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Reading Lists for August, Aug. 6, 2019 | Book Pulse

PREMIUM

Feel Free

Laird writes remarkable poems, self-reflective and socially drenched. Those here are rich instances of awakening and discovery. Highly recommended.

Battle Dress

 An important book owing to its alternate view of war and the military.

PREMIUM

Love and I

In nearly every poem, the poet delves deeply. Her questing invites us to read and reread. For all academic and larger public library collections.

PREMIUM

A Sand Book

In a collection this large, some, even many, poems could have been weeded. But readers will be pulled in by the quality of the writing, which throbs with a Kerouac-like energy, and the poet’s worldview, at once innocent and world-weary, cosmopolitan and everyday.

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

No Matter

As when reading John Ashbery, readers here will need to give themselves the words, allow magic to happen, as when walking up the street “was to be rinsed,/ to lean into the current and hear/ its drowned voices, hear the one voice just stating the obvious.”
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

The Government Lake: Last Poems

Tate’s readers will not be disappointed in his final work, which evinces no diminishment of his talent or failure of his wry-necked perspective on worldly experience.

Come Closer and Listen: New Poems

For all libraries.

PREMIUM

no time like now: Poems

A grim but somehow salutary record of our moment from one of our truly distinctive poetic voices

PREMIUM

Little Glass Planet: Poems

Idiosyncratic and memorable, Gibson’s poetry will reward readers even through its moments of anguish: “If we belong to anything in the universe,/ it’s to our own music.”
PREMIUM

Soft Targets

Not easy or comforting reading, Landau’s latest works as both memory and warning. For serious readers of poetry.

Fifteen Key Poetry Collections from Presses Large and Small | Spring Poetry 2019

Nightingale

Lovely, lyrical, bracing work: a must-read.

Top Fall Poetry : Books Beyond the Basics To Fire Up Your Imagination

PREMIUM

Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems

As befits a Women of the World Slam Champion and 2011 National Poetry Slam Champion, Christina uses rhythmic, throbbing, vervy language that lets readers live Anarcha's tragic story.
PREMIUM

Half-Hazard: Poems

Empathetic, accessible reading.
PREMIUM

The Final Voicemails: Poems

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood

An honest, punch-angry portrait of being American while black.
PREMIUM

Real Life: An Installation

Sharp social and political observation from a poet who does it right.
PREMIUM

Berthe Morisot

Lovely color images and details of the artworks comprise this excellent overview of an important impressionist artist. Readers should take note that this is the same book as the 2010 edition with the same content, likely republished to coincide with the traveling 2018 Berthe Morisot exhibition.
PREMIUM

You Darling Thing

Eerie, otherworldly, and enthrallingly dangerous, this smart, disquieting collection should be handed to sophisticated readers.
PREMIUM

Feeld

This book will shape the conversation on poetry and can make other collections feel ordinary, but its challenges are best left to serious poetry lovers.
PREMIUM

Hold

Hicok pours forth his incisive observations rat-a-tat, and occasionally one falls down, but he remains good company for most readers.
PREMIUM

Flyover Country

Charming work for many readers.
PREMIUM

The Mirrormaker: Poems

Look for the release of accompanying songs, but first get the book.
PREMIUM

Anaphora: An Elegy

Tough emotionally and stylistically but a remarkable read.
PREMIUM

Crosslight for Youngbird

An affecting debut collection.
PREMIUM

Isako Isako

This Alice James Award winner is a strong addition to most collections.
PREMIUM

Autobiography of a Wound

Wise, startling, often painful reading from a poet to watch.
PREMIUM

Not Here

Not easygoing but absorbing, important reading.
PREMIUM

Virgin

A moving section of this book clarifies the influences of the poet's artist father, who teaches her the meaning of art: "This one is art. This is what art looks like." She learned her lesson well.
PREMIUM

dying in the scarecrow's arms: Poems

Strong work for most collections.
PREMIUM

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins

"In a second I'll tell you how little/ Writing rescues," says Hayes, but his rescues a lot. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

We Play a Game

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Extra Hidden Life, among the Days

For all smart poetry readers.
PREMIUM

Lady of Light: New Poems

The title comes from Wakoski's habit of signing her correspondence "I remain Yr Lady of Light, Diane," and these poems surely sparkle.
PREMIUM

Threat Come Close

Coleman's knotty lines can be a challenge, but he knows his way around language, and the emotion is real.
PREMIUM

Bird Odyssey

Fun for all readers.
PREMIUM

House of McQueen

With it skittering language, not for your average fashionista, but serious readers will find rich rewards.
PREMIUM

The Black Bear Inside Me

A wise, accomplished book for most readers.
PREMIUM

Rest

An important story affecting and effective in its simplicity.
PREMIUM

The Cold and the Rust: Poems

Forthright language that invites in all readers.
PREMIUM

Night School

Seriously inventive and delightful; for most readers.
PREMIUM

Rail: Poems

Carlson-Wee effectively uses repetition to build tension in poems that are deceptively simple and homey, and the tempered language draws readers into his heartfelt lines. Even those who don't typically read poetry will enjoy.
PREMIUM

The Dream of Reason

Eerie and approachable; solid work from a rising poet.
PREMIUM

Approaching the Fields: Poems

A spacious, considered, and beautifully paced family account that, properly, is not chronological, as past and present, grandparents and children, are braided together. Feldman concludes: "I will die wanting/ To hear again my name in the mouths/ of my old women."
PREMIUM

The Shutters

Strong, instructive, strikingly translated.
PREMIUM

Terrible Blooms

If Stein wants to spin "to lose my bearings," she wants us to spin, too. Excellent poetry.
PREMIUM

