Staff Picks by Tag

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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977856
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017

With the urgent force of a rallying cry, Smith documents the many external and internal forces that imperil black bodies.  His pain from his experience as an HIV-positive, queer black man is palpable, and every poem brims with anger, regret and unfathomable sadness. Take your time with each poem, for every one is rich, complex and worthy of re-reading.


Review by Courtney

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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy Cover Image
By Hafiz, Daniel Ladinsky (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143037811
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - September 26th, 2006

So you know how the world sometimes makes you wanna sink deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep into a watery grave?? This book helps me not do that! heart


Review by Dean

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Love That Dog: A Novel Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780064409599
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperCollins - April 8th, 2008

Read this very short but important story written as a poem by a boy who hates poetry and thinks he can't write it. Jack feels defeated by Miss Stretchberry's assignment, until he is snared by snippets of William Carlos Williams, William Blake, Robert Frost, Valerie Worth, S.C. Rigg, Arnold Adoff, and Walter Dean Myers. Little by little, Jack is telling his tale with both humor and heart-wrenching threads...in poetry!


Review by Jane

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When My Brother Was an Aztec Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556593833
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Copper Canyon Press - May 8th, 2012

Absolutely searing book of poetry with a fine eye toward metaphor and repetition. Díaz writes like a necromancer, an augurer, a sorceress - a conjurer. She combines the mythic with sharp realities of her Mojave family life and her brother's meth addiction - uncomfortable but luxurious, vibrant and tragic, erotic and linguistically Baroque. 


Review by Courtney

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Holy Toledo! Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781784102609
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Carcanet Press Ltd. - June 1st, 2016

By turns hilarious and thought-provoking, this book will take you on an unforgettable journey from the unforgiving landscape of the American Southwest to the diction of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a secret military programme to remotely pilot moths.


Review by Stephen

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The Others Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781940696409
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Wave Books - May 2nd, 2017

It's National Poetry Month! Ever feel as though poetry is "boring" or you don't want to read it because "it doesn't tell a story" or "doesn't resolve"? As the head of the poetry section, these are complaints I field often. Since reading "The Others," it's easy to find a book to respond to these concerns. This is a novel in verse that tells the story of a day in the life of a low-level employee at a publishing house. A day in the life of someone dealing with books should rightfully take you through the books as well, and this one does, thrillingly so. Through the main character we read the stories of an 19th-century French pot-smoker, a group of students communing with ghosts, and many others. Lots of fun, lots of ideas, lots of energy.


Review by James

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The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperTeen - March 6th, 2018

A bright, shining lighthouse of a book. At turns tender and ferocious, this is a book that you hand to those struggling to find and express their voice. Acevedo's debut verse novel powerfully asserts the humming, electric, life-altering potential of poetry and literature. 


Review by Niki

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The Hatred of Poetry Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9780865478206
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: FSG Originals - June 7th, 2016

Lerner starts this book-length essay with a reading of the perhaps the most famous piece of writing about poetry, from the poem "Poetry" by Marianne Moore, which reads, in its entirety:

I, too, dislike it.
***Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for
it, one discovers in
***it, after all, a place for the genuine.

This poem is the perfect starting point for the examination of the culture-wide contempt toward poetry, but also the ironic respect, deference, and revulsion with which we treat poets. Drawing on the work of Caedmon, Emily Dickinson, and Amiri Baraka, Ben Lerner proves himself a delightful guide through literary history and argument.


Review by James

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Look: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977443
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - July 5th, 2016

This ingenious collection borrows and recontextualizes vocabulary from the US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms. A fascinating exercise in linguistic appropriation that won the PEN Literary Award.


Review by Stephen

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Even This Page Is White Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781551526416
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - September 13th, 2016

"brown is not a barrier   you are
and when you say don't play the race card

you mean don't call me white"

To my fellow POC: Read this, then give it to your white friends to read.

To all the white folks: If there's one book of poetry you read this year, or in your entire lifetime, read this one.


Review by Avery

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