Tracy K. Smith's work has garnered her numerous awards. She is poet Laureate and the winner of a Pulitzer prize for her poetry. But Smith and her writing are more than her awards. Specifically in Life on Mars, Smith writes in a way that is at once down to earth and extremely profound. Touching on topics from race, to religion, ecology and astronomy (I mean, consider the title), Smith's prose will move the reader in every way.
With the urgent force of a rallying cry, Smith documents the many external and internal forces that imperil black bodies. His pain from his experience as an HIV-positive, queer black man is palpable, and every poem brims with anger, regret and unfathomable sadness. Take your time with each poem, for every one is rich, complex and worthy of re-reading.
So you know how the world sometimes makes you wanna sink deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep into a watery grave?? This book helps me not do that!
Read this very short but important story written as a poem by a boy who hates poetry and thinks he can't write it. Jack feels defeated by Miss Stretchberry's assignment, until he is snared by snippets of William Carlos Williams, William Blake, Robert Frost, Valerie Worth, S.C. Rigg, Arnold Adoff, and Walter Dean Myers. Little by little, Jack is telling his tale with both humor and heart-wrenching threads...in poetry!
Absolutely searing book of poetry with a fine eye toward metaphor and repetition. Díaz writes like a necromancer, an augurer, a sorceress - a conjurer. She combines the mythic with sharp realities of her Mojave family life and her brother's meth addiction - uncomfortable but luxurious, vibrant and tragic, erotic and linguistically Baroque.
By turns hilarious and thought-provoking, this book will take you on an unforgettable journey from the unforgiving landscape of the American Southwest to the diction of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a secret military programme to remotely pilot moths.
It's National Poetry Month! Ever feel as though poetry is "boring" or you don't want to read it because "it doesn't tell a story" or "doesn't resolve"? As the head of the poetry section, these are complaints I field often. Since reading "The Others," it's easy to find a book to respond to these concerns. This is a novel in verse that tells the story of a day in the life of a low-level employee at a publishing house. A day in the life of someone dealing with books should rightfully take you through the books as well, and this one does, thrillingly so. Through the main character we read the stories of an 19th-century French pot-smoker, a group of students communing with ghosts, and many others. Lots of fun, lots of ideas, lots of energy.
A bright, shining lighthouse of a book. At turns tender and ferocious, this is a book that you hand to those struggling to find and express their voice. Acevedo's debut verse novel powerfully asserts the humming, electric, life-altering potential of poetry and literature.
Lerner starts this book-length essay with a reading of the perhaps the most famous piece of writing about poetry, from the poem "Poetry" by Marianne Moore, which reads, in its entirety:
I, too, dislike it.
***Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for
it, one discovers in
***it, after all, a place for the genuine.
This poem is the perfect starting point for the examination of the culture-wide contempt toward poetry, but also the ironic respect, deference, and revulsion with which we treat poets. Drawing on the work of Caedmon, Emily Dickinson, and Amiri Baraka, Ben Lerner proves himself a delightful guide through literary history and argument.
This ingenious collection borrows and recontextualizes vocabulary from the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms. A fascinating exercise in linguistic appropriation that won the PEN Literary Award.