Zachary Schomberg’s latest poetry collection The Book of Joshua is an attempt to make sense of the loneliness and darkness that often accompanies being an adult. Many, if not all of the pieces in the book are surreal musings about grief, mortality, and the emotions one feels after losing a beloved friend or relative.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, August 5th, 2014||No Comments »|
In poet Sommer Browning’s second collection Backup Singers, her flawless lyrics that are interwoven with terrible jokes will both amuse and entertain you. Backup Singers is composed of four different sections and each can be read individually or as a whole narrative. In the first two sections, Browning includes untitled prose lyrics that respond to one another, giving Backup Singers an interesting narrative.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, July 8th, 2014||No Comments »|
The poems in David Tomas Martinez’s new poetry collection Hustle revolve around the coming-of-age stories of minorities who live in San Diego, California. Many of the situations are based off of what Martinez saw during his own childhood. With careful construction his poetry shows the dark side of San Diego, a side that’s rife with gang activity and family suffering.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, June 24th, 2014||No Comments »|
Billy Collins, one of America’s most acclaimed poets, sat down with PBS News Hour to discuss his new poetry collection, Aimless Love, and how he brings humor to a medium that isn’t particularly known for its humor. The former Poet Laureate begins by admitting that when he was younger he took poetry more seriously and didn’t allow a sense of fun in his work because he believed that all poets were miserable. But he later adds that writing funny poems is also quite difficult because you have to make sure that your poetry sounds authentic. After all, you can’t pretend to be funny! Whether you’re a long-time fan of poetry or just starting to read different poets, Billy Collins’ interview is both amusing and inspiring, proving that not all poetry has to be about tortured artists.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, May 30th, 2014||No Comments »|
Award-winning novelist and Iraq War vet Kevin Powers takes his readers on a heart-breaking journey through the life of a soldier in his debut poetry collection, Letters Composed During a Lull in the Fighting. Each poem is a snippet that captures the day-to-day life of a soldier stationed in Iraq. From driving down a Texas highway on his way to enlist to waiting for the unknown to happen while sweating in Iraq’s heat, Powers’ masterpiece gives readers a bird’s eye view into his own memories and the experiences of all the other American soldiers who fought in the war.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, May 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|
Lizzie Harris’s debut poetry collection Stop Wanting is a visceral exploration of the anxiety, trauma, and vulnerability that pervaded her childhood. Harris’s pieces revolve around a daughter whose father alternates between violence and kindness, and her poems address the trauma she experiences at his hands as she reflects on their relationship–or lack thereof–that still envelopes every aspect of her life. While often bleak and violent, her poetry is also peppered with vibrant and beautiful imagery. The effect of this is a reading experience that allows you to re-live Harris’s own harrowing childhood as well as enjoy the beautiful lyrical poetry that she creates.
Some of the vivid imagery that can be found in Harris’s work is the equation of Arizona with her body. From the scorching desert to describing her skin that is stretched out too tightly across her skeleton, her words are haunting but real. In the end, while Harris’ work is quite depressing, her beautiful imagery will speak to you, evoking an emotional experience like none other.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 13th, 2014||No Comments »|
Award-winning poet and playwright Lenelle Moise moves deftly between verse and prose in her first book of poetry, Haiti Glass. Her pieces allow readers to peek into her girlhood memories of growing up as a Haitian immigrant in one of Boston’s suburbs, with all the trials and tribulations that came along with her heritage. Moise’s poems expertly recount the scenes of brutality and catastrophe that colored her early life.
However, not all of her poems are so grim. Others have a playful sense of exploration about them, while others ponder pop culture figures such as the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. You also get a sense of how Moise feels at home everywhere she goes as she recounts some of the wide cast of characters and different situations that she encountered while growing up. From seeing a Nazi supporter on a subway to reading a newspaper that went into gory detail about a horrific accident, Moise brings her memories to life.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, May 8th, 2014||No Comments »|