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

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

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

 

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

Rae Armantrout : Partly -New & Selected Poems

“For nearly 40 years Armantrout has made a poetics of not finding the right words–of finding, in fact, the ‘wrong’ ones … Armantrout restores the strangeness of experiences we take for granted.”—Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune;  “Hoopskirts, star jasmine, synchronized swimming, Russian icons, a ceramic fish face, electrons & photons: in these poems, everything is interconnected, thought through, deeply felt & expressed in the most precise and necessary words. Armantrout is one of our most inventive & magnetic poets, & she never disappoints: with inspired patience, she embraces the strangeness of our familiar world & refashions it into something new & utterly transporting.” –Lydia Davis