Poetry

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If They Come for Us: Poems
Asghar, Fatimah. If They Come for Us: Poems. New York: One World, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"This imaginative, soulful debut poetry collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the man facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people's histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging."
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100 Days
Bitek, Juliane Okot. 100 Days. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: The University of Alberta Press, 2016. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem–each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family's experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tradition of her father–the poet Okot p'Bitek; Anglican hymns; the rhythms and sounds of slave songs from the Americas; and the beat of spoken word and hip-hop. 100 Days is a collection of poetry that will stop you in your tracks." - Publisher description.
Go Home!
Buchanan, Rowan Hisayo, ed. Go Home!. First Feminist Press edition. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Asian diasporic writers imagine "home" in the twenty-first century through an array of fiction, memoir, and poetry."
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Emplumada
Cervantes, Lorna Dee. Emplumada. Pitt poetry series. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"Emplumada is Lorna Dee Cervantes's first book, a collection of poems remarkable for their surface clarity, precision of image, and emotional urgency. Rooted in her Chicana heritage, these poems illuminate the American experience of the last quarter century and, at a time when much of what is merely fashionable in American poetry is recondite and exclusive, Cervantes has the ability to speak to and for a large audience."--Amazon.com.

The World Falls Away
Coleman, Wanda. The World Falls Away. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Wanda Coleman creates the kind of poetry that excites and ignites those who hate poetry, refreshes it for those who are bored by it, and inspires those who want to write it."
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Content Warning: Everything
Emezi, Akwaeke. Content Warning: Everything. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2022. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"The first book of poems from an acclaimed young author, whose meteoric rise has already landed them on the cover of Time Magazine. In their bold debut poetry collection, Akwaeke Emezi—award-winning author of Freshwater, PET, The Death of Vivek Oji,and Dear Senthuran—imagines a new depth of belonging. Crafted of both divine and earthly materials, these poems travel from home to homesickness, tracing desire to surrender and abuse to survival, while mapping out a chosen family that includes the son of god, mary auntie, and magdalene with the chestnut eyes. Written from a spiritfirst perspective and celebrating the essence of self that is impossible to drown, kill, or reduce, Content Warning: Everything distills the radiant power and epic grief of a mischievous and wanting young deity, embodied." - Publisher description
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Madman at Kilifi
Gachagua, Clifton, and Kwame Senu Neville Dawes. Madman at Kilifi. African poetry book series. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"    Clifton Gachagua's collection Madman at Kilifi, winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, concerns itself with the immediacy of cultures in flux, cybercommunication and the language of consumerism, polyglot politics and intrigue, sexual ambivalence and studied whimsy, and the mind of a sensitive, intelligent, and curious poet who stands in the midst of it all. Gachagua's is a world fully grounded in the postmodern Kenyan cultural cauldron, a world in which people speak with “satellite mouths,” with bodies that are “singing machines,” and in which the most we can do is “collide against each other.” Here light is graceful, and we glow like undiscovered galaxies and shifting matter. And here as well, we find new expression in a poetry that moves as we do." - Publisher description.
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An American Sunrise: Poems
Harjo, Joy. An American Sunrise: Poems. New York: W. W. Norton, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 "In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history ... Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother's death, to her beginnings in the Native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice." -- Jacket.
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Whereas
Long Soldier, Layli. Whereas. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 This volume confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through an array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created an innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. "I am," she writes, "a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation -- and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live."
Zami ; Sister outsider ; Undersong
Lorde, Audre. Zami ; Sister outsider ; Undersong. Triangle classics. New York: Book of the Month Club, 1993. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

"Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is a 1982 biomythography by American poet Audre Lorde. It started a new genre that the author calls biomythography, which combines history, biography, and myth. " - Wikipedia.

"Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a writer who focuses on the particulars of her identity: Black woman, lesbian, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist." - Wikipedia.

"This volume [Undersong] contains a thorough revision of the author's early poems, 1950-1979, along with nine previously unpublished poems from that period, and an essay describing the revision process. Readers new to Lorde's work will meet here a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives. Readers of "The Black Unicorn", "Sister Outsider", "The Cancer Journals", "A Burst of Light", and "Our Dead Behind Us", and the thousands who have attended her poetry readings and speeches, will recognize in this book the roots and the growing-points of a transformative writer. Never has a poet left so clear and conscious a track of artistic choices made in the trajectory of a life. Far from rewriting old poems to fit a changes historical moment, she has finely rehoned formal elements to illuminate the original poems. Throughout, Lorde's lifelong themes of love and anger, family politics, sexuality, and the body of the city can be seen gathering in power and clarity." - Google Books.

