New poetry this week, ready for you to pack in your summer beach tote.
Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems by Jim Harrison
Description: Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems is distilled from fourteen volumes–from visionary lyrics and meditative suites to shape-shifting ghazals and prose-poem letters. Teeming throughout these pages are Harrison’s legendary passions and appetites, his meditations, rages, and love-songs to the natural world. The New York Times concluded a review from early in Harrison’s career with a provocative quote: “This is poetry worth loving, hating, and fighting over, a subjective mirror of our American days and needs.” That sentiment still holds true, as Jim Harrison’s essential poems continue to call for our fiercest attention.
Mourning Songs: Poems of Sorrow and Beauty by Grace Schulman
Description: Who has not suffered grief? In Mourning Songs, the brilliant poet and editor Grace Schulman has gathered together the most moving poems about sorrow by the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams, Gwendolyn Brooks, Neruda, Catullus, Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, W. S. Merwin, Lorca, Denise Levertov, Keats, Hart Crane, Michael Palmer, Robert Frost, Hopkins, Hardy, Bei Dao, and Czeslaw Milosz―to name only some of the masters in this slim volume.
Murmurs at the Gate by Suzanne S. Rancourt
Description: Suzanne S. Rancourt’s second book of poetry uses both fictional and auto-biographical events to create a chorus of survivors. These poems for the unspeakable, the marginalized, the “in-betweeners,” create a chorus of survivors in the theatre of life’s sorrow, love, tragedy, beauty, and profound human resiliency.
Rancourt’s life attests to being a survivor, and states, “Prejudice is non-discriminatory.” murmurs at the gate, is a poetic narrative that explores the harsh measures of life’s wars. “If we are at war with everything, who are the Warriors? Who are the survivors? And, for how long does the war cry reverberate?” Marine and Army veteran, and multi-modal artist, Ms. Rancourt brings to the reader her rich and diverse metaphors inspired by rural mountain living and Native American culture. Ms. Rancourt honors all her ancestors in this astounding book where every murmur could be your own.
Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing by Topaz Winters
Description: Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing is an award-winning, omnivorous collection of poetry residing in the space between confessional & manifesto. Portrait is interested in the immediacy of language; in girlhood as wolfhood; in the cartography of illness; in fractures through the dark; in bodies, human & water alike. Luminous, tender, & unflinching, Portrait cuts straight to the marrow. To all those whose bodies have been more bruise than human—who feel so loudly the sky turns black in fear—this book is for you.
Peripheral Vision by Susan Kinsolving
Description: Peripheral Vision, Susan Kinsolving’s fourth book of poems, explores the world from many points of view. She takes her readers to England, Hollywood, Wyoming, France, and Chile. She goes behind the scenes in a military hospital, an elementary school, and a disturbed family. Her poems were described in the New Yorker as “grand and almost terrifying.” In this new collection, she proves herself again. As a guest poet and lecturer, Kinsolving has performed at numerous venues, including Harvard, Columbia, and Yale University, as well as Bad Robot in Santa Monica and Bread Loaf in Vermont.
Milestones: Poems of Life and Love by Kathryn Carole Ellison
Description: Author and poet Kathryn Carole Ellison’s nine beautiful books of poetry are a result of a lifetime of writing–first as a journalist. Then, because she had some life lessons to share with her children, she chose poetry as a means of communicating. The books, Celebrations, Heartstrings, Inspirations, Sanctuary, Awakenings and Sojourns, contain poems from a collection written over a span of 43 years. She will be releasing three new books in 2019. The “Poems of Life and Love” are as fresh and relevant today as they were when she first wrote them. Ellison began writing poetry for her children in the 1970s when they were reaching the “age of reason,” and she was leaving an abusive marriage, becoming a single parent, and overcoming alcohol addiction. She wanted to share “life’s lessons” and “words of wisdom” with her them. Poetry was her way to communicate with her teenage children to help them make good decisions in life, without a barrage of words and lectures that would fall on deaf ears.