Editor's Picks New Book Arrivals (320)
In this long-anticipated collection, Esther G. Belin daringly maps the poetics of womanhood, the body, institution, family, and love. Depicting the personal and the political, Of Cartography is an exploration of identity through language. With poems ranging from prose to typographic and linguistic illustrations, this distinctive collection pushes the boundaries of traditional poetic form.
Trace Ramsey’s All I Want to Do is Live personalizes common themes of survival, depression, and life in America at a time of division and upheaval. In this collection of short stories, essays, and poetry, Ramsey examines his family history and shows us how darkness can trickle through generations. As the personal often sheds light on the universal, Trace's memories of his childhood and the scenes from his life today also give us the story of our time, our country, and a people longing to find substance, freedom, and meaning.
Selected from the country’s leading literary journals and publications, Beautiful Flesh gathers eighteen essays on the body, essentially building a multi-gender, multi-ethnic body out of essays, each concerning a different part of the body. Essays include Dinty W. Moore’s “The Aquatic Ape,” Katherine E. Standefer’s “Shock to the Heart, Or: A Primer on the Practical Applications of Electricity,” Matt Roberts’s “Vasectomy Instruction 7,” and Peggy Shinner’s “Elective.” Echoing the myriad shapes, sizes, abilities, and types of the human body, these essays showcase the many forms of the genre: personal, memoir, lyric, braided, and so on.
Eric McCanus is a novelist struggling to write more, recently divorced, cynical toward marriage while still missing his ex-wife. Convinced that happy relationships are unsustainable, he sets out to prove his theory when he spots a seemingly perfect couple, Cara and Matt. Convinced their marriage can't be as successful as it appears, Eric does what he can to break them apart. Liars is an exploration of love, relationships, and human interaction revolving around five characters, each spun drunk on the batterings of love while attempting to sustain themselves in a false world.
In Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not, Kirk Curnutt explicates dozens of topics that arise from this controversial novel’s dense, tropical swelter of references and allusions. From Cuban politics to multifarious New Deal “alphabet agencies,” from rum running to human smuggling to byways, bars, and brothels, Curnutt delves deeply into the plot’s rich textural backdrop. Most important, he reminds us what a very different novel To Have and Have Not would have been had Hemingway not undergone a political change of heart.
Lying in bed in Gotland after a writer’s conference, thinking about his compulsive desire to travel—and the uncomfortable tensions this desire creates—the narrator of Salki starts recounting tragic stories of his family’s past, detailing their lives, struggles, and fears in twentieth-century Eastern Europe. In these pieces, he investigates various “salkis”—attic rooms where memories and memorabilia are stored—real and metaphorical, investigating old documents to better understand the violence of recent times.
In this fascinating collection by longtime poet Charles Rafferty, evocative prose poems insert strange and mysterious twists into otherwise mundane middle-class scenarios. With wonderful intelligence and imagination, these compact, revelatory poems show us what is possible when we jettison accepted devices of thought for methods that are stranger and much truer.
After his boyfriend Earth’s murder, CAConrad was looking for a (Soma)tic poetry ritual to overcome his depression. This new book of 18 rituals and their resulting poems contains that success, along with other political actions and exercises that testify to poetry’s ability to reconnect us and help put an end to our alienation from the planet.
With elegies to a brother, sister and father at the core, Robert Fanning’s third collection examines what sustains in us in spite of loss. In richly sonic and poignant lyrics, we witness the wilder forces beyond our houses and families and bastions of safety—of birds and wind, field and sea—of the beauty and devastation that we cannot contain and to which we eventually succumb. In poems alternately harrowing and humorous, bright and bittersweet, Fanning looks beyond grief to his children and the world to come, in a tenacious celebration of both impermanence and of what endures.
A retired, senile bank clerk confined to his basement apartment, Tómas Jónsson decides that, since memoirs are all the rage, he’s going to write his own—a sure bestseller—that will also right the wrongs of contemporary Icelandic society. Egoistic, cranky, and digressive, Tómas blasts away while relating pick-up techniques, meditations on chamber pot use, ways to assign monetary value to noise pollution, and much more. His rants parody and subvert the idea of the memoir—something that’s as relevant today in our memoir-obsessed society as it was when the novel was first published.
Through spare yet lyrical prose, Jennifer Sinor threads together the story of how she learned to carry the bucket she was born into and reclaim all that was tossed away. In short, almost telegraphic, linked pieces, Ordinary Trauma reveals moments in life that are made to appear unremarkable but harm deeply. Set against the late Cold War and a military childhood spent amid fast-attack submarines and long-range nuclear missiles, this memoir delivers a revelatory look at how moments that typically pass unnoticed form the very basis for our perceptions of both love and loss.
Subversive, erotic, and sublime, The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes challenges the conventions of airplane reading. Family, faith, technology, celebrity—yes, they are here. But so too is sex as philanthropy, flight as weltschmerz, and grammar as the ultimate loneliness. In a world that often seems to have lost its affinity for wonder, The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes reminds us that our greatest sense is our sense of wordplay.
Acclaimed poet Shane McCrae’s latest collection is a book about freedom told through stories of captivity. Historical persona poems and a prose memoir at the center of the book address the illusory freedom of both black and white Americans. In the book’s three sequences, McCrae explores the role mass entertainment plays in oppression, he confronts the myth that freedom can be based upon the power to dominate others, and, in poems about the mixed-race child adopted by Jefferson Davis in the last year of the Civil War, he interrogates the infrequently examined connections between racism and love.
The World Is One Place explores how the Middle East has captured the imaginations of a significant group of Native American poets, most of whom have traveled to the Middle East (broadly defined to include the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan). What qualities of the region drew them there? What did they see? How did their cultural perspectives as Native Americans inform their reactions and insights? Three thematic sections—Place, People, Spirit—feature poems and notes inspired by the poets experiences of Middle Eastern cultures.