Staff Picks by Tag

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Space Struck Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781946448446
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Sarabande Books - October 8th, 2019

Happy National Poetry Month! Space Struck is a lovely collection. I read this book after listening to a podcast featuring the poet, in which Lewis's voice and presence were so unique that I felt I had to read their written work, just to see how this would translate to the page. The way the poems deal with nature, especially, is really satisfying. Nature is a complicated and cruel character in its own right. Each poem is clever, understated, tight, a little funny, and often sad.


Review by Alyson

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Thrown in the Throat (National Poetry) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315212
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 11th, 2020

I stan HARD! This may be the best collection I've read in years. Pick this up ASAP!!

 


Review by Rosa

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Catrachos: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450239
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - May 5th, 2020

I loved everything about this collection. There were so many lines I re-read over and over again in hopes I will remember them forever. 


Review by Rosa

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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450147
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - March 3rd, 2020

A wonderful collection of poems, and an intimate look into being indigenous in a nation that violently stifles her family's identity as well as their bodies. Despite grief and bitterness, she weaves in threads of joy and hope. Her poems about her brother best encapsulate this feeling.
Natalie Diaz is a Mojave woman enrolled in the Gila River Indian Tribe. Check out her first collection of poems, When My Brother Was An Aztec, if (like me) you can't get enough!


Review by Jessie

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The Tradition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556594861
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2nd, 2019

There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.


Review by Emily

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Calling a Wolf a Wolf Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781938584671
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Alice James Books - September 12th, 2017

I found myself writing down words and sentences on scraps of paper as I read Kaveh Akbar's debut collection of poetry. More an act of devotion than habit, I wanted to keep his words close.  While addiction and recovery form the central thesis of Akbar's work, it's the manner in which he mines the unreliable taxonomies of desire, want, and need that took me over. The title of the collection comes from an exquisite line in one of the poems: "Thinking if it had a problem it might have a solution/ thinking if I called a wolf a wolf I might dull its fangs.” A paean to the ineffable, the elusive, the sometimes maddening limits of language and its infinite imperfections that can make your head hurt and your heart break. 


Review by Em

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Soft Science Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781938584992
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Alice James Books - April 2nd, 2019

Franny Choi's ideas are rooted in science fiction but stretch into fully human ideas of gender and identity. Cyborg and human speakers morph into each other as you progress through the poems, creating a new framework for understanding the self through technology. Eventually, these cyborgs sound more like humans,  insecure and sheepish (try page 19 for "Turing Test_Emotional Response" if this interests you). I imagine this book would be even more fun to read if you were more well-versed in science fiction than I am; the poems are often laden with references. There's a lot going on in this book, but Choi finds balance: for every cleverly robotic turn of phrase, there's a heady sensory description.


Review by Alyson

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How to Cure a Ghost Cover Image
By Fariha Róisín, Monica Ramos (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781419737565
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Abrams Image - September 24th, 2019

The rage in Roisin's poetry collection slashes through to your heart, then the tenderness sews you back together again. This work explores accepting one's intersectional self and the weight of shame, ancestral trauma, and oppression. A book about survival, dedicated to survivors.


Review by Kelly

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Sana Sana Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781732498686
Availability: Unavailable
Published: Game Over Books - January 21st, 2020

Forget all your other faves. Ariana Brown is the real deal! Her poems will cut you up and heal you all at the same time. Reading this was one of the most personal reading experiences I've had in a long time.  


Review by Rosa

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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

I go back to this book quite often. If I could underline the whole thing, I would. Carson reimagines an ancient Greek myth into a coming-of-age story told through verse, a combination of prose and poetry that lends itself perfectly to Carson's voice. Our main character, a red winged monster, deals with who to love, his brother and mother and the magnetic boy who takes him by the hand. A haunting and beautiful page-turner that at only 160 pages will make you pick it up again after you've just put it down.  

 


Review by Emily

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