Invocation to Daughters

Infused with Spanish and Tagalog, Reyes's beautiful, angry verse shines throughout. For a wide range of readers.
PREMIUM

Thousands

A poet to watch; poetry lovers will want to dig in.
PREMIUM

bone

A bright, accessible work for readers beyond the poetry crowd.
PREMIUM

Beneath the Spanish

A solid selection for neophytes and Cruz's fans alike.
PREMIUM

If I Were a Suicide Bomber: & Other Verses

Good work for readers who like their verse philosophical.
PREMIUM

Barbie Chang

Perhaps not as sprightly as The Boss but still satisfying work from rising-star Chang, exploring the little explored.
PREMIUM

Concerto al-Quds

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Shadowboxing: poems & impersonations

A one-of-a-kind debut; it's easy to imagine both experienced poetry readers and teenage newbies burrowing into this book.
PREMIUM

Magnetic Point: Selected Poems, 1968–2014

Readers of international poetry will appreciate discovering a splendidly translated new voice; others will appreciate the lucid writing.
PREMIUM

Electric Arches

Smart and widely appealing.
PREMIUM

Radioactive Starlings

Attentive reading required, but a feast for the senses sophisticated readers will enjoy.
PREMIUM

I Wore My Blackest Hair

An accomplished first collection for a wide range of readers.
PREMIUM

Season of the Second Thought

A terrific collection.
PREMIUM

Starshine & Clay

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

For Want of Water: And Other Poems

Affecting and well wrought; Pimentel is a poet to watch.
PREMIUM

Thaw

Dingman sets her scenes well, with the tough rhythms of life coming through, and her excellent work will be appreciated by a range of readers.
PREMIUM

Madness

A terrific first collection; highly recommended for poetry lovers.
PREMIUM

Civil Twilight

Weighty but worth it for serious poetry readers.
PREMIUM

I Know Your Kind

Though occasionally one wants more edge, this is a thoughtful collection that can be approached by all readers.
PREMIUM

Tremulous Hinge

An Iowa Poetry Prize winner that will please a wide range of readers.
PREMIUM

Hothouse

Smart, original, spirited work.
PREMIUM

The January Children

Crisp, beautiful writing of great import; a Sillerman First Book Prize winner.
PREMIUM

Our Lady of Not Asking Why

Kampa's urge to feel, to will herself into others' being, is a gift that will carry her far.
PREMIUM

As Burning Leaves

Sometimes there's too much fracturing, and sometimes meaning gets slippery, but Jesiolowski has a fine grasp of craft and emotion.
PREMIUM

The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded

Brown accomplishes her task admirably, and her work will appeal not just to poetry readers.
PREMIUM

Objects from a Borrowed Confession

A rich meditation on self and others; for all smart readers.
PREMIUM

Cold Pastoral

Engaged and engaging poetry.
PREMIUM

Partially Excited States

"Sunrise on Mercury" opens, "A woman in a bar once told me I looked like matches waiting for an arsonist. A man said, "If you could lick my heart,/ it would poison you," which sums up exactly Hood's darkly offbeat and witty verse. A Felix Pollak Poetry Prize winner.
PREMIUM

Water & Salt

Taking her from Beirut, Baghdad, Afghanistan, and a once-imprisoned Palestinian friend "whose eyes are like two pools of olive/ oil about to ignite," Tuffaha's journey is both immediately relevant and timelessly poetic.
PREMIUM

When I Grow Up I Want To Be a List of Further Possibilities

An A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize winner; expansive work for expansive audiences.
PREMIUM

Sycamore

A quiet, beautifully articulated work whose mood does not wear.
PREMIUM

how to get over

Drop-dead gorgeous indeed.
PREMIUM

Nature Poem

A 2013 Lambda Literary fellow, Pico concludes, "It's hard to be anything// but a pessimist," but we can be deeply optimistic about his work.
PREMIUM

Beasts Behave in Foreign Lands

Startling and successful; for most readers.
PREMIUM

Field Theories

Interesting work; anyone who can combine woolly mammoths and the lyric "I'm gonna be your number one" in one poem knows her stuff.
PREMIUM

In the Language of My Captor

Unsettling and approachable for a wide audience.
PREMIUM

Scald

Duhamel's deceptively informational, almost deadpan voice might at first puzzle but soon becomes incantatory, even obsessive. Engaging for a wide range of readers.
PREMIUM

Simulacra

Matthews takes risks here and sometimes gets out of line, but this imaginative work will attract anyone who reads poetry seriously.
PREMIUM

Please Bury Me in This

Poetry has always wrestled with death as both dark lure and terrifying unknown, and White's contribution is heartfelt and true, both deeply personal and embracing.
PREMIUM

Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

The Sobbing School

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Unbearable Splendor

A challenging book that will reward serious readers.
PREMIUM

Ocular Proof

Highly recommended; this is both intellectually astute and lit-up, sharply observed verse.
PREMIUM

With the River on Our Face

Sometimes these poems can feel like a sprawl of lists, but keep reading. Of regional appeal, certainly, but Pérez is a gifted writer for everyone to watch.
PREMIUM

The Tortoise of History

Sparkly, witty, insouciant, with little drops of wisdom and a few throwaways; fun for all.
PREMIUM

Primitive

"What cripples
PREMIUM

Last Lake

Occasionally longish poems but always with a payoff; for all readers.
PREMIUM

Violent Blues

Perfectly tuned language and rhythm; many readers will identify with Willard's quietly troubled thoughts and small-town settings.
PREMIUM

Words on the Street

For all rebels at heart.
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