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Poetry Recommendations from our 2020 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2020 Winter Newsletter.

The Selected Works of Audre Lorde Edited by Roxane Gay

The timeless words of trailblazer Audre Lorde never fail to move, challenge, and inspire me. This stellar collection, edited by Roxane Gay, showcases the breadth of Lorde’s poems and prose as she speaks to motherhood, race, patriarchy, white feminism, and the fight for justice. For those new to Lorde’s thoughtful and brilliant work, Selected Works is a great introduction, and for those of us who are already admirers, it is an essential addition to our shelves. — S.B.

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By Audre Lorde, Roxane Gay (Editor), Roxane Gay (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781324004615
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 8th, 2020

Whale Day: And Other Poems by Billy Collins

Former US poet laureate Billy Collins’s newest collection (his first in 4 years) is a wonderful gathering of poems that shines with its combination of mirth and depth. While the subject of these poems varies, there is an undercurrent of looking at life from the eyes of someone who is aging and holding mortality in view. I was delighted by the humor and wit that Collins juxtaposes with the tender and profound. This is a wonderful, readable book. Collins has once again proven himself, with poems that delight as much as they touch the heart. — S.M.C.

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ISBN: 9780399589751
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 29th, 2020

Guillotine: Poems by Eduardo C. Corral

“How did you make it through those days? / When you’re hurt, you’re not completely in the world.” —Eduardo C. Corral
Guillotine is a mystifying journey between worlds both real and imaginary, where sensation is severe and reason becomes blurred. In Guillotine, Corral has expanded Gloria Anzaldúa’s “borderlands” concept into our present moment, carefully teetering on the small divide between nations, gender identity, sexuality, and realities. Images of desert crossings, bloodied bodies, and dear, untouchable men take shape in bilingual and experimental poetic form. This collection of poems is an essential addition to the developing queer-Latinx imaginary. — Juj

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ISBN: 9781644450307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - August 4th, 2020

Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood

Last year, Margaret Atwood’s partner of more than 40 years, Graeme Gibson, died at the age of 85. Her new collection of poetry, Dearly, encompasses the grief, beauty, and pain of that loss, with all the wit and skill that she possesses. Who can strike your heart with more efficiency than Margaret Atwood? You probably already know that she’s a brilliant novelist; after reading this book, I bet she’ll also be among your favorite poets. — Jess

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ISBN: 9780063032491
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Published: Ecco - November 10th, 2020

Resistencia: Poems of Protest and Revolution Edited by Mark Eisner & Tina Escaja, Introduction by Julia Alvarez

This collection amplifies and revitalizes the Latin American tradition of protest poetry. Featuring the work of beloved poets such as Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Nancy Morejon, and Ana Maria Rodas, this bilingual text asks us to remember that the fight for justice is ongoing and motivated by our own creative and collective power. — Juj

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By Julia Alvarez (Introduction by), Mark Eisner (Editor), Tina Escaja (Editor)
ISBN: 9781951142070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - September 15th, 2020

Finna: Poems by Nate Marshall

More than a carefully stylized collection of poetry, Finna is an embodiment of Nate Marshall’s world, which is family and Chicago; which is language and Black life. With lyrical precision, sweet slang, and cunning rhythm, Marshall acknowledges the violence imposed on Black and Brown bodies; the cultural elements that promote spiritual fortitude; and the opportunity to embrace the future as a space of beautiful possibility. His work is a testament to the people who have inspired it, and as Marshall writes, “our people deserve / poetry without meter. we deserve our / own jagged rhythm & our own uneven / walk towards sun.” These poems demand mourning, deep reckoning, and wonderful celebration. Read them. — Juj

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ISBN: 9780593132456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - August 11th, 2020

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through Edited by Jo Harjo

Organized by geographic location of the poets’ Nations, the poems in this wide-ranging anthology run from the 17th century to the present day, some in English, some bilingual (translated from Native Nations languages), varying in form and content from traditions Eastern, Western, and Indigenous. Each section is preceded by editors’ essays which give context and appreciation, guiding you as the reader on a tour of American literature that may lead you to your next favorite poet. — Jocelyn

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When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry Cover Image
By Joy Harjo (Editor), LeAnne Howe (With), Jennifer Elise Foerster (With)
ISBN: 9780393356809
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 25th, 2020

Every Day We Get More Illegal by Juan Felipe Herrera

As the recent US poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera traveled the country, listening and engaging with its communities, particularly those marginalized and endangered. His newest collection of poems, some written while on the road, captures what he found, who he met, what is felt. Lyrical, indicting, hopeful, Herrera plays lightly with language, finding new ways to see America and his place in it: “used to think I was not American enuf / now it is the other way around”. — Melinda

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ISBN: 9780872868281
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Published: City Lights Books - September 22nd, 2020

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