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Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems


Franz Wright - 2011
    Wright’s most intimate thoughts and images appear before us in dramatic and spectral short narratives: mesmerizing poems whose colloquial sound and rhythms announce a new path for this luminous and masterful poet. In these journeys, we hear the constant murmured “yes” of creation—“it will be packing its small suitcase soon; it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last,” Wright tells us. He introduces us to the powerful presences in his world (the haiku master Basho, Nietzsche, St. Teresa of Avila, and especially his father, James Wright) as he explores the continually unfolding loss of childhood and the mixed blessings that follow it. Taken together, the pieces deliver the diary of a poet—“a fairly good egg in hot water,” as he describes himself—who seeks to narrate his way through the dark wood of his title, following the crumbs of language. “Take everything,” Wright suggests, “you can have it all back, but leave for a little the words, of all you gave the most mysteriously lasting.” With a strong presence of the dramatic in every line, Kindertotenwald pulls us deep into this journey, where we too are lost and then found again with him.

Two and Two


Denise Duhamel - 2005
    Throughout Two and Two, doubles abound: Noah's animals; Duhamel's parents as Jack and Jill in a near-fatal accident; an incestuous double sestina; a male/female pantoum; a dream and its interpretation; and translations of advertisements from English to Spanish. In two Möbius strip poems (shaped like the Twin Towers), Duhamel invites her readers to get out their scissors and tape and transform her poems into 3-D objects.At the book's center is "Love Which Took Its Symmetry for Granted," a gathering of journal entries, personal e-mails, and news reports into a collage of witness about September 11. A section of "Mille et un sentiments," modeled on the lists of Hervé Le Tellier, Georges Perec, and George Brainard, breaks down emotions to their most basic levels, their 1,001 tiny recognitions. The book ends with "Carbó Frescos," written in the form of an art guidebook from the 24th century.Innovative and unpretentious, Duhamel uses twice the language usually available for poetry. She culls from the literary and nonliterary, from the Bible and product warning labels, from Woody Allen films and Hong Kong action movies--to say difficult things with astonishing accuracy. Two and Two is second to none.

Spring Comes To Chicago


Campbell McGrath - 1996
    Now, in Spring Comes to Chicago, McGrath pushes deeper into the jungle of American culture, exposing and celebrating our native hungers and dreams. In the centerpiece of the book, "The Bob Hope Poem," McGrath confronts the paradoxes that energize and confound us--examining his own avid affection for People magazine and contemplating such diverse subjects as Wittgenstein, meat packers, money, and, of course, Bob Hope himself. Whether viewing this life with existential gravity or consumerist glee, McGarth creates poetry that is at once public and profoundly personal.

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?"

Meteoric Flowers


Elizabeth Willis - 2006
    These poems are allusive and tough. While they celebrate the pleasures of the natural world--mutability, desire, and the flowering of things--they are compounded by a critical awareness of contemporary culture. As we traverse their associative leaps, we discover a linguistic landscape that is part garden, part wilderness, where a poem can perform its own natural history. Divided into four cantos interrupted by lyrics and errata, Meteoric Flowers mirrors the form of Erasmus Darwin's 18th-century scientific pastorals. In attending to poetry's investigative potential, Willis shifts our attention from product to process, from commodity to exchange, from inherited convention to improvisational use.

Made Flesh


Craig Arnold - 2008
    could have predicted the delayed depth-charge of this explosive second book, motored by vividly earthly language and disguised philosophical sophistication." —Publishers Weekly, starred review"Throughout Made Flesh, one of the most powerful poetry books this year, Arnold gets at both the contradictions and timelessness of love." —Time Out New York"The readers delighted with (Arnold's) first book (Shells) will be differently enchanted with these. They contain a wealth of contemplation as well as observation and experience. Their unpunctuated free style carries the reader into the poems, piling up events and details in a breathless rush....The poems of Made Flesh are unforgettable, and it is tragic that readers will have no new books from Craig Arnold."—Magill Book ReviewsA girl wakes up to find out just how completely her lover has possessed her. A couple realizes they’ve been trapped inside an ancient myth. A traveler glances out through a train window and catches the dim reflection of another world.This is the world of Made Flesh, the long-awaited second book by Craig Arnold, a finalist for the Utah Book Award and the High Plains book award. Made Flesh delineates a new mythology of what it means to be in the body. Marrying narrative precision to lyric ecstasy, the archaic to the avant-garde, these poems celebrate the fragility of our very selves and “the joy of self-forgetting,” the acts of surrender that loves asks of us. Fierce, exuberant, and erotic, they invite the reader to share a rare and startling vision: how, if we would only permit ourselves to be drawn out of our mental privacies, out to the very surface of our skin, we might admit the beauty of being for a moment in the world, and with each other.Craig Arnold is the author of Shells, a Yale Series of Younger Poets selection chosen by W.S. Merwin. He taught at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In late April 2009, Craig Arnold went missing on the Japanese island of Kuchinoerabu-jima, where he was working on a book about volcanoes as part of a Creative Artists' Exchange Fellowship from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. He was forty-one years old.

