Happy Friday, Wildcats! The Falvey Memorial Library is happy to announce the start of a new weekly blog series: Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Daniella, one of our graduate assistants from the English department, will scour the internet each week to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.
Hey, Wildcats! Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? We at Falvey Memorial Library have had our fair share of open mics and poetry readings in the past few weeks to celebrate. I believe that poetry has the power to express extreme emotions of love, pain, and happiness. It gives people the ability to connect to others, to share in an experience.
As we near the end of National Poetry Month, we encourage you to break out of your comfort zone and write your own verse, but if you’re not ready to pour your heart out on paper just yet, here’s a list of some of the most notable poetry of 2018.
Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, edited by Christopher Soto (Nightboat Books)
In 2014, Christopher Soto and Lambda Literary Foundation founded the online journal Nepantla, with the mission to nurture, celebrate, and preserve diversity within the queer poetry community, including contributions as diverse in style and form, as the experiences of QPOC in the United States. Now, Nepantla will appear for the first time in print as a survey of poetry by queer poets of color throughout U.S. history, including literary legends such as Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, June Jordan, Ai, and Pat Parker alongside contemporaries such as Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Robin Coste Lewis, Joy Harjo, Richard Blanco, Erika L. Sánchez, Jericho Brown, Carl Phillips, Tommy Pico, Eduardo C. Corral, Chen Chen, and more! (Source: Entropy)
Not My White Savior by Julayne Lee (Rare Bird Books)
Not My White Savior is a memoir in poems, exploring what it is to be a transracial and inter-country adoptee, and what it means to grow up being constantly told how better your life is because you were rescued from your country of origin. Following Julayne Lee from Korea to Minnesota and finally to Los Angeles, Not My White Savior asks what does “better” mean? In which ways was the journey she went on better than what she would have otherwise experienced? (Source: Entropy)
Blood Labors by Daniel Tobin (Four Way)
Tobin has written smartly on Irish poets like Seamus Heaney, and that connection emerges to appealing effect in the robust, formally dexterous writing in “Blood Labors.” Particularly notable here is the multipart poem “Downstream,” which comments on a series of surrealist paintings by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris and becomes a kind of hypnotic, deeply strange creation saga. Here’s the beginning of the section titled “River”: “When I rose from the river I was still / The river, and in my red hair flamed / The encircling wheels, wheels within wheels, / By which the very air around me moved.” (Source: New York Times)
Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems by Jennifer S. Cheng (Tarpaulin Sky)
Mixing fable and fact, extraordinary and ordinary, Jennifer S. Cheng’s hybrid collection, Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems, draws on various Chinese mythologies about women, particularly that of Chang’E (the Lady in the Moon), uncovering the shadow stories of our myths — with the belief that there is always an underbelly. Moon explores bewilderment and shelter, destruction and construction, unthreading as it rethreads, shedding as it collects. (Source: Entropy)
Cruel Futures by Carmen Giménez Smith (City Lights)
Cruel Futures is a witchy confessional and wildly imagistic volume that examines subjects as divergent as Alzheimer’s, Medusa, mumblecore, and mental illness in sharp-witted, taut poems dense with song. Chronicling life on an endangered planet, in a country on the precipice of profound change compelled by a media machine that produces our realities, the book is a high-energy analysis of popular culture, as well as an exploration of the many social roles that women occupy as mother, daughter, lover, and the resulting struggle to maintain personhood—all in a late capitalist America (Source: Entropy).