New Books Network

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
Eliza Griswold, “If Men, Then” (FSG, 2020)
Eliza Griswold writes in Snow in Rome, “we hate being human,/depleted by absence.” In her latest poetry collection, If Men, Then (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), Griswold grapples with a world that is fracturing at its foundation. In this series of poems, all at once dark. humorous and questioning, the author... Read More
Franny Choi, “Soft Science” (Alice James Books, 2019)
Franny Choi’s book-length collection of poetry, Soft Science (Alice James Books 2019), explores queer, Asian American femininity through the lens of robots, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence. As she notes in this interview, “this book is a study of softness,” exploring feeling, vulnerability, and desire. How can you be tender and still... Read More
Great Books: Glenn Wallis on Gibran’s “The Prophet”
Kahlil Gibran’s 1923 The Prophet is book that’s changed people’s lives. It is a deceptively simple book, but it contains a radical insight. “Of what can I speak save of that which is even now moving in your souls?” What can a book teach us that we cannot know ourselves?... Read More
Becca Klaver, “Ready for the World” (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)
Becca Klaver writes in the poem ‘Hooliganism Was the Charge,’ It offered reassurance which said, “You are not alone; I can hear you.” Her forthcoming collection, Ready for the World (Black Lawrence Press 2020), reminds us that no matter the digital distance between us we are never quite alone. A... Read More
Joyce Ashuntantang, “A Basket of Flaming Ashes” (African Books Collective, 2010)
Joyce Ashuntantang talks about her experiences as a traveler and a poet, from her childhood Cameroon to her years studying in Great Britain and the United States. Ashuntantang is a professor of English at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. She is the author of many works of poetry, including A Basket... Read More