We are making our lives up "here on this bridge / between starshine and clay" (Lucille Clifton). Addressing tough circumstances tenderly, this book is about life--what we inherit, what we create, what shapes us, what's possible.
She Has a Name tells the story of a woman with autism and her family as they share difficulties, doubt, anger, and love
Talking Pillow celebrates love as amazement, sustenance, and the progenitor of scarce-believable loss. The book centers around the sudden death of the author’s long-time partner and travels outward to events in the world at large. Imagining themselves into multiple times, places, and lives, the poems comically explore the possibilities of attachment between people and the absurdity of death’s sudden intrusion. Antic and often funny, these poems converse with all that we care about, fear, and fail to understand.
Inspired by true events, The Vain Conversation reflects on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia from the perspectives of three characters—Bertrand Johnson, one of the victims; Noland Jacks, a presumed perpetrator; and Lonnie Henson, a witness to the murders as a ten-year-old boy. Lonnie’s inexplicable feelings of culpability drive him in a search for meaning that takes him around the world, and ultimately back to Georgia, where he must confront Jacks and his own demons, with the hopes that doing so will free him from the grip of the past. In The Vain Conversation, Anthony Grooms seeks to advance the national dialogue on race relations. With complexity, satire, and sometimes levity, he explores what it means to redeem, as well as to be redeemed, on the issues of America’s race violence and speaks to the broader issues of oppression and violence everywhere. A foreword is provided by American poet, painter, and novelist Clarence Major. An afterward is written by T. Geronimo Johnson, the bestselling author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold It ’Til It Hurts.
-This work quakes and blooms and dares us to try to resist the world's grace.--Ada Limon
Literary Nonfiction. Essays. A moving nonfiction debut by Mississippi Delta poet Mike Smith, this memoir-in-essays, AND THERE WAS EVENING AND THERE WAS MORNING: ESSAYS ON ILLNESS, LOSS, AND LOVE, tracks the loss of Smith's first wife to cancer after the birth of the second child, offering a portrait of marriage, family, and tragedy. In honest, and at times darkly comic terms, Smith documents the strange set of coincidences between his first wife's illness and his stepdaughter's similar battle the year his second marriage began, and examines blended families, remarriage, helping children find ways to cope with the loss of a parent, and the influence of spirituality upon loss. Author Tony D'Souza calls Smith "a reflective and precise writer, [who] invites us to walk each step with him as his heart is annihilated." Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling, says, "What a gift Mike Smith has given us... His prose is nuanced, his voice considered and considerate, his wisdom hard-earned but never bitter. There is beauty and solace here and gorgeous imagery. Smith has written a book for all of us who are dying--which is to say, all of us who are living, and our lives will be the better for having read it." Author Julianna Baggott's writes: "What I love most is that this isn't a book about learning to let go but instead learning that the heart can expand to hold more love..."
A poetic letter to the lost in the author's life and to the lives of the larger world in these days of endless war
"Every line resonates with a wind that crosses oceans."—Jamaal May "Zamora's work is real life turned into myth and myth made real life." —Glappitnova Javier Zamora was nine years old when he traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. This dramatic and hope-filled poetry debut humanizes the highly charged and polarizing rhetoric of border-crossing; assesses borderland politics, race, and immigration on a profoundly personal level; and simultaneously remembers and imagines a birth country that's been left behind. Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses rugged terrain where families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and "the thin white man let us drink from a hose / while pointing his shotgun." From "Let Me Try Again": He knew we weren't Mexican. He must've remembered his family coming over the border, or the border coming over them, because he drove us to the border and told us next time, rest at least five days, don't trust anyone calling themselves coyotes, bring more tortillas, sardines, Alhambra. He knew we would try again. And again—like everyone does. Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He earned a BA at UC-Berkeley, an MFA at New York University, and is a 2016–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
