The poems in this collection were chosen by Hughes himself shortly before his death in 1967 and represent work from his entire career, including "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "The Weary Blues," "Still Here," "Song for a Dark Girl," "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and "Refugee in America." It gives us a poet of extraordinary range, directness, and stylistic virtuosity.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
The Divine Comedydescribes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.
'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism... likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue
'The most moving lines literature has achieved' - Jorge Luis Borges
'This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation - a deeply-informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read' - Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Individual editions of Robin Kirkpatrick's translation - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso - are also available in Penguin Classics, and include Dante's Italian printed alongside the English text.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.
Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.
When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn't the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath's original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem "Ariel," which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath's works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.
From "with thanks to Sahra Nguyen for the refugee style slogan":
They give the kids candy to bet.
My daughter loses the first four rounds,
she's a quiet wire as they take her candy away, piece by piece.
When she finally wins, I ask if she wants to play again.
No! she shouts, grabbing her candy, I want to go home!
True refugee style:
take everything you got and run with it.
Bao Phi is a National Poetry Slam finalist.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Although the consciousness of death is, in most cultures, very much a part of life, this is perhaps nowhere more true than in Japan, where the approach of death has given rise to a centuries-old tradition of writing jisei, or the "death poem." Such a poem is often written in the very last moments of the poet's life.
Hundreds of Japanese death poems, many with a commentary describing the circumstances of the poet's death, have been translated into English here, the vast majority of them for the first time. Yoel Hoffmann explores the attitudes and customs surrounding death in historical and present-day Japan and gives examples of how these have been reflected in the nation's literature in general. The development of writing jisei is then examined—from the longing poems of the early nobility and the more "masculine" verses of the samurai to the satirical death poems of later centuries.
Zen Buddhist ideas about death are also described as a preface to the collection of Chinese death poems by Zen monks that are also included. Finally, the last section contains three hundred twenty haiku, some of which have never been assembled before, in English translation and romanized in Japanese.
When Max Ritvo was diagnosed with cancer at age sixteen, he became the chief war correspondent for his body. The poems of Four Reincarnations are dispatches from chemotherapy beds and hospitals and the loneliest spaces in the home. They are relentlessly embodied, communicating pain, violence, and loss. And yet they are also erotically, electrically attuned to possibility and desire, to “everything living / that won’t come with me / into this sunny afternoon.” Ritvo explores the prospect of death with singular sensitivity, but he is also a poet of life and of love—a cool-eyed assessor of mortality and a fervent champion for his body and its pleasures.
Ritvo writes to his wife, ex-lovers, therapists, fathers, and one mother. He finds something to love and something to lose in everything: Listerine PocketPak breath strips, Indian mythology, wool hats. But in these poems—from the humans that animate him to the inanimate hospital machines that remind him of death—it’s Ritvo’s vulnerable, aching pitch of intimacy that establishes him as one of our finest young poets.
Gathered here is a half century’s magnificent work by the former poet laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner whose haunting and exemplary style has influenced an entire generation of American poets.
Beginning with the limited-edition volume Sleeping with One Eye Open, published in 1964, Mark Strand was hailed as a poet of piercing originality and elegance, and in the ensuing decades he has not swerved from his vision of how a poem should be shaped and what it should deliver. As he entered the middle period of his career, with volumes such as The Continuous Life (1990), Strand was already well-known for his ability to capture the subtle music of consciousness, and for creating painterly physical landscapes that could answer to the inner self: “And here the dark infinitive to feel, / Which would endure and have the earth be still / And the star-strewn night pour down the mountains / Into the hissing fields and silent towns.” In his later work, from Blizzard of One (1998) which won the Pulitzer Prize, through the sly, provocative riddles of his recent Almost Invisible (2012), Strand has delighted in reminding us that there is no poet quite like him for a dose of dark wit that turns out to be deep wisdom and self-deprecation. He has given voice to our collective imagination with a grandeur and comic honesty worthy of his great Knopf forebear Wallace Stevens. With this volume, we celebrate his canonical work.
From the Hardcover edition.
