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In Corey Van Landingham’s Antidote, love equates with disease, valediction is a contact sport, the moon is a lunatic, and someone is always watching. Here the uncanny coexists with the personal, so that each poem undergoes making and unmaking, is birthed and bound in an acute strangeness. Elegy is made new by a speaker both heartbreaking and transgressive. Van Landingham reveals the instability of self and perception in states of grief; she is not afraid to tip the world upside down and shake it out, gather the lint and change from its pockets and say, “I can make something with this.” Wild and surreal, driven by loss, Antidote invites both the beautiful and the brutal into its arms, allowing for shocking declarations about love: that it is like hibernation, a car crash, or a parasite. Time, geography, and landscape are called into question as backdrops for various forms of valediction. It soon becomes clear that there is no antidote one can take for grief or heartbreak; that love can, at times, feel like violence; and that one may never get better at saying goodbye.
Anxiety In Mosaic is a sum up of a manís fears and hopes into a volume of poetry; anxieties that span a cross section of the human phenomena of greed (in ramifications) and the resultant socio-political, economic and environmental consequences; the repercussions of worsted governance, feminist, ecological, emigrational and imperialist concerns, presented from the perspective of a philosophical questioning. The charm of these thoroughly vocal, finely-crafted poems not only lie in the quasi-compendious multiplicity of subject matter but also in their creative and innovative re-chartings.
Poetry and Place
Author, activist, feminist, teacher, and artist bell hooks is celebrated as one of the nation's leading intellectuals. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks drew her unique pseudonym from the name of her grandmother, an intelligent and strong-willed African American woman who inspired her to stand up against a dominating and repressive society. Her poetry, novels, memoirs, and children's books reflect her Appalachian upbringing and feature her struggles with racially integrated schools and unwelcome authority figures. One of Utne Reader's "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life," hooks has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. In Appalachian Elegy, bell hooks continues her work as an imagist of life's harsh realities in a collection of poems inspired by her childhood in the isolated hills and hidden hollows of Kentucky. At once meditative, confessional, and political, this poignant volume draws the reader deep into the experience of living in Appalachia. Touching on such topics as the marginalization of its people and the environmental degradation it has suffered over the years, hooks's poetry quietly elegizes the slow loss of an identity while also celebrating that which is constant, firmly rooted in a place that is no longer whole.
Appetite is a book of poems that explores our American Mythologies, particularly masculinity and film. Smith investigates our fascinations with the body, gender, and entertainment in poems that are critically observant, darkly funny, darkly angry, and, sometimes, heartbreaking. Whether he is cataloging shirtless men in films and bad television, lyricizing the anxieties of childhood, or redrawing the lines of cultural membership, Appetite attacks its subjects with wit, candor, and compassionate intensity. These poems announce their presence with a style that is as beautifully wrought as it is provocative. In the America of Appetite, the usual hierarchies are obliterated: the disposable is as valuable as the traditional, pop culture is on the same level as the sacred, and the pleasurable simultaneity of past and present are found in high art and the tabloid. Smith’s work engages our contemporary moment and how we want to think of ourselves, while nodding to rich poetic, cultural, and personal histories.
Apples from Shinar was Hyam Plutzik's second complete collection. Originally published in 1959 as a part of Wesleyan University Press's newly minted poetry series, the collection includes "The Shepherd"--a section of the book-length poem "Horatio," which earned Plutzik a finalist position for the Pulitzer Prize. "The love and the words and the simplicity," that mark Plutzik's poetry, writes Philip Booth, "are all here [in Apples from Shinar], and the poems come peacefully, and wonderfully, alive." With a previously unpublished foreword by Hyam Plutzik and a new afterword by David Scott Kastan, this edition marks the centenary of Plutzik's birth and will introduce a new generation of readers to the work of one of the best mid-century American poets.
“Sagan’s richly sensual writing blends elements of mature insight with deeply felt experience. These are poems of an examined life with moments of Zen clarity throughout. It is, in fact, the clarity that drives these poems. The language is careful but deliberate, exquisitely crafted and emotionally moving. One gets the sense that her desire to write poetry comes from the desire to give permanent voice to something in the experience of life – to find ourselves spoken for in art gives dignity to our pain, our anger, our lust, and our losses. This is what poetry is about. When Miriam Sagan casts her imaginative eye on something, it stares back.” —Jeanie C. Williams
One of Norway’s most celebrated literary figures of the nineteenth century, Henrik Wergeland worked tirelessly for the civil rights of Jews in Norway. He used the words and structure of his poetry to enliven the ideals of truth, freedom, and equality. This translated volume, containing several of Wergeland’s most prominent poems, beautifully encapsulates the compelling force of his message, allowing its enduring influence to benefit a wider contemporary audience.