Sacramento Public Library

National Poetry Month

    Black Crow Dress

    Black Crow Dress - Roxane Beth Johnson

    A haunting collection of lyrically-intense persona poems, Black Crow Dress is at once about the emancipation of slaves in their myriad voices as well as a meditation on the self. The collection's lush imagery takes us from church yard to church, chanting the old spirituals, as Johnson seeks to embody the spirits of the dead: Clea, Caroline and Zebedee.
    But Our Princess is in Another Castle: Prose Poems

    But Our Princess is in Another Castle: Prose Poems - B.J. Best

    The color, noise, and often cryptic images of classic video games set the prose poems in B.J. Best's But Our Princess is in Another Castle in motion, but the poems soar far beyond their nostalgic springboards. And while Mario, Pac-Man, and pioneer families forsaken on The Oregon Trail populate these pixelated landscapes, this book translates the games and plays them in the real world, so an Asteroid becomes just one more star shot with lost love, Space Invaders might have communist sympathies, and God is just as bad at Tetris as the rest of us. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, the book's levels explore how our past virtual lives can inform our present actual ones.
    Club Icarus

    Club Icarus - Matt W. Miller

    Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 2012 With muscular language and visceral imagery, Club Icarus will appeal to sons and fathers, to those tired of poetry that makes no sense, to those who think lyric poetry is dead, to those who think the narrative poem is stale, and to those who appreciate the vernacular as the language of living and the act of living as something worth putting into language.
    Debts & Lessons

    Debts & Lessons - Lynn Xu

    The stirring and striking poems in Lynn Xu's debut collection touch on an array of themes, including thinking of love as an argument; Shakespeare; the American landscape transformed into text; the Occupy Movement; and the experiences wrought from travels in Mexico, Shanghai, and New York City.
    Greenhouses, Lighthouses

    Greenhouses, Lighthouses - Tung Hui-Hu

    Weaving between the personal and cosmic I, Tung-Hui Hu's lyrics seek the "greenhouse"--a place of saturation, growth--as a poetic space to cultivate new modes through which our common language can once again illuminate and guide--"lighthouse." With minimalism and control, Greenhouses, Lighthouses draws subtly from photography, cinematography, and history to create haunting and memorable connections.

    Headwaters - Ellen Bryant Voigt

    This new collection of poems from the critically-acclaimed American poet highlights the polar opposites in life as well as animals with distinct and unique survival skills, including odes to cows, owls, groundhogs and foxes.
    Hello, the Roses

    Hello, the Roses - Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge

    A poet of "epic perception" and "subtle music," Mei-mei Berssenbrugge opens form into long, shimmering lines of profound emotional intensity and multivalent voices, splintered with space, silence, and desert light.
    Hemming the Water

    Hemming the Water - Yona Harvey

    Channeling the collection's muse, jazz composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams, Hemming the Water speaks to the futility of trying to mend or straighten a life that is constantly changing. Here the spiritual and the secular comingle in a "Fierce fragmentation, lonely tune." Harvey inhabits, challenges, and explores the many facets of the female self--as daughter, mother, sister, wife, and artist. Every page is rich with Harvey's rapturous music.
    Large White House Speaking

    Large White House Speaking - Mark Irwin

    Large White House Speaking is a book of startling marvels and terrible losses explored in poetry so sharp and bright it is song.
    Leaving Tulsa

    Leaving Tulsa - Jennifer Elise Foerster

    Leaving Tulsa, a book of road elegies and laments, travels from Oklahoma to the edges of the American continent through landscapes at once stark and lush, ancient and apocalyptic. Each poem gives the collection a rich lyrical-dramatic texture. Ultimately, these brave and luminous poems engage and shatter the boundaries of time, self, and continent.
    Metaphysical Dog

    Metaphysical Dog - Frank Bidart

    This new collection of poems from the award-winning contemporary poet behind Watching the Spring Festival include works focusing on the "hunger for the Absolute" and the abject failure of humans to reach this psychological and mystical ideal.
    Natural Takeover of Small Things

    Natural Takeover of Small Things - Tim Z. Hernandez

    Natural Takeover of Small Things is a collection of poetry that offers an unflinching view of California's Heartland, the San Joaquin Valley. In his distinctive, lyrical, pull-no-punches style, Tim Z. Hernandez offers a glimpse of the people, the landscape, the rhythm, and the detritus of the rural West. As Hernandez peels back the facade of the place, he reveals that home is not always where the heart is.
    Partially Kept

    Partially Kept - Martha Ronk

    A meditation on language and loss-and the partial nature of both-from a leading contemporary poet.
    Phantom Camera

    Phantom Camera - Jaswinder Bolina

    Jaswinder Bolina’s second book of poetry is a stunning performance, as beautiful, accomplished, and memorable as any volume of poetry I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Arriving at the last poem in this fine work, all I could feel was a hunger for more, and the deepest gratitude for Bolina’s rare intellectual and artistic gifts.

