Maurya Simon’s The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems 1980-2016 (Red Hen Press 2018, 218 pages) represents a life of questioning and perception, whether the scene is a backyard or a street in Bangalore or the ekphrastic poems of The Weavers or reflections on sinners and saints.
“Here I am/in a century that has its eyes/shut tight,” writes Katie Condon in “Origin,” the first poem in her debut collection Praying Naked (Mad Creek Books 2020). Like so many of the poems, “Origin” moves fluidly between an I and an us, between the natural world and the one created by human beings.
this is how they work together in her mind/at a proper distance from each other
Hold Me Tight by Jason Schneiderman is a book of five sections that vary in style, tone, and form — it is a book of fables, fantasies, and hilarious futures.
The moon does not/want to be touched. /How do I know? /The goats this morning
A lover’s sleeping body is a fallow field / leading to forest understory, saplings / and shrubberies too plentiful to count,
The opening title poem of Allison Adair’s collection The Clearing transforms a recognizable fairy tale into a grim story of a man who may be a “prince or woodcutter or brother, now musty with beard,” all familiar tropes of the genre, and who collects teeth that the girl in the story has dropped instead of breadcrumbs.
the five quarts of my blood moving almost/four miles an hour means the nurse pushing/a morphine shot into my arm watches/my eyes not the needle seconds only
In this stunning debut collection of poetry, Leila Chatti, a citizen of both the United States and Tunisia, brings together a variety of topics that, historically, have not oft been talked about—not in public and not in poems—and when they have arisen, they have often come bearing shame.
I walked last night/the dark circle/under my right eye/I carried/a blade