Poems by Robert FrostA Boy’s Will and North of Boston
The publication of A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914) marked the debut of Robert Frost as a major talent and established him as the true poetic voice of New England. Four of his volumes would win the Pulitzer Prize before his death in 1963, and his body of work has since become an integral part of the American national heritage.
This is the only edition to present these two classics in their original form. A Boy’s Will introduced readers to Frost’s unmistakable poetic voice, and in North of Boston, we find two of his most famous poems, “Mending Wall” and “The Death of the Hired Man.” With an introduction by distinguished critic and Amherst professor William H. Pritchard and an afterword by poet and critic Peter Davison, this centennial edition stands as a complete and vital introduction to the work of the quintessential modern American poet.
Introduction by William H. Pritchard
Afterword by Peter Davison
“The definitive translation for our time.”
From Dante’s Inferno to Sartre’s No Exit, writers have been fascinated by visions of damnation. Within that rich literature of suffering, Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell–written when the poet was nineteen–provides an astonishing example of the grapple with self.
As a companion to Rimbaud’s journey, readers could have no better guide than Wyatt Mason. One of our most talented young translators and critics, Mason’s new version of A Season in Hell renders the music and mystery of Rimbaud’s tale of Hell on Earth with exceptional finesse and power.
This bilingual edition includes maps, a helpful chronology of Rimbaud’s life, and the unfinished suite of prose poems, Illuminations. With A Season in Hell, they cement Rimbaud’s reputation as one of the foremost, and most influential, writers in French literature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The poets Housden has chosen are Billy Collins, Hayden Carruth, Dorianne Laux, James Wright, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mary Oliver from the United States, D. H. Lawrence and John Keats from England, Rainer Maria Rilke from Germany, Fleur Adcock from New Zealand, and Seng-Ts’an from sixth-century China. And yes, that adds up to eleven, not ten. Housden decided to include a bonus poem for his faithful readers in this, the final volume of the series. As before, Housden’s luminous essays provide an elegant and easy passage into the sometimes daunting world of poetry, enabling readers to feel that in him they have found a trusted guide and mentor.
From the Hardcover edition.
Among these poems are precocious undergraduate efforts (including the previously unpublished “Coming into New York”), frequently anthologized midcareer classics (“Seagulls,” “Seven Stanzas at Easter,” “Dog’s Death”), and dozens of later works in a form that Updike made his own, the blank-verse sonnet. The poems range from metaphysical epigrams and devotional poems to lyrical odes to rot, growth, and healing; from meditations on Roman portrait busts and the fleshy canvases of Lucian Freud to observations on sash cords, postage stamps, and hand tools; from several brief episodes in family history to a pair of long autobiographical poems, the antic and eclectic “Midpoint,” written at age thirty-five, and the elegiac masterpiece “Endpoint,” completed just before his death at seventy-six. The variety of the work is astonishing, the craftsmanship always of the highest caliber.
Art, science, popular culture, foreign travel, erotic love, the beauty of the man-made and the God-given worlds—these recurring topics provided Updike ever-surprising occasions for wonder and matchless verbal invention. His Selected Poems is, as Brad Leithauser writes in his introduction, a celebration of American life in the second half of the twentieth century: “No other writer of his time captured so much of this passing pageant. And that he did so with brio and delight and nimbleness is another reason to celebrate our noble celebrant.”
“A sophisticated and breathtaking writer, Reeves takes the reader on a harrowing journey: each poem comes packed with arresting imagery, relentless in its examination of how tragedy and trauma become internalized — cleaning out the wounds to understand the pain.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Roger Reeves' King Me stitches together many worlds into one startling and visceral book. His ranging, encyclopedic knowledge crosses history, medicine, biology, metapoetics and more, but he tackles it all with a bold and sonorous surrealist flow.”—American Microreviews
From a horse witnessing the lynching of Emmett Till to Mikhail Bulgakov chronicling the forced famines in Poland in the 1930s, King Me examines the erotics of care and the place of song, elegy, and praise as testaments to those moments. As Roger Reeves said in an interview, "While writing King Me, I became very interested in the mythology of king, the one who is sacrificed at the end of the harvest season. . . . For me, the myth manifests in the killing of young black men, Emmett Till, and in the ways America deems young, black male bodies as expendable—Jean Michel Basquiat, Mike Tyson, Jack Johnson. These are the young kings whom we love to kill—over and over again."
From "Some Young Kings":
The hummingbirds inside my chest,with their needle-nosed pliers for tonguesand hammer-heavy wings, have left a messof ticks in my lungs and a punctured lullabyin my throat. Little boy blue come blowyour horn. The cow's in the meadow. And Dorothy's alone in the corn with Jack, his black fingers, the brass of his lips, the half-moons of his fingernails clickingalong her legs until she howls—Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker . . .
Roger Reeves earned his MFA from the James A. Michener Center for Creative Writing and his PhD from the University of Texas. His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Boston Review. He teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
"Linguistically acrobatic [and] beautifully crafted. . . . [Jamaal May's] poems, exquisitely balanced by a sharp intelligence mixed with earnestness, makes his debut a marvel."—Publishers Weekly
Following Jamaal May's award-winning debut collection, Hum (2013), these new poems explore parallel landscapes of the poet's interior and an insidious American condition. Using dark humor that helps illuminate the pains of maturity and loss of imagination, May uncovers language like a skilled architect—digging up bones of the past to expose what lies beneath the surface of the fragile human condition.
From: "Ask Where I've Been":
Ask about the tornado of fists.
The blows landed. If you can
watch it all—the spit and blood frozen
against snow, you can probably tell
I am the too-narrow road winding out
of a crooked city built of laughter,
abandon, feathers and drums.
Ask only if you can watch streetlights bow,
bridges arc, and power lines sag,
and still believe what matters most
is not where I bend
but where I am growing.
Jamaal May is a poet, editor, and filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan, where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His poetry won the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and appears in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, the Believer, NER, and the Kenyon Review. May has earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. He founded the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press.
A goodbye is an opportunity for kindness, for forgiveness, for intimacy, and ultimately for love and a deepening acceptance of life as it is rather than what it was. Goodbyes can be poignant, sorrowful, sometimes a relief, and—now and then—even an occasion for joy.
They are always transitions that, when embraced, can be the door to a new life both for ourselves and for others. In this inspiring and consoling volume, Housden encourages readers to embrace poetry as a way of enabling us to better see and appreciate the beauty of the world around and within us.
Phillip B. Williams investigates the dangers of desire, balancing narratives of addiction, murders, and hate crimes with passionate, uncompromising depth. Formal poems entrenched in urban landscapes crack open dialogues of racism and homophobia rampant in our culture. Multitudinous voices explore one's ability to harm and be harmed, which uniquely juxtaposes the capacity to revel in both experiences.
While two women kissed in their house I watched
a jury hide bullets in a Black boy's body, all rigor mortis
and bass line. I landed in Chicago, a lead box.
The airport showed CNN and a Black mother
could not be heard over gate changes, bistro jazz.
Subtitles gathered and faded like gossip
while I made my mouth vacant in my hometown.
I carried a fever of insufferable noise that skin,
illuminated by a hoodie, held close, a forced kin.
Phillip B. Williams has authored two chapbooks: Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc.) and Burn (YesYes Books). A Cave Canem graduate, he received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Poetry, the Southern Review, West Branch , and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing as a Chancellor's Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of Vinyl Poetry.
A collection in five parts, Susan Howe’s electrifying new book opens with a preface by the poet that lays out some of Debths’ inspirations: the art of Paul Thek, the Isabella Stewart Gardner collection, and early American writings; and in it she also addresses memory’s threads and galaxies, “the rule of remoteness,” and “the luminous story surrounding all things noumenal.”
Following the preface are four sections of poetry: “Titian Air Vent,” “Tom Tit Tot” (her newest collage poems), “Periscope,” and “Debths.” As always with Howe, Debths brings “a not-being-in-the-no.”
From "The World of Us":
Don't go around all day
thinking about life—
doing so will raise a barrier
between you and its instants.
You need those instants
so you can be in them,
and I need you to be in them with me
for I think the world of us
and the mysterious barricades
that make it possible.
The Infinitesimals stares directly at illness and death, employing the same highly evocative and symbolic style that earned Laura Kasischke the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Drawing upon her own experiences with cancer, and the lives and deaths of loved ones, Kasischke's new work commands a lyrical and dark intensity.
Laura Kasischke is the author of eight collections of poetry and seven novels. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In 1917, "Renascence" was incorporated into her first volume of poetry, which is reprinted here, complete and unabridged, from the original edition. The 23 works in this first volume are fired with the romantic and independent spirit of youth that Edna St. Vincent Millay came to personify. In addition to "Renascence," this volume includes 16 other early lyric poems — "Interim," "Sorrow," "Ashes of Life," "Three Songs of Shattering," "The Dream," "When the Year Grows Old," and others, including six sonnets, to which Millay brought great distinction throughout her career.
BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP
The first volume of The Divine Comedy--Dante begins his downward journey through the seven circles of Hell.
EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:
• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information
• A chronology of the author's life and work
• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations
• Detailed explanatory notes
• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.
SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON
When Sarah Hahn Campbell learned of the sudden and inexplicable death of her partner, Lia, she was thousands of miles away from the Alaska town where they made a life together. Lia's mental deterioration had forced her to flee to protect her daughter’s safety and her own emotional well-being — but she never stopped loving Lia, never believed their relationship over. The unexpected news of Lia's death plunged her into terrible grief, guilt, and self-doubt, raising painful questions she couldn’t find the answers to.
Grief Map is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of the aftermath, a lyrical guide to her journey in the landscape of love through loss and beyond, to the rediscovery of hope and the possibility of happiness. With passion and fearless dedication, Campbell explores the history of her relationship, her discovery of lesbian identity, and the innumerable gifts and hardships of love to offer an account that is part memoir, part poetry, part elegy — a map that is universal, and will speak to anyone who has loved.
"It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest poems in the language. The Earth Gods is, perhaps, a book for the mystic, a poet's book for poets, for the initiate and the dreamer of vast dreams. Yet I have known those who pride themselves on being highly practical and feet-on-the-ground, who disown any bent toward the mystical and the occult, to pronounce it a book of wonder and power. And as a child of seven to whom I read portions of the poem on request, says unvaryingly, 'Read it again!' This, perhaps, for the music and the almost unearthly beauty of rhythm."
—Barbara Young, in This Man From Lebanon: A Study of Kahlil Gibran
"The Book of Ephraim," which first appeared as the final poem in James Merrill's Pulitzer-winning volume Divine Comedies (1976), tells the story of how he and his partner David Jackson (JM and DJ as they came to be known) embarked on their experiments with the Ouija board and how they conversed after a fashion with great writers and thinkers of the past, especially in regard to the state of the increasingly imperiled planet Earth. One of the most ambitious long poems in in English in the twentieth century, originally conceived as complete in itself, it was to become the first part of Merrill's epic The Changing Light at Sandover (1982), the multiple prize-winning volume still in print. Merrill's "supreme tribute to the web of the world and the convergence of means and meanings everywhere within it" is introduced and annotated by one of his literary executors, Stephen Yenser, in a volume that will gratify veteran readers and entice new ones.
In The Unaccompanied, Armitage gives voice to the people of Britain with a haunting grace. We meet characters whose sense of isolation is both emotional and political, both real and metaphorical, from a son made to groom the garden hedge as punishment, to a nurse standing alone at a bus stop as the centuries pass by, to a latter-day Odysseus looking for enlightenment and hope in the shadowy underworld of a cut-price supermarket. We see the changing shape of England itself, viewed from a satellite "like a shipwreck's carcass raised on a sea-crane's hook, / nothing but keel, beams, spars, down to its bare bones." In this exquisite collection, Armitage X-rays the weary but ironic soul of his nation, with its "Songs about mills and mines and a great war, / lines about mermaids and solid gold hills, / songs from broken hymnbooks and cheesy films"--in poems that blend the lyrical and the vernacular, with his trademark eye for detail and biting wit.
From the Hardcover edition.
“A great poet’s reflections on our greatest mystery.”—Billy Collins
Gleaned from Rainer Maria Rilke’s voluminous, never-before-translated letters to bereaved friends and acquaintances, The Dark Interval is a profound vision of the mourning process and a meditation on death’s place in our lives. Following the format of Letters to a Young Poet, this book arranges Rilke’s letters into an uninterrupted sequence, showcasing the full range of the great author’s thoughts on death and dying, as well as his sensitive and moving expressions of consolation and condolence.
Presented with care and authority by master translator Ulrich Baer, The Dark Interval is a literary treasure, an indispensable resource for anyone searching for solace, comfort, and meaning in a time of grief.
Advance praise for The Dark Interval
“Even though each of these letters of condolence is personalized with intimate detail, together they hammer home Rilke’s remarkable truth about the death of another: that the pain of it can force us into a ‘deeper . . . level of life’ and render us more ‘vibrant.’ Here we have a great poet’s reflections on our greatest mystery.”—Billy Collins
“As we live our lives, it is possible to feel not sadness or melancholy but a rush of power as the life of others passes into us. This rhapsodic volume teaches us that death is not a negation but a deepening experience in the onslaught of existence. What a wise and victorious book!”—Henri Cole
A soldier remembers limes and curious children in Portugal. Refugees cross a dangerous land, and find each other in love. Boy scouts play war in devastating ways, a child listens to a baseball game in a more innocent time. In this multiplicity of voices and tones, the collection reflects on what we, as humans, do about memory, love, grief, war, and the search for meaning.
In its sinuous sequences, Love’s Last Number insists that life — and history — are a continuing crisis of faith, imagination, consciousness, and moral clarity. And yet these poems, like existence itself, offer moments of transcendent joy and sudden hilarity: laughter against the darkness.
Dev_our takes the art of poetry to increasingly complex and intricate heights as the work opens with tight, punchy poems reminiscent of haiku in their precision but soon the works drop further and further into the depths of his inner psyche. Probing and curious, he asks the reader to question their own perspective, challenge their expectations and finally to find the heart of the matter for themselves.
Each piece carries layered meaning and purpose, giving the reader plenty to chew on. Stanzas carefully constructed to elicit the reader to consider carefully the meaning as things are not always as clear cut as they may seem.
Intended to help you endure some of your stressful moments and painful experiences, these poems tell us we are not alone. Returned again and again over the centuries by great imaginations are love and death and memory – remembrance of childhood joy, of happy days and beautiful places, of loved ones we have lost or feeling at peace and at one with the natural world. ‘Stressed Unstressed’ harvests an array of poems on such themes in the hope that they will speak to you when you are processing your worries or when you simply want to fill your mind with different, more positive thoughts.
Words can act as drugs, and on the bedside or in a waiting-room this little volume of poetry can help in all sorts of difficult circumstances. So here is a selection of new poems and old, enduring classics and forgotten gems. Next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, worried or sleepless, panicky or unable to cope, ‘Stressed Unstressed’ invites you to read a poem and join the thousands of others who have read and remembered and loved these poems – to form a very special community. This is bibliotherapy.
“When I was twelve I wrote my first poem, and by fourteen I decided that’s what I’d do my whole life. I don’t regret it.” — from the afterword by Donald Hall
Donald Hall was an American master, one of the nation’s most beloved and accomplished poets. Here, in his eighties, having taken stock of the body of his work—rigorous, gorgeous verse that is the result of seventy years of “ambition and pleasure”—he strips it down.
The Selected Poems of Donald Hall reflects the poet’s handpicked, concise selection, showcasing work rich with humor and Eros and “a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines” (Billy Collins).
From the enduring “My Son My Executioner” to “Names of Horses” to “Without,” Donald Hall’s best poems deliver “a banquet in the mouth” (Charles Simic) and an “aching elegance” (Baltimore Sun). For the first-time reader or an old friend, these are, above all others, the poems to read, reread, and remember.
These works include the familiar words of famous poets as well as unforgettable verses by lesser-known writers. Selections range from Psalm 23 of the King James Bible to Henley's "Invictus," and Stevenson's "Requiem"; from Quarles's "A Good-Night" to Pope's "The Dying Christian to His Soul," Bryant's "Thanatopsis," and Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar"; from Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" to Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young" and Dylan Thomas's powerful poem to his dying father, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Other featured poets include Shakespeare, Raleigh, Jonson, Shelley, Wordsworth, Longfellow, Browning, Whitman, Swinburne, Kipling, Frost, Millay, Dunbar, and Auden.
This volume will be a consolation for anyone who has suffered loss; it also offers a rich treasury of moving and reflective verse, sure to appeal to any lover of fine English and American poetry.
The mutants of Wonderland threaten to smash through the looking glass as the river of Time overflows its banks. The King of Cats and the Queen of Wolves dance a duet across eons, alternately foes and lovers. Monstrous constellations come to life in the sky, hungry for people-filled worlds.
Hungry Constellations, the newest poetry collection from Nebula Award finalist and three-time Rhysling Award winner Mike Allen, surveys two decades of mind-bending verse. Editor Dominik Parisien starts with poems drawn from Allen’s previous book-length collections, Strange Wisdoms of the Dead (2006) and The Journey to Kailash (2008), then concludes the triptych with a selection of new and previously uncollected pieces, which author, poet and editor Amal El-Mohtar calls Allen’s most ambitious work to date in her introduction. Cover artist Paula Arwen Friedlander (arwendesigns.net) adroitly illustrates the collection’s Rhysling Award-nominated title poem.
Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, Hungry Constellations is Allen’s first poetry collection available in digital format.
From the introduction by Amal El-Mohtar:
“Let me tell you about Mike Allen’s poetry. This is a man who delights in breaking bodies: butchering, splitting, flaying, dismembering, then seeding landscapes with viscera until they too become bodies—bodies invaded, bodies stuffed, bodies contaminated. This is a man who carves words into and out of bodies, be they skin or sapphire, corpses or constellations. But somehow Allen skirts gore and clinical detachment both: there is a precision and an economy to his horror that’s reminiscent of clockwork, architecture, astronomy. Imagine a clock with bone-gears, a skin-tree growing liver-fruit, a ship knifing a face into the moon, and you’ll have something of a sense of what lies before you … Subterranean in conception and galactic in execution, this is a book of monsters.”
Praise for Mike Allen's poetry:
“Allen’s is poetry for goths of all ages … There is a long tradition of poetry dealing with the uncanny—think Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ or Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’—and it’s nice to see someone putting it to such use again. Allen’s poems … do a fine job of making the human scary and the scary human.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Mike Allen pours everything he’s got onto his poem-canvases. Mythologies, science-fiction scenarios, private memories and desires, and untestable ideas crowd and overlay one another upon the pages as if flung from an overloaded brush. Here is a vividly vertiginous collection of poems, all fun and mind-games.”
“Mike Allen is a poetic Shiva, whirling his thousand limbs to snatch gold from thin air and create these epics-in-miniature, each with its own metallic sheen.”
—Catherynne M. Valente
“In the great tradition of Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. Le Guin, Mike Allen shows us how science fiction poetry can do what all first-rate poetry does—rouse the imagination to venture into darkness and the unknown, there to discover old truths and new delights.”
emergence of purpose in our lives. But less well-known is the journey that shaped his vision as a teacher
that began in 1987 when he was diagnosed with cancer. The revelations during that time would inform
every dimension of his work to follow.
With Inside the Miracle, Mark Nepo shares what he discovered along this challenging terrain, and the
insights most essential to those of us who now find ourselves there. The lessons and stories here are for
all of us, ill or not, when the inevitable question arises: How do we move through an overwhelming
crisis—whether from physical illness, grief, or a major life change—into the rest of our lives?
This offering presents in its entirety Nepo's 1994 literary gem Acre of Light, written shortly after his
recovery. Here, he expands and enriches its themes with new poems, essays, and teachings gathered in the
decades since. Throughout, Mark includes compelling questions and exercises from his popular
workshops, to invite us to personalize the experience.
What emerges is a reading companion to be explored in many ways: as a memoir, as a “survival kit” of
wisdom and verse that helped Mark during his own journey, and as a conversation to spark our own
contemplation, journaling, and discovery.
“To live in wonder on the other side of suffering and disappointment,” reflects Mark Nepo, “is to know how
magnificent and fragile it is to be here at all.” Inside the Miracle calls us to leap into our lives with
tenderness and courage, so we can fully inhabit the miraculous moments that await us.
The National Poetry Series’s long tradition of promoting exceptional poetry from lesser-known poets delivers another outstanding collection of poetry by Joshua Poteat.
Through an investigation of the haunted spaces where history collides with the modern southern American landscape, The Regret Histories explores themes of ruin and nostalgia, our relationship to a collective past, and the extraordinary indifference of time to memory.
For thirty years, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Marie Howe, and Sherod Santos.
In Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, we meet a writer who speaks naturally, and with frankness and restraint, for his culture. Armitage witnesses the pathos of women at work in the mock-Tudor Merrie England coffeehouses and gives us a backstage take on the world of Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger. He makes a gift to the reader of the sympathy and misery and grit buried in his nation’s collective consciousness: in the distant battle depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry and in the daily lives and petty crimes of ordinary people. In poems that are sometimes lyrical, sometimes brash and comic, and full of living voices, the extraordinary and the mythic grow out of the ordinary, and figures of diminishment and tragedy shine forth as mysterious, uncelebrated exemplars. Armitage tells us ruefully that “the future was a beautiful place, once,” and with a steady eye out for the odd mystery or joyous scrap of experience, examines our complex present instead.
AFTER THE HURRICANE
Some storm that was, to shoulder-charge the wall
in my old man’s back yard and knock it flat.
But the greenhouse is sound, the chapel of glass
we glazed one morning. We glazed with morning.
And so is the hut. And so is the shed.
We sit in the ruins and drink. He smokes.
Back when, we would have built that wall again.
But today it’s enough to drink and smoke
amongst mortar and bricks, here at the empire’s end.
From the Hardcover edition.
Quickly ascending to the status of literary classic, The Waste Land is widely considered to be Eliot’s finest work, representing maturity in his style and confidence in both expression and research.
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“Extraordinary how in a single poem from 2013 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner Boruch slides 1800s London barber-surgeons and the dissection of murderers only (condemned to hell anyway) to the observation, ‘Future or past, it’s all we ever think about.’ The first part of this sharp, surprising book captures our inescapable but slippery physicality in the world, the second the breakdown of the cadaver of a 99-year-old woman—told from her perspective, rather jauntily.”—Library Journal
“Boruch displays a quietly gymnastic intellect in the examinations of art, the body, and the human condition."—American Poets
"Marianne Boruch's work has the wonderful, commanding power of true attention: she sees and considers with intensity."—The Washington Post
"Some books begin as a dare to the self," notes poet Marianne Boruch. Inspired by life-study drawing classes and direct work in a cadaver lab, Boruch's latest book looks at what the body holds, and examines living through bodies deceased.
Marianne Boruch is the author of seven collections of poetry including The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press), two volumes of essays, and a memoir. In 2013 she won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.
"A touching and enlightening collection of prose poems addressed to [Erlandson's] departed friend."
--The San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Erlandson finally comes to terms with his loss in 52 prose-poem letters ostensibly addressed to Cobain in which he straightforwardly confronts his inner demons while offering personal reflections on food, drug abuse, death, and self-sabotage."--Booklist
"The reverberations of Kurt's suicide last to this day, and have touched the lives of many. Dozens of people could have written their own version of this bracingly candid book; Eric Erlandson has written one, filled with rage and love, landmined with detail, that can stand for them all."
--Michael Azerrad, author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana
"Eric was the spirit-boy in the Nirvana/Hole dynamic. Quiet, bemused, intelligent, and curiously intuitive to the power of hugging the devil, to say we will all be okay . . . Eric expresses how enchanting Kurt was, how the whole scene was, with his thoughtful, radical adult/prose love. Bring on the future, darling."--Thurston Moore, musician
"Eric. He was always there: supportive, observing, in the thick of it. Hidden in plain sight . . . Without him, I can't imagine Seattle or L.A. or a dozen other places. This book is beautiful, brutal, brief. Happy-sad eloquence. Boy Scouts playing with the complimentary cologne in the heart of the ghost town. Listen to the man. He knows."
--Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography
Letters to Kurt is an anguished, angry, and tender meditation on the octane and ether of rock and roll and its many moons: sex, drugs, suicide, fame, and rage. It's part Dream Songs, part Bukowski, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and the Clash. Rants, reflections, and gunshot fill these fifty-two prose poems. They are raw, funny, sad, and searching. This will make a beautiful book for anyone who loved Nirvana and Hole and the time and place when their music changed everything. Ultimately, it's an elegy for Kurt and the "suicide idols" who tragically fail to find salvation in their amazing music.
"The Moon" has been selected as one of Vancouver Poetry House's 10 Best Poems of 2015
"This poem, translated from the original Spanish, unfolds as a litany of the many ways the moon has been described. One long, complex sentence links all the previous iterations, while a second, much shorter sentence isolates the image of yet another moon. The prose-poem form seems to contain the patch of night sky from which that new apprehension--the moon reflected in the vision of a solitary witness, the poem's speaker--arrives."
--New York Times Magazine, Featured Poem, "The Moon"
"The poems are thoughtful and intelligent, frequently referencing mythology, literature, architecture; they require time to ponder, read, and re-read....Reflective souls will find much that resonates here."
--San Diego Book Review
"It is not hard to see why this collection won the Paz Prize for Poetry. Pintado seems a worthy successor to Octavio Paz, whose own poems owe so much to surrealism and the world of dreams."
--Midst of Things
"Cuban-American Pintado, recipient of the Paz Prize for Poetry, meditates on myths, legends, labyrinths, and the relationships between love, fears, and dreams in this bilingual collection."
--Publishers Weekly, Fall 2015 Announcements
"Translator Hilary Vaughn Dobel does an excellent job of reproducing Pintado’s tone and diction; her translation stands confidently on its own, without hewing any more closely than necessary to the original. While much of the poetry in Nueve monedas does rhyme in Spanish, Vaughn Dobel has not sought to reproduce that rhyme in English, the right decision in this case because of how Pintado uses rhyme in his own work, more often to end enjambed lines than not, a subtle use more suggestive of English-language New Formalists than the more baroque Spanish-language poets of midcentury."
--World Literature Today
"The urgency and presence in Pintado's poems feel as if the poet's very life depended on writing them. They are possessed by a unique, intangible quality that arrests the reader and commands attention. His work is intimate yet boundless, moving easily between form and free verse, prose poems and long poems, whether capturing the everyday streets of Miami Beach or leading us into the mythic and mystical worlds of his imagination."
--Richard Blanco, author of The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood
Translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel.
Nine Coins/Nueve monedas is a palimpsest of love, fears, dreams, and the intimate landscapes where the author seeks refuge. These poems appear like small islands of salvation, covered with the brief splendor of the coins people sometimes grab hold of, taking the form of a very personal and often devastating map. Each poem is a song at the edge of an abyss; an illusory gold coin obtained as a revelation; a song of hope and understanding. The volume's dreamlike geography prompts the reader to revisit the thread, the labyrinth, and the Minotaur’s legends. The night streets of South Beach, Alexandria, and many other cities, lit by the fading torches, seem to guide us in conversation with characters who are long dead.
The Paz Prize for Poetry is presented by the National Poetry Series and The Center at Miami Dade College. This annual award--named in the spirit of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz--honors a previously unpublished book of poetry written originally in Spanish by an American resident. An open competition is held each May, when an esteemed Spanish-speaking poet selects a winning manuscript. The book will be published in a bilingual edition by Akashic Books. The winning poet will also receive a $2,000 cash prize.