“In ‘Heritage,’ a fierce poem dedicated to an Iranian woman executed for killing the man attempting to rape her, award-winning poet Akbar proclaims, 'in books love can be war-ending/...in life we hold love up to the light/ to marvel at its impotence.' Yet if real-life love is disappointing ('The things I’ve thought I've loved/ could sink an ocean liner'), Akbar proves what books can do in his exceptional debut, which brings us along on his struggle with addiction, a dangerous comfort and soul-eating monster he addresses boldly ('thinking if I called a wolf a wolf I might dull its fangs'). His work stands out among literature on the subject for a refreshingly unshowy honesty; Akbar runs full tilt emotionally but is never self-indulgent. These poems find the speaker poised between life’s clatter and rattle, wanting to retreat (‘so much/ of being alive is breaking’) yet hungering for more (‘I'm told what seems like joy/ is often joy'). Indeed, despite his acknowledged disillusion and his failings (‘my whole life I answered every cry for help with a pour'), he has loved, and an electric current runs through the collection that keeps reader and writer going. VERDICT Excellent work from an important new poet.” —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal, STARRED review “Akbar has what every poet needs: the power to make, from emotions that others have felt, memorable language that nobody has assembled before.” —Steph Burt, The Yale Review “John Berryman and James Wright (and his son Franz Wright) haunt Calling a Wolf a Wolf, but Akbar also has a voice so distinctly his—tinted in old Persian, dipped in modern American, ancient and millennial, addict and ascetic, animal and more animal. In the end, nothing brings man—human or man—down to Earth more than the kingdom of flora and fauna.” —Porochista Khakpour, Virginia Quarterly Review "Kaveh Akbar has evolved a poetics that (often) suggests the infinite within each object, gesture, event. The smallest thing in these poems pushes one up against something intractable and profound. Surface and depth constantly turn into each other. Narrative, the dilemmas of personal history and anguish are handled with equal sophistication. 'Odd, for an apocalypse to announce itself with such bounty.' This is bounty, an intensely inventive and original debut.” —Frank Bidart, author of Metaphysical Dog and Watching the Spring Festival "The struggle from late youth on, with and without God, agony, narcotics and love is a torment rarely recorded with such sustained eloquence and passion as you will find in this collection." —Fanny Howe This highly-anticipated debut boldly confronts addiction and courses the strenuous path of recovery, beginning in the wilds of the mind. Poems confront craving, control, the constant battle of alcoholism and sobriety, and the questioning of the self and its instincts within the context of this never-ending fight. From "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before": Sometimes you just have to leave whatever's real to you, you have to clomp through fields and kick the caps off all the toadstools. Sometimes you have to march all the way to Galilee or the literal foot of God himself before you realize you've already passed the place where you were supposed to die. I can no longer remember the being afraid, only that it came to an end. Kaveh Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, APR, Tin House, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.
The astonishing, powerful debut by the winner of a 2016 Whiting Writers' Award WHEREAS her birth signaled the responsibility as mother to teach what it is to be Lakota therein the question: What did I know about being Lakota? Signaled panic, blood rush my embarrassment. What did I know of our language but pieces? Would I teach her to be pieces? Until a friend comforted, Don’t worry, you and your daughter will learn together. Today she stood sunlight on her shoulders lean and straight to share a song in Diné, her father’s language. To sing she motions simultaneously with her hands; I watch her be in multiple musics. —from “WHEREAS Statements” WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. “I am,” she writes, “a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.” This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.
"Some Say the Lark is a piercing meditation, rooted in loss and longing, and manifest in dazzling leaps of the imagination—the familiar world rendered strange." —Natasha Trethewey Chang’s poems narrate grief and loss, and intertwines them with hope for a fresh start in the midst of new beginnings. With topics such as frustration with our social and natural world, these poems openly question the self and place and how private experiences like motherhood and sorrow necessitate a deeper engagement with public life and history. From "The Winter's Wife": I want wild roots to prosper an invention of blooms, each unknown to every wise gardener. If I could be a color. If I could be a question of tender regard. I know crabgrass and thistle. I know one algorithm: it has nothing to do with repetition or rhythm. It is the route from number to number (less to more, more to less), a map drawn by proof not faith. Unlike twilight, I do not conclude with darkness. I conclude. Jennifer Chang is the author of The History of Anonymity, which was a finalist for the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers and listed by Hyphen Magazine as a Top Five Book of Poetry for 2008. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry 2012, The Nation, Poetry, A Public Space, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC with her family.
