Blood & Belonging

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2018-11-13 04:15Z by Steven

Blood & Belonging

Amazon Digital Services
2018-11-09
156 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1730892684

Sirinda Pairin

Blood & Belonging by [Pairin, Sirinda]

Siri Pairin’s poems explore the challenges and triumphs of biracial identity. With an honest and minimalist style, she writes about themes such as duality, belonging, love, home, space, culture, identity, race, ethnicity, heritage, and representation.

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An Honest Woman: Poems

Posted in Books, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Poetry, Women on 2018-10-08 04:00Z by Steven

An Honest Woman: Poems

Talonbooks
2017
104 pages
6 W × 9 H × 1 D inches
Paperback/Softback ISBN: 978177201144

Jónína Kirton

An Honest WomanFront Cover

An Honest Woman by Jónína Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions.

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers?

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

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Blinking in the Light

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2018-06-14 19:00Z by Steven

Blinking in the Light

Cinnamon Press
2016-02-01
28 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1910836057

Louisa Adjoa Parker

A collection of confessional poems which, in starkly telling a story about a fraught pregnancy and the suicide of a man very close to the speaker’s family, evokes with powerful images and unadorned language a raw sense of contemporary life.

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To Sweeten Bitter

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2017-12-26 02:16Z by Steven

To Sweeten Bitter

Out-Spoken Press
2017-04-10
49 pages
8.5 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
ISBN-13: 978-0993103872

Raymond Antrobus

Consider the name of Raymond Antrobus’ extraordinary collection of poems for a moment: To Sweeten Bitter. It’s a phrase of infinite possibility and tender worry, open and searching, wanting and volatile. And in this sense, it serves as a kind of secret refrain for us, a haunted current that charges after each line and image, each heart-fraught question (“you think you’re going / to go free?”) and tentative hope (“there is always enough time / in our lives to see / what we must see”). Here, a father laughs “you cannot love sugar and hate your sweetness” and a son reckons with all that might mean “in the scratched light” of history and the “turning / and the losing of myself.” Derek Walcott once reflected that “I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer;” these poems— in all their urgent beauty—affirm that faith, embody it. —R.A. Villanueva

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mxd kd mixtape

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2017-12-06 17:59Z by Steven

mxd kd mixtape

Glass Poetry Press
2017
Chapbook ISBN: 978-0-9975805-6-3

Malcolm Friend, Poet, Performer, Educator


Cover by Raychelle Duazo

In his debut chapbook mxd kd mix tape, Malcolm Friend offers us a speaker on the fringe of becoming. If he were a superhero this would be his origin story. The musicality & rhythm that is promised in the title more than delivers, but what Friend also delivers on are poems forged within the many rooms of his identity. & these rooms are decorated with poetic craft & a keen knowledge of the songs that have shaped him. This collection, & Friend are a valuable addition to America’s poetic landscape. I look forward to many more work from this fresh new voice.

— Yesenia Montilla, author of The Pink Box

In mxd kd mixtape, Malcolm Friend gracefully blends personal and public history, crafting a dynamic archive in verse. As Friend sets voices of remembrance against the forces of oppression, violence, and neglect, we hear how the richest points of identification — in poetry, in music, in life — occur as intersections: musicality and masculinity, Puerto Rican and Jamaican heritage, safety and threat, question and answer. The result is a chapbook filled with necessary poems that “echo of insistent survival.” I’m so grateful for this talented and convicted poet, who has risked reminding us, because we need reminding, especially when staring down the many faces of erasure, “this is why we turn to song.”

— Geffrey Davis, author of Revising the Storm

mxd kd mixtape hits all the right young poet notes: identity, awareness, inquiry, a politically charged imagination with the right doses of social value. Friend alludes to our heroes, our irony, our singers, as he sifts through the nuances of diaspora, untold stories, and lyrical re-interpretations of Black Caribbean complexes. This debut asks us to confront our biases, our mask-wearing tendencies, our ability to stay silent; it resists the violence of definitions until we have no choice but to sing. Friends’ poetry does what all good albums of their time seek to do: set the record straight.

— Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon

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Protection Spell

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2017-03-23 01:01Z by Steven

Protection Spell

University of Arkansas Press
2017-03-01
102 pages
5 ½ × 8 ½
Paper ISBN: 978-1-68226-028-9

Jennifer Givhan, Poet & Novelist

In Protection Spell Jennifer Givhan explores the guilt, sadness, and freedom of relationships: the sticky love that keeps us hanging on for no reason other than love, the inky place that asks us to continue revising and reimagining, tying ourselves to this life and to each other despite the pain (or perhaps because of it). These poems reassemble safe spaces from the fissures cleaving the speaker’s own biracial home and act as witnesses speaking to the racial iniquity of our broader social landscape as well as to the precarious standpoint of a mother-woman of color whose body lies vulnerable to trauma and abuse. From insistent moments of bravery, a collection of poems arises that asks the impossible, like the childhood chant that palliates suffering by demanding nothing less than magical healing: sana sana colita de rana, si no sanas hoy, sanas mañana (the frog who loses his tail is commanded to grow another). In the end, Givhan’s verse offers a place where healing may begin.