    Proxy - R. Erica Doyle

    Proxy is an unrequited love story in prose poems, where the landscape of the beloved body becomes the windows of New York City, the deserts of North Africa, and the mangroves of the Caribbean. Proxy is a conversation with the calculus, plotting time and space against the infinite capacities of desire.
    Red Doc

    Red Doc - Anne Carson

    G navigates the complex labyrinths of the modern age at the side of his war veteran lover Sad and the artist Ida while attending the death of his mother and tempering his hunger for flight with his longing for family and home.
    Rilke: New Poems

    Rilke: New Poems - Rainer Maria Rilke

    The definitive bilingual version of Rilke's New Poems, faithful to the original German, with insightful commentary on every poem.
    Senegal Taxi

    Senegal Taxi - Juan Felipe Herrera

    Juan Felipe Herrera is at his best in his first original collection in several years. In Senegal Taxi, Herrera brings attention to global oppression and injustice through poems that address genocide and hope in Africa.

    Silverchest - Carl Phillips

    The award-winning poet and author of the National Book Award finalist, Speak Low, offers his twelfth book of poetry which examines themes surrounding understanding one's inner self and using that knowledge to deal more honestly with others.
    Small Porcelain Head

    Small Porcelain Head - Allison Benis White

    Out of an urgent need to grasp what it means to lose a loved one to suicide, these poems fixate on the physical as a means of exploring the intangible--though paradoxically palpable--emotion of grief. Small Porcelain Head metaphorically explores the stark stillness of loss through the inanimate quality of dolls and revisits lines from a suicide note as a means of final "conversation."
    The Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition

    The Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition - Robert Pinsky

    This special edition celebrates twenty-five years of the Best American Poetry series, which has become an institution. From its inception in 1988, it has been hotly debated, keenly monitored, ardently advocated (or denounced), and obsessively scrutinized. Each volume consists of seventy-five poems chosen by a major American poet acting as guest editor from John Ashbery in 1988 to Mark Doty in 2012. Out of the 1,875 poems that have appeared in The Best American Poetry , here are 100 that Robert Pinsky, the distinguished poet and man of letters, has chosen for this milestone edition.
    The First Flag

    The First Flag - Sarah Fox

    Affirmation, indictment, and essay, The First Flag resists the confines an insidious patriarchy places on our bodies, sexualities, and selves.
    The Invented Child

    The Invented Child - Margaret Mackinnon

    In The Invented Child, Margaret Mackinnon can say of a tiny child's appearance in a fairy tale 'the air shimmers as this miracle unfurls' and be speaking also of the way her poems appear on the page. Whether in celebration or grief, she presents poem after poem alert to history and family's poems that unfold with equal felicity to the heart's 'infinite and intricate discernments' and the lucidity of a mind alive to the world's stories.
    The Switching/Yard

    The Switching/Yard - Jan Beatty

    The Switching/Yard deals with the horizontal worlds of the birth table, the continuum of gender roles, and the head-on landscape of power and home as seen through the train yards of the West.
    To See the Queen

    To See the Queen - Allison Seay

    In this "hauntingly spectacular debut" (Claudia Emerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Allison Seay portrays a world fraught with the powers of its own harrowing imagination--an inner world of seemingly irreversible retreat and, almost impossibly, of spiritual resurgence. To See the Queen describes the terrain of one woman's psychological wilderness, only to bless us with the story of its population, growth, and ultimate transcendence.
    Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica

    Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica - Peggy Shumaker

    What happens when we enter unfamiliar realms, when we open ourselves to the unknown? Sometimes that not-knowing makes art possible. In Toucan Nest, the eighth book by Alaska State Writer Laureate Peggy Shumaker, her first vivid encounters with the rain forests of Costa Rica, with its basilisk lizards, bats, and bromeliads, its crocodiles, sloths, and strangler figs, refresh and renew our world in a work of startlingly beautiful mindfulness and imagination.
    Vanitas, Rough

    Vanitas, Rough - Lisa Russ Spaar

    With her trademark language, ”baroque yet colloquial, immediately recognizable but impossible to duplicate,” Lisa Russ Spaar has written her most sumptuous, alluring, and steamy poems to date, each one bursting with an appetite for the sensuous and the lingual.