• The Fifth Figure

    The Fifth Figure

    Breeze, Jean

    Jean 'Binta' Breeze was a popular Jamaican Dub poet and storytellerwhose performances were so powerful she has been called a 'one-womanfestival'. The Fifth Figure is a book-length sequence mixingpoetry and prose which chronicles the lives of five generations ofCaribbean and Black British women of mixed ancestry. Part novel, part poem, part family memoir, its structure is based onthe Jamaican quadrille, a hybrid version of the dance brought fromEurope by the island's former colonial masters. Beginning in the late19th century with her great-great grandmother's first quadrille, Breezetells a many-layered tale of love and betrayal, innocence and suffering,hardship and joy over a hundred years as each mother sees her daughterjoin a dance that shapesher life. The Fifth Figure was her sixth book, and saw Breeze breathingnew life into the dramatic monologue. Steeped in the history of Jamaica,the book develops the possibilities of narrative, voice and rhythm,offering an eloquent and empowering vision of Caribbean lives andculture. In 2011 Bloodaxe published Jean 'Binta' Breeze's Third World Girl: Selected Poems , a DVD-book selection of new and previously published work with live performances on the accompanying DVD. This does include work from The Fifth Figure , which remains available as a separate edition, nor the later collection,The Verandah Poems (2016). (syndetics)

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  • A New Hunger

    A New Hunger

    Bosselaar, Laure-Anne

    Beginning with a harrowing account of her childhood in a Belgian convent, where she was placed at the age of four, Laure-Anne Bosselaar shows us how early emotional and physical deprivation can be overcome by intelligence, humor, curiosity, and determination. Although many of her poems are overtly autobiographical, they are never merely personal. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn wrote of A New Hunger : "There's a time in the life of a poet as a maker of poems, if she or he is going to become more than just good, when the voice of one's second self fully emerges, distilling and orchestrating the poet's concerns, while simultaneously infusing them with an inner melody--a music that reaches and satisfies both ear and mind. This is to say that Laure-Anne Bosselaar, with her wonderful third book, A New Hunger, has become more than just good. It's an occasion to mark and to celebrate." The acclaimed author of two previous collections ( The Hour Between Dog and Wolf and Small Gods of Grief, which won the 2001 Isabella Stewart Gardner Prize), Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium, where she worked as a talk show host, commentator, and voiceover for Belgian radio and television. Fluent in four languages, she moved to the United States in 1987. (syndetics)

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  • You Are A Little Bit Happier Than I Am

    You Are A Little Bit Happier Than I Am

    Lin, Tao

    Poetry. Asian American Studies. Winner of the 2005 December Prize. Reading Tao Lin is like looking the wrong way down Frank O'Hara's ear trumpet at a 21st century Mayakovski IM-ing Lili Brik. This book is fun, smart, manic and ecstatic; it puts on a clean shirt before it loads the gun. "YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM has the energy and oddness of a thing that is rising very fast that is not supposed to be rising, or that is supposed to be rising but for a moment you forget that, and for a moment this ordinary thing looks very strange and exciting"--Deb Olin Unferth. Tao Lin is 23 and lives in New York City. Visit his blog reader-of-depressing-books.blogspot.com. (syndetics)

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  • Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

    Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

    Bishop, Elizabeth

    James Merrill described Elizabeth Bishop's poems as "more wryly radiant, more touching, more unaffectedly intelligent than any written in our lifetime" and called her "our greatest national treasure." Robert Lowell said, "I enjoy her poems more than anybody else's." Long before a wider public was aware of Bishop's work, her fellow poets expressed astonished admiration of her formal rigor, fiercely observant eye, emotional intimacy, and sometimes eccentric flights of imagination. Today she is recognized as one of America's great poets of the twentieth century. This unprecedented collection offers a full-scale presentation of a writer of startling originality, at once passionate and reticent, adventurous and perfectionist. It presents all the poetry that Elizabeth Bishop published in her lifetime, in such classic volumes as North & South, A Cold Spring, Questions of Travel , and Geography III . In addition it contains an extensive selection of unpublished poems and drafts of poems (several not previously collected), as well as all her published poetic translations, ranging from a chorus from Aristophanes' The Birds to versions of Brazilian sambas. Poems, Prose, and Letters also brings together most of her published prose writings, including stories; reminiscences; travel writing about the places (Nova Scotia, Florida, Brazil) that so profoundly marked her poetry; and literary essays and statements, including a number of pieces published here for the first time. The book is rounded out with a selection of Bishop's irresistibly engaging and self-revelatory letters. Of the fifty-three letters included here, written between 1933 and 1979, a considerable number are printed for the first time, and all are presented in their entirety. Their recipients include Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Randall Jarrell, Anne Stevenson, May Swenson, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries. (syndetics)