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All Day, Talking

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2017-03-18 14:28Z by Steven

All Day, Talking

dancing girl press
2014

Sarah A. Chavez

Sarah A. Chavez is a mestiza born and raised in the California Central Valley where she worked every job from farm laborer, to janitor and maintenance, to barista, to waitress, house-sitter, web editor, tutor, and finally administrative assistant for a Native American drug and alcohol recovery home before going back to school to pursue writing and teaching. She earned a PhD in English with a focus in Creative Writing (poetry) and an interdisciplinary specialization in Ethnic Studies, with a focus on Chican@/Latin@ & Native American literature and culture, from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

During her academic career her work has been the recipient of the Fredrick A. and Minnie J.M. Stuff Memorial Placement Fellowship (2014), the Quercus Press Review, Fall Poetry Book Award, Honorable Mention (2013), Stuff Dissertation Fellowship (2013), the Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship, Literary Contest (2013), the Arts & Letters/ Rumi Prize for Poetry, finalist (2012), the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Competition, Honorable Mention (2012), the Vreeland Award (2011), Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship (2009 – 2011), and the Excellence in Education, 2007 – 2008 teaching award from Ball State University’s Correctional Education Program.

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The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Poetry on 2017-03-17 19:47Z by Steven

The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2014-01-21
640 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780374125615

Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

Selected by Glyn Maxwell

A collection spanning the whole of Derek Walcott’s celebrated, inimitable, essential career

“He gives us more than himself or ‘a world’; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language.” Alongside Joseph Brodsky’s words of praise one might mention the more concrete honors that the renowned poet Derek Walcott has received: a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry; the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948–2013 draws from every stage of the poet’s storied career. Here are examples of his very earliest work, like “In My Eighteenth Year,” published when the poet himself was still a teenager; his first widely celebrated verse, like “A Far Cry from Africa,” which speaks of violence, of loyalties divided in one’s very blood; his mature work, like “The Schooner Flight” from The Star-Apple Kingdom; and his late masterpieces, like the tender “Sixty Years After,” from the 2010 collection White Egrets.

Across sixty-five years, Walcott grapples with the themes that have defined his work as they have defined his life: the unsolvable riddle of identity; the painful legacy of colonialism on his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia; the mysteries of faith and love and the natural world; the Western canon, celebrated and problematic; the trauma of growing old, of losing friends, family, one’s own memory. This collection, selected by Walcott’s friend the English poet Glyn Maxwell, will prove as enduring as the questions, the passions, that have driven Walcott to write for more than half a century.

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Solecism

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2017-03-10 21:36Z by Steven

Solecism

Virtual Artist Collective
2013-02-28
80 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780944048504

Rosebud Ben-Oni

“Think the pinched aren’t polysyllabic?” You’ve never heard from Mexico in this register. Nor moved through the East Village and Jerusalem, Syria and Lebanon, with a guide who spies “what grows in broken concrete.” Ben-Oni takes us along borderlands and scenes we rarely hear of in the news – to the very fringes of places like Sal Si Puedes (“Leave if you can”) with its sandals, jellyfish, beer bottles and narcotic wires, then into the marketplaces of melons and catcalls, with the tongue of a Gypsy “incapable of candor.”  This is exploration and revelation via the road less traveled. A slice of poem glimpses girls howling against silence slammed against them, laughing through weeds overtaking ranches, and the child-guide, a Jewish-Mexican who doesn’t fit, is also a sparrow walking her wings through the ruins, choosing mosquitoes over worms, baring all to possibly “disappear / into overflowing ashtrays and / stryofoam pyramids / in ten-peso shops.”  Where she finally lands pales beside how she sees the world through her tongue.  The journey is all. As always, we too think we know things, and we do, but it is Ben-Oni’s insider-outsider grasp that dons another legitimacy, one that does not go on validation, one that can intensify our own: simply listening is enough to propel her, and us, to “Know those incurable Depths.” And if you find yourself “unborn again… twitching in sin” or ‘tasting toadstools’ and singing the ‘discordant dark’, then you too may revel in that forbidden space of Solecism, reaping poetry from “what remains of the unruly wilds.”

–Amy King, Author of I Want to Make You Safe and I’m the Man Who Loves You

 

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The Land Baron’s Sun: The Story of Lý Loc and His Seven Wives

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2017-03-08 01:09Z by Steven

The Land Baron’s Sun: The Story of Lý Loc and His Seven Wives

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
2014
108 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781935754350

Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith, Professor of Creative Writing
Louisiana Tech University

The Land Baron’s Sun chronicles through poetry the life of Lý Loc, the son of an affluent Vietnamese landowner who was thought to own the sun by his children, wives, servants, and tenant farmers because it had always shone favorably upon him. Lý Loc lived just as prosperous a life, one in which he rose to the rank of major commander for the South Vietnamese Army and was attended to by seven wives who bore him twenty-seven children. On April 20, 1975, the day Saigon fell, fate took a cruel turn for Lý Loc, as the sun, a symbol of the divine love, refused to shine. His capture by the Việt Cộng and incarceration in a reeducation camp marked only the beginning of the sun recouping all that it had bestowed upon Lý Loc and his family. Smith’s poems delve into Lý Loc’s childhood and adult life, his years spent in the reeducation camp, and his wives’ and children’s fate—both in Vietnam and, for those who were fortunate enough to escape, in America. The poems expose the beauty and freedom of the human spirit and the lushness that was once Vietnam; likewise, they show the undeniable oppression of a country divided on itself and the struggle its people went through to survive.

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