Staff Picks


The Three Einsteins by Sarah Galvin

Those of you who have heard Ms. Galvin read her work and longed to see those deliciously odd pieces in print will now be able to savor them in the privacy of your own home. And if you’re new to her plain-spoken though anything-but-plain writing, Welcome to Galvin-land, a place at once surreal and familiar…. Read More

The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems
by Olena Kalytiak Davis

This marks the first book in a decade for Olena Kalytiak Davis, one of the more dynamic and compelling poets writing today. Her voice is muscular, sensual, tender, fierce. Her poems can arc with a postmodern energy and flow with a centuries-old lyricism. Her view is often of herself (or, at least, an “i”), a… Read More

Essays After Eighty by Donald Hall

Pull up a chair and settle in at Donald Hall’s old farmhouse. He makes a fine companion — wry, humble, intelligent, interesting. His essays wander fearlessly through the past and present of his life, sharing details comic, touching, and illuminating. Poetry, of course, is one of his topics, less the art itself than the vagaries… Read More

My Poems Won’t Change the World: Selected Poems by Patrizia Cavalli

If you can, imagine Sappho strumming her lyre from the center of a modern-day piazza… Such is the appeal of Patrizia Cavalli. She knows how to chum-up to an audience as a head-over-heels romantic–tempered yet untrammeled by love and its loss. You’re brought into her living room, behind plush curtains, onto her balcony to watch the spectacle of the everyday, arm in arm,… Read More

Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück

… I was constantly face-to-face with blankness, that stepchild of the sublime, which, it turns out, has been both my subject and my medium. (from “Afterword”) Louise Glück’s latest book is a masterful meditation on existence and death, on the passage of all things — topics as old as any in this material world. Her… Read More

Saint Friend by Carl Adamshick

If a collection of poetry at its best can at once be a confession, an elegy, a history, a love lyric, penned in the two-hearted language of retrospect, Saint Friend is such an achievement. This book speaks with a foreign tongue requiring no translation. It reads like the story of the stranger you see daily…. Read More

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder edited by Chad Wriglesworth

Here we have a window into over four decades of friendship between two prolific and well-respected countercultural American writers. Formally introduced in the early 1970s after already having been mutual appreciators of each other’s work, the poet-farmers struck up a cross-country camaraderie buoyed by the all-but-forgotten beauty of conversation. Through almost 250 letters, Wendell Berry… Read More

Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary by Harryette Mullen

Known primarily for the Steinian language poetry of Trimmings and S*PeRM**K*T and for her syntactically, semantically experimental Sleeping with the Dictionary, Harryette Mullen here departs into “capturing in concise form the ephemera of everyday life” by way of adapted traditional Japanese verse. Some simply observational, others more contemplative, Urban Tumbleweed’s tanka demonstrate a poet amidst… Read more »

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