Editor's Picks New Book Arrivals (314)
How to Live, What to Do is an indispensable introduction to Wallace Stevens. Keeping abreast of the latest discoveries of Einstein, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, and others, Stevens pushed the boundaries of language into the exotic territories of relativity and quantum mechanics while at the same time honoring the continuing human need for belief in some larger order. His work records how to live, what to do in this strange new world of experience, seeing what was always seen but never seen before.
The Lake Michigan Mermaid is a gripping tale in poems of a young girl’s desperate search for guidance. Raised in a ramshackle cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lykretia takes refuge in the lake. One day Lykretia spots a creature in the water. Is it the mythical Lake Michigan mermaid, or an embodiment of the stories her grandmother told as dementia ravaged her mind? Thus begins a telepathic conversation between a lost young girl and Phyliadellacia, the mermaid. Accompanied by haunting illustrations, The Lake Michigan Mermaid offers a tale of friendship, redemption, and the life-giving power of water as it explores family relationships and generational bonds.
In twenty-nine innovative essays, The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice considers how the question of place shapes contemporary poetry. Responding from cities and rural communities across the United States, the contributors of The Poem’s Country thoughtfully and passionately explore issues of politics, personal identity, ecology, the Internet, war, sexuality, faith, and the imagination. Essential reading for students of poetry at every level, The Poem’s Country examines the connection between lyric and geographical constraint, as well as how place challenges, enchants, and helps clarify the intersections between language and the world.
Sometimes we all feel as if our relationships consume us. In Red Mother Laurel Radzieski weaves a love story told from the perspective of a parasite. This series of short poems explores the intimacy, desire and devotion we all experience by following the sometimes tender, often distressing relationship that emerges between a parasite and its host. Far from romanticizing either role, Red Mother takes readers on a tour of their own innards. Following the parasite’s life cycle, the book blurs the line between science and poetic license to create a fantastical romp not for the squeamish.
This latest volume in the Teaching Hemingway series explores how his writing sheds light on broader questions of the human relationship to the nonhuman world. Organized geographically, the 16 essays by leading scholars are divided into five sections about Hemingway’s favorite places. Each essay includes specific classroom advice as well as theoretically sophisticated close readings.
"The word metanoia (typically translated as 'repentance') actually means 'Go into the larger mind.' In that sense, Skip Renker's new collection is a profound act of metanoia; it bears witness to a human being 'caught in the act' of waking up, learning to pay attention from the heart. Clearly detectible beneath the sparse, Zenlike surface of these poems are those deeper shafts of light emerging from a growing compassion, gentleness, and a wry, self- deprecating humor that somehow manages to 'hold all things in unity.’” —Cynthia Bourgeault
The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape is a collection of poems, rap lyrics, short stories, essays, interviews, and artwork about Chicago, the city that came to be known as "Chiraq" ("Chicago" + "Iraq"), and the people who live in its vibrant and occasionally violent neighborhoods. Tuned to the work of Chicago’s youth, especially the emerging artists and activists surrounding Young Chicago Authors, this literary mixtape unpacks the meanings of “Chiraq” as both a vexed term and a space of possibility.
In the hills of north central West Virginia, there lives a cast of characters who face all manner of problems. From the people who are incarcerated in West Virginia’s prisons, to a woman who is learning how to lose her sight with grace, to another who sorely regrets selling her land to a fracking company, Jaws of Life portrays the diverse concerns the people of this region face every day—poverty, mental illness, drug abuse, the loss of coal mines, and the rise of new extractive industries that exert their own toll.
Relentlessly original and brilliantly hybrid, Monster Portraits investigates the concept of the monstrous through a mesmerizing combination of words and images. An uncanny and imaginative autobiography of otherness, it offers the fictional record of a writer in the realms of the fantastic shot through with the memories of a pair of Somali-American children growing up in the 1980s. Operating under the sign of two—texts and drawings, brother and sister, black and white, extraordinary and everyday—Monster Portraits multiplies, disintegrates, and blends, inviting the reader to find the danger in the banal, the beautiful in the grotesque.
The character-driven stories in Meet Behind Mars offer beautiful insight into the emotional lives of caretakers, auto workers, dancers, and pawn shop employees. In "High Country," a frustrated would-be novelist considers ditching her family in the middle of the desert. In "Dive," an adoptee returns to her adoptive home, still haunted by histories she does not know. Simms writes from the voice of women and girls who struggle under structural oppression. The stories in this collection span forty years and two continents and range in structure from epistolary to traditionally structured realism, with touches of absurdity, humor, and magic.
“Dickson Lam’s Paper Sons combines memoir and cultural history, the quest for an absent father and the struggle for social justice, naming traditions in graffiti and in Chinese culture. Violence marks the story at every turn—from Mao to Malcolm X, from the projects in San Francisco to the lynching of Asians during the California Gold Rush. After one of his former students at the June Jordan School of Equity is gunned down on a street corner, Lam is compelled to tell a mosaic of stories. [ . . . ] Lam writes with a depth of hard-won understandings both political and psychological.” —Alison Hawthorne Deming, Contest Judge
Late 18th century. It is a time of bloody conflict and great turmoil. The slave trade expands from the east African coast. Europeans spread inland. And one young boy, Shaka, is destined to change the future of southern Africa. While Shaka has often been portrayed as a cruel and bloodthirsty tyrant, this re-telling of the legend explores the rise to power of a shrewd young prince who must now consolidate a new kingdom through warfare, mediation, and political alliances to defend his people against the expanding slave trade.
Travelers, Laura Bernstein-Machlay’s debut collection of essays, maps the author’s journey as she makes sense of her recovering city, the generations that preceded her, and her own definition of wife, mother, and home. Deftly observed and thoughtfully crafted, Bernstein-Machlay’s lyrical prose brings to life Detroit’s survivor spirit and the indefatigable nature of family. Travelers examines the intersection of the connections we form and those we inherit and how, with distance and trust and a little luck, we might find more than just our way home.
Firmly rooted in the dramatic landscapes and histories of Michigan, Field Recordings uses American folk music as a lens to investigate themes of personal origin, family, art, and masculinity. The speakers of these poems navigate Michigan’s folklore and folkways while exploring more personal connections to those landscapes and examining the timeless questions that occupy those songs and stories. With rich musicality and lyric precision, the poems in Field Recordings look squarely at what it means to be a son, a brother, an artist, a person.