New Books Network

Nate Marshall, “Finna: Poems” (One World, 2020)
In Finna: Poems (One World), his new collection of poetry, Nate Marshall examines the way that pop culture influences Black vernacular, the role of storytelling, family, and place. Marshall defines finna as: fin·na /ˈfinə/ contraction: (1) going to; intending to [rooted in African American Vernacular English] (2) eye dialect spelling... Read More
Leah Zani, “Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos” (Duke UP, 2019)
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Leah Zani, a public anthropologist and poet based in California, about her truly wonderful book Bomb Children: Life in the Former Battlefields of Laos (Duke University Press, 2019). Her research takes place half a century after the CIA’s Secret War in Laos –... Read More
Chelsea Wagenaar, “The Spinning Place” (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2019)
In The Spinning Place (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2019), Chelsea Wagenaar explores the power of language—in terms of its possibilities and what it fails to express. As a being with a body in the world, there are so many experiences that are inexpressible. These poems attempt to touch upon those... Read More
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, “The Age of Phillis” (Wesleyan UP, 2020)
Jennifer J. Davis speaks with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, about The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan UP, 2020), Jeffers’s latest collection of poems centered on the remarkable life of America’s first poet of African descent, Phillis Wheatley Peters. The Society of Early Americanists recently... Read More
Sarah M. Sala, “Devil’s Lake” (Tolsun Books, 2020)
Devil’s Lake (Tolsun Books, 2020), the debut collection by Sarah Sala, is an amalgam of American life. The poems move deftly within a world that is equal parts dangerous, celebratory, subdued, modern, and rural. Sala uses format and form to bring the spotlight to American violence with just as much... Read More
Kathryn H. Ross, “Black Was Not a Label” (Pronto, 2019)
Kathryn H. Ross has found a balance. Between past and present. Between self and ancestors. Between self-discovery and continuous growth. In her hybrid collection, Black Was Not a Label, Ross invites readers into a life unfurling. Through the lenses of natural hair, faith, and microaggressions, she lights a path to... Read More
Steve Zeitlin, “The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness” (Cornell UP, 2016)
This is a book of encounters. Part memoir, part essay, and partly a guide to maximizing your capacity for fulfillment and expression, The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness (Cornell University Press, 2016) taps into the artistic side of what we often take for granted: the... Read More
Archana Venkatesan, “Endless Song: Tiruvaymoli” (Penguin, 2020)
Endless Song (Oxford University Press, 2019) is Dr. Archana Venkatesan’s exquisite translation of the Tiruvaymoli (sacred utterance), a brilliant 1102-verse ninth century tamil poem celebrating the poet Nammalvar’s mystical quest for union with his supreme lord, the Hindu great god Viṣṇu. In this interview we discuss the sophisticated structure and profound content of the Tiruvaymoli, along with the... Read More
Sarah Adleman, “The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes” (Tolsun, 2019)
The Houston Chronicle’s review of Sarah Adleman’s The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes (Tolsun 2019) praises that the book “dissects the feelings that have been a part of her since her mother’s death with the precision and brutality of a poet and all the awful beauty of a... Read More