Poetry Book Recommendations

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Afterland by Mai Der Vang from Graywolf Press.

“It’s come to this. We hide the stories
in our sleeves, patchwork of cotton veins.

Scribe them on carriers for sleeping
babies, weave our ballads to the sash.”
from “Cipher Song”

Driving Without A License by Janine Joseph from Alice James Books.

“What is there to be said about the heart
when I am busy breaking something like
a smile? Certainly some days I might strike
the shower wall of turn the knobs to start
the hot hotter, my form coming apart.”
-from “Exchanging Vows”

The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison from The University of Akron Press.

“You must understand when I say heart say broken say
angel god when I say love and say death those huge
small words you should distrust something language
me the ravine vast gap between what flickers in the mind
and what stumbles into language stumbles the way
I stumble into the woods walk lost walk directionless”
-from “[What I mean]” 

Reaper by Jill McDonough from Alice James Books.

“The students already know how,
starstruck, lovejammed, we don’t know
what to say. All you want to do is find
the right thing, say that will keep the beloved
close by.”
-from “All the Time”

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