Book picks similar to
Passenger by Susan Maxwell



Karen Volkman - 2002
    Volkman develops a new lyric density that marries the immediacy of image-centered poetry to the rhythmic resources of prose. Her first poem begins, Someone was searching for a Form of Fire, and this wild urge to seek form- and thus definition-in the most uncontainable of elements propels the book forward; each poem maps the mind's evolving positions in response to its variable and perilous encounters. Sometimes the encounter is romantic or purely carnal, a sensual landscape of human relations. At other times, nature itself has an almost humanly emotional connection to the speaker. While very much a living voice, the poems' speaker is not a consistent self but a mutable figure buffeted by tenderness, terror, irony, or lust into elaborate evasions, exclamations, verbal hijinks, and lyric flights. As its title suggests, Spar embodies both resistance and aspiration, while its epigraphs further emphasize the simultaneous allure and danger of the unknown within the sensual and material worlds and in the mind itself.

Novel Pictorial Noise

Noah Eli Gordon - 2007
    For over twenty years, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Cole Swensen, Thylias Moss, Mark Levine, and Dionisio Martinez.

Necessary Stranger

Graham Foust - 2006
    Graham Foust's third book offers agile poems of dread and humor. Robert Creeley writes, "These poems move in close to luxuriant circles, round and round each particular syllable, neither hurrying nor dragging behind--just there. At times there seems an almost physical presence to them, a third dimension, which is substance." Foust is also the author of AS IN EVERY DEAFNESS and LEAVE THE ROOM TO ITSELF, available from SPD. He teaches Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California.

Buffalo Yoga: Poems

Charles Wright - 2004
    Wright's short lyrics, in Charles Simic's words, "achieve a level of eloquence where the reader says to himself, if this is not wisdom, I don't know what is" (The New York Review of Books). The poems in Buffalo Yoga are pristine examples of the Tennessee poet's deft, painterly touch-"crows in a caterwaul" are "scored like black notes in the bare oak"-and his oblique, expansive, and profound interrogation of mortality, as in the title sequence, where the soul is "a rhythmical knot. / That form unties. Or reties."


Paul Muldoon - 1998
    For I saw Fionnuala,"The Gem of the Roe," "The Flower of Sweet Strabane,"when a girl reached down into a freezer binto bring up my double scoop of vanilla.-"White Shoulders"Seamus Heaney has called his colleague Paul Muldoon "one of the era's true originals." While Muldoon's previous book, The Annals of Chile, was poetry at an extreme of wordplay and formal complexity, Hay is made up of shorter, clearer lyric poems, retaining all of Muldoon's characteristic combination of wit and profundity but appealing to the reader in new and delightful ways. His eighth book, it is also his most inviting-full of joy in language, fascination with popular culture, and enthusiasm for the writing of poetry itself. This is the first of his books to really capture the effect of America on his poetic sensibility, which is like a magnet for impressions and the miscellany of the culture.

The Waste Land And Other Poems

John Beer - 2010
    Winner of the 2011 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. John Beer's first collection, THE WASTE LAND AND OTHER POEMS, employs the wit of a philosopher and the ear of a poet to stage ways of reading that are political, personal, and theoretical. The speaker of these poems also brings humor to the dissecting table, to prod the legacies of great works of the imagination while balancing irony and affection.

Sight Map

Brian Teare - 2009
    Teare provides us with poems that insist on the simultaneous physical embodiment of tactile pleasure—that which is found in the textures of thought and language—as well as the action of syntax. Partly informed by an ecological imagination that leads him back to Emerson and Thoreau, Teare's method and fragmented style are nevertheless up to the moment. Remarkable in its range, Sight Map serves at once as a cross-country travelogue, a pilgrim's gnostic progress, an improvised field guide, and a postmodern "pillowbook," recording the erotic conflation of lover and beloved, deity and doubter.

The Glass Age

Cole Swensen - 2007
    Starting there, this extended poem—part art criticism, part history—considers the phenomenon of glass, revealing the strength and fragility of our age in the minimalist style that has won Cole Swensen such acclaim.

Macular Hole

Catherine Wagner - 2004
    That Wagner is in love with the world and its transactions--perceptions, superficial and otherwise; childbearing, painful and otherwise; gains, financial and otherwise--allows for a poetry that is full of song yet brazenly topical.


C.D. Wright - 1961
    Wright interweaves familiar, coloquial speech with strikingly inventive language, leaving each poem a distinctive entity, yet interconnected by linked metaphors and images.

A Hummock in the Malookas

Matthew Rohrer - 1991
    In the singular landscape of Matthew Rohrer's first book of poems, the weather, the food, even the household appliances come to life. "A few pages into this book," says the Minneapolis City Pages, "and you'll start glancing sideways at the terrain, which . . . looks suddenly vital." These quirky poems entertain and delicately point to truth. Rohrer illuminates a land of skewed realities where the impossible seems familiar, the sacher torte is afraid to be eaten, and it's always dusk in the forest.


Joshua Beckman - 2006
    Compulsively readable, full of fear and persistence, they resonate with the wildness and generosity of Ginsberg, Whitman, and Ted Berrigan, turning the everyday into an encompassing, harrowing, humorous, necessary vision. Beckman is, as Publishers Weekly notes, “the real thing.”Joshua Beckman is the author of numerous poetry collections, translations, and collaborative works. His awards include a NYFA Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

Company of Moths: Poetry

Michael Palmer - 2005
    Michael Palmer has been hailed by John Ashbery as "exemplarily radical" and by The Village Voice as "the most influential avant-gardist working, and perhaps the greatest poet of his generation." His new book, Company of Mothsa collection in four parts, "Stone," "Scale," "Company of Moths," and "Dream"is beautiful, and fierce: "bright archive, sad merriment," "question pursuing question." Palmer, in this new volume for our darkest times, asks, "How will you now read in the dark?"


Dan Beachy-Quick - 2006
    Impelled by metaphor and lilting repetition, Mulberry seeks a sense of the world, and ultimately, finds a sense of the Infinite. Affording continual discoveries, Mulberry is a major work for the new century by an assured and lavishly gifted poet. Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of North True South Bright and Spell, He is chair of the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency.

Invisible Bride

Tony Tost - 2004
    Like a fantastic film, a feverish delirium, or a dream state, these prose poems use an experimental lexicon of imagery that goes beyond anything typically poetic. Tost's point of departure is the loss of the Other that makes the I: Agnes, And in a sort of coming-of-age soliloquy song, he meditates on a range of topics: fatherhood, childhood, identity, poetry. Together his poems express the unburdening of consciousness, a consciousness that contains the likes of Blake, Italo Calvino, Allen Grossman, and Frank Stanford, among others (including Tost himself), Surreal and surprising, Invisible Bride showcases the prose artistry of a new American talent.