National Poetry Month 2019

Posted on April 17, 2019. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , |

April is National Poetry Month. The purpose of National Poetry month is to encourage the reading, writing and performing poems. Each campus has its own special activities, such as a Magnetic Poetry and blackout poetry. Here are some new poetry books and books on poets that Oakton Community College Library has for your enjoyment:

Book cover for Magical NegroMagical Negro: Poems
by Morgan Parker

Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans.

Focused primarily on depictions of black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless black melancholies and triumphs” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover of Women of ResistanceWomen of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism
edited by Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan.

“Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Denice Frohman, Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Sounding IslamSounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World
by Patrick Eisenlohr.

“Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site of divine manifestation, becomes refracted in media practices that have become integral parts of religious traditions.

At the core of Eisenlohr’s concern is the interplay of voice, media, affect, and listeners’ religious experiences. Sounding Islam sheds new light on a key dimension of religion, the sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Throwing the CrownThrowing the Crown
By Jacob Saenz ; introduction by Gregory Pardlo.

“Winner of the prestigious Honickman First Book Award from the American Poetry Review, selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Gregory Pardlo, Throwing the Crown describes a boyhood on the edge. Set in a Chicago neighborhood dominated by gang life, Saenz sets the sweetness and vulnerability of youth against the cold reality of a gun pressed against a forehead. Full of attractive sound—tight rhymes and short, percussive lines—these poems follow a fast-paced trajectory from danger to survival, pausing to acknowledge the beauty and humor in the details along the way” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for You Don't Have To Say You Love MeYou don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir
by Sherman Alexie.

“Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie’s bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It’s these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.

When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The University of Hip-HopThe University of Hip-hop: Poems
by Mayda Del Valle

“The University of Hip-Hop is a love letter to the city of Chicago, or, more specifically, to Chicago at a particular moment in the poet’s life. It is a meditation on movement and migration that asks what it means to leave home, how to take home with you, and how to build a new home elsewhere. These poems invoke nostalgia tempered with the knowledge that one cannot return to the past. They employ tonal and structural variations that account for said nostalgia without risking naïveté, taking all the influence of that time (hope, youth, love, music, art, and engagement) as a formal device, yet one filtered through the condensation of a current, more mature and nuanced understanding. The worldview learned then is employed in the now and frames the approach to the work, moving through formal registers that include spoken word, American lyric and narrative traditions, experimental thrusts, and documentary honed with the edge of hip-hop” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooksbook cover for The Golden Shovel Anthology
edited by Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith ; with a foreword by Terrance Hayes

“The Golden Shovel Anthology celebrates the life and work of poet and civil rights icon Gwendolyn Brooks through a dynamic new poetic form, the Golden Shovel, created by National Book Award-winner Terrance Hayes.

The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken from a Brooks poem. The poems are, in a way, secretly encoded to enable both a horizontal reading of the new poem and vertical reading down the right-hand margin of Brooks’s original. An array of writers—including Pulitzer Prize winners, T. S. Eliot Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and National Poet Laureates—have written poems for this exciting new anthology: Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Nikki Giovani, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, Mark Doty, Sharon Draper, and Julia Glass are just a few of the contributing poets.

The poems found here will inspire a diversity of readers, teachers, and writers of poetry while at the same time providing remarkable access for newcomers, making it ideal for classrooms. The Golden Shovel Anthology will also honor Brooks with publication in 2017, the centenary of her birth” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Kevin Purtell


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