June heats up with new poetry releases, with new voices and themes.
The She Book by Tanya Markul
Description: The She Book is a collection of 114 poems, prose, and quotes written for you. Because this is your year to live the life of your dreams, to heal, to witness, to be the one who queens. Once a silent star in the sky, lost, alone and unnoticed, she began to dream her life awake.
Crafting together the power of words and womanhood, writer Tanya Markul has written a completely unique poetry collection fit for the phenomenal readers of today.
In Tanya’s words, “May we raise the bar for how we live our lives. May we ridiculously increase the amount of peace, play, creativity, beauty, love, and joy in everything we do. May we all sip from the wisdom of our suffering. And awaken with the courage to share our stories that can heal our inner and outer worlds.”
A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven by Jennifer Clark
Description: “A Beginner’s Guide to Heaven” is not so much concerned with moving earth towards heaven, as it is with yanking heaven to earth. Even amidst our haste, failures, distractions, and worries, it’s all within reach. The poems invite us to see the mystery in the every day, and revel in the wonders of such things as moths, dandelions, dogs, and beer.
These poems serve as a gateway to the inner journey. They remind us we are one holy family cut from the same cloth, spiritual explorers of this beautiful, broken world. This collection urges us to pay attention and get to work, “while we still have time to build.”
The Milk Hours by John James
Description: Winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, The Milk Hours is an elegant debut that searches widely to ask what it means to exist in a state of loss.
“We lived overlooking the walls overlooking the cemetery.” So begins the title poem of this collection, whose recursive temporality is filled with living, grieving things, punctuated by an unseen world of roots, bodies, and concealed histories. Like a cemetery, too, The Milk Hours sets unlikely neighbors alongside each other: Hegel and Murakami, Melville and the Persian astronomer al-Sufi, enacting a transhistorical poetics even as it brims with intimacy. These are poems of frequent swerves and transformations, which never stray far from an engagement with science, geography, art, and aesthetics, nor from the dream logic that motivates their incessant investigations.
Indeed, while John James begins with the biographical–the haunting loss of a father in childhood, the exhausted hours of early fatherhood–the questions that emerge from his poetic synthesis are both timely and universal: what is it to be human in an era where nature and culture have fused? To live in a time of political and environmental upheaval, of both personal and public loss? How do we make meaning, and to whom–or what–do we turn, when such boundaries so radically collapse?
Pixel Boy in Poetry World by S.T. Cartledge
Description: Pixel Boy in Poetry World tells the story of a common hero thrust into a world beyond his intended creation. As he attempts to understand how or why he’s come to exist in Poetry World, the world itself begins to shift and distort in ways that defy any console, game, or pixelled reality.
Sightseer in this Killing City by Eugene Gloria
Description: Eugene Gloria’s Sightseer in This Killing City captures the surreal and disorienting feelings of the present. In the wake of recent presidential elections in the United States and in the Philippines, Gloria’s latest collection sharpens his obsession with arrivals and departures, gun violence, displacement, cultural legacy, and the bitter divisions in America. Through the voice of Nacirema, the central persona of the collection, we are introduced to a character who chooses mystery and inhabits landscapes fraught with beauty and brutality. Gloria quotes melodies from seventies soul and jazz, blending the urban lament of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane with the idiom of Stevie Wonder and Fela Kuti. Sightseer in this Killing City is an argument for grace and perseverance in an era of bombast and bullies.
Just a Doodle by K Wendt
Description: My favorite thing to do is express creative ideas through word play! Be it a word or phrase I hear in a conversation, a piece of a random song or story, or just quick, rapid idea in my head, I love plucking out a thought and playing with it!
Deciduous Qween by Matty Lane Glasgow
Description: Through the creaking of bedazzled branches and the soft rustle of jeweled leaves, deciduous qween explores the queer world all around us–how we, like our environment, wear and shed different identities in our performance as human, as drag queen, as ancient tree. This collection reveals in the natural world those ephemeral moments which reflect our own truths and confront our fear of death, of loneliness, and of failure. With an air of Southern Gothic mysticism, the poet reflects on a childhood spent in Houston’s bayous, an adolescence rife with curiosity and shame, and a young adulthood marred by the loss of his mother. How do our bodies and minds find equilibrium as we learn to let go, yet long to remember? The title poem, “deciduous qween, I-V,” binds the collection in a five-part sequence, pondering those things that are lost in the seasons of our lives: teeth, antlers, body, shape, and leaf. And it’s those sharp edges of loss and the scars they leave behind that linger here, like bark stripped from a swaying willow, or a family bereft of its matriarch.
Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, edited by Jim Perlman, Ed Folsom, and Dan Campion
Description: This monumental anthology celebrates Walt Whitman’s enduring worldwide influence, now available in an expanded, updated third edition, to coincide with his 200th birthday (May 31st, 2019).
The 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the Shortlist, edited by Kim Maltman
Description: The highly anticipated annual anthology of the best Canadian and international poetry. Each year, the best books of poetry published in English internationally and in Canada are honoured with the Griffin Poetry Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious and richest literary awards. Since 2001 this annual prize has tremendously spurred interest in and recognition of poetry, focusing worldwide attention on the formidable talent of poets writing in English and works in translation. Each year The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology features the work of the extraordinary poets shortlisted for the awards and introduces us to some of the finest poems in their collections.