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National Poetry Month: Home
National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by checking out one of the books listed below.
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry's important place in our lives. In 2021, the Academy of American Poets looks forward to celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual celebration! (Source)
Criticism of Authors & Their Works | Fiction | Short Stories | Drama | Poetry | Rhetoric & Composition | Literary Theory | History, Theory and Practice of Teaching Language and Literature | Includes Indexing for Book Chapters and Dissertations in the Discipline
The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) began in 1995 at Indiana University and is primarily concerned with the exposure of lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century. The collection represents an array of genres - poetry, novels, children's books, political pamphlets, religious tracts, histories, and more. VWWP contains scores of authors, both prolific and rare.
Wade in the Water by Tracy K. SmithShortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection The extraordinary new poetry collection by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States Even the men in black armor, the ones Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade Sizing up the heart's familiar meat? We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat. Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean. Love: naked almost in the everlasting street, Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze. --from "Unrest in Baton Rouge" In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America's contemporary moment both to our nation's fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smith's signature voice--inquisitive, lyrical, and wry--turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence. Here, private utterance becomes part of a larger choral arrangement as the collection widens to include erasures of The Declaration of Independence and the correspondence between slave owners, a found poem comprised of evidence of corporate pollution and accounts of near-death experiences, a sequence of letters written by African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, and the survivors' reports of recent immigrants and refugees. Wade in the Water is a potent and luminous book by one of America's essential poets.
Call Number: PS3619.M5955 W33 2018x
Home Body by rupi kaurFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey and the sun and her flowers comes her greatly anticipated third collection of poetry. rupi kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself - reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here. i dive into the well of my body and end up in another world everything i need already exists in me there's no need to look anywhere else - home
Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie DiazFINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY FINALIST FOR THE 2020 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY Natalie Diaz's highly anticipated follow-up to When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages--bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers--be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: "Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden." In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality. Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: "I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible." Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope--in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
Call Number: PS3604.I186 A6 2020x
Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye BlountIn his debut collection Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Tommye Blount orchestrates a chorus of distinct, unforgettable voices that speak to the experience of the black, queer body as a site of desire and violence. A black man's late-night encounter with a police officer--the titular "man in blue"--becomes an extended meditation on a dangerous erotic fantasy. The late Luther Vandross, resurrected here in a suite of poems, addresses the contradiction between his public persona and a life spent largely in the closet: "It's a calling, this hunger / to sing for a love I'm too ashamed to want for myself." In "Aaron McKinney Cleans His Magnum," the convicted killer imagines the barrel of the gun he used to bludgeon Matthew Shepard as an "infant's small mouth" as well as the "sad calculator" that was "built to subtract from and divide a town." In these and other poems, Blount viscerally captures the experience of the "other" and locates us squarely within these personae.
Call Number: PS3602.L679 F36 2020
The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne JeffersPoems imagine the life and times of Phillis Wheatley In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry that challenged Western prejudices about African and female intellectual capabilities. Based on fifteen years of archival research, The Age of Phillis, by award-winning writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, imagines the life and times of Wheatley: her childhood in the Gambia, West Africa, her life with her white American owners, her friendship with Obour Tanner, and her marriage to the enigmatic John Peters. Woven throughout are poems about Wheatley's "age"--the era that encompassed political, philosophical, and religious upheaval, as well as the transatlantic slave trade. For the first time in verse, Wheatley's relationship to black people and their individual "mercies" is foregrounded, and here we see her as not simply a racial or literary symbol, but a human being who lived and loved while making her indelible mark on history. mothering #1 Yaay, Someplace in the Gambia, c. 1753 after the after-birth is delivered the mother stops holding her breath the mid-wife gives what came before her just-washed pain her insanity pain an undeserved pain a God-given pain oh oh oh pain drum-talking pain witnessing pain Allah a mother offers You this gift prays You find it acceptable her living pain her creature pain her pretty-little-baby pain
Call Number: PS3560.E365 A74 2020
I by Toi DerricotteFinalist for the 2019 National Book Award for PoetryHow do you gain access to thepower of parts of yourself youabhor, and make them singwith beauty, tenderness, and compassion?This is a record of fifty yearsof victories in the reclamationof a poet's voice.The story of Toi Derricotte is a hero's odyssey. It is the journey of a poetic voice that in each book earns her way to home, to her own commanding powers."I": New and Selected Poems shows the reader both the closeness of the enemy and the poet's inherent courage, inventiveness, and joy. It is a record of one woman's response to the repressive and fracturing forces around the subjects of race, class, color, gender, and sexuality. Each poem is an act of victory, finding a path through repressive forces to speak with both beauty and truth.This collection features more than thirty new poems as well as selections from five of Derricotte's previously published books of poetry.
