Poetry

Math Campers

Math Campers
$20.25

by Dan Chiasson

October 20, 2021

A father and husband's meditation on love, adolescence, and the mysterious mechanisms of poetic creation, from the acclaimed poet.

The poet's art is revealed in stages in this "making-of" book, where we watch as poems take shape--first as dreams or memories, then as drafts, and finally as completed works set loose on the world. In the long poem "Must We Mean What We Say," a woman reader narrates in prose the circumstances behind poems and snippets of poems she receives in letters from a stranger. Who made up whom? Chiasson, an acclaimed poetry critic, has invented a remarkable structure where the reader and a poet speak to one another, across the void of silence and mystery. He is also the father of teenaged sons, and this volume continues the autobiographical arc of his prior, celebrated volumes. One long section is about the age of thirteen and the dawning of desire, while the title poem looks at the crucial age of fifteen and the existential threat of climate change and gun violence, which alters the calculus of adolescence. Though the outlook is bleak, these poems register the glories of our moment: that there are places where boys can kiss each other and not be afraid; that small communities are rousing and taking care of each other; that teenagers have mobilized for a better world. All of these works emerge from the secretive imagination of a father as he measures his own adolescence against that of his sons and explores the complex bedrock of marriage. Chiasson sees a perilous world both navigated and enriched by the passionate young and by the parents--and poets--who care for them.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593317747
Publication Date: 
September 22, 2020
Author: 
Publisher: 

Incendiary Art

Incendiary Art
$18.95

by Patricia Smith

TBD

Winner, 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Winner, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in the Poetry category
Winner, 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Winner, 2018 BCALA Best Poetry Award
Winner, Abel Meeropol Award for Social Justice
Finalist, Neustadt International Prize for Literature
Winner, 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

One of the most magnetic and esteemed poets in today's literary landscape, Patricia Smith fearlessly confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of mothers in her compelling new collection, Incendiary Art. She writes an exhaustive lament for mothers of the "dark magicians," and revisits the devastating murder of Emmett Till. These dynamic sequences serve as a backdrop for present-day racial calamities and calls for resistance. Smith embraces elaborate and eloquent language-- "her gorgeous fallen son a horrid hidden / rot. Her tiny hand starts crushing roses--one by one / by one she wrecks the casket's spray. It's how she / mourns--a mother, still, despite the roar of thorns"-- as she sharpens her unerring focus on incidents of national mayhem and mourning. Smith envisions, reenvisions, and ultimately reinvents the role of witness with an incendiary fusion of forms, including prose poems, ghazals, sestinas, and sonnets. With poems impossible to turn away from, one of America's most electrifying writers reveals what is frightening, and what is revelatory, about history.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780810134331
Publication Date: 
February 15, 2017
Author: 
Publisher: 

Blood Dazzler

Blood Dazzler
$16.00

by Patricia Smith

TBD

In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its "scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent," to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.

Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:

The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
***
And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
Look like this country done left us for dead.

An unforgettable reminder that poetry can still be "news that stays news," Blood Dazzler is a necessary step toward national healing.

Patricia Smith is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A record-setting, national poetry slam champion, she was featured in the film Slamnation, on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is a frequent contributor to Harriet, the Poetry Foundation's blog. Visit her website at www.wordwoman.ws.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781566892186
Publication Date: 
September 1, 2008
Author: 
Publisher: 

Bread and Circus

Bread and Circus
$26.00

by Airea D Matthews - Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Creative Writing

Author's website: www.aireadee.com


Drawing upon economics, theology, and psychology, Bread and Circus explores the lived experiences of those impacted by poverty and racial injustice. This poetry collection is innovative not only in its dissection of established ideals but also in its experimentation with poetic form, with a highlight being blackout poems made by subverting key words in economic texts. The final section of the collection is an especially moving series on collective grief and hope. 

-Alyssa S., GSSWSR '24


 
"Discerning and significant." --Poetry Foundation
"A sharp memoir in verse." --LitHub

This powerful and timely collection of autobiographical poems from Yale Young Poets Award Winner and Philadelphia's former Poet Laureate Airea D. Matthews about the economics of class is a brilliant intellectual and artistic contribution to the ongoing conversation about American inequality.

As a former student of economics, Airea D. Matthews was fascinated and disturbed by 18th-century Scottish economist Adam Smith's magnum opus The Wealth of Nations. Now, she presents a direct challenge to Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which claims self-interest is the key to optimal economic outcomes. By juxtaposing redacted texts by Smith and the French Marxist Guy Debord with autobiographical prose and poems, Bread and Circus personally offers how self-interest fails when it reduces people to commodity and spectacle.

A layered collection to be read and reread, with poems that range from tragic to humorous, in forms as varied and nuanced as the ideas the book considers, Bread and Circus asks what it is to have survived, indeed to have flourished, and at what cost. "Full of humane wisdom, this powerful volume forces readers to acknowledge systemic inequity" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and is ideal for fans of Elizabeth Alexander, Natalie Diaz, Eve Ewing, and Gregory Pardlo.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781668011454
Publication Date: 
May 30, 2023
Author: 
Publisher: 

Amorisco

Amorisco
$14.00

From "Heartsong"

And I say come like a stranger, like a feather
falling on an old woman's shoulder, like a hawk
that comes to feed from her hands, come like a mystery,
like sunlight rain, a blessing, a bus falling off a bridge,
come like a deserting soldier, a murderer chased by law,
like a girl prostitute escaping her pimp, come like a lost horse,
like a dog dying of thirst, come love, come ragged and melancholy
like the last day on earth, come like a sigh from a sick man,
come like a whisper, like a bump on the road, like a flood,
a dam breaking, turbines falling from the sky,
come love like the stench of a swamp, a barrage of light
filling a blind girl's eye, come like a memory
convulsing the body into sobs, like a carcass floating on a stream,
come like a vision, come love like a crushing need,
come like an afterthought. Heart song. Heart song

Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya, and immigrated to the United States in his teens. As a poet, he is a citizen of the world. Both American and an exile, he writes of the beauties and grievances of history and culture in language born of profound experience. The author of Ismailia Eclipse and translator of three volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry, Mattawa has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA translation grant.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781931337441
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2008
Author: 
Publisher: 

Art of Perpetuation

Art of Perpetuation
$4.97
$9.95
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Vivid explorations of cryogenics, lion baiting, iDollators, dodo birds, SpaceX, and more populate The Art of Perpetuation, a poignant new collection of lyric essays from Alison Powell that troubles the boundaries between human and animal, living and dead, man and woman, adult and child. These nine whip-smart essays juxtapose personal narrative-memories of the author's childhood growing up in southern Indiana and experiences as a mother of two-with scientific, historical, and cultural narrative. Throughout the collection, Powell seeks to unearth, to peel back, to lay bare: "To pry something out of someone, the meat of a walnut from its enamel-like shell, is an excavation-to uncover a lie, an infidelity." Dizzying, fragmentary, and provocative, Powell's lyrical investigations dig in deep, coming up for air only to expose the meaningless of naming in a world obsessed with self-perpetuation. "To say a poem is like a body is to say one's self is a machine. To say a body is erasable is to say extinction is a temperate clicking.... And like that, with one hand on the glass and one gloved hand inside the mouth of the woolly rhino, you have done it."

ISBN/SKU: 
9781625578419
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2020
Author: 

Brass Knuckles

Brass Knuckles
$8.48
$16.95
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The poems in this powerful first book have grown from the American urban experience of the last half of this century, a time of decay and diminishing possibilities; they vary from realistic vignettes of working-class Chicago neighborhoods to prose poems elegant and spare in their surrealism. At the middle of this book and at the thematic center of the collection is Dybek's remarkable reworking of the myth of Persephone, in which the American goddess learns to prefer the underworld and has fallen in love with Death.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780887484155
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2004

Deaf Republic

DEAF REPUBLIC
$13.00
$6.00
$6.00 - $13.00

by Ilya Kaminsky


At the trial of God, we will ask: why did you allow all this?
And the answer will be an echo: why did you allow all this?

Deaf Republic is an intimate confrontation of violence towards the vulnerable, balancing sign language and deaf culture with lyrical reckoning. Kaminsky's attention to moments of tenderness and power in times of oppression is a galvanizing call to care for others. A must-read. 

- Alyssa S., GSSWSR '24


 

Finalist for the National Book Award - Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award - Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award - Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award - Winner of the National Jewish Book Award - Finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award - Finalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize - Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection

Ilya Kaminsky's astonishing parable in poems asks us, What is silence?

Deaf Republic

opens in an occupied country in a time of political unrest. When soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, Petya, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear--they all have gone deaf, and their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. The story follows the private lives of townspeople encircled by public violence: a newly married couple, Alfonso and Sonya, expecting a child; the brash Momma Galya, instigating the insurgency from her puppet theater; and Galya's girls, heroically teaching signing by day and by night luring soldiers one by one to their deaths behind the curtain. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Ilya Kaminsky's long-awaited Deaf Republic confronts our time's vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781555978310
Publication Date: 
March 5, 2019
Author: 
Publisher: 

Devotions

Devotions
$20.00
A New York Times Bestseller, chosen as Oprah's "Books That Help Me Through" for Oprah's Book Club

"No matter where one starts reading, Devotions offers much to love, from Oliver's exuberant dog poems to selections from the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Primitive, and Dream Work, one of her exceptional collections. Perhaps more important, the luminous writing provides respite from our crazy world and demonstrates how mindfulness can define and transform a life, moment by moment, poem by poem." --The Washington Post

"It's as if the poet herself has sidled beside the reader and pointed us to the poems she considers most worthy of deep consideration." --Chicago Tribune

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver presents a personal selection of her best work in this definitive collection spanning more than five decades of her esteemed literary career.

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all living things. Identified as "far and away, this country's best selling poet" by Dwight Garner, she now returns with a stunning and definitive collection of her writing from the last fifty years.

Carefully curated, these 200 plus poems feature Oliver's work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963 at the age of 28, through her most recent collection, Felicity, published in 2015. This timeless volume, arranged by Oliver herself, showcases the beloved poet at her edifying best. Within these pages, she provides us with an extraordinary and invaluable collection of her passionate, perceptive, and much-treasured observations of the natural world.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780399563263
Publication Date: 
November 10, 2020
Author: 
Publisher: 

Eyeshot

Eyeshot
$7.48
$14.95
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Scintillating new work from a celebrated contemporary poet.

Runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2004)
Runner-up for the ForeWord magazine's Book of the Year Award (2003)

Heather McHugh's new book, Eyeshot, is a brooding, visionary work that takes aim at the big questions--those of love and death. The poems suggest that such immensities balance on the smallest details, and that a range of human blindness is inescapable.

The power of this new work comes from its delicate yet tenacious fidelity to the ever-unfolding senses of sense. The poems invite the reader to follow careening words and insights through passages both playful and profound. Her "Fido, Jolted by Jove" reveals the tension endemic to both language and living: "the world itself is worried." Yet the same poem remarks the high price of any reductive fix: "a brain this insecure may need another bolt be driven in it." This movement between anxiety and the human compulsion for order informs Eyeshot's darkly comic, 20/20 acuity.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780819566720
Publication Date: 
December 29, 2004
Author: