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Hourglass Museum


Kelli Russell Agodon - 2010
    Her uniquely true and mystical voice is like a glass of pure water: refreshing, healing, and oh, so necessary."—Nin Andrews"Her poems are an intense vision of the power of art to heal, to help us understand ourselves and our world. Agodon invokes artists as disparate as Kahlo and Cornell, Picasso and Pollock, as a way into the world she creates for us in her deft and musical poems. She brilliantly succeeds."—Wyn CooperKelli Russell Agodon is the author of two previous collections of poetry and lives in Kingston, Washington.

The Far Mosque


Kazim Ali - 2005
    Ali travels by water and by night, seeking the Far Mosque and its overarching paradox: that when God and Self are one, an ascent into Heaven is a voyage within.

Theories of Falling


Sandra Beasley - 2008
    THEORIES OF FALLING is the winner of the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Judge Marie Howe said of THEORIES OF FALLING, "I kept coming back to these poems--the tough lyric voice that got under my skin. Clear, intent, this poet doesn't want to fool herself or anybody else. Desire pushes defeat against the wall, and the spirit climbs up from underground." "Sandra Beasley slices her way down the page with precision and punch. Her haunting 'Allergy Girl' series will set off such an itch, I doubt you'll ever fully recover...This poet leaves us to smolder and ache in small kingdoms where 'even the tame dogs dream of biting clear to the bone.'"--Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open: Poems


Diane Seuss - 2010
    The first section of this collection pays homage to the poet's roots in a place where the world hands you nothing and promises less, so you are left to invent yourself or disappear. From there these poems both recount and embody repeated acts of defiant self-creation in the face of despair, loss, and shame, and always in the shadow of annihilation.With darkly raucous humor and wrenching pathos, Seuss burrows furiously into liminal places of no dimension—state lines, lakes' edges, the space "between the m and the e in the word amen." From what she calls "this place inbetween" come profane prayers in which "the sound of hope and the sound of suffering" are revealed to be "the same music played on the same instrument."Midway through this book, a man tells the speaker that beauty is that which has not been touched. This collection is a righteous and fierce counterargument: in the world of this imagination, beauty spills from that which has been crushed, torn, and harrowed. "We receive beauty," Seuss writes, "as a nail receives / the hammer blow." This is the poetry that comes only after the white dress has been blown open—the poetry of necessity, where a wild imagination is the only hope.

Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love


Keith S. Wilson - 2019
    There is the sense of the speaker as a cartographer of familiar spaces, of land he has never left or relationships that have stayed with him for years, and always with the newness of an alien or stranger. Acutely attuned to the heritage of Greco-Roman myth, Wilson writes through characters such as the Basilisk and the Minotaur, emphasizing the intense loneliness these characters experience from their uniqueness. For the racially ambiguous speaker of these poems, who is both black and not black, who has lived between the American South and the Midwest, there are no easy answers. From the fields of Kentucky to the pigeon coops of Chicago, identities and locations blur―the pastoral bleeds into the Afrofuturist, black into white and back again.

Blood Lyrics: Poems


Katie Ford - 2014
    Blood Lyrics is a mother's song, one seared with the knowledge that her country wages long, aching wars in which not all lives are equal. There is beauty imparted, too, but it arrives at a cost: "Don't say it's the beautiful / I praise," Ford writes. "I praise the human, / gutted and rising."

River Hymns


Tyree Daye - 2017
    River Hymns is the lyrical journey of a young black man’s spiritual reckoning with his family history.

Gardening in the Dark


Laura Kasischke - 2004
    Her poems take us to the flip side of human consciousness, where anything can happen at any time. Tinged with surrealism, her work makes visionary leaps from the quotidian to sudden, surprising epiphanies.

Traveling Light


Linda Pastan - 2011
    “Pastan . . . expresses a full range of the possibilities and potencies of the human, feminine voice” (Boston Globe).from "In the Forest" The trees are lit from within like Sabbath candlesbefore they are snuffed out.Autumn is such a Jewish season,the whole minor key of it.Hear how the wind trembles through the branches, vibratoas notes of cello music.

