The chapbook box set New-Generation African Poets, edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, is the fifth of its kind, an annual project of the African Poetry Book Fund, produced by Akashic Books. The set consists of chapbooks by poets either living in Africa or of African heritage.
Allison Benis White’s prose poems evoke a world of loss and wonder, in which the mysteries of our daily lives are illuminated as a story that finds its shape in the telling. She is the author of three books of poetry, Self-Portrait With Crayon, Small Porcelain Head, and, most
Human society is built on superficial impositions of order: government, religion, science, and language attempt to enervate chaos. But for Jane Mead, a poet entrusted with her family’s California vineyard in the midst of a historic drought, there’s no hiding from earth’s mists and windstorms.
Elizabeth A. I. Powell’s poems are adventures in language; they travel freely across the borderlands of genre and bring the reader along for an inventive, unforgettable ride.
What is the goal of poetry? Is it to make music with language? To express feeling? To make an argument? It’s likely, for any given poet, to be at least one of these things—and possibly all.
This month, I read work concerning religion in one way or another, though the chapbooks here are not dominated by or entrenched in it as a theme. Instead these three writers use religion and spirituality as a lens through which readers can view many aspects of their poetry.
Landscape sculptor Andy Goldsworthy has said, “The field is a beautiful forum for the fight for nourishment.” Jane Wong brings that forum to the page.
Because there is language. Humanoids happened, then Homo sapiens happened, and somewhere down the line, we started to talk. Why? Because pictures weren’t enough. Because pictures, dazzling as they were (and still are), are a little less portable, less mutable to the nuances of our shifting perceptions.
The poems of Nigerian-born writer Gbenga Adesina speak to us across not only geographic distances, but also the vast expanses of the heart. His poems embody what he calls an “inexorable tenderness” that is often surprising, often moving—a voice that startles us awake to the possibilities of language.
Fail Better is expansive, moving across great distances to share with readers wholly intimate moments, but it is not a book that could be called timeless. Two poems in particular, “When I Kiss You, A Casket Opens” and “I’ve Watched Myself Die Twice This Week,” compel readers to reckon