Twitter folk! What is the best poetry collection and/or short story collection you have read this year? They don’t have to have been published this year, and anthologies count, too ☺️ (Not asking for anything in particular, just always here for great book recommendations. ♥️)
Book mentions in this thread
by Aoife LyallAoife Lyall's debut collection Mother, Nature explores the tragic and tender experiences of pregnancy and early motherhood, from ante-natal complications and the devastating pain of miscarriage to the overwhelming joy of healthy delivery and normal infancy. Born and raised in Dublin, Aoife Lyall now lives in the Scottish Highlands. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Writing Awards in 2016 and 2018, her work has appeared in many literary magazines.
Tongues of Fire
by Seán HewittA remarkable first collection by an important new poet In this collection, Seán Hewitt gives us poems of a rare musicality and grace. By turns searing and meditative, these are lyrics concerned with the matter of the world, its physicality, but also attuned to the proximity of each moment, each thing, to the spiritual. Here, there is sex, grief, and loss, but also a committed dedication to life, hope and renewal. Drawing on the religious, the sacred and the profane, this is a collection in which men meet in the woods, where matter is corrupted and remade. There are prayers, hymns, vespers, incantations, and longer poems which attempt to propel themselves towards the transcendent. In this book, there is always the sense of fragility allied with strength, a violence harnessed and unleashed. The collection ends with a series of elegies for the poet’s father: in the face of despair, we are met with a fierce brightness, and a reclamation of the spiritual. ‘This is when / we make God, and speak in his voice.’ Paying close attention to altered states and the consolations and strangeness of the natural world, this is the first book from a major poet.
Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting
by Shivanee RamlochanRamlochan's poems take the reader through a series of imaginative narratives that are at once emotionally familiar and compelling, even as the characters evoked and the happenings they describe are heavily symbolic. Her poems reference the language and structural patterns of the genres of fantasy or speculative fiction, though with her own distinctive features, including the presence of such folkloric Trinidadian figures as the Duenne, those wandering lost spirits whose feet point backwards.
by Daisy JohnsonFROM THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF EVERYTHING UNDER WINNER OF THE EDGE HILL SHORT STORY PRIZE 2017 'Hauntingly written and full of unabashedly, refreshingly angry women... In a year that made me furious, Daisy Johnson’s Fen was a howl I didn’t know I needed' Celeste Ng '[An] instant classic...a bold, take-no-prisoners collection situated somewhere between Angela Carter and Deborah Levy' Jeff VanderMeer The Fen is a liminal land. Real people live their lives here. They wrestle with sex and desire, with everyday routine. But the wild is always close at hand, ready to erupt. This is a place where animals and people commingle and fuse, where curious metamorphoses take place, where myth and dark magic still linger. So here a teenager may starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl. A woman might give birth to a, well, what?
by Abeer AmeerCardiff-based poet Abeer Ameer writes of her forebears in her first collection, Inhale/Exile. Dedicated to the 'holders of these stories', the book begins with a poem about a storyteller on a rooftop in Najaf, Iraq, follows tales of courage and survival throughout, ending with a woman cooking food for neighbours on the anniversary of her son's death.
The Wind Blew (Rise and Shine)
by Pat HutchinsThe wind blew, and blew, and blew! It blew so hard, it took everything with it: Mr. White's umbrella, Priscilla's balloon, the twins' scarves, even the wig on the judge's head. But just when the wind was about to carry everything out to sea, it changed its mind! With rhyming verse and colorful illustrations, Pat Hutchins takes us on a merry chase that is well worth the effort.
by Laura BesleyA man carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt. During World War II, a young soldier searches the houses and barns of the families with whom he grew up. An astronaut wonders whether she can adapt to life back on earth. In her second collection of short fiction, 100neHundred, Laura Besley explores a kaleidoscope of emotions through 100 stories of exactly 100 words. In these one-hundred stories - each one-hundred words long - Besley captures her characters' universes in vivid detail, their predicaments unspooling and oozing off the page. Besley guides us through these worlds filled with relationships that flounder and flourish, mysterious moments of surrealism, and hard realities of contemporary life. Brimming with tenderness and triumph, heartbreak and wonderment, 100neHundred is a masterful collection of micro stories that read macro. Santino Prinzi, Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK Consulting Editor at New Flash Fiction Review In 100neHundred, Laura Besley gives us a wide variety of micros. Often moving, sometimes surreal, at other times funny, I very much enjoyed this collection. Many of these tiny flashes stayed with me long after I had finished reading. Diane Simmons, author of Finding a Way & An Inheritance
The Flicker Against the Light and Writing the Contemporary Uncanny
by Jane AlexanderA woman walks through a virtual reconstruction of the destroyed streets where she and her lover used to live. A young man trades away his youth, and something of himself, in the plasma extracted from his blood. A clone addresses her dead, doubled 'self' as she tries to understand her personal history. In these uncanny stories of virtual reality, biotech, data surveillance and communications technology, Black Mirror meets M.R. James: unsettling perspectives on contemporary and near-future scenarios are layered with hauntings; borders are blurred between living and non-living, real and not-real. Accompanying the collection is the essay 'Writing the Contemporary Uncanny', an investigation of how the uncanny has shifted in the hundred years since Freud attempted to define it, and how uncanny short fiction can interrogate and illuminate our experiences of science and technology to help us understand what it means to be human in an ever-accelerating technological landscape. '... an indisputably magnificent piece of writing: sensible, practical, hopeful and devastating. Every re-reading allows us to revel in some initially-overlooked nuance or subtle observation.' Aoife Lyall, author of Mother, Nature, on 'Candlemaker Row' 'When I think of the uncanny I will now always think of this astonishing collection. These stories have inspired, unsettled, and moved me; they haunt me still.' Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers and The Growing Season
by Nina Mingya PowlesShanghai, Aotearoa, Malaysia, London-all are places poet Nina Powles calls home and not-home; from each she can be homesick for another. A gorgeous bittersweet longing and hunger runs through the poems in this new collection from one of our most exciting poetic voices. In Magnolia Powles explores her experience of being mixed-race and trying to find her way through multiple languages: English, Mandarin, Hakka, Maori. Powles uses every sense to take us on a journey through cities, food and even time, weaving her story with the stories of women from history, myth and film.
Her Mouth as Souvenir (Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry)
by Heather June GibbonsWinner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize In a startling voice propelled by desire and desperation on the verge of laughter, these poems leap from the mundane to the sublime, from begging to bravado, from despair to reverie, revealing the power that comes from hanging on by a thread. Poet Heather June Gibbons conjures belief in the absence of faith, loneliness in the digital age, beauty in the face of absurdity--all through the cataract of her sunglasses' cracked lens. In this debut collection, we are shown a world so turbulent, anxious, and beautiful, we know it must be ours. Under pressure, these poems sing. Includes a foreword by Jericho Brown. From the poem "Bobby Reads Chekhov" They say if you're sad, you haven't been smiling enough. Want to make better decisions? Eat more cheese. Perception is reality, my horrible boss used to say when I'd try to explain anything she couldn't see, though maybe she was right. Can we know reality any other way? The painter saw purple in the trees, so he painted them purple. Leaving the gallery, we see purple everywhere. Studies have shown meditation makes brain waves akin to coma. Is that so, you say, fingering your tiny screen.
The Air Year
by Caroline BirdThe Air Year is a time of flight, transition and suspension: signatures scribbled on the sky. Bird's speakers exist in a state of unrest, trapped in a liminal place between take-off and landing, undeniably lost. Love is uncontrollable, joy comes and goes at hurricane speed. They walk to the cliff edge, close their eyes and step out into the air. Caroline Bird has five previous collections published by Carcanet. Her fifth collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award.
Antlers of Water
by Kathleen JamieThe first ever collection of contemporary Scottish writing on nature and landscape, Antlers of Water showcases the diversity and radicalism of new Scottish nature writing today. Edited, curated and introduced by the award-winning Kathleen Jamie, and featuring prose, poetry and photography, this inspiring collection takes us from walking to wild swimming, from red deer to pigeons and wasps, from remote islands to back gardens. With contributions from Amy Liptrot, Malachy Tallack, Chitra Ramaswamy, Jim Crumley, Amanda Thomson, Karine Polwart and many more, Antlers of Water urges us to renegotiate our relationship with the more-than-human world, in writing which is by turns celebratory, radical and political.
by Seamus Heaney'Seamus Heaney has gone beyond the themes of his earlier poetry and has made the giant step towards the most ambitious, most intractable themes of maturity. The power of this book comes from a sense that he is reaching out towards a type of desolation and of isolation without which no imagination can be seen to have grown up.' Eavan Boland, Irish Times 'Keyed and pitched unlike any other significant poet at work in the language anywhere.' Harold Bloom, Times Literary Supplement
by Yoko OgawaFROM THE AUTHOR OF THE MEMORY POLICE 'A conspicuously gifted writer...To read Ogawa is to enter a dreamlike state tinged with a nightmare, and her stories continue to haunt. She possesses an effortless, glassy, eerie brilliance' Guardian Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders – locked in the embrace of an ominous and darkly beautiful web, their fates all converge through the eleven stories here in Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge. As tales of the macabre pass from character to character – an aspiring writer, a successful surgeon, a cabaret singer, a lonely craftsman – Ogawa provides us with a slice of life that is resplendent in its chaos, enthralling in its passion and chilling in its cruelty. Translated by Stephen Snyder Elegant, pocket-sized paperbacks, VINTAGE Editions celebrate the audacity and ambition of the written word, transporting readers to wherever in the world literary innovation may be found.
by Savannah Brown"London (and occasionally the apocalypse) as a backdrop, Sweetdark explores the transience of existence, the pursuit of vulnerability, pleasure, chaos, and the dichotomy of a life wholly experienced, full of so much darkness and so much sweetness, sometimes in the same breath"--savbrown.com.
Too Much Happiness (Vintage International)
by Alice Munro**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature** These are beguiling, provocative stories about manipulative men and the women who outwit them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments which change or haunt a life. Alice Munro's stories surprise and delight, turning lives into art, expanding our world and shedding light on the strange workings of the human heart.
by Cicely Belle BlainHalifax's former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya -- a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert's photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance.
What Kind of Woman
by Kate BaerAn Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller "If you want your breath to catch and your heart to stop, turn to Kate Baer."--Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo A stunning and honest debut poetry collection about the beauty and hardships of being a woman in the world today, and the many roles we play - mother, partner, and friend. “When life throws you a bag of sorrow, hold out your hands/Little by little, mountains are climbed.” So ends Kate Baer’s remarkable poem “Things My Girlfriends Teach Me.” In “Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels” she challenges her reader to consider their grandmother’s cake, the taste of the sea, the cool swill of freedom. In her poem “Deliverance” about her son’s birth she writes “What is the word for when the light leaves the body?/What is the word for when it/at last, returns?” Through poems that are as unforgettably beautiful as they are accessible, Kate Bear proves herself to truly be an exemplary voice in modern poetry. Her words make women feel seen in their own bodies, in their own marriages, and in their own lives. Her poems are those you share with your mother, your daughter, your sister, and your friends.
A Portable Paradise
by Roger RobinsonRoger Robinson's range is wide: the joys and pains of family life; the ubiquitous presence of racism, both subtle and unsubtle; observations on the threatening edge of violence below the surface energies of Black British territories in London; emblematic poems on the beauty and often bizarre strangeness of the world of animals; quizzical responses to the strange, the heartening, and the appalling in incidents or accounts of incidents encountered in daily life; reflections on the purposes and costs of making art, as in fine poems on a George Stubbs' painting, John Coltrane's Ascension and cocaine. Not least, in the sequence of poems that reflect on the meanings of the Grenfell Tower fire, Roger Robinson finds ways to move beyond a just indignation to uncover the undertones of experience that bring us nearer to the human reality of that event. The collection's title points to the underlying philosophy expressed in these poems: that earthly joy is, or ought to be, just within, but is often just beyond our reach, denied by racism, misogyny, physical cruelty and those with the class power to deny others their share of worldly goods and pleasures. A Portable Paradise is not the emptiness of material accumulation, but joy in an openness to people, places, the sensual pleasures of food and the rewards to be had from the arts of word, sound and visual enticement - in short an "insatiable hunger" for life. The poems express a fierce anger against injustice, but also convey the irrepressible sense that Roger Robinson cannot help but love people for their humour, oddity and generosity of spirit. These are finely crafted poems, that reveal Roger Robinson's capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.
tide tables and tea with god
by Cassondra WindwalkerPoetry. Photography. What makes a person when the mind slips away? How do we retain our identity when our words, our thoughts, our desires go to war with us? Set against the unique backdrop of the Alaskan coast, its cultures and calendars, TIDE TABLES AND TEA WITH GOD explores how the issues of dementia and depression, mental illness and death, interact at the intersection of the carnal and the divine in each of us. This collection of poetry and black-and-white photography is a powerful representation of the sublime in the small, a navigation through the rocky landscape of human existence to the vantage points that will bring us face-to-face with ourselves, and ultimately, with one another.
