Fred Muratori

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PREMIUM

Kaufman, Bob. Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman

Acutely aware of the contradictions between American ideals and its practices, Kaufman’s imaginative and jaggedly passionate poetry seems ripe for rediscovery. “When I die,” he wrote, “I won’t stay/ Dead.” This volume persuasively argues for his resurrection.

Best Poetry 2019

Solar Perplexus

Young’s improvisations are simultaneously hilarious and poignant, revealing a deeply felt humanity and a covert awareness of our shared zeitgeist (“If you didn’t wake up/ screaming, you didn’t wake up”) that cause them to inspire no less than they entertain.
PREMIUM

One Lark, One Horse: Poems

Hofmann’s condensed, serrated screeds against a gradually dehumanizing culture might seem unduly dyspeptic to some readers, but others will appreciate their unglossed vision and resistance to passive acceptance.
PREMIUM

Poems Written Abroad: The Lilly Library Manuscript

Of primary interest to Spender scholars, this long-lost volume also offers poetry lovers a glimpse of a budding modernist mind fully engaged with “the anguish of beauty and the anxieties/ of pleasure.”
PREMIUM

Robert Schumann Is Mad Again

These improvisations are like peculiar keys that fit no known locks and will no doubt find approval among those who admire surrealist poetry. Others, however, may see poems that too easily get carried away with themselves, abandoning the reader along the way.

PREMIUM

Tribunal

Propelled by activist alarm ("We live in toppled times under a feat of tyranny"), Hejinian employs a seamless blend of poetic craft, spontaneity, and oblique associations to build a wall of creative resistance against acquiescence and despair.
PREMIUM

The Year of Blue Water

Intimate as a private diary yet aware that "someone is listening on the other end," Yanyi's debut collection offers compressed meditations on the complex relationship between personal and social consciousness, inviting readers to participate in pursuing deep questions whose answers matter less than the shared, ongoing experience of asking.

The Tradition

Though many poems here risk intruding on some readers' comfort zones, Brown's uneasy fusion of art, conscience, eroticism, and rage—like any serious poetry worth close attention—aspires to greatness within the fragmented immediacies of our historical moment while suggesting a shared human destination: "A poem is a gesture toward home." [An editor's pick, LJ 2/19, p. 23.]

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