A lush, lyrical debut from a vibrant new poetic voice
A sparrow like a "fumbled punch line" is lost in an airport; a man translating Ovid is transfigured by witnessing a massacre in Jamestown in 1621; a woman smiles seductively as the skin on her back is opened out like a wing; a lizard upon a laptop shimmers with the true life, primitive and binary, of our modern information age.
In the sonically rich, formally restless poems of this debut collection, Song & Error, the thread that unravels all we think we know of the world is plucked loose and drawn from a seal's beached corpse. Uniting past and present, history and autobiography, Averill Curdy's poems strive to endure within "the crease of transformation" and to speak-sing-of that terrible beauty.
In this dynamic debut collection, Fernando P rez employs lyric and nonce forms to interrogate identity politics and piece together a complex family history. The book embodies fragmentation in form and story, exploring how migration affects relationships between people of different generations. P rez invites readers on the journey as his family story unfolds over time and distance.
A debut poetry collection from a writer whose vivid verse explores the connections and relationships that make us humanSometimes I like to feel sexy. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I like to be very plain. Invisible almost, hiding in plain sight. I want to hide and to be found. In the spirit of the biblical Song of Solomon, Sylvie Baumgartel's Song of Songs takes the subjects of love and worship, and brings them to the desperate, wild spaces of domestic life. With a voice at once precise and oneiric, Baumgartel explores the landscapes of sex and desire, power and submission, in this groundbreaking book-length poem that forces us to question the bounds of devotion. An ambitious and vivid debut, Song of Songs is a work of breathtaking honesty, couched in language few of us are brave enough to speak aloud.
"VERDICT A vivid and moving book-length narrative poem that places the reader inside of a universe of wonder; of interest to poetry readers and beyond." --Library Journal
From the author of international bestseller Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award nominee The Diagnosis.
After decades of living "hung like a dried fly," emptied and haunted by his past, the narrator, a man who has lost his faith in all things following a mysterious personal tragedy, awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, first turning to the world of science and then to the world of philosophy, religion, and human life. As his personal story is slowly revealed, little by little, we confront the great questions of the cosmos and of the human heart, some questions with answers and others without. An exciting new illustrated edition of a unique narrative poem.
The first biography of an American master
The Songs We Know Best, the first comprehensive biography of the early life of John Ashbery--the winner of nearly every major American literary award--reveals the unusual ways he drew on the details of his youth to populate the poems that made him one of the most original and unpredictable forces of the last century in arts and letters.
Drawing on unpublished correspondence, juvenilia, and childhood diaries as well as more than one hundred hours of conversation with the poet, Karin Roffman offers an insightful portrayal of Ashbery during the twenty-eight years that led up to his stunning debut, Some Trees, chosen by W. H. Auden for the 1955 Yale Younger Poets Prize. Roffman shows how Ashbery's poetry arose from his early lessons both on the family farm and in 1950s New York City--a bohemian existence that teemed with artistic fervor and radical innovations inspired by Dada and surrealism as well as lifelong friendships with painters and writers such as Frank O'Hara, Jane Freilicher, Nell Blaine, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Willem de Kooning.
Ashbery has a reputation for being enigmatic and playfully elusive, but Roffman's biography reveals his deft mining of his early life for the flint and tinder from which his provocative later poems grew, producing a body of work that he calls "the experience of experience," an intertwining of life and art in extraordinarily intimate ways.
In The Sound acclaimed poet David Mason collects his best shorter work of the past forty years, including lyrics like "Song of the Powers" and darkly brilliant narratives "The Collector's Tale" and "The Country I Remember," which Anthony Hecht called "a welcome addition to the best that is now being written by American poets." A poet of love and history and nature, Mason forges a language that can reconnect us to the world.
Speak Low is the tenth book from one of America's most distinctive--and one of poetry's most essential--contemporary voices. Phillips has long been hailed for work provocative in its candor, uncompromising in its inquiry, and at once rigorous and innovative in its attention to craft. Over the course of nine critically acclaimed collections, he has generated a sustained meditation on the restless and ever-shifting myth of human identity. Desire and loss, mastery and subjugation, belief and doubt, sex, animal instinct, human reason: these are among the lenses through which Phillips examines what it means to be that most bewildering, irresolvable conundrum, a human being in the world.
These new poems are of a piece with Phillips's previous work in their characteristic clarity and originality of thought, in their unsparing approach to morality and psychology, and in both the strength and startling flexibility of their line. Speak Low is the record of a powerful vision that, in its illumination of the human condition, has established itself as a necessary step toward our understanding of who we are in the twenty-first century.
Speak Low is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry.
Winner of the inaugural Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, Dan Vera s Speaking Wiri Wiri is a work of historical insight and wry wit, unexpectedly delightful and full of surprises as it meditates on the challenges of multiple identities, ethnicity, geographies of migration, familial displacement, popular history, and more. Everything is fair game for Vera, who finds poetry in the mundane and the monumental, the hidden lives of iconic television stars and the alternate and accidental histories of Latinos in the United States. Carmen Miranda makes an appearance, as do Captain Kirk, Vladamir Nabokov, and Jose Marti in a literary landscape careening lyrically between lost and found."