Spotlight On: Poetry

Just a few of the highlights from our poetry section!

The Radiant Lives of Animals by Linda Hogan, $19
From a celebrated Chickasaw writer, a spiritual meditation, in prose and poetry, on our relationship to the animal world, in an illustrated gift package. In this illuminating collection of essays and poems, lightly sprinkled with elegant drawings, Hogan draws on many Native nations’ ancient stories and spiritual traditions to show us that the soul exists in those delicate places where the natural world extends into human consciousness–in the mist of morning, the grass that grew a little through the night, the first warmth of this morning’s sunlight.

Bodega by Su Hwang, $16
Local Author!
Against the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, a Korean girl comes of age in her parents’ bodega in the Queensbridge projects, offering a singular perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions pulsing in the margins where they live and work. These poems also reveal stark contrasts in the domestic lives of immigrants, as the speaker’s own family must navigate the many personal, cultural, and generational chasms that arise from having to assume a hyphenated identity––lending a voice to the traumatic toll invisibility, assimilation, and sacrifice take on so many pursuing the American Dream.

Duende by Tracy K. Smith, $8.99
Tracy K. Smith’s bold second poetry collection explores history and the intersections of folk traditions, political resistance, and personal survival. Duende gives passionate testament to suppressed cultures, and allows them to sing.

Big Cabin by Ron Padgett, $16
Written over three seasons in a Vermont cabin, these poems act as a reflecting pool, casting back mortality, consciousness, and time in new, crystal-clear light.

Lean Against This Late Hour by Garous Abdolmalekian, $18
A vivid, affecting portrait of life in the shadow of violence and loss, for readers of both English and Persian. The first selection of poems by renowned Iranian poet Garous Abdolmalekian to appear in English, this collection is a mesmerizing, disorienting descent into the trauma of loss and its aftermath. In spare lines, Abdolmalekian conjures surreal, cinematic images that pan wide as deftly as they narrow into intimate focus.

The Shadowgraph by James Cihlar, $18.95
Local Author!
James Cihlar explores the ways images, performances, and memories shape and inform LGBTQ+ identity. Golden-age Hollywood cinema–in particular the career of fiercely independent actress Barbara Stanwyck–provides the screen on which Cihlar projects characters and stories bravely, even defiantly, performed. Cihlar’s commentary on individual films–as well as on human experience and desire–is intense, smart, and right on target.

Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich, $19
Renowned Native poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression.Little Big Bully begins with a question asked of a collective and troubled we – how did we come to this. In answer, this book offers personal myth, American and Native American contexts, and allegories driven by women’s resistance to narcissists, stalkers, and harassers.

A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year by Jane McMorland Hunter, $24.95
Relax and unwind at the end of the day with this calming collection of nature poems–one for each night of the year. Keep this beautiful book by your bedside and enjoy a dreamy stroll through the natural world and its wonders every evening, just before you go to sleep. All the great time-honored poets are here–William Wordsworth, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Bridges–along with some newer and lesser-known voices.

Homie by Danez Smith, $15
Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer.

Missed our virtual poetry reading with Page Starzinger, Peter Campion, and David Baker? Check it out on YouTube:

Vortex Street by Page Hill Starzinger, $16
Swift by David Baker, $15
Ed Dorado by Peter Campion, $17

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