Non-Fic Picks: Poetry

Posted Apr 4, 2015

Hey, April is National Poetry Month!   This week, we're going to let the words put themselves into motion by featuring some of our contemporary poetry collections sure to evoke their own emotive responses.

Bicentennial: Poems by Dan Chiasson

Little bird, little sugar cube,

Tell me all the state secrets

Of the crab apple, barberry, brake,

The concealed locales, the plots

From Away We Go

In his fourth collection, Chiasson features twenty-one poems that capture the poet’s personal life.  Autobiographical in nature, Bicentennial explores boyhood, memory, child-rearing, intimate inner-experiences, and social outings in a witty, yet formal collection that showcases an awareness of the world as well as the history of the past and a forecast for the future.

How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes

I can imitate the spheres of the model’s body, her head,

Her mouth, the chin she rests at the bend of her elbow

But nothing tells me how to make the pupils spiral

From How to Draw a Perfect Circle

With thirty-three poems, National Book Award Winner Terrance Hayes provides cultural and emotional insights to a current state of affairs in his fifth collection.  Drawing on (please excuse the pun) home-life, music, photography, family, love, and, of course, drawing, How to Be Drawn is bold, stunning assemblage of surprises.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

You are in the dark, in the car, watching the black-tarred street being swallowed by speed; he tells you his dean is making him hire a person of color when there are so many great writers out there.

From Citizen

Poet, playwright, essayist, and chancellor of the American Academy of Poets Claudia Rankine delves into a delicate subject with Citizen- racism.  With prose poems, poetic essays, and contemporary photographs, Rankine uses blunt language and evocative images to explore individual and collective encounters while paying tribute to those who have suffered from racial violence.

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