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Poetry

A.R. Ammons: Selected Poems

A.R. Ammons: Selected Poems

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Meditative, comic, emotionally wrenching, steeped in both the natural world and the life of the mind, the poetry of A. R. Ammons is at once cosmic in scope and intimate in its moment-to-moment transformations. With his mastery of description and cadence, his roiling wit and fearless gaze, Ammons was a philosopher of the everyday who found surprise everywhere he looked. "He is often witty, sometimes bawdy," writes editor David Lehman, "on a perpetual quest to find forms capacious enough for an imagination intent on finding a place for everything."

A compound, in editor David Lehman's words, of "wisdom, pathos, humor, mortal longing, and intimations of immortality," the work of A. R. Ammons is like nothing else in modern American poetry. Ammons's tireless formal invention and restless curiosity about every aspect of nature and of the mind are embodied in poetry that is effortlessly accessible and generous in its impulses. Whether spreading out in the long forms of Tape for the Turn of the Year or Garbage, or honing his perceptions down to the extreme brevity of his shorter lyrics, he holds tight to his vision of the way "all day / life itself is bending, / weaving, changing, / adapting, failing, / succeeding."

This new selection covering the whole range of Ammons's career offers a superb introduction to the pleasures and surprises of his work. His uncanny ability to balance wide-ranging abstract speculation with meticulous observation of natural phenomena, in poetry that encompasses moods of tragic pathos, low comedy, and seemingly casual profundity marks him as one of the preeminent figures in our recent literature.

About the American Poets Project
Elegantly designed in compact editions, printed on acid-free paper, and textually authoritative, the American Poets Project makes available the full range of the American poetic accomplishment, selected and introduced by today's most discerning poets and critics.

Aard-vark to Axolotl

Aard-vark to Axolotl

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Aard-vark to Axolotl, an eclectic series of tiny essays, is a collection of prose poems disguised as imaginary definitions, and a collaboration of text + image based on a set of illustrations from an old dictionary. Sometimes sneaky mysterious, sometimes downright weird, these small stories work on the reader like alternative definitions for items drawn from a cabinet of curiosities.

Abandoned Breaths Revised and Expanded Edition

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An exhalation of love, loss, and heartbreak, Abandoned Breaths is a poetic work of catharsis. From the acclaimed author of I Find You in the Darkness, Alfa's writing is at once deeply personal and universal--resulting in an emotive force that stays with you. This new edition of Abandoned Breaths includes an updated introduction and a brand-new chapter of modern poetry. Find respite, resilience, and rejuvenation from the moving poetry of Abandoned Breaths.

There are words
that need to be said.
Buried beneath pride and fear.
Rejection has suffocated
their tenacity to bloom.
So, they stay dormant
and fester.
Dwelling in the darkest
and dusty corners of a crying soul.
Unseen, yet felt.
Not alive, but not dead.
Abandoned breaths.
Words that need to be said.
-Alfa

Abandoned Poems

Abandoned Poems

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Stanley Moss is ninety-three years old, still kicking sixty-two-yard field goals through the uprights of American poetry. His Abandoned Poems (Paul Valery wrote, A poem is never finished, only abandoned) consists of 120 pages of new work written since his 2016 prize-winning book, Almost Complete Poems. The truth is Moss has a unique voice in the history of American poetry. He honors the English language. This book is full of invisible life-giving discoveries the reader has almost seen, and you might say Moss has discovered a new continent, a new planet or two--or simply it's fun. There is a final section, Apocrypha and Long Abandoned Poems, which includes early misplaced work never published, and new versions of previously published poems. Bingo.
able is she

able is she

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Moods for strong women who are weary from heartache.

About the Author

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Abridged History of Rainfall

Abridged History of Rainfall

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Jay Hopler's second collection, a mourning song for his father, is an elegy of uproar, a careening hymn to disaster and its aftermath. In lyric poems by turns droll and desolate, Hopler documents the struggle to live in the face of great loss, a task that sends him ranging through Florida's torrid subtropics, the mountains of the American West, the streets of Rome, and the Umbrian countryside. Vivid, dynamic, unrestrained: The Abridged History of Rainfall is a festival of glowing saints and fighting cocks, of firebombs and birdsong.
Absentia

Absentia

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New from the author of Nervous Systems, winner of the National Poetry Series.

