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Poetry

Amazing Mister Orange

Amazing Mister Orange

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Outsider poetry inspired by Ainsworth Rosewell, self-professed genius and con man who committed suicide in 1996 by jumping from the seventh floor of the Water Tower Mall. Subjects include relationships, death, sex, drugs, dogs, immortality, and Chicago, all exploding with nontraditional humor and vibrant characters, both real and imagined.

Amazing Peace

Amazing Peace

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This dazzling Christmas poem by Maya Angelou is powerful and inspiring for people of all faiths.

In this beautiful, deeply moving poem, Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. "Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward," she writes, "and speak the word aloud. Peace."

Read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House on December 1, 2005, Maya Angelou' s celebration of the "Glad Season" is a radiant affirmation of the goodness of life.

American Amnesiac

American Amnesiac

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Following the manic journey of a man stripped of memory, the poems in American Amnesiac confront the complexities of being American in an age of corruption, corporations, and global conflict.

I am a man missing a nation and a wife, strung up between a past
I may not want and a present in which I cannot make myself at ease.

Diane Raptosh has published three books of poems. The recipient of three literature fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, she teaches creative writing and literature at The College of Idaho. She was named Boise's first ever Poet Laureate in 2013.


American Dreams

American Dreams

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In the tradition of Alice Walker, this electrifying new African American voice delivers the verdict on the urban condition in a sensual, propulsive, and prophetic book of poetry and prose.
Whether she is writing about an enraged teenager gone "wilding" in Central Park, fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins gunned down by a Korean grocer, or a brutalized child who grows up to escape her probable fate through the miracle of art, Sapphire's vision in this collection of poetry and prose is unswervingly honest.
"Stunning . . . . One of the strongest debut collections of the '90s."-- "Publishers Weekly"
American Fanatics

American Fanatics

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A book of contemporary poetry exploring the fine, shifting line between faith-secular and spiritual faith-and fanaticism in an insecure age, American Fanatics is a lyrical, pop-culture inflected meditation on democracy, morality, beauty, commerce, and the cost of falling dreams.
American Home

American Home

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Cho A.'s poetry wonders at small everyday delights.

Sean Cho A.'s debut poetry chapbook directs a keen eye on everyday occurrences and how these small events shape us as individuals. This collection is filled with longing for love, understanding, and simplicity. But these poems also express great pleasure in continued desire. With exuberant energy that flows through the collection, the speaker announces: "I won't apologize for the smallness of my delights." Filled with questions and wonder, these poems revel in the unknowing and liminal spaces, and we as readers are invited to join in this revelry. Cho A.'s poetry reminds and allows us to pause, to wonder, and enjoy our many pleasures.

American Home was selected by Danusha Laméris for the 2020 Autumn House Chapbook Prize.

American Journal

American Journal

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A landmark anthology envisioned by Tracy K. Smith, 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States

American Journal

presents fifty contemporary poems that explore and celebrate our country and our lives. 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith has gathered a remarkable chorus of voices that ring up and down the registers of American poetry. In the elegant arrangement of this anthology, we hear stories from rural communities and urban centers, laments of loss in war and in grief, experiences of immigrants, outcries at injustices, and poems that honor elders, evoke history, and praise our efforts to see and understand one another. Taking its title from a poem by Robert Hayden, the first African American appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, American Journal investigates our time with curiosity, wonder, and compassion.

Among the fifty poets included are: Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Matthew Dickman, Mark Doty, Ross Gay, Aracelis Girmay, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Cathy Park Hong, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Ilya Kaminsky, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Límon, Layli Long Soldier, Erika L. Sánchez, Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, Susan Stewart, Mary Szybist, Natasha Trethewey, Brian Turner, Charles Wright, and Kevin Young.

