Vi Khi Nao : Umbilical Hospital & A Brief Alphabet of Torture

“These pieces are elaborate piecework—perforated, whip stitched, and distressed field-dressed dissections of language. Tortured? Maybe. But lusciously junked &  juxtaposed, turned inside out & every which way but…No, in every way they make way.”—Michael Martone;  “Imagine an entity composed of sheep, wheat, assholes, clitorises, stars. Why not? That would be this poem, this world — a perfectly recognizable post-human world which is also post surreal. Vi Khi Nao is making it new, no, she is doing the old job of making us see what’s already here in a new way.”.– Rae Armantrout

Micheline Aharonian Marcom : The Brick House

Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The Brick House is a place where people dream of love and loneliness, of the world’s beauty, and of ongoing environmental degradation. Travelers confront their lives in the strange, elemental language which dreams allow for, a strangeness mirrored in the accompanying illustrations by Fowzia Karimi. Inspired by Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Kawabata’s House of Sleeping Beauties, and following in the tradition of Armenian illuminated manuscripts, The Brick House is in Rikki Ducornet’s words “Fierce, fearlessly erotic and always unforeseeable.”

Terese Marie Mailhot : Heart Berries

Heart Berries is an epic take—an Iliad for the indigenous. It’s the story of one First Nation woman & her geographic, emotional, & theological search for meaning in a colonial world. It’s disturbing & hilarious. It contains sentences of such poetry & power that you will be compelled to set the book down & walk away to recover from the tremors. Terese is a world-changing talent & I recommend this book with 100% of my soul.” —Sherman Alexie;  “If Heart Berries is any indication, the work to come will not just surface suppressed stories; it might give birth to new forms.” —The New York Times

Carmen Maria Machado : Her Body and Other Parties

“Cross-pollinating fairy tales, horror movies, TV shows, & a terrific sense of humor, Machado’s work reminds me at different times of such wildly divergent figures as David Lynch, Jane Campion, Maggie Nelson, & Grace Paley; which is a way of saying, Machado sounds like nobody but herself.”—John Powers, NPR “Fresh Air”; “The book abounds with fantastical premises that ring true because the intensity of sexual desire, the mutability of the body, & the realities of gender inequality make them so. These stories stand as exquisitely rendered, poignant hauntings.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Eunsong Kim : Gospel of Regicide

“In Gospel of Regicide, Eunsong Kim develops a thrilling method for unwriting lyric even as she reimagines it, creating a socially engaged poetry of & for our time. Anticapitalist, feminist & anti-racist yet critical of non-intersectional understandings of identity & selfhood, she is unafraid of drawing the sacred from the pedestrian, & unbeholden to whiteness as foundation. These poems, mutable in form & style, yet cohesive in their vision, suggest a complex & different order allowing us to “complete the story.” Kim kills the king, & blesses us with a superlative collection as a result.”–John Keene


Leni Zumas : Red Clocks

“Leni Zumas here proves she can do almost anything. Her tale feels part Melvillian, part Lydia Davis, part Octavia Butler—but really Zumas’s vision is entirely her own. RED CLOCKS is funny, mordant, political, poetic, alarming, and inspiring—not to mention a way forward for fiction now.” –Maggie Nelson; “Move over Atwood, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks is a gender roaring tour de force. The bodies of women in Red Clocks are each the site of resistance and revolution. I screamed out loud. I pumped my fist in the air. And I remembered how hope is forged from the ground up, through the bodies of women who won’t be buried.”―Lidia Yuknavitch

David Biespiel : The Education of a Young Poet

“Biespiel’s supple memoir of becoming a poet will surely inspire other writers to embrace the bodily character of writing & feel the power &, sometimes, the emptiness of the act of writing poetry.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Whether he is writing about poetry, politics, competitive diving, or the glories of great conversation, Biespiel’s recurring subject is the tension between freedom & discipline―between the sublime release of our own wildness & the precision that comes only from exquisite self-control. Part memoir, part ars poetica, The Education of a Young Poet is a feast: of language, of memory, & of insights into how one young writer came into his own.” ―Patrick Phillips