Burn Lake


Carrie Fountain - 2010
    Burn Lake weaves together the experience of life in the rapidly changing American Southwest with the peculiar journey of Don Juan de Oñate, who was dispatched from Mexico City in the late sixteenth- century by Spanish royalty to settle the so-called New Mexico Province, of which little was known. A letter that was sent to Oñate by the Viceroy of New Spain, asking that should he come upon the North Sea in New Mexico, he should give a detailed report of "the configuration of the coast and the capacity of each harbor" becomes the inspiration for many of the poems in this artfully composed debut.

Lake Michigan


Daniel Borzutzky - 2018
    Thinking about the ways in which economic policy, racism, and militarized policing combine to shape the city, Lake Michigan's poems continue exploring the themes from Borzutzky's Performance of Becoming Human, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. But while the influences in this book (Césaire, Vallejo, Neruda) are international, the focus here is local as the book takes a hard look at neoliberal urbanism in the historic city of Chicago.  Named a 2018 Best Book of the Year by the New York Public Library.

The Wilderness: Poems


Sandra Lim - 2014
    “In its stern and quiet way Sandra Lim’s The Wilderness is one of the most thrilling books of poetry I have read in many years” (Louise Glück).From “Aubade”From the last stars to sunrise the world is dark and enduringand emptiness has its place.Then, to wake each day to the world’s unwaveringlimits, you have to think about passion differently, again.

Soft Targets


Deborah Landau - 2019
    In this ambitious lyric sequence, the speaker’s fear of annihilation expands beyond the self to an imperiled planet on which all inhabitants are “soft targets.” Her melancholic examinations recall life’s uncanny ability to transform ordinary places―subways, cafes, street corners―into sites of intense significance that weigh heavily on the modern mind.“O you who want to slaughter us, we’ll be dead soon/enough what’s the rush,” Landau writes, contemplating a world beset by political tumult, random violence, terror attacks, and climate change. Still there are the ordinary and abundant pleasures of day-to-day living, though the tender exchanges of friendship and love play out against a backdrop of 21st century threats with historical echoes, as neo-Nazis marching in the United States recall her grandmother’s flight from Nazi Germany.

Self-Portrait with Crayon


Allison Benis White - 2009
    "An oblique conversation with Degas reigns throughout this collection of oddly heartbreaking pieces. Against the backdrop of his paintings and sketches, we find ourselves in an intimate world, coherent but uncanny, where private memory becomes inseparable from the culture we hold in common, and all of it just barely cracked open, riven by interstices through which we glimpse the vivid but unsayable. White has given us a truly exceptional first collection, deeply musical and intricately haunting" Cole Swensen."

Sky Burial


Dana Levin - 2011
    Highly recommended."—Library Journal"Intimate and hypnotic."—Ploughshares"Levin has the skilled ear, magnificent tongue, and fierce mind of the truly prophetic."—Rain Taxi"Levin's work is phenomenological; it details how it feels to be an embodied consciousness making its way through the world."—Boston Review"Death is the new and unshakeable lens through which I see," writes Dana Levin about her third book, in which she confronts mortality and loss in subjects ranging from Tibetan Buddhist burial practices to Aztec human sacrifice. Shaped by dreams and "the worms and the gods," these poems are a profound investigation of our inescapable fate. As Louise Glück has said: "Levin's animating fury goes back deeper into our linguistic and philosophic history: to Blake's tiger, to the iron judgments of the Old Testament."They took you in an ambulance even though you were dead,they took youand my sister saidWhy are you saving her if she is dead?     shey shey—Curve of sky a crescent blade.Vultures wheeling     on thermal parapets, shunyata,     void that flays—Yak butter,     barley flour and tea: you watch him     make the paste.Dana Levin's debut volume In the Surgical Theatre won the prestigious APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.