American Night 2

American Night 2

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The celebrated lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison is a legend of rock and roll. The American Night presents Morrison's previously unpublished work in its truest form. With their nightmarish images, bold associative leaps, and volcanic power of emotion, these works are the unmistakable artifacts of a great, wild voice and heart.
American Parables

American Parables

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Daniel Khalastchi's third collection provides an uncompromising exploration into the political and societal disturbances facing America today. Electioneering, lack of affordable health care, the increase in mass shootings, and the continued fight for equal rights are juxtaposed against an unlikely sense of hope and optimism. Lurking behind each page is the ever-present issue of immigration, with specific focus on the escape of the author's father from Iraq and the pressures linked to living as an Arab Jew in the middle of the United States.

Through unnerving gallows humor and radical honesty, these poems redefine the American experience by asking the reader to consider what it means to live in the shadow of a perceived sense of freedom and to have faith when believing feels hopeless. Khalastchi's perspective as an Iraqi Jewish American brings sharp focus to the holistic uncertainties of religion, politics, assimilation, illness, love, and loss--with absurd, visceral, and wry acclaim. I type into
the internet your high schooland find rubble. Your daughter
has the flu. We are sickwith disappointment but
everyone is fine.
--Excerpt from "First Generation: Our Escape"

American Poetry Now: Pitt Poetry Series Anthology

American Poetry Now: Pitt Poetry Series Anthology

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American Poetry Now is a comprehensive collection of the best work from the renowned Pitt Poetry Series. Since its inception in 1967, the series has been a vehicle for America's finest contemporary poets. The series list includes Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Toi Derricotte, Denise Duhamel, Lynn Emanuel, Bob Hicok, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, Larry Levis, Sharon Olds, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Virgil Suárez, Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn, Dean Young, and many others.

Throughout its forty-year history, the Pitt Poetry Series has provided a voice for the diversity that is American poetry, representing poets from many backgrounds without allegiance to any one school or style. American Poetry Now is a true representation of contemporary American poetry.

Ed Ochester, series editor for nearly thirty years, has assembled a quintessential selection-along with biographies and photos, an enlightening introduction, and a suggested list for further reading, all in a highly accessible format. American Poetry Now is a sweeping anthology that will delight poetry fans, students, teachers, and general readers alike.

American Poetry: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

American Poetry: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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This groundbreaking Library of America volume offers a fresh look at early American poetry, charting its evolution over a span of almost two centuries, from the first years of English settlement in the New World to the death of George Washington. Gathering the work of more than 100 poets--including many poems never previously anthologized and some published here for the first time--it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind ever assembled, a celebration of the rich, varied, and often surprising beginnings of American poetry.

The range of voices is unprecedented: broadside and newspaper satires, epitaphs, children's verse, popular songs, ballads, and Christian hymns evoke the vital currency of poetry in daily life; exhortatory elegies for public figures and historical epics declaimed on occasions of state stand alongside intricate meditative lyrics and private epistolary verses. The dramatic unfolding of American history is made immediate and vivid in the words of the participants: William Bradford reflects on the growth of New England's first colonies; Roger Wolcott recounts the incidents of the Pequot War; Thomas Paine hails the victories of the American Revolution; Ann Eliza Bleecker describes her flight from General Burgoyne's invading army; loyalist Jonathan Odell bitterly mocks the new Continental Congress.

The first comprehensive anthology of early American poetry in more than a generation, this volume incorporates recent scholarly discoveries that have altered our understanding of the early American literary landscape. Alongside generous selections from long admired New England poets such as Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, and Michael Wigglesworth are poets from the Middle Colonies and the South, newly emerged from the archives. Along with familiar favorites by Phillis Wheatley, celebrated pioneer of the African-American tradition in poetry, are little-known verses by Benjamin Banneker, known as "the Sable Astronomer," and African-American Minuteman Lemuel Haynes. The anthology includes hymns recently attributed to Mohegan preacher Samson Occom and the earliest known translation of a traditional Native American chant, Henry Timberlake's Cherokee "War-Song."

