July comes in hot with new poetry releases that you won’t want to miss.
Broaden your poetry horizons with any one of these new collections, out July 2, 2019.
Letters Written and Not Sent by William Louis-Dreyfus
Description: Letters Written and Not Sent is the lifetime work of poet William Louis-Dreyfus, written over decades, culminating a passion for poetry, art, and social justice. He passed away just days after the book was completed.
Like paperweights, his lyrics are both small and hefty. His subjects range from race relations to trees, from secrets to parenthood, from ideas of god to kissing, from sons and mothers to fate, and of course, to poetry itself. Never afraid of the big questions of why human beings are alive, and what hope and justice are for, Louis-Dreyfus could take decades to finish a poem. A perfectionist, a thinker, and always inspired by visual art, he fought with himself over how to say what he wanted to say best. Like the French-Uruguayan businessman poet Jules Supervielle, whom Louis-Dreyfus translated, he felt the tug of the financial world against the pull of the lyricism of poetry, and the division marked his life and sparked ideas for his finest poems. As the heart condition that seized him made it absolutely imperative, finishing Letters Written and Not Sentliterally became a life-or-death matter. This is the book that he wished to send into the world.
Come Closer and Listen by Charles Simic
Description: Irreverent and sly, observant and keenly imagined, Come Closer and Listen is the latest work from one of our most beloved poets. With his trademark sense of humor, open-hearted empathy, and perceptive vision, Charles Simic roots his poetry in the ordinary world while still taking in the wide sweep of the human experience.
From poems pithy, wry, and cutting—“Time—that murderer/that no has caught yet”—to his layered reflections on everything from love to grief to the wonders of nature, from the story of St. Sebastian to that of a couple weeding side by side, Simic’s work continues to reveal to us an unmistakable voice in modern poetry. An innovator in form and a chronicler of both our interior lives and the people we are in the world, Simic remains one of our most important and lasting voices on the page.
Big Cabin by Ron Padgett
Description: Written over three seasons in a Vermont cabin, these poems act as a reflecting pool, casting back mortality, consciousness, and time in new, crystal-clear light.
The Government Lake: Last Poems by James Tate
Description: A woman named Mildred starts laying eggs after feathers from wild poultry begin coming down the chimney. A man becomes friends with a bank robber who abducts him and eventually rues his captor’s death. A baby is born transparent.
James Tate’s work, filled with unexpected turns and deadpan exaggeration, “fanciful and grave, mundane and transcendent,” (New York Times) has been among the most defining and significant of our time. In his last collection before his death in 2015, Tate’s dark yet whimsical humor, his emotional acuity, and his keen ear for the absurd are on full display in prose poems that finely constructed and lyrical, surrealistic and provocative.
With The Government Lake, James Tate reminds us why he is one of the great poets of our age and one of the true masters of the form.
Feel Free: Poems by Nick Laird
Description: Feel Free, the fourth collection from acclaimed poet Nick Laird, effortlessly marries the acoustic expansiveness of Whitman or Ashbery with the lyricism of Laird’s forebears Heaney, MacNeice, and Yeats. With characteristic variety, invention, and wit, Laird explores the patterns of freedom and constraint―the family, the impress of history, the body itself―and how we might transcend them. Always daring, always renewing, Feel Free is Laird’s most remarkable work to date.
Spiritual Exercises by Mark Yakich
Description: Mark Yakich’s fifth collection of poetry traces a journey of devotion and temptation in pursuit of the divine. Not trifling in ambiguity but diving headlong into it, Spiritual Exercises wrestles with popular gods as much as with personal ghosts. From adoption to autism, from sin to salvation, and from grief to gratitude, this collection lays bare a full spectrum of emotional life, showing us how grace can be as playful as it is sincere.
Complete Poems by John Keats
Description: Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
Despite his tragically short life, John Keats, a self-confessed “rebel Angel”, endures for many as a personification of the Romantic age. While contemporary critics mocked him as a “Cockney poet” and an uneducated lower-class “apothecary” who aspired to poetry, subsequent generations began to see and appreciate both the rich and impassioned sensuousness and the love of beauty and liberty that pervade his work.
From Endymion and Hyperion to ‘The Eve of St Agnes’, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ and the Odes, this collection, which presents Keats’s oeuvre in chronological order, displays his rapid poetic growth, the development of his philosophical and spiritual beliefs and the voluptuous, silken nature of his verse.