Ten New Poetry Books to Read in 2017!

April 20, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

April is National Poetry Month! 

Although poetry is not easy read in our age of lightning-fast communications and instant gratification, it is an important way of learning to slow down and pay attention to the beauty and the brokenness of the world around us.
 
We all would do well to infuse our lives with more poetry!
 

Here are 10 new poetry books that will be released in 2017 and that we are super-excited about!

(Including collections by Christian Wiman, Mary Oliver, Tania Runyan, and MORE)
 
 

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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce

Morgan Parker

Tin House Books, February 2017

The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive. Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power. These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.

Buy Now ]

 

Simulacra (Yale Series of Younger Poets)

Airea Matthews

Yale UP, March 2017

Winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize

A fresh and rebellious poetic voice, Airea D. Matthews debuts in the acclaimed series that showcases the work of exciting and innovative young American poets. Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America, where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication. In his foreword, series judge Carl Phillips calls this book “rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant.” This is poetry that breaks new literary ground, inspiring readers to think differently about what poems can and should do in a new media society where imaginations are laid bare and there is no thought too provocative to send out into the world.

Buy Now ]

 

Cinder: New and Selected Poems

Susan Stewart

Graywolf Press, February 2017

Cinder: New and Selected Poems gathers for the first time poetry from across Susan Stewart’s thirty-five-year career, including many extraordinary new poems. From brief songs to longer meditative sequences, and always with formal innovation and exquisite precision, Stewart evokes the innocence of childhood, the endangered mysteries of the natural world, and deeply felt perceptions, both acute and shared.

“Stewart explores our insatiable desire to remember and make meaning out of this remembering,” Ange Mlinko writes in The Nation. “Stewart’s elegiac bent has broadened, over time, from the personal lyric . . . to what might be called the cultural lyric. Fewer and fewer of her poems reference what she alone remembers; they are about what you and I remember.”

Reading across this retrospective collection is a singular experience of seeing the unfolding development of one of the most ingenious and moving lyric writers in contemporary poetry.

Buy Now ]

 

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IMAGE CREDIT: Detail from cover of Still Pilgrim: Poems By Angela Alaimo O’Donnell