Luck Is Luck: Poems


Lucia Perillo - 2005
    Hers is a vision like no other. In “To My Big Nose,” she muses: “hard to imagine what the world would have looked like / if not seen through your pink shadow. / You who are built from random parts / like a mythical creature–a gryphon or sphinx–.”Fearless, focused, ironic, irreverent, truly and deeply felt, the poems in Luck Is Luck draw upon the circumstances of being a woman, the harsh realities of nature, the comfort of familiar things, and universally recognizable anxieties about faith and grief, love and desire. In “Languedoc,” she writes, “Long ago / I might have been attracted by your tights and pantaloons / but now they just look silly, ditto for your instrument / that looks like a gourd with strings attached / (the problem is always the strings attached).”Perillo’s versions of nature are always unflinching: “Most days back then I would walk by the shrike tree, / a dead hawthorn at the base of a hill. / The shrike had pinned smaller birds on the tree’s black thorns / and the sun had stripped them of their feathers. / . . . well, hard luck is luck, nonetheless. / With a chunk of sky in each eye socket. / And the pierced heart strung up like a pearl.”Down-to-earth, full of playful twists of language, and woven from grand themes in an accessible, appealing way, these poems pierce the heart and delight the mind. Not one word is wasted.

Yellowrocket: Poems


Todd Boss - 2008
    His first collection, set in the Midwest, alternately features a childhood Wisconsin farm, the record-breaking storm that destroyed it, and the turbulent marriage that recalls it. Love and wonder mingle in these lines.

A Rustic Mind


Manali Manan Desai - 2018
    Through ‘A Rustic Mind’ I aim to provide a thoughtful take on such actions and incidents. Poetic in its expression, these words will strike a chord which is not only deep but relatable on many levels.

Thin Kimono


Michael Earl Craig - 2010
    Anything can happen, and probably will, and it will affect me in small or large ways that I couldn't have imagined. The precision of their imagery keeps me reeling with delight."—James TateThin Kimono continues Michael Earl Craig's singular breed of brilliant absurdist poetry, utterly and masterfully slanting the realities of daily existence.Michael Earl Craig is the author of two previous collections of poetry: Yes, Master (Fence Books, 2006) and Can You Relax in My House (Fence Books, 2002). He lives in Livingston, Montana, where he is a certified journeyman farrier.

The Tether


Carl Phillips - 2001
    Though it would help,it is not required that I give hima name first. Also, nothingsays he stops, then, or must turn.--from "The Figure, the Boundary, the Light"In the art of falconry, during training the tether between the gloved fist and the raptor's anklets is gradually lengthened and eventually unnecessary. In these new lyric poems, Carl Phillips considers the substance of connection -- between lover and beloved, mind and body, talon and perch -- and ts the cable of mutual trust between soaring figure and shadowed ground.Contemporary literature can perhaps claim no poetry more clearly allegorical than that of Carl Phillips, whose four collections have turned frequently to nature, myth, and history for illustration; still, readers know the primary attributes of his work to be its physicality, grace, and disarming honesty about desire and faith. In The Tether, his fifth book, Phillips's characteristically cascading poetic line is leaner and more dramatic than ever."

Selected Poems, 1960-1990


Maxine Kumin - 1997
    Since the publication of her first book of poetry, Halfway, Maxine Kumin has been powerfully and fruitfully engaged in the "stuff of life that matters": family, friendship, the bond between the human and natural worlds, and the themes of loss and survival.

Queen of a Rainy Country


Linda Pastan - 2006
    Linda Pastan writes, "the art that mattered / was the life led fully / stanza by swollen stanza." That life is portrayed here, from memories of the poet's earliest childhood and the ambiguities of marriage and love to the surprises that come with age, always with a consciousness of what is happening in the larger world.

Frail-Craft


Jessica Fisher - 2007
    The book and the dream are the poet’s primary objects of investigation here. Through deft, quietly authoritative lyrics, Fisher meditates on the problems and possibilities—the frail craft—of perception for the reader, the dreamer, maintaining that “if the eye can love—and it can, it does—then I held you and was held.” In her foreword to the book, Louise Glück writes that Fisher’s poetry is “haunting, elusive, luminous, its greatest mystery how plain-spoken it is. Sensory impressions, which usually serve as emblems of or connections to emotion, seem suddenly in this work a language of mind, their function neither metonymic nor dramatic. They are like the dye with which a scientist injects his specimen, to track some response or behavior. Fisher uses the sense this way, to observe how being is converted into thinking.”

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.