by Donia Mounsef
Plimsoll Lines are the marks on the side of a ship’s hull to which vessels can be safely loaded. These words become lyric and capture the “unbearable lightness” of the poetic word coupled with the playful metaphor of floating. Mounsef’s utilizes both these individual poems and the overall collection to drift the reader around themes of wandering, water, and wanting. The collection argues in favor of a return to the word and cultural meditations of language, politics, and the body in a world dominated by the visual and the mediated. Mounsef pushes past borders and combines the abstraction of French, the symbolism of Arabic, and the immediacy of English in a grand tour of the places that poetry can bring the reader..
by Ben Goluboff
Almost fifty years after his death, Ho Chi Minh remains a deeply divisive figure - heroic revolutionary, or brutal dictator, depending on your perspective on the Vietnam wars. Not overtly political, the poems in this collection interrogate Ho's life and wars with a lyricism that is both dark and inventive. Many versions of the man inhabit these poems: Ho as trickster and tyrant, lover and ghost. Goluboff's imagination travels from fact to fancy with disarming grace. This debut collection also includes a suite of poems about photographs of and by Allen Ginsberg, and another group whose subjects range from classic photographs to Chicago graffiti and the battle of Fredericksburg. Entertaining and deftly voiced, these are poems that will stay with you.
by Laurie Smith
In a collection that is part dark humour, part history, part meditation on the darker portions of simple existence, Smith dazzles and entertains with her newest collection of poems. Here we play witness to starving settlers, unsettling mass murders, and television visions. Questions about what makes a meal and what makes murder illustrate the fine line that even the basic tenents of Christianity and the very basic aspects of civilized societies are approached in a fashion that are uniquely Smith’s style, leaving the reader with both laughter, occasional shutters, and lasting questions that come when a sharp poetic voice enlightens us to the nuances of our shared everyday lives.
by Deonte Osayande
One of the Midwest's finest slam poets, Osayande brings his work to the written page and delivers a lyric exploration of everyday life in Detroit in his debut full-length collection Class. In his voice you can hear and feel the lineage of some of Detroit's finest poetic voices, stretching back to David Blair, Murray Jackson, and Naomi Long Madgett. He captures the rhythms, images, and deepest meditations of life both hardscrabble and painfully beautiful in a fashion that calls us to know that survival is much more about living than cowering in fear. As a teacher Osayande brings us before his classrooms, let's us linger on the experiences and moments of growing up in a city that feels lost amidst the promises of America, and takes us through the high cost of being black in a place where the colour of one's skin can deliver a trauma that only the strongest can survive. His poems show us the Detroit that has always been here. Both heartbreaking and empowering the poems in this collection ask the reader to consider the America that is kept hidden from Prime Time television, that carries on because it must, and understands that the act of speaking is the best therapy and resistance that one can offer to a world given at best to indifference and at worst insidious violence..
by Kierstin Bridger
In lyric work that spans the oil fields of Colorado to the hollers of Kentucky, Bridger's All Ember pulls us through the burning embers of life itself. In these poems forests and bodies sing the rhythms of creation and offer up the vistas life affords us all. It is a gritty and truthful ode from roots that dig deep into the earth itself.
by Scott Weaver
Weaver's collection acts a prolonged meditation on death and the ever-present role it has on living. In these pieces the living play among the dead, reveling in death at times, and perhaps most importantly they search for understanding and meaning in spite of it. From a profoundly personal vantage point of the ways one might come to deal with the presence of death, Weaver explores the sacred and the profane from the viewpoint of those left behind. From Death's laughable brother Certain Death to the construction of a Mausoleum to the quiet moments that we must spend when alone, these are the places and moments that brush against the inevitable and leave us with the sense that we can share both comfort and at times a laugh when we can feel the most alone.
by Kenneth Pobo
ISBN: 978-0-993769-07-8 (paperback)
Kenneth Pobo’s seventh collection of poetry, Booking Rooms in Kuiper Belt, brings the reader from the earth through the solar system and back with an uproarious lyric tour through otherworldly bodies and the everyday of life on earth. Bejeweled with homages to some of literature's greats and with the beauty of our everyday world, Pobo’s collection holds a consistent loving nod to our world and beyond.
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by Renee K. Nicholson
ISBN: 978-0-9937690-0-9 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-9937690-9-2 (eBook)
In her debut collection and the first book in the Crossroads Poetry Series, Renee K. Nicholson brings you a profound lyric exploration of the everyday. Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center unfolds like a ballet's grand adagio, moving across the physical, spiritual, and emotional places that make an American life. From the Carolina low-country boils to the sweet mountains Appalachia to the grand heights of New York City, this collection in parts playful and parts profound, traces the turns and chassés that a life in its freewheeling manner can cast.
Read Jake Maynard's Review of this title from the Los Angeles Review here
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by Marvin Shackelford
ISBN: 978-0-993769-01-6 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-9937690-8-5 (eBook)
In his debut poetry collection, Marvin Shackelford brings you through the slow building that is life. From foundations hard laid during youth in Tennessee through expansive highway promises of the middle portions of America, the everyday is mingled with the profound. This is the steady and endless building of a lifetime from the underlying violence of youth to the vast spaces and promises that make up the physical body of America. Shackelford’s poems will bring you through the spiritual, the earthly, and the profoundly personal in the recognition that as with all things in this world, we are simply Endless Building. Endless Building is the second in our Crossroads Poetry Series.
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