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Finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award A Best Poetry Book of 2015: New York Times and Buzzfeed Bright Dead Things examines the chaos that is life, the dangerous thrill of living in a world you know you have to leave one day, and the search to find something that is ultimately "disorderly, and marvelous, and ours." A book of bravado and introspection, of 21st century feminist swagger and harrowing terror and loss, this fourth collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact--tracing in intimate detail the various ways the speaker's sense of self both shifts and perseveres as she moves from New York City to rural Kentucky, loses a dear parent, ages past the capriciousness of youth, and falls in love. Limón has often been a poet who wears her heart on her sleeve, but in these extraordinary poems that heart becomes a "huge beating genius machine" striving to embrace and understand the fullness of the present moment. "I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying," the poet writes. Building on the legacies of forebears such as Frank O'Hara, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty, Limón's work is consistently generous and accessible--though every observed moment feels complexly thought, felt, and lived.
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY The astonishing second collection by the author ofSlow Lightning, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize Guillotinetraverses desert landscapes cut through by migrants, the grief of loss, betrayal's lingering scars, the border itself--great distances in which violence and yearning find roots. Through the voices of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and scorned lovers, award-winning poet Eduardo C. Corral writes dramatic portraits of contradiction, survival, and a deeply human, relentless interiority. With extraordinary lyric imagination, these poems wonder about being unwanted or renounced.What do we do with unrequited love? Is it with or without it that we would waste away? In the sequence "Testaments Scratched into Water Station Barrels," with Corral's seamless integration of Spanish and English, poems curve around the surfaces upon which they are written, overlapping like graffiti left by those who may or may not have survived crossing the border. A harrowing second collection,Guillotinesolidifies Corral's place in the expanding ecosystem of American poetry.
WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY FINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY Natalie Diaz's highly anticipated follow-up toWhen My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages--bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers--be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: "Let me call my anxiety,desire, then. / Let me call it,a garden." In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality. Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: "I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging:Let me be lonely but not invisible."Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope--in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
José Antonio Rodríguez's poetry is one of memory, both private and public. It is grounded in storytelling and lyricism that reveal a speaker's developing awareness as he traverses borders of nation, language, class, and sexuality. The poems move back and forth between a home left behind on the south side of the Rio Grande and a new home on the north side. Both awe-struck by and apprehensive of the world around him, the speaker searches for a way to claim a new space, a place of belonging. Through these poems, both lyrical and narrative, tender and tense, familiar and estranging, the poet invites us to examine the very concept of home--how we define it, what constitutes it, the ways it can be destabilized and how, in the most trying times, we must learn to sustain the hope of it in our hearts.