American Contemporary Poetry - Individual Poets
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.

Dispatch: Poems
Dispatch
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0892555033
The Second Sex
The Second Sex
Paperback      ISBN: 0143126644
A second collection from a poet of "sheer joy and dizzy command" (The New York Times)

Upon its publication in 2012, Alien vs. Predator, the debut collection by Michael Robbins, became one of the hottest and most celebrated works of poetry in the country, winning acclaim for its startling freshness and originality, and leading critics to say that it was the most likely book in years to open up poetry to a new readership.
Robbins's poems are strange, wonderful, wild, and irrationally exuberant, mashing up high and low culture with "a sky-blue originality of utterance" (The New York Times). The thirty-six new poems in The Second Sex carry over the music, attitude, hilarity, and vulgarity of Alien vs. Predator, while also working deeper autobiographical and political veins.
Arias
Arias
Paperback      ISBN: 1524711608
Following her recent Odes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet gives us radical new poems of intimate life and political conscience, of race and class and a mother's violence.

The atom bomb, Breaking Bad, Rasputin, the cervix, her mother's return from the dead: the peerless Sharon Olds once again takes up subject matter that is both difficult and ordinary, elusive and everywhere. Each aria is shaped by its unique harmonics and moral logic, as Olds stands center stage to sing of sexual pleasure and chance wisdom, and faces the tragic life of our nation and our planet. "I cannot say I did not ask / to be born," begins one aria, which considers how, with what actions, with what thirst, we each ask for a turn, and receive our portion on earth. Olds delivers these pieces with all the passion, anguish, and solo force that make a great performance, in the process enlarging the soul of her reader.
Essential Bukowski: Poetry
Essential Bukowski
Poetry
Paperback      ISBN: 006256532x

Edited by Abel Debritto, the definitive collection of poems from an influential writer whose transgressive legacy and raw, funny, and acutely observant writing has left an enduring mark on modern culture.

Few writers have so brilliantly and poignantly conjured the desperation and absurdity of ordinary life as Charles Bukowski. Resonant with his powerful, perceptive voice, his visceral, hilarious, and transcendent poetry speaks to us as forcefully today as when it was written. Encompassing a wide range of subjects--from love to death and sex to writing--Bukowski's unvarnished and self-deprecating verse illuminates the deepest and most enduring concerns of the human condition while remaining sharply aware of the day to day.

With his acute eye for the ridiculous and the troubled, Bukowski speaks to the deepest longings and strangest predilections of the human experience. Gloomy yet hopeful, this is tough, unrelenting poetry touched by grace.

This is Essential Bukowski.

Evidence: Poems
Evidence
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0807069051

Never afraid to shed the pretense of academic poetry, never shy of letting the power of an image lie in unadorned language, Mary Oliver offers us poems of arresting beauty that reflect on the power of love and the great gifts of the natural world. Inspired by the familiar lines from William Wordsworth, "To me the meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears," she uncovers the evidence presented to us daily by nature, in rivers and stones, willows and field corn, the mockingbird's "embellishments," or the last hours of darkness.

The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write: Poems
The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write
Poems
Hardcover      ISBN: 1324002352

In this moving, playful, and deeply philosophical volume, Gregory Orr seeks innovative ways for the imagination to respond to and create meaning out of painful experiences, while at the same time rejoicing in love and language. A passionate exploration of the forces that shape us, The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write explores themes of survival and the powerlessness of the self in a chaotic and unfair world, finding hope in the emotions and vitality of poetry. With characteristic meditative lyricism, the poet reflects on grief and the power of language in extended odes ("Ode to Nothing," "Ode to Words") and slips effortlessly from personal trauma ("Song of What Happens") to public catastrophe ("Charlottesville Elegy").

The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write confirms Orr's place among the preeminent lyric poets of his generation, engaging the deepest existential issues with wisdom and humor and transforming them into celebratory song.

Bestiary: Poems
Bestiary
Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 1555977588

Donika Kelly's fierce debut collection, longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award and winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

I thought myself lion and serpent. Thought
myself body enough for two, for we.
Found comfort in never being lonely.

What burst from my back, from my bones, what lived
along the ridge from crown to crown, from mane
to forked tongue beneath the skin. What clamor

we made in the birthing. What hiss and rumble
at the splitting, at the horns and beard,
at the glottal bleat. What bridges our back.

What strong neck, what bright eye. What menagerie
are we. What we've made of ourselves.

--from "Love Poem: Chimera"

Across this remarkable first book are encounters with animals, legendary beasts, and mythological monsters--half human and half something else. Donika Kelly's Bestiary is a catalogue of creatures--from the whale and ostrich to the pegasus and chimera to the centaur and griffin. Among them too are poems of love, self-discovery, and travel, from "Out West" to "Back East." Lurking in the middle of this powerful and multifaceted collection is a wrenching sequence that wonders just who or what is the real monster inside this life of survival and reflection. Selected and with an introduction by the National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, Bestiary questions what makes us human, what makes us whole.

Dog Years: A Memoir
Dog Years
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0061171018

A Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year

Winner of the Israel Fishman-Stonewall Book Award for Nonfiction

"Tender and amusing. . . . Doty brilliantly captures the qualities that make dogs endearing." -- The New Yorker

When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he brings home Beau, a large, malnourished golden retriever in need of loving care. Joining Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family, Beau bounds back into life. Before long, the two dogs become Doty's intimate companions, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days.

Dog Years is a poignant, intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about living, love, and loss.

Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
Fire to Fire
New and Selected Poems
Paperback      ISBN: 0060752513

Mark Doty's Fire to Fire collects the best of his seven books of poetry, along with a generous selection of new work. His signature style encompasses both the plainspoken and the artfully wrought, as one of contemporary American poetry's most lauded, recognizable voices speaks to the crises and possibilities of our time.