The Girl Aquarium
by Jen CampbellJen Campbell's first collection The Girl Aquarium explores the realm of rotten fairy tales, the possession of body and the definition of beauty. Weaving between whispered science and circus, she turns a cracked mirror on society and asks who gets to control the twisted tales hiding in the wings.
The Stone Age
by Jen HadfieldJen Hadfield’s new collection is an astonished beholding of the wild landscape of her Shetland home, a tale of hard-won speech, and the balm of the silence it rides upon. The Stone Age builds steadily to a powerful and visionary panpsychism: in Hadfield’s telling, everything – gate and wall, flower and rain, shore and sea, the standing stones whose presences charge the land – has a living consciousness, one which can be engaged with as a personal encounter. The Stone Age is a timely reminder that our neurodiversity is a gift: we do not all see the world the world in the same way, and Hadfield’s lyric line and unashamedly high-stakes wordplay provide nothing less than a portal into a different kind of being. The Stone Age is the work of a singular artist at the height of her powers – one which dramatically extends and enriches the range of our shared experience.
by Pascale PetitMama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazon rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. It reveals the story of Pascale Petit's mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse. The mother transforms into a giant Victoria amazonica waterlily, and a bestiary of untameable creatures - a jaguar girl, a wolverine, a hummingbird - as she marries her rapist and gives birth to his children. From heartbreaking trauma, there emerge luxuriant and tender portraits of a woman battling for survival, in poems that echo the plight of others under duress, and of our companion species. Petit does not flinch from the violence but offers hope by celebrating the beauty of the wild, whether in the mind or the natural world. Mama Amazonica is Pascale Petit's seventh collection, and her first from Bloodaxe. Four of Pascale Petit's previous six collections have been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Mama Amazonica won the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize 2018 - the first time a poetry book has won this prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry best evoking the spirit of a place, was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018, and was the Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2017.
A Natural History of Transition
by Callum AngusFiction. Short Stories. LGBTQIA Studies. A NATURAL HISTORY OF TRANSITION is a collection of short stories that disrupts the notion that trans people can only have one transformation. Like the landscape studied over eons, change does not have an expiration date for these trans characters, who grow as tall as buildings, turn into mountains, unravel hometown mysteries, and give birth to cocoons. Portland-based author Callum Angus infuses his work with a mix of alternative history, horror, and a reality heavily dosed with magic. Callum Angus is one of the younger writers I'm most excited by, with a mind full of marvels and an ear to match. Every story surprises; every sentence strives gorgeously toward music. This is writing as transition, as entrancement, as transcendence.--Garth Greenwell
The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac
by Louise KennedyBailey is a boat cat. He loves nothing more than cruising aboard Nocturne, gazing wistfully out of portholes, lounging on the sun deck wearing his cat lifejacket, climbing the mast and generally fulfilling his important boat-cat duties ? and blogging about them at baileyboatcat.com. This book captures Bailey's charm with lovable photos, pearls of 'whisker wisdom' and cheeky asides, all from a cat's eye view. Chatty, inquisitive and boasting an undeniable cute factor, Bailey explains (for the benefit of us slow-witted humans) the five steps of marine navigation, the importance of cubby holes, and just why cats are so much cleverer than dogs? Packed with fabulous photography throughout, this endearing gift book will go down a treat with sailors and cat lovers alike.
by Brian TeareA sumptuous lyric exploration of the pain & pleasure of embodiment amidst what feels like end times.Doomstead Days is a lyrical series of experiments in embodied ecological consciousness. Drafted on foot, these site-specificpoems document rivers, cities, forests, oil spills, mountains, and apocalyptic visions. They encounter refineries and urban watersheds, megafauna and industrial toxins, each encounter intertwining ordinary life and ongoing environmental crisis. Days pass: wartimedays, days of love and sex, sixth extinction days, days of chronic illness, all of them doomstead days. Through these poems, we experience the pleasure and pain of being a body during global climate change.
