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American Contemporary Poetry - Individual Poets
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Paperback      ISBN: 0143133187
Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry

One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America's most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead

Sonnets that reckon with Donald Trump's America. -The New York Times

In seventy poems bearing the same title, Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of American, of assassin, and of love in the sonnet form. Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these poems are haunted by the country's past and future eras and errors, its dreams and nightmares. Inventive, compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, and bewildered--the wonders of this new collection are irreducible and stunning.
The Big Smoke
The Big Smoke
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0143123726
A finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in Poetry--a collection that examines the myth and history of the prizefighter Jack Johnson

The legendary Jack Johnson (1878-1946) was a true American creation. The child of emancipated slaves, he overcame the violent segregationism of Jim Crow, challenging white boxers--and white America--to become the first African-American heavyweight world champion. The Big Smoke, Adrian Matejka's third work of poetry, follows the fighter's journey from poverty to the most coveted title in sports through the multi-layered voices of Johnson and the white women he brazenly loved. Matejka's book is part historic reclamation and part interrogation of Johnson's complicated legacy, one that often misremembers the magnetic man behind the myth.

Felon: Poems
Felon
Poems
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393652149

Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems--canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace--and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of postincarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person's life.

The poems move between traditional and newfound forms with power and agility--from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume's radiant conclusion. Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Traditionally, redaction erases what is top secret; in Felon, Betts redacts what is superfluous, bringing into focus the profound failures of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates.

Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a felon.

Bicycles: Love Poems
Bicycles
Love Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0061726494

In her legendary career, artist and activist Nikki Giovanni has established herself as a writer who can entertain and challenge, and a voice for social justice who can inform and inspire in times of national crisis. Controversial, revolutionary, ethereal, or illuminating, her poems about race, Black lives, violence, gender, and family move readers of all ages and backgrounds.

With BICYCLES, she's collected poems that serve as a companion to her 1997 LOVE POEMS. An instant classic, that book--romantic, bold, and erotic--expressed notions of love in ways that were delightfully unexpected. In the years that followed, Giovanni experienced losses both public and private. A mother's passing, a sister's, too. A massacre on the campus at which she teaches. And just when it seemed life was spinning out of control, Giovanni rediscovered love--what she calls the antidote. Here romantic love--and all its manifestations, the physical touch, the emotional pull, the hungry heart--is distilled as never before by one of our most talented poets. In a time of national crisis or personal crisis, this is a collection that will open minds and change hearts as only the best art can.

How to Love a Country: Poems
How to Love a Country
Poems
Hardcover      ISBN: 0807025917
A timely and moving collection from the renowned inaugural poet on issues facing our country and people--immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more.

Through an oracular yet intimate and accessible voice, Richard Blanco addresses the complexities and contradictions of our nationhood and the unresolved sociopolitical matters that affect us all. Blanco digs deep into the very marrow of our nation through poems that interrogate our past and present, grieve our injustices, and note our flaws, but also remember to celebrate our ideals and cling to our hopes. Charged with the utopian idea that no single narrative is more important than another, this book asserts that America could and ought someday to be a country where all narratives converge into one, a country we can all be proud to love and where we can all truly thrive.

The poems form a mosaic of seemingly varied topics: the Pulse nightclub massacre; an unexpected encounter on a visit to Cuba; the forced exile of 8,500 Navajos in 1868; a lynching in Alabama; the arrival of a young Chinese woman at Angel Island in 1938; the incarceration of a gifted writer; and the poet's abiding love for his partner, who he is finally allowed to wed as a gay man. But despite each poem's unique concern or occasion, all are fundamentally struggling with the overwhelming question of how to love this country.
Museum of the Americas
Museum of the Americas
Paperback      ISBN: 0143133446
Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry

Winner of the National Poetry Series Competition, selected by Cornelius Eady--an exploration in verse of imperial appropriation and Mexican American cultural identity

Marvelous, argumentative, and curiosity-provoking --The New York Times Book Review

The poems in J. Michael Martinez's third collection of poetry circle around how the perceived body comes to be coded with the trans-historical consequences of an imperial narrative. Engaging beautiful and otherworldly Mexican casta paintings, morbid photographic postcards depicting the bodies of dead Mexicans, the strange journey of the wood and cork leg of General Santa Anna, and Martinez's own family lineage, Museum of the Americas gives accounts of migrant bodies caught beneath, and fashioned under, a racializing aesthetic gaze. Martinez questions how knowledge of the body is organized through visual perception of that body, hypothesizing the corporeal as a repository of the human situation, a nexus of culture. Museum of the Americas' poetic revives and repurposes the persecuted ethnic body from the appropriations that render it an art object and, therefore, diposable.
A Fortune for Your Disaster
A Fortune for Your Disaster
Paperback      ISBN: 1947793438

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.

The Rain in Portugal: Poems
The Rain in Portugal
Poems
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679644067
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins comes a twelfth collection of poetry offering over fifty new poems that showcase the generosity, wit, and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal to call him "America's favorite poet."

The Rain in Portugal--a title that admits he's not much of a rhymer--sheds Collins's ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical--"the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they're in Minneapolis"--to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, Collins here contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry.

Praise for The Rain in Portugal

"Nothing in Billy Collins's twelfth book . . . is exactly what readers might expect, and that's the charm of this collection."--The Washington Post

"This new collection shows Collins] at his finest. . . . Certain to please his large readership and a good place for readers new to Collins to begin."--Library Journal

"Disarmingly playful and wistfully candid."--Booklist
Invisible Strings: Poems
Invisible Strings
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 155597581x

New poetry by Jim Moore, who "elevates economy of phrase to an art" (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

No, I don't know
the way to get there.
Two empty suitcases sit in the corner,
if that's any kind of clue.
--from "Almost Sixty"

Brief, jagged, haiku-like, Jim Moore's poems in Invisible Strings observe time moving past us moment by moment. In that accrual, line by line, is the anxiety and acceptance of aging, the mounting losses of friends to death or divorce, the accounting of frequent flyer miles and cups of coffee, and the poet's own process of writing. It is a world of both diminishment and triumphs. Moore has assembled his most emotionally direct and lyrically spare collection, one that amounts to his book of days, seasons, and stark realizations.

Tropic of Squalor: Poems
Tropic of Squalor
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0062699830

A new volume of poetry from the New York Times bestselling and esteemed author of The Liar's Club and Lit.

Long before she earned accolades for her genre-defining memoirs, Mary Karr was winning poetry prizes. Now the beloved author returns with a collection of bracing poems as visceral and deeply felt and hilarious as her memoirs.

In Tropic of Squalor, Karr dares to address the numinous--that mystery some of us hope towards in secret, or maybe dare to pray to. The squalor of meaninglessness that every thoughtful person wrestles with sits at the core of human suffering, and Karr renders it with power--illness, death, love's agonized disappointments. Her brazen verse calls us out of our psychic swamplands and into that hard-won awareness of the divine hiding in the small moments that make us human. In a single poem she can generate tears, horror, empathy, laughter, and peace. She never preaches. But whether you're an adamant atheist, a pilgrim, or skeptically curious, these poems will urge you to find an inner light in the most baffling hours of darkness.