Call Number: PS3554.E73 A6 2019x
Make Me Rain by Nikki GiovanniOne of America's most celebrated poets challenges us with this powerful and deeply personal collection of verse that speaks to the injustices of society while illuminating the depths of her own heart. For more than fifty years, Nikki Giovanni's poetry has dazzled and inspired readers. As sharp and outspoken as ever, she returns with this profound book of poetry in which she continues to call attention to injustice and racism, celebrate Black culture and Black lives, and and give readers an unfiltered look into her own experiences. In Make Me Rain, she celebrates her loved ones and unapologetically declares her pride in her Black heritage, while exploring the enduring impact of the twin sins of racism and white nationalism. Giovanni reaffirms her place as a uniquely vibrant and relevant American voice with poems such as "I Come from Athletes" and "Rainy Days"--calling out segregation and Donald Trump; as well as "Unloved (for Aunt Cleota)" and ""When I Could No Longer"--her personal elegy for the relatives who saved her from an abusive home life. Stirring, provocative, and resonant, the poems in Make Me Rain pierce the heart and nourish the soul.
Call Number: PS3557.I55 A6 2020x
Cast Away by Naomi Shihab Nye"Nye at her engaging, insightful best." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Acclaimed poet and Young People's Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye shines a spotlight on the things we cast away, from plastic water bottles to those less fortunate, in this collection of more than eighty original and never-before-published poems. A deeply moving, sometimes funny, and always provocative poetry collection for all ages. "How much have you thrown away in your lifetime already? Do you ever think about it? Where does this plethora of leavings come from? How long does it take you, even one little you, to fill the can by your desk?" ?Naomi Shihab Nye National Book Award Finalist, Young People's Poet Laureate, and devoted trash-picker-upper Naomi Shihab Nye explores these questions and more in this original collection of poetry that features more than eighty new poems. "I couldn't save the world, but I could pick up trash," she says in her introduction to this stunning volume. With poems about food wrappers, lost mittens, plastic straws, refugee children, trashy talk, the environment, connection, community, responsibility to the planet, politics, immigration, time, junk mail, trash collectors, garbage trucks, all that we carry and all that we discard, this is a rich, engaging, moving, and sometimes humorous collection for readers ages twelve to adult. Includes ideas for writing, recycling, and reclaiming, and an index.
When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through by Joy Harjo (Editor); LeAnne HoweThis landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete.
Call Number: PS591.I55 W47 2020
A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei BerssenbruggeA Treatise on Stars extends Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's intensely phenomenological poetics to the fiery bodies in a "field of heaven...outside spacetime." Long, lyrical lines map a geography of interconnected, interdimensional intelligence that exists in all places and sentient beings. These are poems of deep listening and patient waiting, open to the cosmic loom, the channeling of daily experience and conversation, gestalt and angels, dolphins and a star-visitor beneath a tree. Family, too, becomes a type of constellation, a thought "a form of organized light." All of our sense are activated by Berssenbrugge's radiant lines, giving us a poetry of keen perception grounded in the physical world, where "days fill with splendor, and earth offers its pristine beauty to an expanding present."
Call Number: PS3552.E77 T74 2020
The Tradition by Jericho BrownWINNER OF THE 2020 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award "100 Notable Books of the Year," The New York Times Book Review One Book, One Philadelphia Citywide Reading Program Selection, 2021 "By some literary magic--no, it's precision, and honesty--Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes."--Craig Morgan Teicher, "'I Reject Walls': A 2019 Poetry Preview" for NPR "A relentless dismantling of identity, a difficult jewel of a poem."--Rita Dove, in her introduction to Jericho Brown's "Dark" (featured in the New York Times Magazine in January 2019) "Winner of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Brown's hard-won lyricism finds fire (and idyll) in the intersection of politics and love for queer Black men."--O, The Oprah Magazine Named a Lit Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2019" One of Buzzfeed's "66 Books Coming in 2019 You'll Want to Keep Your Eyes On" The Rumpus poetry pick for "What to Read When 2019 is Just Around the Corner" One of BookRiot's "50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019" Jericho Brown's daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we've become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex--a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues--is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.
Call Number: PS3602.R699 A6 2019
Thanku by Miranda Paul; Marlena Myles (Illustrator)How do you give thanks? Gratitude isn't something we need to save up for a special holiday. What are you grateful for right now, today? This anthology brings together a diverse group of poets who express gratitude for everything from a puppy to hot cocoa to the sky itself. Each writer uses a different poetic form, and readers will encounter a concrete poem, a sonnet, a pantoum, a sijo, and much more. Contributors include Kimberly Blaeser, Sun Yung Shin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, Janice Scully, Jane Yolen, Traci Sorell, JaNay Brown-Wood, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Margarita Engle, and more. Stunning illustrations from Marlena Myles invite close examination, making this a collection to return to and savor again and again. A portion of the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to We Need Diverse Books.