Intimacies8000 photographs, all of them shot inside a 12 room house with 10 residents. These aren't impersonal records, but the result of a real life journey through complex terrains of intimacies. In this book, the author brings to life the world of the photographer and the photographed. 8000 photographs, all of them shot inside a 12 room house with 10 residents. These aren't impersonal records, but the result of a real life journey through complex terrains of intimacies. In photographing the office goers, the unemployed, the petty clerks, the retirees, the ageing and the
by Julia ArmfieldTHE ELECTRIFYING DEBUT FROM THE WINNER OF THE WHITE REVIEW SHORT STORY PRIZE 2018 'Thrilling . . . A writer whose next move you wouldn’t want to miss.' Observer 'Wickedly clever prose and a sense of humour that seems to loom up like a character in itself' M JOHN HARRISON, Guardian In her brilliantly inventive and haunting debut collection of stories, Julia Armfield explores bodies and the bodily, mapping the skin and bones of her characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession, love and revenge. Teenagers develop ungodly appetites, a city becomes insomniac overnight, and bodies are diligently picked apart to make up better ones. The mundane worlds of schools and sleepy sea-side towns are invaded and transformed, creating a landscape which is constantly shifting to hold on to its inhabitants. Blurring the mythic and the gothic with the everyday, Salt Slow considers characters in motion – turning away, turning back or simply turning into something new entirely. Winner of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018, Armfield is a writer of sharp, lyrical prose and tilting dark humour – Salt Slow marks the arrival of an ambitious and singular new voice. 'Salt Slow is exemplary. A distinct new gothic, melancholy, powerful and poised.' China Miéville, author of The City & The City 'Armfield is an enormous, gut-wrenching talent.' Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under 'Truly dazzling . . . so subtle, intelligent and imaginative.' Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman
Treats by Lara Williams (2016-03-03)“A dark wonder. An often harrowing (and in parts, very, very funny) debut, it targets the unfathomable nonsense of relationships, work and modern living with a keen eye, head-spinning wordplay and enough compassion to crush your heart. Buy it for everyone you know." —The Skinny She finds herself single, twenty-nine, partially-employed, and about a half a stone overweight. Roller dexter of eligible friends rattling thin. Thirties breathing down her neck like an inappropriate uncle. She jogs. Looks good in turquoise. Finds herself punctuating gas “better out than in!” patting her stomach like a department store Santa. This is who I am, she thinks. The women in Lara Williams’ debut story collection, A Selfie as Big as the Ritz, navigate the tumultuous interval between early twenties and middle age. In the title story, a relationship implodes against the romantic backdrop of Paris. In “One of Those Life Things,” a young woman struggles to say the right thing at her best friend’s abortion. In “Penguins,” a girlfriend tries to accept her boyfriend’s bizarre sexual fantasy. In “Treats,” a single woman comes to terms with her loneliness. As Williams’ characters attempt to lean in, fall in love, hold together a family, fend off loneliness, and build a meaningful life, we see them alternating between expectation and resignation, giddiness and melancholy, the rollercoaster we all find ourselves on.
The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy
by John Brehm"Over 125 poetic companions for all life's ups and downs. The Buddha once told a disciple that good spiritual friends are the whole of holy life. The poems expertly gathered here offer all that one might hope for in such spiritual friendship: wisdom, compassion, peacefulness, good humor, and the ability to both absorb and express the deepest human emotions of grief and joy. The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy offers a wide-ranging collection of 129 ancient and modern poems unlike any other anthology on bookshelves today. It uniquely places Buddhist poets like Han Shan, Tu Fu, Saigyo, Ryokan, Basho, Issa, and others alongside modern Western poets one would not expect to find in such a collection--poets like Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, William Stafford, Denise Levertov, Jack Gilbert, Ellen Bass, Billy Collins, and more. What these poems have in common, no matter whether they are explicitly Buddhist, is that all reflect the essential truths the Buddha articulated 2,500 years ago. The book provides an important poetic complement to the many prose books on mindfulness practice--the poems here both reflect and embody the dharma in ways that can't be matched by other modes of writing. Its unique features include an introduction that discusses the themes of impermanence, mindfulness, and joy and explores the relationship between them. Biographical notes place the poets in historical context and offer quotes and anecdotes to help readers learn about the poets' lives. A short essay at the back of the book on "Mindful Reading" helps readers approach the poems from an experiential, non-analytical perspective and illustrates the similarities between meditation and the mindful reading of poetry. Brehm also includes a guided meditation on sound that helps readers appreciate the sonic qualities of poetry and shows how the anthology might be used in ongoing spiritual practice"--
