tensions of always wondering when a police officer's gun or fists might get in the way of the black body. The stylistic range of these poems, the wit, and the intelligence of them offers so much to be admired. There is nothing silent about Silencer. What an outstanding second book from Marcus Wicker." --Roxane Gay

"Marcus Wicker's masterful and hard-hitting second collection is exactly the book we need in this time of malfeasance, systemic violence, and the double talk that obfuscates it all... He writes the kinds of vital, clear-eyed poems we can turn to when codeswitching slogans and online power fists no longer get the job done. These are poems whose ink is made from anger and quarter notes. They remind us that to remain silent in the face of aggression is to be complicit and to be complicit is not an option for any of us."
--Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke and finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize

"Silencer is an important book of American poetry: wonderfully subtle, wholly original, and subversive. Politics and social realities aside, this is foremost a book that delights in language, how it sounds to the ear and plays to the mind. We have suburban complacency played against hip-hop resistance, Christian prayers uttered in the face of dread violence, real meaning pitted against materialism, and love, in its largest measure, set against ignorance.To say Silencer is a tour de force would be an understatement. What a work of true art this is, and what a gift Marcus Wicker has given to us."
--Maurice Manning, author of One Man's Dark and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

"Silencer disarms and dazzles with its wisdom and full-throated wit. This] collection snaps to attention with a soundtrack full of salty swagger and a most skillful use of formal inventions that'll surely knock you out. Here in these pages, sailfish and hummingbirds assert their frenetic movements on a planet simmering with racial tensions, which in turn forms its own kind of bopping and buoyant religion. What a thrill to read these poems that provoke and beg for beauty and song-calling into the darkest of nights."
--Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish and poetry editor at Orion Magazine

My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter
My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter
Paperback      ISBN: 1608467678

My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter is poet Aja Monet's ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters--the tiny gods who fight to change the world.

Textured with the sights and sounds of growing up in East New York in the nineties, to school on the South Side of Chicago, all the way to the olive groves of Palestine, these stunning poems tackle racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy.