What is the fascination of the unfinished work of art? It is alive. That is because the unfinished is the doorway allowing the spirit of the reader to experience the universe around us and within us. Unfinished clothing, unfinished wars, unfinished symphonies, unfinished art pieces, unfinished books, unfinished stories. Untold stories found on a trail […]
Regarded as one of the most prolific Filipino poets in the twenty-first century with eighteen volumes of poetry under his belt, Hollow represents the many conceits present in both Arguelles’s past and succeeding works. While older Filipino critics tend to describe Arguelles’s work as a welcome departure from the weary lyrical and symbolist tradition, doing so does not really do much justice to what his works have to offer. For instance, the poems “Your Life Will Always Fail” (Ang Iyong Buhay ay Laging Mabibigo) and “Vocabulary” (Bokabularyo) can be seen as more relaxed, refined, and chiseled versions of Arguelles’s “surface poetry” and non-lyrical pieces in Menos Kuwarto (Pithaya Press, 2002) and Ilahás (High Chair, 2004). “Exercises in Futility” (Pagsasanay sa Walang Saysay), on the other hand, reads like a sequel to his first book-length erasure project in Alingaw (High Chair, 2010) and a prequel to the same project featured in Pesoa (Balangay, 2014). Then there are, of course, pieces that showcase the deceptive simplicity of Arguelles’s language and how they lend themselves to translation in different ways.
These poems showcase frustrations and deep-rooted hungers so authentically human we almost catch the heartbeat’s throb in each line we ghost over. Every part of nature – the lover, the moon, snow, the sky, hummingbirds mating, a heard of elks – is worshiped on these pages, and with its incantations about how a woman resides within the (un)holy rooms of her body’s longing and belongings, Home Beneath the Church crafts a home, a sanctuary, for any reader to cohabitate with the language of the prismatic familial and sacred.
Tiel Aisha Ansari is a Sufi warrior poet. Her work has been featured by Fault Lines Poetry, Windfall, KBOO and an Everyman’s Library anthology, among others. Her collections include Knocking from Inside, High-Voltage Lines, Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare’s Stable, and The Day of My First Driving Lesson (including the Pushcart-nominated “1969”).
The poems of Tim Hawkins range widely in geography, tone, and style in search of the extraordinary in the things we take for granted, guided always by the desire to be both in the moment and apart from it at the same time. To read these poems is to move slowly, serenely into some distant and exotic place – yet find oneself in the comfort of home. Hawkins’ lines – characterized by deftness of phrasing, skillful craft, freshness and impact of imagery, boldness and penetration of thought, and by engagement with an impressive range of subject, form, and mood – will leave an imprint on your heart.
Bower Lodge journeys inward to a wild landscape of joy, grief, and transformation. By turns mournful, meditative, incantatory, and rejoicing, this collection’s fresh, potent images and unforgettable, musical language carves a map into that hidden, holy world that lies deep at the core of our own. Likely to please fans of William Stafford, Robert Bly, Mary Oliver, and Nate Klug.
“Begin here,” says Bethany Lee, in her inspirational new collection, Etude for Belonging. “Now is the time for us to take courage.” And as you answer this invitation, you will find courage indeed, here among musings on galaxies and trillium, shipwrecks and spinning wheels, here where there is room for broken hearts, for healing, and for hope.
These poems begin in familiar surroundings: newspaper clippings, snippets of history, Bible stories, and scenes embedded in our psyches such as an elementary school hallway. Their fulfillment, though, crosses into a place where Charles Darwin apologizes to Adam in Eden, or chants Jabberwocky to himself. A place where the stonemasons who build a cathedral abstain from swearing, and that abstinence is felt as a palpable blessing centuries later. A place where two patients who share a hospital room also share a clipboard with mingled notes for doctors and chaplains.
Pax is a book of peace, a book of love poems to the world. The poems within these pages ask us to wake to our own remarkable lives and our undeniable connections, to look with a steady eye at the demands of love. Whether considering insects, the soul, or the ghosts and thoughts that haunt us, this book insists that there is no reason to turn away. Let us redefine love and wreckage, time and weeds, it fearlessly states. Pax is that rare welcoming book that speaks to us like a wry and knowing old friend.
Like deep breaths drawn effortlessly in, the poems and images of Insistent Grace are satisfying to the core. Filled with the aromas of salt fog, summer grass, redwood creeks, eucalyptus, and bay, they weave together the human and the more-than-human worlds. In the time of global pandemic and climate crisis, Elizabeth Herron evokes Mother Nature’s insistent grace – a power that compels respect and can help us heal ourselves and our planet – if we are resolute.