William Stobb has won acclaim for wide-ranging poetry that features tender realism, jazzy dissonance, luminous descriptions, and, in the words of Donald Revell, a "strange and elegantly accomplished serenity of tensions attenuated to their uttermost." The poems in his second collection, Absentia, see the big picture-the sweep of history, the ongoing evolution of consciousness, evidence of geological time in the landscape. Humbled by scales beyond comprehension, Stobb is nonetheless seduced and stricken by the present in its many manifestations. Whether dealing with family, friends, or nature, the poems in Absentia, with their rich emotional palette and vivid, precise language, respond and transform, calling us to attend to the wide skies above and inside us.

Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth

Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth

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In this exquisite book, Alice Walker's first new collection of poetry since 1991, are poems that reaffirm her as "one of the best American writers of today" (The Washington Post). The forces of nature and the strength of the human spirit inspire the poems in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth. Alice Walker opens us to feeling and understanding, with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emotions. With profound artistry, Walker searches for, discovers, and declares the
fundamental beauty of existence, as she explores what it means to experience life fully, to learn from it, and to grow both as an individual and as part of a greater spiritual community.

About Walker's Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, America said, "In the tradition of Whitman, Walker sings, celebrates and agonizes over the ordinary vicissitudes that link and separate all of humankind," and the same can be said about this astonishing new collection, Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth.

Accepting the Disaster

Accepting the Disaster

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One of The New York Times' 10 Favorite Poetry Books of 2014

An astonishing new collection from one of our finest emerging poets

A shark's tooth, the shape-shifting cloud drifting from a smokestack, the smoke detectors that hang, ominous but disregarded, overhead--very little escapes the watchful eye of Joshua Mehigan. The poems in Accepting the Disaster range from lyric miniatures like "The Crossroads," a six-line sketch of an accident scene, to "The Orange Bottle," an expansive narrative page-turner whose main character suffers a psychotic episode after quitting medication. Mehigan blends the naturalistic milieu of such great chroniclers of American life as Stephen Crane and Studs Terkel with the cinematic menace and wonder of Fritz Lang. Balanced by the music of his verse, this unusual combination brings an eerie resonance to the real lives and institutions it evokes.
These poems capture with equal tact the sinister quiet of a deserted Main Street, the tragic grandiosity of Michael Jackson, the loneliness of a self-loathing professor, the din of a cement factory, and the saving grandeur of the natural world. This much-anticipated second collection is the work of a nearly unrivaled craftsman, whose first book was called by Poetry "a work of some poise and finish, by turns delicate and robust."

Accompanying Spouse

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Accounts

Accounts

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The death of a mother alters forever a family's story of itself. Indeed, it taxes the ability of a family to tell that story at all. The Accounts narrates the struggle to speak with any clear understanding in the wake of that loss. The title poem attempts three explanations of the departure of a life from the earth--a physical account, a psychological account, and a spiritual account. It is embedded in a long narrative sequence that tries to state plainly the facts of the last days of the mother's life, in a room that formerly housed a television, next to a California backyard. The visual focus of that sequence, a robin's nest, poised above the family home, sings in a kind of lament, giving its own version of ways we can see the transformation of the dying into the dead. In other poems, called "Arguments," two voices exchange uncertain truths about subjects as high as heaven and as low as crime. Grief is a problem that cannot be solved by thinking, but that doesn't stop the mind, which relentlessly carries on, trying in vain to settle its accounts. The death of a well-loved person creates a debt that can never be repaid. It reminds the living of our own psychological debts to each other, and to the dead. In this sense, the death of this particular mother and the transformation of this particular family are evocative of a greater struggle against any changing reality, and the loss of all beautiful and passing forms of order.
Acolytes: Poems

Acolytes: Poems

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A collection of eighty all new poems, Acolytes is distinctly Nikki Giovanni, but different. Not softened, but more inspired by love, celebration, memories and even nostalgia. She aims her intimate and sparing words at family and friends, the deaths of heroes and friends, favorite meals and candy, nature, libraries, and theatre. But in between, the deep and edgy conscience that has defined her for decades shines through when she writes about Rosa Parks, hurricane Katrina, and Emmett Till's disappearance, leaving no doubt that Nikki has not traded one approach for another, but simply made room for both.

