Sacramento Public Library

National Poetry Month

    A Thousand Wings

    A Thousand Wings - Kelly Moffett

    Moffett wrote these poems during retreats at Trappist monasteries, and they unfold according to the ecclesiastical hours, starting at 3:15 a.m. Moffett has an irreverent spirit, but she's also trying to connect the world as we know it with something deeper.
    Ambivalence and Other Conundrums

    Ambivalence and Other Conundrums - Craig Morgan Teicher

    These prose poems are parables of the human condition, written in plain-spoken unguarded candor, yet they sparkle with lyric surprise and imagistic inventiveness. Teicher is by turns seriously insightful, and cleverly playful as he examines the complex connections between self and other.
    Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows

    Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows - Eugenia Leigh

    A raw, roaring anger courses through these poems about a life shaped by an abusive father and the anger spills over to men in general, an indifferent mother, and an indifferent God. But even as the speaker lets rip her emotions, Leigh shows mastery of form and content, delivering an accomplished debut.
    Bone Map

    Bone Map - Sara Eliza Johnson

    Sara Eliza Johnson's stunning, deeply visceral first collection, Bone Map, pulls shards of tenderness from a world on the verge of collapse, where violence and terror infuse the body, the landscape, and dreams: a handful of blackberries offered from bloodied arms, bee stings likened to pulses of sunlight, a honeycomb of marrow exposed.
    Broken Cup

    Broken Cup - Margaret Gibson

    Broken Cup brings breathtaking eloquence to what Margaret Gibson describes as "traveling the Way of Alzheimer's" with her husband, poet David McKain. After his initial and tentative diagnosis, Gibson suspended her writing for two years; but then poetry returned, and the creative process became the lightning rod that grounded her and presented a path forward. The poems inBroken Cup bear witness to how Alzheimer's erodes memory and cognitive function, but they never forget to see what is present and to ask what may remain of the self.

    Churches - Kevin Prufer

    Multiple Pushcart Prize winner Prufer creates stunning scenarios that observe the world from surprising angles. An avalanche victim imagines skiers overhead, a hospitalized father makes churches out of hand gestures, a train porter dying in the heat of a bomb blast recalls a baby son dying of fever.
    Collected Poems

    Collected Poems - Mark Strand

    Gathered here is a half century's magnificent work by the former poet laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner whose haunting and exemplary style has influenced an entire generation of American poets.
    Dark-Sky Society

    Dark-Sky Society - Ailish Hopper

    These unsettling poems trace Hopper's struggle to make sense of terrible legacies, from racial violence in the name of white female bodies to a father's terminal illness as a site of private and public histories. Hopper's lines halt, knot, interdigitate, and stutter, but they never flinch. She leaves that to the reader. What she doesn't offer us are easy epiphanies, a bid for being a good caucasian, or post-race snake oil. Dark-Sky Society insists we reach and be reached anyway.
    Dido in Winter

    Dido in Winter - Anne Shaw

    This collection is a mapping of the senses, in which rapture and disillusionment shadow each other, reflecting a world "where sun swirls on the rock-face by the spring/moving its blue and yellow hands/then vanishing." It is a book searching for truth beyond beauty by a poet who shines increasingly bright.
    Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments

    Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments - Elise Cowen

    Designed for both general readers and scholars, this book brings together for the first time all of the poems and fragments in Elise Cowen's surviving notebook, recovering the work of a postwar female poet whose reputation had been submerged for more than a half-century. Remembered dismissively as the woman who dated Allen Ginsberg for a brief time in the early 1950s, she wrote hundreds of poems, many in a lyric mode that recalls Sappho and many in a visionary mode that resembles Emily Dickinson. After her suicide in 1962, nearly all of her work was destroyed. One notebook survived, rescued by a close friend, and this notebook is the basis for Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments.
    Everytime a Knot is Undone, A God is Released: Collected and New Poems, 1974 - 2011

    Everytime a Knot is Undone, A God is Released: Collected and New Poems, 1974 - 2011 - Barbara Chase-Riboud

    The long breath of Barbara Chase-Riboud's poems recalls poets of the antique world we know only from fragments, like Sappho. And yet here is a disquieting and sumptuous contemporary voice that seems to gather up antiquity and modernity with equal fervor and scorn. These poems are sexually charged, possessed of a courtly disdain and a strange nobility that seems to well up from below to be self-creating and unlike the verse of any other poet writing today.
    Faithful and Virtuous Night

    Faithful and Virtuous Night - Louise Gluck

    The author shares her dreamlike poetry, including "Theory of Memory," "The Melancholy Assistant," and "The Couple in the Park."
    From Unincorporated Territory

    From Unincorporated Territory - Craig Santos Perez

    Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam), has lived for two decades away from his homeland. This new collection maps the emotional and geographic cartographies of his various migrations, departures, and arrivals. Through a variety of poetic forms, the poet highlights the importance of origins and customs amidst new American cultures and terrains.

