Copper Canyon

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Not Go Away Is My Name

Ríos’s poems of memory and aspiration are small masterpieces of clarity and caring, “Hard at the work of being human.” A richly hopeful collection that seems especially vital now. [See “Versifying,” LJ 1/20.]
PREMIUM

Obit

Often incorporating short declarative sentences, Chang’s poems can veer toward being list-like but move forward quickly to endings that surprise and even amaze as they burrow deep into those grieving places all of us have experienced. Recommended for most collections.

The Park

A fine collection of spare, somber lyrics from an important figure in contemporary writing; with this volume, Freeman steps forward for merited attention as a poet in his own right. [See Barbara Hoffert’s “Versifying,” LJ 1/20.]
PREMIUM

For Now

In an anxious time, readers will find welcome consolation in Richardson’s poise and empathic relationship with the things of this small world.
PREMIUM

Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod

One of the poet’s great strengths is her ability to forge striking metaphors even if several veer far from the sensate world: “white petals disappear into his shadow like a conclusion.” But that’s a quibble, as most poems impart a passionate fierceness while revealing a shared humanity. Highly recommended for most collections.

Muddy Matterhorn

In a rich work that embraces life while pushing back on anything that restricts our reach, McHugh again proves herself to be a master poet

The Hardy Tree

Any new collection by Bierds is a blessing, and this one will not disappoint; her sensitive poems about Turing are lessons for aspiring readers or poets on the application of history to the creative impulse and power of poetry to illuminate the past.

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.

The Anti-Grief

Throughout, Boruch easily folds storytelling into her poems and makes deep emotional connections, as when Dorothy Wordsworth’s life segues into that of the poet’s grandmother. Repetition is occasionally overused, and the poet loses focus in the long poem “Keats Is Coughing,” which compares visits to Rome and Alaska, but overall this is a collection not to be missed.
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