Date & Time (Button Poetry)
by Phil KayeDate Book sheds light on the teen girl dating experience and empowers girls to be safe and confident when dating. Written in a funny, shoot-from-the-hip voice, it's full of creative date suggestions, fashion advice, tips on how to bargain for extended curfews, and exit strategies for when a date goes bad
by Patricia SmithThe ghost of Emmett Till takes breath and litany through the powerful lines in Patricia Smith s new collection, "Incendiary Art." Metaphors and painful snapshots, written with the precision of a poet who has conquered page and stage, capture the United States of America on the brink and the implosion of civil rights with the Mississippi murder of a young boy from Chicago. Smith is the one to tell this story. Known world-wide for her commanding poetry, Smith still holds close her Chicago roots and empathy. Patricia Smith breaks us wide open, challenges history and gives Emmet Till, and the ones who grieved through this injustice, voice and power. "
Pessimism for Beginners
by Sophie HannahSophie Hannah's sharp pen dissects modern life and relationships with insouciant honesty and ruthless wit, and her love poems evoke timeless feelings with a shrewd simplicity that deepens her range. An edge of desolation, tenderness - an occasional flash of cruelty - and an ebullient delight in language make this a book of bittersweet pleasures. Pessimism for Beginners includes an extract from the opening chapter of Sophie Hannah's second psychological thriller, Hurting Distance, published by Hodder &Stoughton, described by the Times as 'a superbly creepy, twisty thriller about obsessive love, psychological torture and the darkest chambers of the human heart'. In poetry and prose, Sophie Hannah is compellingly readable.
Locating Strongwoman (Twenty in 2020)
by Tolu AgbelusiLocating Strongwoman is a portrait of unperformed femininity. Eschewing the stereotypical portrayal of the "Strong Woman" and the even more loaded "Strong Black Woman", these poems invite the reader to interrogate the protagonists and find in their stories a quiet strength. "...This is a book filled with want, love and the lack thereof, with striking lines like, 'As if he wasn't a bed of nails your love/laid on' and 'The factory of my body works overtime'. It teeters between violence and the razor-blade threat thereof. Straddling the inside and outside worlds on the head of a 'bobbing sewing needle', Locating Strongwoman is visceral and raw, vulnerable and strong. It will leave you thinking and feeling long after you turn its last page". Peter Kahn, author of Little Kings and co-editor of The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks "Through Locating Strongwoman, Tolu Agbelusi hosts a black women's sleepover. Where we drink wine and share stories, about the many complexities of navigating our hearts, how we are our mother's daughters and how our mothers are complex women. Strongwoman... The chilling truth behind this collection is that to be woman is to be silent... or silenced. Both in form and content, Locating Strongwoman is a trace of our mothers' silences and the inevitable release of our own voices. Tolu paints in a language that is familiar and comforting. And how wonderful it is to find yourself, over and over in poetry! As the woman who cannot be pinned into a box and doesn't want to be. To be seen." Vangile Gantsho, author of Red Cotton and Undressing in Front of the Window; co-founder of Impepho Press
by Reginald Dwayne BettsWinner of the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry Finalist for the 2019 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry A searing volume by a poet whose work conveys "the visceral effect that prison has on identity" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems—canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace—and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of postincarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life. The poems move between traditional and newfound forms with power and agility—from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume’s radiant conclusion. Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Traditionally, redaction erases what is top secret; in Felon, Betts redacts what is superfluous, bringing into focus the profound failures of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates. Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a "felon."
Songs for Dark Seasons
by Lisa L HannettSongs for Dark Seasons takes readers back to the lonesome dream counties in the World Fantasy Award-nominated Bluegrass Symphony. In thirteen stories, forests are imbued with the deepest, saddest strains of country music, cornfields stretch as long as a lone fiddle's wail, and distant hills make mandolin promises: sweet, catchy and short-lived.
