New Poetry Releases: June 25, 2019

New Poetry Releases June 25 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Build Yourself a Boat by Camonghne Felix

Description: This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look at what might come after. A view of what floats and what, ultimately, sustains.

Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.

Camonghne Felix is a poet, political strategist, media junkie, and cultural worker. She received an MA in arts politics from NYU, an MFA from Bard College, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Poets House. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of the chapbook Yolk and was listed by Black Youth Project as a “Black Girl from the Future You Should Know.”

The Conditions We Live By EA Johnson

Description: Living life can be messy, beautiful, uplifting, and soul crushing. Eric Johnson brings these emotions and more to life in his debut collection. The Conditions We Live follows a loose narrative of growing up in modern society where we are constantly torn between our better and baser natures, how to live in an increasingly fractured world, and how to find solace in the moments. When the big picture looks bleak, the moment holds a transcendent beauty nonetheless.

With approachable poems about everyday life, this collection intends to open the moments we live to find a mindful presence in our lives. Beginning with images of traveling and discovery, the collection descends into chaotic and sometimes poignant moments of growing up, no matter what our age, ultimately leading to an understanding of self and purpose. Whether you read from cover to cover, or simply dip into the middle, the poems in this collection provide a slice of life, a moment in which there is beauty to explore.

A Cruelty Special to Our Species by Emily Jungmin Yoon

Description: In her arresting collection, urgently relevant for our times, poet Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called “comfort women,” women who were forced into sexual labor in Japanese-occupied territories during World War II.

In wrenching language, A Cruelty Special to Our Species unforgettably describes the brutalities of war and the fear and sorrow of those whose lives and bodies were swept up by a colonizing power, bringing powerful voice to an oppressed group of people whose histories have often been erased and overlooked. “What is a body in a stolen country,” Yoon asks. “What is right in war.”

Moving readers through time, space, and different cultures, and bringing vivid life to the testimonies and confessions of the victims,Yoon takes possession of a painful and shameful history even while unearthing moments of rare beauty in acts of resistance and resilience, and in the instinct to survive and bear witness.

Rilke in Paris by Rainer Maria Rilke

Description: Rainer Maria Rilke offers a compelling portrait of Parisian life, art, and culture at the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1902, the young German writer Rainer Maria Rilke traveled to Paris to write a monograph on the sculptor Auguste Rodin. He returned many times over the course of his life, by turns inspired and appalled by the city’s high culture and low society, and his writings give a fascinating insight into Parisian art and culture in the last century. Paris was a lifelong source of inspiration for Rilke. Perhaps most significantly, the letters he wrote about it formed the basis of his prose masterpiece, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. 

Much of this work, despite its perennial popularity in French, German, and Italian, has never before been translated into English. This volume brings together a translation of Rilke’s essay on poetry, ‘Notes on the Melody of Things’ and the first English translation of Rilke’s experiences in Paris as observed by his French translator.

Wayward by Katharine Coles

Description: Since her early poems, Katharine Coles has been known as a poet who isn’t afraid to tackle big subjects that occupy the intersections of art and science, including how we know what is true (if we do). Driven by her insatiable curiosity and relying on a use of form and elision so deft it amounts to sleight-of-hand, Coles brings these big questions into small spaces in her seventh book, Wayward, moving the reader at mind-speed through brief meditations on love, marriage, and family; the permeable boundaries of the self; death; and perception. Though her subjects are deeply serious, Coles’ primary tools for addressing them include her wry wit and agile intelligence, which, taking nothing for granted, she deploys to examine our basic assumptions about the world and our experience within it. As always, Coles here uses technical skill to move her thinking in new directions—many of them at once.

The Prelude and Other Poems by William Wordsworth

Description: William Wordsworth’s verse was the embodiment of the Romantic age, with its evocation of a unifying spirit running through all things. This collection brings together a rich and diverse selection of his works, from the epic autobiographical masterpiece The Prelude to much-loved shorter poems such as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ and ‘She Was a Phantom of Delight’.

Alongside his more personal and introspective compositions, poems such as ‘Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’, ‘She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways’ and ‘The Idiot Boy’ demonstrate, in an era of political and social ferment, the manner in which Wordsworth, together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, forged a revolutionary new poetic style through the publication of Lyrical Ballads – one that embraced the vernacular and subjects previously deemed unworthy of poetry – and thus changed the literary landscape of England for ever.

A Life Replaced: Poems with Translations from Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Gandelsman by Olga Livshin

Description: Original poetry by Russian-American poet Olga Livshin, alongside her translations of Russian poetry by Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) and Vladimir Gandelsman (b.1948). Foreword by Ilya Kaminsky. A Life Replaced is the fourth book from Poets & Traitors Press.

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