5 New Poetry Collections to Watch Out For

The Last Shift by Philip Levine (3 Apr 2018)
the last shift
The final collection of new poems from one of our finest and most beloved poets. The poems in this wonderful collection touch all of the events and places that meant the most to Philip Levine. There are lyrical poems about his family and childhood, the magic of nighttime and the power of dreaming; tough poems about the heavy shift work at Detroit’s auto plants, the Nazis, and bosses of all kinds; telling poems about his heroes–jazz players, artists, and working people of every description, even children. Other poems celebrate places and things he loved: the gifts of winter, dawn, a wall in Naples, an English hilltop, Andalusia. And he makes peace with Detroit: “Slow learner that I am, it took me one night/to discover that rain in New York City/is just like rain in Detroit. It gets you wet.” It is a peace that comes to full fruition in a moving goodbye to his home town in the final poem in the collection, “The Last Shift.”

Soho by Richard Scott (5 Apr 2018)
soho
In this intimate and vital debut, Richard Scott creates an uncompromising portrait of love and gay shame. Examining how trauma becomes a part of the language we use, Scott takes us back to our roots: childhood incidents, the violence our scars betray, forgotten forebears and histories. The hungers of sexual encounters are underscored by the risks that threaten when we give ourselves to or accept another. But the poems celebrate joy and tenderness, too, as in a sequence re-imagining the love poetry of Verlaine.

The collection crescendos to Scott’s tour de force, ‘Oh My Soho!’, where a night stroll under the street lamps of Soho Square becomes a search for true lineage, a reclamation of stolen ancestors, hope for healing, and, above all, the finding of our truest selves.

Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (10 Apr 2018)
oceanic
“Nezhukumatathil’s poems contain elegant twists of a very sharp knife. She writes about the natural world and how we live in it, filling each poem, each page with a true sense of wonder.” –Roxane Gay

“Cultural strands are woven into the DNA of her strange, lush… poems. Aphorisms…from another dimension.” —The New York Times

“With unparalleled ease, she’s able to weave each intriguing detail into a nuanced, thought-provoking poem that also reads like a startling modern-day fable.” —The Poetry Foundation

“How wonderful to watch a writer who was already among the best young poets get even better!” –Terrance Hayes

With inquisitive flair, Aimee Nezhukumatathil creates a thorough registry of the earth’s wonderful and terrible magic. In her fourth collection of poetry, she studies forms of love as diverse and abundant as the ocean itself. She brings to life a father penguin, a C-section scar, and the Niagara Falls with a powerful force of reverence for life and living things. With an encyclopedic range of subjects and unmatched sincerity, Oceanic speaks to each reader as a cooperative part of the earth, an extraordinary neighborhood to which we all belong.

From “Starfish and Coffee”

And that’s how you feel after tumbling
like sea stars on the ocean floor over each other.
A night where it doesn’t matter
which are arms or which are legs
or what radiates and how–
only your centers stuck together.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poetry. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the prestigious Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, Nezhukumatathil teaches creative writing and environmental literature in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

Essex City by Andrew Motion (7 Jun 2018)
essex clay.jpg
Andrew Motion’s prose memoir In the Blood (2006) was widely acclaimed, praised as ‘an act of magical retrieval’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘a hymn to familial love’ (Independent). Now, twelve years later and three years after moving to live and work in the United States, Motion looks back once more to recreate a stunning biographical sequel – but this time in verse.

Essex Clay rekindles, expands and gives a tragic resonance to subjects that have haunted the poet throughout his writing life. In the first part, he tells the story of his mother’s riding accident, long unconsciousness and slow death; in the second, he remembers the end of his father’s life; and in the third, he describes an encounter that deepens the poem’s tangled themes of loss and memory and retrieval. Although the prevailing mood of the poem has a Tennysonian sweep and melancholy, its wealth of physical details and its narrative momentum make it as compelling as a fast-paced novel: a settling of accounts which admits that final resolutions are impossible.

How He Loved Them by Kevin Prufer (17 Apr 2018)
How He Loved Them
Kevin Prufer’s How He Loved Them sets love in a fraught, paradoxical world where bombs explode, fields burn, and armies advance. With clear, compassionate eyes, Prufer finds powerful intimacy between fathers and sons, soldiers and civilians, the living and the (sometimes un)dead. An exceptional new work by a necessary voice.

Praise for Kevin Prufer

“…Poetry at full boil, poured with deliberate abandon.” – David Orr, The New York Times, “Ten Favorite Poetry Books of the Year”

“…Prufer creates stunning scenarios that observe the world from surprising angles….” – Library Journal

“…There is no other contemporary voice quite like his, and I believe that, taken as a whole, Kevin Prufer’s prognostic backward gaze may someday prove to have shown us where we were going before we got there…..” – Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

“Kevin Prufer is one of the most vital poets on his generation, saying important things about our culture in fearless, eloquent ways.” – David Walker, Field: Contemporary Poetry& Poetics

“Among the best poets in the USA….” – The Notre Dame Review

One thought on “5 New Poetry Collections to Watch Out For

  1. Pingback: Sunday Post – 1st April, 2018 | Brainfluff

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