The unpublished poems of Henry Brooke, Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, Joseph Green, Hannah Griffitts, Margaret Lowther Page, and Annis Boudinot Stockton, among others, reflect the rediscovered vitality and importance of manuscript exchange as a form of publication in an era when it was sometimes considered indecorous, especially for women, to appear in print.

Unprecedented in its textual authority and unrivaled in its scope, the anthology includes newly researched biographical sketches of each poet and extensive notes.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

American Primitive

American Primitive

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Mary Oliver's most acclaimed volume of poetry, American Primitive contains fifty visionary poems about nature, the humanity in love, and the wilderness of America, both within our bodies and outside.
American Primitive enchants me with the purity of its lyric voice, the loving freshness of its perceptions, and the singular glow of a spiritual life brightening the pages. -- Stanley Kunitz
These poems are natural growths out of a loam of perception and feeling, and instinctive skill with language makes them seem effortless. Reading them is a sensual delight. -- May Swenson
American Smooth: Poems

American Smooth: Poems

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An occasion to celebrate: a new collection by the Pulitzer Prize-winning former poet laureate; her first since On the Bus with Rosa Parks. With the grace of an Astaire, Rita Dove's magnificent poems pay homage to our kaleidoscopic cultural heritage; from the glorious shimmer of an operatic soprano to Bessie Smith's mournful wail; from paradise lost to angel food cake; from hotshots at the local shooting range to the Negro jazz band in World War I whose music conquered Europe before the Allied advance. Like the ballroom-dancing couple of the title poem, smiling and making the difficult seem effortless, Dove explores the shifting surfaces between perception and intimation.
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

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Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry

One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018

A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America's most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead

Sonnets that reckon with Donald Trump's America. -The New York Times

In seventy poems bearing the same title, Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of American, of assassin, and of love in the sonnet form. Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these poems are haunted by the country's past and future eras and errors, its dreams and nightmares. Inventive, compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, and bewildered--the wonders of this new collection are irreducible and stunning.

American Spikenard

American Spikenard

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2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner

"If everyone decided to call themselves a girl / that word would stop." In this award-winning volume of authoritative and assertive poems, Sarah Vap embarks on an emotional journey to the land of America's female children. Questioning, contradicting, radically and restlessly demanding acceptance, she searches for a way to move from serious girlhood to womanly love. Demonstrating the seriousness of female childhood--which is as dangerous and profound as war, economics, and history, that is, as manhood, in her view--Vap reveals the extremes of self-doubt and self-righteousness inherent in being a contemporary American girl.
"When we're overcome / by everything we think we love--then by morning / we're adults." Just as the oil of American spikenard may provide relief from childhood, so does Sarah Vap provide the kind of holy and extravagant love and honor that can relieve the growing pains of "everyone's little girl."

American Sublime: Poems

American Sublime: Poems

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A brilliant new collection by Elizabeth Alexander, whose poems bristle with the irresistible quality of a world seen fresh (Rita Dove, The Washington Post)

Too many people have seen too much
and lived to tell, or not tell, or tell
with their silent, patterned bodies,
their glass eyes, gone legs, flower-printed flesh . . .
-from Notes From

In her fourth remarkable collection, Elizabeth Alexander voices the outcries, dreams, and histories of an African American tradition that goes back to the slave rebellion on the Amistad and to the artists' canvases of nineteenth-century America. In persona poems, historical narratives, jazz riffs, sonnets, elegies, and a sequence of ars poetica, American Sublime is Alexander's most vivid and varied collection and affirms her place as one of America's most lively and gifted writers.

Alexander is an unusual thing, a sensualist of history, a romanticist of race. She weaves biography, history, experience, pop culture and dream. Her poems make the public and private dance together. --Chicago Tribune

American Sunrise

American Sunrise

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In this stunning collection, Joy Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where the Mvskoke people, including her own ancestors, were forcibly displaced. From her memory of her mother's death, to her beginnings in the Native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings.

American Sunrise

American Sunrise

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In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother's death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and "one of our finest--and most complicated--poets" (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.