Poetry

This is the Mary Oliver book for your bookshelf (alongside all her other books, of course). Here, Oliver has personally chosen over 200 poems, selected from her most recent collection, Felicity, to her first from 1965, No Voyage and Other Poems. It is a pleasure to see the trajectory of her work over five decades of writing, but also to just dip in and out at your leisure, each time feeling awe. - Melinda

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Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399563249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 10th, 2017

Danez Smith is a gift to poetry and social discourse, with insights concise and cutting, “tongue rot with gospel / & other glories.” This sophomore piece looks staggering so far. Don’t Call Us Dead explores mortality through a more beautiful question: After trauma, how does the collective black body under attack approach a better world? Smith gives black boys lost to systemic violence a voice, which through their poetry insists “please don’t call / us dead. Call us alive someplace better.” - a.c.

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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017

This collection by poet Nikki Giovanni is absolutely wonderful. The diversity between short prose and poetry in this collection lends it a great readability, and there is a lovely rhythm to the book. Of note is the poem dedicated to Maya Angelou that embraces tears and sadness as necessary and healing. The personal is political, and as always Giovanni reminds us why. - Louise

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A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062399458
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Published: William Morrow & Company - October 24th, 2017

Yrsa Daley-Ward is a debut poet who thrills me down to my bones. In this collection, she uses spare images to explore both the delights and deep cuts of youthful, obsessive first loves, most of them Sapphic. In some of her best pieces, Daley-Ward also explores mental health and the liminal space of a woman’s body; how people’s bodies and minds are not always honored; and how we can honor our own experiences anyway, wielding agency like a knife and a balm. - a.c.

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Bone Cover Image
By Yrsa Daley-Ward, Kiese Laymon (Foreword by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780143132615
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Published: Penguin Books - September 26th, 2017

Ordinarily, I hesitate to share poetry so steeped in death, but “Death is the worst/ sort of lurker. The best soldier of fortune./ It hardly refuses anyone’s offer.” I can’t refuse a single poem Shapero offers; her words roll forward effortlessly, turn on unexpected images and rhyme, examining God with no pretension or artifice. I will read this collection again and again until I’m as dead as anything Shapero discusses. Perfect. - a.c.

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Hard Child Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556595097
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Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 4th, 2017

Beowulf is one of the great epics of the Western tradition, and one of the main inspirations for JRR Tolkien's collection of stories set in Middle Earth. Following Beowulf from his dramatic arrival through his heroic trials to the end of his life, this version also includes direct translations from Old English and commentary from Tolkien himself. - Ian

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Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780544570306
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Published: Mariner Books - August 4th, 2015

The most concise array of observations about humanity that I have ever seen blended into one book of poetry. This collection is stunning; since its release in 2015, it has offered a swift kick in the gut to everyone with whom I've shared it, and an intense, immediate declaration, "this is good." Impossible to pass up; dark, beautiful and perfect, you'll reread it many times. - a.c.

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Application for Release from the Dream: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977184
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Published: Graywolf Press - September 1st, 2015

A debut collection and my favorite poetry release of 2016. Incredibly beautiful and artful, with affecting imagery, intelligent allusions, small pieces of language like glass shards perfectly placed to catch you in the heart. Ideal for fans of Rankine's Citizen. Bennett is an exceptional writer, almost mandatory reading. I looked up each reference as I went, and then read it straight through the second I'd finished. - a.c.

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The Sobbing School Cover Image
By Joshua Bennett, Eugene Gloria (Selected by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143111863
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Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2016

I first was introduced to Sarah Kay via her TedTalk called If I Should Have a Daughter where she recites two poems from this book as well as speak about how she uses poetry to figure out life's nuances. This is showcased in the book. I am in love with the poem "B" as well as "Postcards." - Karena

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No Matter the Wreckage Cover Image
By Sarah Kay, Sophia Janowitz (Illustrator)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781938912481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Write Bloody Publishing - March 18th, 2014

If you enjoy Collins’ light, conversational style, you will enjoy this new collection. Full of accessible poems about (mostly) familiar subjects, written in the slyly humorous style that I do so love, The Rain in Portugal is thought provoking and entertaining. Collins has a knack for taking a serious poem and sending it twisting into whimsy and for finding the hidden depth in a moment of frivolity. —Nici

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The Rain in Portugal: Poems Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780679644064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - October 4th, 2016

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