Layli Long Soldier : Whereas

“Long Soldier reminds readers of their physical and linguistic bodies as they are returned to language through their mouths and eyes and tongues across the fields of her poems.”—Natalie Diaz for The New York Times Book Review;  “Layli Long Soldier’s movement between collective and personal makes this book intimate and urgent. She has charted new ways to write in what’s left out—and not merely in the margins either. WHEREAS offers a powerful reckoning.”National Book Critics Circle Award judges’ citation

Tommy Pico : Junk

“Reading Tommy Pico’s Junk I kept thinking of Heather McHugh’s pronouncement that the main discipline of poetry is “to keep finding life strange.” Pico is the master of making the stone stony, or returning the sheer absurdity of being to everything, from grief to intimacy to dating apps to donuts. Junk insists on the urgency of the quotidian, of, to borrow a phrase from Pico, ‘vibrant inconsequence.’ It’s rare to read a book that makes living feel so alive.”–Kaveh Akbar; “A visceral exorcism of personal & collective demons…Pico demonstrates that a person’s many selves, traumas, anxieties, hookups, & breakups can become a marker of courage and survival.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Anna Moschovakis : Eleanor or The Rejection of the Progress of Love

“Anna Moschovakis takes the reader straight to the terrifying edge: that moment where one ages out of youthfulness & begins to flutter in the debris of middle living, flattened out by technology, wild-goose chasing one’s data. Yet, the deeper we look into Eleanor’s unsettledness, the more we see & the more hope we find in her rhizomic wandering. This is a beautiful slow burn of a novel.” —Renee Gladman;
“By turns funny, melancholic, & provocative, Anna’s novel undoes & remakes the conventions of realist fiction through repetition & compression of time . . . It is ‘luminously ordinary’ in its progression, where profound shifts are as small as a postcard written or a hand touched.” —BOMB

Dao Strom : You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else

In Dao Strom’s collection of poetic fragments, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, translated by Ly Thuy Nguyen as Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ, the fragments are wholly filled– with text: English, Vietnamese, drifting, entwined, dense, vanishing– with space: empty, white, solid, black– with images: cropped, multiplied, sliced, erased– & with punctuation: plus, minus, inequality signs, slashes, brackets, & bullet points imbued with as much meaning as entire novels. “After you depart from the cinema of her sea, you may ask, what or who is she? …why is she able to dismantle my soul so easily? …how is she able to make desolation so compellingly hospitable? What is her secret?”–Vi Khi Nao

Forrest Gander : Be With

“Forrest Gander’s life partner, the poet C.D. Wright, died suddently a little more than two years ago, and this book is one result or record of the aftermath of that loss. In poems that are utterly naked and bereft, elegies, apologies, could-have-beens, Gander grieves and wonders about what’s left in his life. There is so much pain in this book—perhaps too much, almost too much—but what is poetry for if not for this? And there’s more life in one of these dark words than in most entire books. Reading this book may hurt, but it will help people to keep living through what they thought they could never survive.”–Craig Morgan Teicher for NPR

 

Jen Bervin : Silk Poems

“Jen Bervin’s work—all of it—engages the eye, the hand, the ear, and the mind. Her artistry is vast and inclusive, by finesse and intelligence, by curiosity, forbearance, and vision. She knows the unexpected wonder of pattern is everywhere and that the smallest detail contains enough energy to spawn a universe. I think they should send her into space, if it were not for the fact her work has already sent us there. Her poems in themselves, those exhilirated fragments, are the purest form of the art itself—they contain the innate inner gradients of whatever takes our breath away.”–Mary Ruefle

John Keene : Counternarratives, Playland, and Grind

“In Counternarratives, John Keene undertakes a kind of literary counterarchaeology, a series of fictions that challenge our notion of what constitutes “real” or “accurate” history. His writing is at turns playful and erudite, lyric and coldly diagnostic, but always completely absorbing. Counternarratives could easily be compared to Borges or Bolaño, Calvino or Kiš.”–Jess Row; “Keene’s story collection is truly radical—in its politics, in its stylistic restlessness, in its rethinking of the myths we tell ourselves about race and sexuality in the history of the Americas”–Anthony Domestico