Across the Land and the Water Selected Poems 1964-2001

Across the Land and the Water Selected Poems 1964-2001

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"A splendid addition to an already extraordinary oeuvre."--Teju Cole, The New Yorker

German-born W. G. Sebald is best known as the innovative author of Austerlitz, the prose classic of World War II culpability and conscience that put its author in the company of Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Now comes the first major collection of this literary master's poems. Skillfully translated by Iain Galbraith, they range from pieces Sebald wrote as a student in the sixties to those completed right before his untimely death in 2001. In nearly one hundred poems--the majority published in English for the first time--Sebald explores his trademark themes, from nature and history, to wandering and wondering, to oblivion and memory. Soaring and searing, the poetry of W. G. Sebald is an indelible addition to his superb body of work, and this collection is bound to become a classic in its own right.

"How fortunate we are to have this writer's startling imagination freshly on display once again, expressed in language honed to a perfect simplicity."--Billy Collins

"A watershed volume . . . nothing less than transcendent."--BookPage

"[Sebald was] a defining writer of his era."--The New Republic

Act V Scene I

Act V Scene I

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"Open Act V, Scene I or any of Stanley Moss's books anywhere, and you will come shockingly upon wisdom and beauty, a diversity of styles--a unity of voice, a voice that was there since the beginning. I love Stanley Moss's work. The pace, the strategy, the wit, the knowledge are astonishing. Of the generation that is gradually leaving us, those born in the mid- and late-1920s, he has a prominent place. He loves donkeys. He owns Ted Roethke's raccoon coat. He is an original."--Gerald Stern

"Magisterial. . . this book is magnificent. I've read it several times with greater and greater pleasure. Its verbal generosity and bravura, its humanity, the quality and quantity of information which it generates into poetry of the highest order make it a continuing delight."--Marilyn Hacker

". . . In our epoch of turmoil, crisis, and grief, I find that Moss's poetry still, always, brings me a little closer to happiness." --Forrest Gander

"I've loved Stanley's poems since I first encountered a poem of his in Poetry magazine in John Berryman's office when I was nineteen." --W.S. Merwin

". . . This is a book to hold onto for dear life." --Rosanna Warren

I Choose to Write a Poem

I choose to write a poem
when my left ankle's broken, purple, and my right ankle's swollen blue,
both knees banged, twice their usual size, both my long legs "killing me,"
while a famous angel is really killing me.
I separate physical pain from the real thing-- the real thing, the soul usually dies
before the body. My soul is dancing, welcoming spring in the garden
on a beautiful June morning, ready to live forever.

Action

Action

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"If you've ever opened the hood of a car and found a motor of flowers or opened a closet and out flew a flock of waxwings, monarchs and philosophers, you'll be prepared for these poems. Otherwise, reader, get ready for the brilliant onslaught of these prayerful evocations, these rollercoaster sonnets, these radiant affirmations of life and art." (Dean Young, author of Bender: New and Selected Poems)

"Anthony Opal's series of unrhymed (or off-rhymed) sonnets begins with a prayer to everything or anything - from a lower case 'god' to a 'compassionate sloth' and a 'homeless zoo keeper.' In these poems reverence and rebellion, desperation and control joust. Then they dance. Opal's lines are consistently surprising (if that's possible) and, more important, they make me believe them." (Rae Armantrout, author of Just Saying and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize)

"Anthony Opal's keen and restless observations, flickering with medical and theological emergencies, Old Testament visitations, Jackson Pollock, hippos and bird wings, can't help but remind me of the nature of opal itself, with its glittering internal structure that refracts light mediated by its elemental inclusions and substrates. In wrestling with his sonnet-angel, Opal wins." (Allan Peterson, author of Fragile Acts and All the Lavish in Common)

ACTION - as in begin, genesis, motion - is a collection of poems ultimately concerned with form, those lines drawn in the sand that give way to the profanity of the holy, the holiness of the profane. Throughout ACTION, Opal engages the constraints inherent to seemingly fixed forms. From living with rheumatoid arthritis, to feeling for the edges of a sonnet tradition, to wrestling with the tenets of historical theology, this collection demonstrates that the only way to honestly submit to a form is to rage against it. However, to assume that this rage is not a kind of explosive joy-a Barthesian jouissance-would be to miss the point of poems that Dean Young has described as "radiant affirmations of life and art."

