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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.