New Books Network

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
Great Books: Maureen McLane on Wordsworth’s Poetry
The British romantic poet William Wordsworth is best known for his moving evocations of nature, his celebration of childhood, and his quest to find a shared humanity in his poetry. He’s also widely considered the first modern poet because he turns his experiences, memories, and the workings of his mind... Read More
Octavia Cade, “Mary Shelley Makes a Monster” (Aqueduct Press, 2019)
In Octavia Cade’s brilliant collection of poetry Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press, 2019), the famous author of Frankenstein crafts a creature out of ink, mirrors, and the remnants of her own heartbreak and sorrow. Abandoned and alone after Shelley’s death, the monster searches for a mother to fill... Read More
Great Books: Amir Eshel on Paul Celan’s Poetry
Paul Celan’s poetry marks the end of European modernism: he is the last poet of the era where the poetic “I” could center a subjective vision of the world through language. Celan bears witness to the Holocaust as the irredeemable rupture in European civilization, but he does so in German,... Read More
Carl W. Ernst, “Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr” (Northwestern UP, 2018)
“I am the Real,” is the ecstatic statement often associated with the early Sufi poet Mansur al-Hallaj. In popular narratives about Hallaj this declaration of absolute unity with God is what led to his execution in Abbasid Baghdad. Other accounts attribute it to Hallaj’s directive to build a symbolic Ka’ba... Read More