How to Read a Japanese Poem by Steven Carter (3 Jul 2019)
How to Read a Japanese Poem offers a comprehensive approach to making sense of traditional Japanese poetry of all genres and periods. Steven D. Carter explains to Anglophone students the methods of composition and literary interpretation used by Japanese poets, scholars, and critics from ancient times to the present, and adds commentary that will assist the modern reader. How to Read a Japanese Poem presents readings of poems by major figures such as Saigyo and Basho as well as lesser known poets, with nearly two hundred examples that encompass all genres of Japanese poetry. The book gives attention to well-known forms such as haikai or haiku, as well as ancient songs, comic poems, and linked verse. Each chapter provides examples of a genre in chronological order, followed by notes about authorship and other contextual details, including the time of composition, physical setting, and social occasion. The commentaries focus on a central feature of Japanese poetic discourse: that poems are often occasional, written in specific situations, and are best read in light of their milieu. Carter elucidates key concepts useful in examining Japanese poetics as well as the technical vocabulary of Japanese poetic discourse, familiarizing students with critical terms and concepts. An appendix offers succinct definitions of technical terms and essays on aesthetic ideals and devices.
The Tradition by Jericho Brown (8 August 2019)
Jericho Brown’s daring poetry collection 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? 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 – testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while revelling in a celebration of contradiction.
September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem by Ian Sansom (22 Aug 2019)
This a book about a poet, about a poem, about a city, and about a world at a point of change. More than a work of literary criticism or literary biography, it is a record of why and how we create and respond to great poetry.
This a book about a poet – W. H. Auden, a wunderkind, a victim-beneficiary of a literary cult of personality who became a scapegoat and a poet-expatriate largely excluded from British literary history because he left.
About a poem – ‘September 1, 1939’, his most famous and celebrated, yet one which he tried to rewrite and disown and which has enjoyed – or been condemned – to a tragic and unexpected afterlife.
About a city – New York, an island, an emblem of the Future, magnificent, provisional, seamy, and in 1939 about to emerge as the defining twentieth-century cosmopolis, the capital of the world.
And about a world at a point of change – about 1939, and about our own Age of Anxiety, about the aftermath of September 11, when many American newspapers reprinted Auden’s poem in its entirety on their editorial pages.
If All the World and Love Were Young by Stephen Sexton (29 Aug 2019)
When Stephen Sexton was young, video games were a way to slip through the looking glass; to be in two places at once; to be two people at once. In these poems about the death of his mother, this moving, otherworldly narrative takes us through the levels of Super Mario World, whose flowered landscapes bleed into our world, and ours, strange with loss, bleed into it. His remarkable debut is a daring exploration of memory, grief and the necessity of the unreal.
Like by A.E. Stallings (3 Sep 2019)
A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
A stunning new collection by the award-winning young poet and translator
Like, that currency of social media, is a little word with infinite potential; it can be nearly any part of speech. Without it, there is no simile, that engine of the lyric poem, the lyre’s note in the epic. A poem can hardly exist otherwise. In this new collection, her most ambitious to date, A. E. Stallings continues her archeology of the domestic, her odyssey through myth and motherhood in received and invented forms, from sonnets to syllabics. Stallings also eschews the poetry volume’s conventional sections for the arbitrary order of the alphabet. Contemporary Athens itself, a place never dull during the economic and migration crises of recent years, shakes off the dust of history and emerges as a vibrant character. Known for her wry and musical lyric poems, Stallings here explores her themes in greater depth, including the bravura performance Lost and Found, a meditation in ottava rima on a parent’s sublunary dance with daily-ness and time, set in the moon’s Valley of Lost Things.