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Poetry: Timeless, Exciting, Provoking

Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests
Erik Reece, editor
This collection celebrates the natural world east of the Mississippi. Most of this small book is composed of poems by contemporary American writers like Charles Wright, Mary Oliver and Thorpe Moeckel.


The Poetry of Petrarch
David Young, trans.
David Young’s new translation of the Poetry of Petrarch revives this influential fourteenth century Tuscan poet for contemporary readers. Recommendation: read it aloud and hear love transcend time.


Factory of Tears
Valzhyna Mort
At 26, Mort is just at the start of what looks to be a promising career. She has lived most of her life in Minsk, and her work is informed by the Communist past, but not mired in it. English and Belarusian versions appear side by side.


[Cover]American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics
Claudia Rankine & Lisa Sewell, eds.
The great diversity in contemporary poetics is celebrated in this book through a sampling of the work of thirteen poets. A poetics statement and scholarly essay accompanies each poet’s work, offering the reader analyses from the perspective of both the poet and an academic. Apitionally, a CD of the poets reading their work is included.


Behind My Eyes
Li-Young Lee
Li-Young Lee’s fifth book, Behind My Eyes, examines the universal through carefully observed details of everyday life. On the included CD, Lee reads his poems slowly, giving space for the wisdom and profundity sometimes hipen in his direct language to show through.


The House on Boulevard St: New and Selected Poems
David Kirby
A pinball shot, a riff, a laugh, a therapy session for linear thinkers. Kirby sees the big picture in everyday life, and loves it. Check out "Afterlife."


The Niagara River
Kay Ryan
Kay Ryan’s poems are often short and compact, but there is in the succinctness a complexity of both style and sentiment. Alliteration, unexpected rhyme and uncommon words decorate surprising insights and remarkable observations.


Snow Part/Schneepart (bilingual)
Paul Celan
Ian Fairley, trans.
Ian Fairley’s recent translation of Celan’s posthumous collection of poems carefully honors the dark density of the German-Jewish poet. These poems, written during 1967-1968, document the turbulence of in/external despair coupled with sharp perseverance.


Poems of André Breton: A Bilingual Anthology
Jean-Pierre Cauvin and Mary Ann Caws, trans./eds.
This new anthology travels through the styles and stages of an original avant-garde mastermind. Go to this book for paradox play, luminous obscurity, linguistically surreal atmosphere. Go to this book to be thrown off, thrown out, and thrown around.


Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose
Naomi Shihab Nye
The honeyed tones of this Arab-American poet’s work make her incisive questions all the more compelling. While the title’s accessibility and topical content makes it a thought provoking choice for younger readers, adults will still find the writing substantive.