What About This
by Frank Stanford""I don't believe in tame poetry. Poetry busts guts."-Frank Stanford. The poetry publishing event of the season, this six-hundred-plus page book highlights the arc of Frank Stanford's all-too-brief and incandescently brilliant career. Despite critical praise and near-mythic status as a poet, Frank Stanford's oeuvre has never fully been unified. The mystery and legend surrounding his life-and his suicide before the age of thirty-has made it nearly impossible to fully and accurately celebrate his body of work. Until now. This welcome and necessary volume includes hundreds of previously unpublished poems, a short story, an interview, and is richly illustrated with draft poems, photographs, and odd ephemera. As Dean Young writes in the Foreword to the book:"Many of these poems seem as if they were written with a burnt stick. With blood in river mud... Frank Stanford, demonically prolific, approaches the poem not as an exercise of rhetoric or a puzzle of signifiers but as a man 'looking for his own tongue' in a knife-fight with a ghost." When It's After DarkI steal all the light bulbs and hide them like eggs in a basket going to some outlaw I put on the best I can find I cover them with a swatch of something that swells like a bite that bleeds green cloth that smells of a feed store but looks to of been worn I go over to nasty willy's bridge and throw them into the creek there in the shade I listen for them to make nests to escape agony and burst. Frank Stanford was born in Mississippi and worked as an unlicensed land surveyor. He published poetry, short fiction, and the epic 15,000-line poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You. In June 1978, he died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. "--
In These Days of Prohibition
by Caroline BirdShortlisted for the 2017 Ted Hughes Award. Shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize. In These Days of Prohibition is Caroline Bird's fifth Carcanet collection. As always, she is a poet of dark hilarity and telling social comment. Shifting between poetic and vulgar registers, the surreal imagery of her early work is re-deployed to venture into the badlands of the human psyche. Her poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us alive. These days of prohibition are days of intoxication and inebriation, rehab in a desert and adultery for atheists, until finally Bird edges us out of danger, 'revving on a wish'.
The World's Wife
by Carol DuffyThe voices of Mrs. Midas, Queen Kong, and Frau Freud, to say nothing of the Devil's wife herself, startle us with their wit, imagination, and incisiveness in this collection of poems written from the perspectives of the wives of famous--and infamous--male personages. Reprint.
How To Wash a Heart (Pavilion Poetry LUP)
by Bhanu KapilPart horror, part comedy, this poetry collection considers the changing relations between a citizen white host with liberal political views, and an immigrant guest whose visa status is precarious. Looking at the limits of charitable acts, the breakdown of a social relationship, these poems are written for a raw voice.
by Deborah EllisThe seated child. With a single powerful image, Deborah Ellis draws our attention to nine children and the situations they find themselves in, often through no fault of their own. In each story, a child makes a decision and takes action, be that a tiny gesture or a life-altering choice. Jafar is a child laborer in a chair factory and longs to go to school. Sue sits on a swing as she and her brother wait to have a supervised visit with their father at the children’s aid society. Gretchen considers the lives of concentration camp victims during a school tour of Auschwitz. Mike survives seventy-two days of solitary as a young offender. Barry squirms on a food court chair as his parents tell him that they are separating. Macie sits on a too-small time-out chair while her mother receives visitors for tea. Noosala crouches in a fetid, crowded apartment in Uzbekistan, waiting for an unscrupulous refugee smuggler to decide her fate. These children find the courage to face their situations in ways large and small, in this eloquent collection from a master storyteller.
You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down
by Alice WalkerWomen stand their ground in the midst of crisis in this story collection by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Color Purple. This collection builds on Alice Walker’s earlier work, the much-praised In Love & Trouble. But unlike her first collection of stories, the women in these tenderly wrought tales face their problems head on, proving powerful and self-possessed even when degraded by others—sometimes by those closest to them. But even as the female protagonists face exploitation, social asymmetries, and casual cruelties, Walker leavens her stories with ample wit and, as always, an eye for the redemptive power of love. A collection that reveals a master of fiction approaching the fullness of her talent, these are the stories Walker produced while penning The Color Purple. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
by Bob KaufmanBob Kaufman's life as a poet is unique to American literature. He kept no diary or journal, published no literary essays, wrote no reviews, and maintained no correspondences... Yet various schools of American poetry have sung his praises. Recognized early on as a major figure in the Beat Generation of writers and poets, Kaufman is also know as one of America's true surrealist poets, a premier jazz poet, and a major poet of the black consciousness movement.
