Enter River Skin, a collection that traverses a landscape of lilacs, switchblades, and creeks. These poems squeeze grief through a cider press and heap addiction high on a wood pile. Interrogating the domestic with a candor that evokes Sharon Olds, Smith’s debut returns us to the forest, where she unearths a tenderness that aches, splinters, and renews.
The collected poems in Royal Blue Shutters explore the pull and tug of language, the tin-like sounds, the careful alignment, and robust admiration of words. Stanzas are bulked up with their own musicality—songs that can’t be sung but only released from the lips in a prattle.
What happens when the ex-wife of an ex-cop, with a penchant for TV detectives, speculates about her own disappearance? Poet, Carol Lynne Knight mixes imaginary investigations with the intimate, often stark, realities of life as the wife of a street cop. If I Go Missing mixes of the sensual with procedural detail in a surprising, original new trope.
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.