"'I write sonnets empty of everything yet containing all things ...' goes a visual and philosophical echo of the unutterable 'G-d' ACTION interrogates, prods. Such slippery refrains drive this lively book's composition and arguments. Birds fall throughout, echoing the rough descent of haloed, winged things; the speaker wrestles an angel by a river and, in a later poem, a father by a sink; prophets stumble about stripped of epic context, conscripted to a world of Doritos bags, iPhones, and prescription meds. Indeed, religion and the sacred's place in the contemporary are on Opal's mind. For as much as, say, 'Out of the Whirlwind' might aver otherwise, these adroit and contemplative poems don't only fuck with 'ideas of the holy, ' they seek them out." (Douglas Kearney, author of Patter and The Black Automaton)

"Opal's eye mocks its own seeing. With a 'strange mercy that pulls us inward, ' these poems glint from the threads tethering private myth to a larger one. Taut with hope and balancing a heavy humor, this is language carved of a voice that wants to shout lullabies: 'I want to sing / a song to myself in the silence of / myself.'" (Emily Kendal Frey, author of Sorrow Arrow and The Grief Performance)

Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living

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Larry O. Dean's latest poetry collection examines routine occupations that go on every day-reading and writing email, watching TV, going out to eat, working a job, parking the car, grocery shopping, and online purchasing. It includes both traditional and experimental poems in fixed and open forms, such as Oulipian, persona, metrical, sestina, found, a satiric sequence based on the zodiac, and more. Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He teaches higher-ed creative writing, literature, and composition, and is a Poet-in-Residence in the public schools through the Poetry Center of Chicago's Hands on Stanzas program. "This collection is a voyage of discovery made all the more appealing for how it makes the reader laugh along the way. The places where humor collided with my expectations were where I gained the most and most clearly saw the ordinary as something new. These poems are so enjoyable, in fact, that it wasn't until after I had finished reading them that I realized that I was seeing poetry in unexpected places and looking for the hidden story under the most expected of words."--Eclectica "A collection of keen observations, people-watching, and imaginative detail, Activities for Daily Living breathes new life into the forgotten. Dean makes excellent work with romanticizing, doting over, and bringing a little attention to everyday objects."--Chicago Literati
Actual Air

Actual Air

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Released in paperback in 1999 by the now-defunct Open City and praised everywhere in the then-ascendant print press industry (including names that still make waves today like The New Yorker and GQ), David Berman's first (and only) book of poetry was and is a journey though shared and unreliable memory. Uncannily inspired, Berman's poems walk through doors into rooms where where one might hear "I can't remember being born / and no one else can either / even the doctor who I met years later / at a cocktail party" (from "Self-Portrait at 28"), or praise "the interval called hangover / a sadness not co-terminous with hopelessness" (from "Cassette Country") and "that moment when you take off your sunglasses / after a long drive and realize it's earlier / and lighter out than you had accounted for" ("The Charm of 5:30"). At that time, Berman was called a modern-day Wallace Stevens and a next-wave John Ashberry, with his own logic, awareness of pop culture and sensitivity to the details of the post-postmodern world in his poems. Alongside his lyrics to a half-dozen infamous Silver Jews records, Actual Air endeared Berman to lovers of poetry, prose, and music alike. Poet James Tate said it best: "It is a book for everyone." And poet laureate Billy Collins could only add, "This is the voice I've waited so long to hear." The second edition of the hardcover version of Actual Air is limited to 1000 copies. Features of the second edition are: new larger dimensions and enlarged typeface, new dustjacket artwork variant, deluxe cloth boards, updated full-color endpapers, dust-jacket featuring a photo of the artist around the time of publication, and of course the poems that inspired all this fuss in the first place.