Staff Picks

Ending in Planes & Third Voice by Ruth Ellen Kocher

$15 Noemi Press & $16.95 Tupelo Press (respectively)

Ending in Planes offers the reader an infinite sentence only capable in dreams. Imagine a speaker who needs not breath for the body of their words nor time to create them. In long lines devoid of punctuation, Ruth Ellen Kocher uses capital letters to denote the start of a “sentence.” Poems of this form, scattered throughout… Read More

A Conjoined Book by Karla Kelsey

$17.95 Omnidawn

Karla Kelsey is a master of molding the lyric to her own explorations, which in the case of this collection, her third, include questions of mind and book, weather and landscape. Kelsey offers up two sections that “conjoin” at the hip—not in their narrative state or in their speaker, but rather in the images of… Read More

We’re On: A June Jordan Reader edited by Cristoph Keller & Jan Heller Levi

$24.95 Alice James Books

Culled from over twenty-five works of poetry, fiction, criticism, and collaboration, June Jordan’s pieces that appear in this reader showcase Jordan’s ability to use language to punch holes in the fabric of political oppression, holes through which we just might be able to breathe. —Gabrielle Bates *** “These Poems” These poems they are things that I… Read More

Madness by sam sax

$18.00 Penguin

Clinically framed and achingly embodied, this thrilling debut takes our bloody hand in its bloody hand and leads us through the halls of mental health institutions, treatments, and histories. I am in awe of sax’s formal dexterity, as well as his ability to hold his gaze on a moving wound. All around, the walls pulse… Read More

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

$16.00 Graywolf Press

Danez Smith garnered wide acclaim for [insert] boy (YesYes Books) making this—their second collection—one of the most highly anticipated books of the year. Already shortlisted for the National Book Award, this collection pushes the redemptive possibilities of language, imagining an afterlife “not earth / not heaven” in which black boys are free to experience the carefree love,… Read More

September 2017 Newsletter

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Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Lundy Martin

$16.95 Coffee House Press

These are poems about wounds at every stage: the breaking open, the scabbing over, the scar. A menacing stranger (“ever-beckoning, black eyed and grinning”) surfaces throughout the book, haunting and seducing the speaker, stitching together the book’s wide range of forms. Invested in multiple mediums, the poet also includes photographs and excerpts of a libretto… Read More

Memory Foam by Adam Soldofsky

$15.00 Disorder Press

Gentle, confident poems cascade, unnamed, through a muted urban landscape, eventually diving off of big ideas atop delicate stems. Soldofsky has a knack for condensation, which is, perhaps, one for word-choice: an expansive vocabulary attuned to the microscopic. And a voice I wish to inhabit. Smart, playful, observant, energizing. A wonderful debut. * * *… Read More

Ah, Mouthless Things by Lee Seong-Bok, translated from the Korean by Eun-Gwi Chung, Myung Mi Kim, & Brother Anthony of Taizé

$12.95 Green Integer

Lee Seong-Bok invokes the readers’ help in his repeated, Sŏn-like interrogations of life on Earth―of seagulls, the sea, night; of illness, pain, death―and also of himself and others. His questions are likely answerable, but any response is as paradoxically dependent on a florid imagination as it is on purposeful ineffability. Most surprisingly, part and parcel of Lee’s… Read More

Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart

$40.00 Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Driven by historical, mythic, and psychotic personae, Bidart’s oeuvre—amassed here for the first time—invites us into the mouths of monsters and bids us bend to their songs. The poet’s mentors Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop whisper in the tome’s backward-glancing narratives and investigations of desire, but the parade of human psyches grinding against the strictures of… Read More