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Splay Anthem
Mackey, Nathaniel. Splay Anthem. New York: New Directions Book, 2006. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Published in installments across several decades, Mackey's two epic series--one called Mu, the other Song of the Andoumboulou--bring the attitudes of free jazz and the reverberating patterns of West African ensemble music to the goals of the American encyclopedic long poem á la Charles Olson. The mysterious, even hermetic, new verse extends both of Mackey's epics, even (as his prose foreword explains) merging them, so that they form one enormous text describing a mystical quest. Mackey's figures seek the source of inspiration, and his dense stanzas track their uneven progress; "We" pursue it, by foot, train or boat, into realms of fable and myth, via chants, archival and esoteric references, portmanteau words and archeological research."
LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia
Mann, Jeff, and Julia Watts, ed. LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia. First Edition. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"This collection, the first of its kind, gathers fiction and poetry from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors from Appalachia. Like much Appalachian literature, these works are pervaded with an attachment to family and the mountain landscape, yet balancing queer and Appalachian identities is an undertaking fraught with conflict. This collection confronts the problematic and complex intersections of place, family, sexuality, gender, and religion with which LGBTQ Appalachians often grapple. With works by established writers such as Dorothy Allison, Silas House, Ann Pancake, Fenton Johnson, and Nickole Brown and emerging writers such as Savannah Sipple, Rahul Mehta, Mesha Maren, and Jonathan Corcoran, this collection celebrates a literary canon comprising writers who give voice to what it means to be Appalachian and LGBTQ"-- Provided by publisher.
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The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony
Osman, Ladan. The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony. African poetry book series. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony asks: Whose testimony is valid? Whose testimony is worth recording? Osman's speakers, who are almost always women, assert and reassert in an attempt to establish authority, often through persistent questioning. Specters of race, displacement, and colonialism are often present in her work, providing momentum for speakers to reach beyond their primary, apparent dimensions and better communicate. The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony is about love and longing, divorce, distilled desire, and all the ways we injure ourselves and one another." - Publisher description.
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Feed
Pico, Tommy. Feed. Portland, Oregon: Tin House Books, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Feed is the fourth book in the Teebs tetralogy. It's an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York's High Line park, with the lines, stanzas, paragraphs, dialogue, and registers approximating the park's cultivated gardens of wildness. Among its questions, Feed asks what's the difference between being alone and being lonely? Can you ever really be friends with an ex? How do you make perfect mac & cheese? Feed is an ode of reconciliation to the wild inconsistencies of a northeast spring, a frustrating season of back-and-forth, of thaw and blizzard, but with a faith that even amidst the mess, it knows where it's going."–
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Citizen: An American Lyric
Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2014. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"You take in things you don't want all the time. The second you hear or see some ordinary movement, all its intended targets, all the meanings behind the retreating sounds, as far as you are able to see, come into focus. Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just do that? Then the voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn't be an ambition. --from back cover

"Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV -- everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named 'post-race' society." -- from publisher's description.
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J'accuse
Shabtai, Aharon. J'accuse. New York: New Directions, 2003. Book @ Harvard Library
Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers: Poems
Skeets, Jake. Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers: Poems. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
Selected by Kathy Fagan as a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers is a debut collection of poems by a dazzling geologist of queer eros. Drunktown, New Mexico, is a place where men 'only touch when they fuck in a backseat.' Its landscape is scarred by violence: done to it, done on it, done for it. Under the cover of deepest night, sleeping men are run over by trucks. Navajo bodies are deserted in fields. Resources are extracted. Lines are crossed. Men communicate through beatings, and football, and sex. In this place, 'the closest men become is when they are covered in blood / or nothing at all.' But if Jake Skeets's collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, it is also a fierce reclamation of a living place'full of beauty as well as brutality, whose shadows are equally capable of protecting encounters between boys learning to become, and to love, men. Its landscapes are ravaged, but they are also startlingly lush with cacti, yarrow, larkspur, sagebrush. And even their scars are made newly tender when mapped onto the lover's body: A spine becomes a railroad. 'Veins burst oil, elk black.' And 'becoming a man / means knowing how to become charcoal.' Rooted in Navajo history and thought, these poems show what has been brewing in an often forgotten part of the American literary landscape, an important language, beautiful and bone dense. Sculptural, ambitious, and defiantly vulnerable, the poems of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers are coal that remains coal, despite the forces that conspire for diamond, for electricity.
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Afterland: Poems
Vang, Mai Der. Afterland: Poems. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Afterland is a powerful, essential collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the story of her own family, and by doing so, she also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture's ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them after that war went awry. That history is little known or understood, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of its aftermath. With poems of extraordinary force and grace, Afterland holds an original place in American poetry and lands with a sense of humanity saved, of outrage, of a deep tradition broken by war and ocean but still intact, remembered, and lived."–Amazon.com
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Vuong, Ocean. Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
A haunting debut that is simultaneously dreamlike and visceral, vulnerable and redemptive, and risks the painful rewards of emotional honesty. "Ocean Vuong's first full-length collection aims straight for the perennial "big"–And very human–subjects of romance, family, memory, grief, war, and melancholia. None of these he allows to overwhelm his spirit or his poems, which demonstrate, through breath and cadence and unrepentant enthrallment, that a gentle palm on a chest can calm the fiercest hungers."–Publisher's description.
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The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005
Weaver, Afaa M. The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005. Pitt poetry series. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

"Weaver has crafted a virtual planet in this book with plenty of alternate geographies for readers of all flavors and stripes. Marvelous. Huge. Prodigious." --North American Review

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