    Gabriel - Edward Hirsch

    A poignant volume of works inspired by the author's son's tragic early death reflects on the young man's boisterous youth, his rebellious early adulthood, and the author's experiences of grief.
    How to Dance as the Roof Caves In

    How to Dance as the Roof Caves In - Nick Lantz

    How to Dance as the Roof Caves In examines America as it faces a recession of collective mood and collective wealth. In a central sequence, the housing bubble reaches its bursting point when, with hilarious and biting outcomes, real estate developers hire a married couple and other down-and-out extras to stage a fake community to lure prospective investors. In these marvelous poems, Nick Lantz describes the changing American landscape with great imagination and sharp wit.
    In the Garden of the Bridehouse

    In the Garden of the Bridehouse - J. Michael Martinez

    Scrutinizing myth, culture, identity, and sexuality, J. Michael Martinez, in his brave new collection, weds the innovative with the narrative tradition, cultivating a collection that is unlike any other, simultaneously drawing together and pulling apart the familiar and the foreign, the self and the other, the known and the unknowable, the recoverable and irrecoverable past, the historical record and all that is given up for lost. Martinez interrogates the restrictions chosen to constrain imagination's boundlessness.
    Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals

    Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals - Patricia Lockwood

    A breathtaking new collection from one of today's boldest and most adventurous poets.
    Paper Doll Fetus

    Paper Doll Fetus - Cynthia Marie Hoffman

    These visceral, mystical poems give voice to the phantom and the embryonic (homunculi, ectopic twins, fleeced lambskin) and to those who create them, biologically or otherwise. Part spell-book, part anatomical primer, Paper Doll Fetus surveys the landscape of the womb and offers us a haunting chorus of its denizens.

    Precarious - Allan Peterson

    Allan Peterson refuses the easy path of a consoling clarity, opting instead for a difficulty that more accurately reveals the blurred perspective of one human being's singular fixity from his place in Nature. What there is to see or know shifts, hardens into focus, then flies away into the collapsing moment when the eye misperceives or the mind suddenly remembers or misremembers... or comes to rest on a centering image or idea.

    Rag - Julie Carr

    At once civil lyric and lament crying beyond civility, spiraling with kinetic intensity, a 21st century feminist book-length aria.

    Revenance - Cynthia Hogue

    By turns elegiac, ecopoetic, and impolitic, Cynthia Hogue's eighth collection, Revenance, is a condensery of empathic encounters with others and otherness. Hogue coins a word -- from revenant, French for 'ghost' -- to consider questions of life and afterlife, and to characterize the ways in which the people and places we love return to us, and return us to ourselves, holding us to account.
    Revising the Storm

    Revising the Storm - Geffrey Davis

    This debut collection by Cave Canem fellow Geffrey Davis burrows under the surface of gender, addiction, recovery, clumsy love, bitterness, and faith. Revising the Storm also speaks to the sons and daughters affected by the drug/crack epidemic of the '80s and addresses issues of masculinity and its importance in family.
    The Road to Emmaus

    The Road to Emmaus - Spencer Reece

    This haunting collection of poems, centering around a middle-aged man who becomes a priest in the Episcopal Church, creates compelling dramas out of small moments.
    The Secret of Hoa Sen

    The Secret of Hoa Sen - Nguyen Phan Que Mai

    Nguyen Phan Que Mai is among the most exciting writers to emerge from post-war Vietnam. Bruce Weigl, driven by his personal experiences as a soldier during the war in Vietnam, has spent the past 20 years translating contemporary Vietnamese poetry. These penetrating poems, published in bilingual English and Vietnamese, build new bridges between two cultures bound together by war and destruction. The Secret of Hoa Sen, Que Mai's first full-length U.S. publication, shines with craft, art, and deeply felt humanity.
    This Blue

    This Blue - Maureen N. McLane

    The National Book Critics Circle nominee presents her third poetry collection that contains songs for and of a new century, poems both archaic and wholly now.
    To Keep Time

    To Keep Time - Joseph Massey

    In distilled, acutely observed poems, Massey builds the world out of light and shadow; he helps us see pattern and grid, and the thinning sunlight. Remarkably, and important to his poetry, he also helps us hear sound and even its absence. Here, exterior and interior are continuous; the physical world touches us.

    Trickster - Randall Potts

    Trickster veers quickly from meditation and narrative to song, plunging the reader into a liminal world of dreams, archaic lyrics, and fables, populated with figures ranging from the Hawk and Worm, the Cat and Dove, to Cold and Death. It is a wilderness in which all things are alive, yet it is also a place of menace. Whether or not the Trickster reaches utopia, he reckons with the world that is achievable on earth and in words.

    Zion - T.J. Jarrett

    Zion, the latest collection of poems by T.J. Jarrett, is the poignant study of the resonating effects of the Civil Rights Movement on one family. Jarrett lovingly explores the minutiae of mortality and race across three generations who have come together one summer to grieve and to remember as one of them passes to the farther shore, a place beyond retribution, where there is only forgiveness.
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