pandemoniumCollecting texts taken from letters, diaries, literature, scientific journals and reports, Pandæmonium gathers a beguiling narrative as it traces the development of the machine age in Britain. Covering the years between 1660 and 1886, it offers a rich tapestry of human experience, from eyewitness reports of the Luddite Riots and the Peterloo Massacre to more intimate accounts of child labour, Utopian communities, the desecration of the natural world, ground-breaking scientific experiments, and the coming of the railways. Humphrey Jennings, co-founder of the Mass Observation movement of the 1930s and acclaimed documentary film-maker, assembled an enthralling narrative of this key period in Britain’s national consciousness. The result is a highly original artistic achievement in its own right. Thanks to the efforts of his daughter, Marie-Louise Jennings, Pandæmonium was originally published in 1985, and in 2012 it was the inspiration behind Danny Boyle’s electrifying Opening Ceremony for the London Olympic Games. Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the scenario for the ceremony, contributes a revealing new foreword for this edition.
by Francine KlagsbrunWinner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award/Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year, this is the definitive biography of the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898. Golda Meir immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee. where from the earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life--the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its people. As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Resigning in the war's aftermath, Golda spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Francine Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives is a Golda for the ages.
How to Breathe Underwater
by Julie OrringerIn her dazzling first book Julie Orringer dives into the private world of childhood and immerses us in its fears and longings: the jealous friendships and the bitter sibling battles; the parents that row and the boys that won't dance with you. Then, in a voice that is equally tender and compassionate, she reminds us of those rare, exhilarating moments of victory. 'Unbelievably good: the humiliations and cruelties and passions of childhood, sparkling fresh prose, a writer with a big heart and an acute sense of the small things that loom large in our lives' Monica Ali, Guardian
Walk the Blue Fields
by Claire KeeganClaire Keegan’s brilliant debut collection, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year, and earned her resounding accolades on both sides of the Atlantic. Now she has delivered her next, much-anticipated book, Walk the Blue Fields, an unforgettable array of quietly wrenching stories about despair and desire in the timeless world of modern-day Ireland. In the never-before-published story The Long and Painful Death,” a writer awarded a stay to work in Heinrich Böll’s old cottage has her peace interrupted by an unwelcome intruder, whose ulterior motives only emerge as the night progresses. In the title story, a priest waits at the altar to perform a marriage and, during the ceremony and the festivities that follow, battles his memories of a love affair with the bride that led him to question all to which he has dedicated his life; later that night, he finds an unlikely answer in the magical healing powers of a seer. A masterful portrait of a country wrestling with its past and of individuals eking out their futures, Walk the Blue Fields is a breathtaking collection from one of Ireland’s greatest talents, and a resounding articulation of all the yearnings of the human heart.
by Camille T. DungyBlack Nature is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated. Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry--anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild. Camille T. Dungy has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements. Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole. A Friends Fund Publication.
by Ted ChiangONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction." --Barack Obama From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others--the basis for the Academy Award -nominated film Arrival: a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction. "THE UNIVERSE BEGAN AS AN ENORMOUS BREATH BEING HELD." In these nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories, Ted Chiang tackles some of humanity's oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine. In "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom," the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will. Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic--revelatory.
by Nathaniel MackeyA stellar new collection of poems by “the Balanchine of the architecture dance” (The New York Times), and winner of the National Book Award in poetry. Nathaniel Mackey’s sixth collection of poems, Blue Fasa, continues what the New Yorker has described as the “mythological conception” and “descriptive daring” of his two intertwined serial poems—where, however, “no prior knowledge is required” for readers new to this poet’s visionary work. This collection takes its title from two related black musical traditions, a West African griot epic as told by the Fasa, a clan in ancient Ghana, and trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s hard bop classic “Blue Bossa,” influenced by the emergence of Brazilian bossa nova. In two sections Blue Fasa opens with the catch of the heart and the call of romance, as it follows a band of travelers, refugees from history, on their incessant migrations through time, place, and polity, toward renewal.
Dead Dad Jokes (Button Poetry)
by Ollie SchminkeyDead Dad Jokes is an unflinching take on family, loss and trauma. There is nothing quiet about Schminkey's debut. Every page is raw, honest and unforgettable. Dead Dad Jokes brings the impact of addiction into crisp focus while also shattering our simplistic TV preconceptions about it. Ollie never lets the reader slip into the easy sadness of cliche - instead they guide us through the realities and contradictions of losing someone you love and of death - reminding us that they need not be one and the same.
The Beautiful Indifference
by Sarah HallWinner of the Portico Prize Winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize Short-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award Sarah Hall has been hailed as "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain's young novelists" (The Guardian). Now, in this collection of short fiction published in England to phenomenal praise, she has created a work at once provocative and mesmerizing.