Peter Rock : Spells

“Spells is a fascinating hybrid text, not simply illustrated by a collection of photographs but created in response to them, a collaboration between Peter Rock and five photographers. The result is a novel unlike any I’ve read before, that weaves elements of realism, fable, prose poetry, and essay through the supporting structure of images to create something beautiful and unsettling.”–Oregon Book Award-winner Cari Luna;  “Rock’s prose calls to mind Kazuo Ishiguro, not just for its spareness but also for its mix of wonder and creepiness.” —New York Times

Safiya Sinclair : Cannibal

“Sinclair crafts her stunning debut collection around the beauty & brutality of the word cannibal, whose origins derive from Columbus’s belief that the Carib people consumed human flesh. Attacking this dehumanizing judgment born from white entitlement & denouncing the idea that blackness is synonymous with savagery, Sinclair ponders such questions as, How does a poet get inside the head of Shakespeare’s Caliban? How would Caliban define blackness without the filter of a white man’s bias?…Through her visceral language Sinclair paints the institution of white supremacy as not just an individualized phenomenon, but as a ruthless & menacing force.” (Publisher’s Weekly-starred review)

Matthew Zapruder : Why Poetry

In Why Poetry,  award-winning poet, translator and editor, Matthew Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. Anchored in poetic analysis & steered by Zapruder’s personal experience of coming to the form, Why Poetry is engaging & conversational, even as it makes a passionate argument for the necessity of poetry in an age when information is constantly being mistaken for knowledge. He takes on what it is that poetry—and poetry alone—can do. Most important, he asks how reading poetry can help us to lead our lives with greater meaning and purpose.

Yanara Friedland : Uncountry

“As a descendent of Chantal Akerman and Unica Zürn—among others—Yanara Friedland reimagines the origin myth. Friedland’s permeable pages allow the reader entryway into a “mirror [that] becomes an open door,” a door through which we hear the echo of Ana Mendieta telling us “There is no original past to redeem: there is the void.” Uncountry is an invitation to that void, and Friedland serves as dream guide through this blend of the personal, political, and stunningly poetic”–Lily Hoang;  Uncountry: a Mythology is winner of the Noemi Press Fiction Prize

Mary Ruefle : My Private Property

“Mary Ruefle’s careful, measured sentences sound as if they were written by a thousand-year-old person who is still genuinely curious about the world… She combines imagistic techniques from surrealism with narrative techniques to create surprising, high-velocity, and deeply affecting work.”–The Stranger; “Mary Ruefle is, in this humble bookseller’s opinion, the best prose-writing poet in America. (And one of our best poets, too.) My Private Property, her latest collection of stories, essays, and asides, is as joyous and singular a book as you’ll read…”–Stephen Sparks, Literary Hub

Yuri Herrera : Kingdom Cons

“A powerful & memorable meditation on the social & economic value of art in a world ruled by the pursuit of power.”-Publisher’s Weekly; In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts & egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core. Part surreal fable & part crime romance, this prize-winning novel from Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage & power. “Yuri Herrera must be a 1000 years old. He must’ve traveled to hell, & heaven, & back again. He must’ve once been a girl, an animal, a rock, a boy, & a woman. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding”-Valeria Luiselli

Gregory Pardlo : Digest

Gregory Pardlo “explores what is American, what is African American, what is the Other, what is city, what is suburban, what is personal & what is persona. Digest offers a changing, rich landscape of verse both haunting, funny, & rigorously intellectual–Jerry Magazine; He “renders history just as clearly & palpably as he renders NYC or Copenhagen or his native New Jersey. But mostly what he renders is America with its intractable conundrums & clashing iconographies. With lines that balance poise & a jam-packed visceral music & images that glimmer & seethe together like a conflagration these poems are a showcase for Pardlo’s ample & agile mind, his courageous social conscience, & his mighty voice.” -Tracy K. Smith