Setter, an eminent Harley Street consultant, is trusted and admired by his circle of friends, devoting himself to the rehabilitation of the lonely and the misunderstood. But deep within himself Setter recognizes a latent streak of sadistic cruelty which enables him to perceive the truth about a delinquent youth whom he suspects of having taken part in a particularly repellent and senseless crime. It is for Setter to choose a punishment—and enforce it. An Error of Judgement is a subtle study of human weakness and conflict. Partly a wry social comedy and partly a study in good and evil, it is brilliantly written and observed, assured and skillful, and a truly modern work.
The highly anticipated second collection by Danez Smith—“Hallelujah is an understatement” (Patricia Smith) 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.
Stephen is sometimes Stephanie and sometimes wonders how his past and her past are their own collective memory Advice from the Lights is a brilliant and candid exploration of gender and identity and a series of looks at a formative past. It’s part nostalgia, part confusion, and part an ongoing wondering: How do any of us achieve adulthood? And why would we want to, if we had the choice? This collection is woven from and interrupted by extraordinary sequences, including Stephanie poems about Stephen’s female self; poems on particular years of the poet’s early life, each with its own memories, desires, insecurities, and pop songs; and versions of poems by the Greek poet Callimachus, whose present-day incarnation worries (who doesn’t?) about mortality, the favor of the gods, and the career of Taylor Swift. The collection also includes poems on politics, location, and parenthood. Taken all together, this is Stephen Burt’s most personal and most accomplished collection, an essential work that asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.
He was the leading light of the Beat Generation writers and the most dynamic author of his time, but Jack Kerouac also had a lifelong passion for music, particularly the mid-century jazz of New York City, the development of which he witnessed first-hand during the 1940s with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk to the fore. The novelist, most famous for his 1957 book On the Road, admired the sounds of bebop and attempted to bring something of their original energy to his own writing, a torrent of semi-autobiographical stories he published between 1950 and his early death in 1969. Yet he was also drawn to American popular music of all kinds – from the blues to Broadway ballads – and when he came to record albums under his own name, he married his unique spoken word style with some of the most talented musicians on the scene. Kerouac's musical legacy goes well beyond the studio recordings he made himself: his influence infused generations of music makers who followed in his work – from singer-songwriters to rock bands. Some of the greatest transatlantic names – Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and David Bowie, Janis Joplin and Tom Waits, Sonic Youth and Death Cab for Cutie, and many more – credited Kerouac's impact on their output. In Kerouac on Record, we consider how the writer brought his passion for jazz to his prose and poetry, his own record releases, the ways his legacy has been sustained by numerous more recent talents, those rock tributes that have kept his memory alive and some of the scores that have featured in Hollywood adaptations of the adventures he brought to the printed page.
Presents ideas for embellishing metal jewelry with dramatic colors and textures, and using a variety of techniques, and introduces the tools and materials needed.
These poems are written through the lens and with the cadences of children (or adults trying to remember being children)
The first edition of Dinarzad’s Children was a groundbreaking and popular anthology that brought to light the growing body of short fiction being written by Arab Americans. This expanded edition includes sixteen new stories —thirty in all—and new voices and is now organized into sections that invite readers to enter the stories from a variety of directions. Here are stories that reveal the initial adjustments of immigrants, the challenges of forming relationships, the political nuances of being Arab American, the vision directed towards homeland, and the ongoing search for balance and identity. The contributors are D. H. Melhem, Mohja Khaf, Rabih Alameddine, Rawi Hage, Laila Halaby, Patricia Sarrafian Ward, Alia Yunis, Diana Abu Jaber, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Samia Serageldin, Alia Yunis, Joseph Geha, May Monsoor Munn, Frances Khirallah Nobel, Nabeel Abraham, Yussef El Guindi, Hedy Habra, Randa Jarrar, Zahie El Kouri, Amal Masri, Sahar Mustafah, Evelyn Shakir, David Williams, Pauline Kaldas, and Khaled Mattawa.

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