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  • Selected Poems

    Selected Poems

    O'Hara, Frank

    Frank O'Hara (1926--1966) was one of the most original and influential American poets of the twentieth century. Although he grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts, O'Hara developed into the quintessential poet of mid-century Manhattan; soon after his arrival in New York in 1951 he evolved a new kind of urban poetry that brilliantly captures the heady excitements of a golden period in the city's artistic life. O'Hara's style exudes an insistent, seductive glamour; his mercurial poems, at once open-ended and startlingly immediate, radiate an insouciant confidence that has lost none of its freshness over the decades. O'Hara was at the heart of a vibrant artistic circle that embraced fellow New York School poets John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler, as well as experimental painters such as Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, and Jasper Johns. Their achievements are movingly celebrated in many of his poems, while at the same time he paid loving tribute to popular idols such as James Dean and Lana Turner: Lana Turner has collapsed! I was trotting along and suddenly it started raining and snowing and you said it was hailing but hailing hits you on the head hard so it was really snowing and raining and I was in such a hurry to meet you but the traffic was exactly like the sky and suddenly I see a headline LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED! there is no snow in Hollywood there is no rain in California I have been to lots of parties and acted perfectly disgraceful but I never actually collapsed oh Lana Turner we love you get up This generous new selection by Mark Ford reflects all the phases and varied achievements of O'Hara's tragically foreshortened career, including his drama, and is followed by an appendix of key prose texts such as "Personism," in which O'Hara succinctly summed up his overall approach to poetry: "You just go on your nerve." (syndetics)

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  • Archyology: The Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabel

    Archyology: The Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabel

    Marquis, Don

    Archy and his racy pal Mehitabel are timeless, noted E. B. White in his essay on Don Marquis and his famous creations, and the undimmed enthusiasm of several generations of fans -- who every year buy thousands of copies of Marquis' earlier collections -- testifies to their appeal. A whimsical and sophisticated sage, archy the cockroach entertained readers with iconoclastic observations on pretensions, politics, and our place in the cosmos during Marquis' career as a New York newspaper columnist in the 1920s and 30s. Allegedly tapping out stories at night by leaping from key to key on Marquis' typewriter, archy couldn't quite manage the shift key for capital letters. Although his tales appeared in lower case, his views achieved a level grand enough to solidify Marquis' reputation as an American humorist in the tradition of Mark Twain, Joel Chandler Harris, and Ring Lardner. archyology brings together selected lost tales that were literally rescued from oblivion by Jeff Adams, who found them among papers stored in a steamer trunk since Marquis' death. And so archy emerges from his long silence. Whether reporting on characters like emmet the ghost, sailing to Paris to visit the insects of Europe, being trapped for days in a New York subway train, or hanging out in a Long Island orchard enjoying fermented cherries, archy is always both provocative and inimitable. With illustrations by Ed Frascino, a New Yorker regular, this collection reintroduces a delightful cast of characters who reconfirm archy's view of the world: the only way to live with it is to laugh at it. (syndetics)

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  • Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems

    Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems

    Sanchez, Sonia

    Here is a collection of new love poems from Sonia Sanchez. In haiku, tanka, and sensual blues, Sanchez writes of the many forms love takes: burning, dreamy, disappointed, and vulnerable. In three sections - Naked in the Streets, Shake Loose My Skin, and In This Wet Season - she takes us from the most intimate landscapes of passion to its public celebration in love poems dedicated to icons of our age, including Tupac Shakur and Ella Fitzgerald. (syndetics)

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  • Archyology II: The Final Dig : the Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabel

    Archyology II: The Final Dig : the Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabel

    Marquis, Don

    In this second and final volume "composed" by archy, the literary cockroach, the wonderfully whimsical insect and his fractious feline friend, mehitabel, engage in misadventures large and small and comment with quirky accuracy on the common state of humanity. Previously unpublished in book form and literally recovered from a steamer trunk by editor Jeff Adams, these stories are the product of Don Marquis, a New York columnist and raconteur who was one of America's most popular humorists during the early twentieth century. archy supposedly worked at Marquis's newsroom typewriter at night, diving headfirst onto individual keys to tap out columns; unable to use the shift key, of course, archy settled for lower-case letters and dispensed with punctuation entirely. Ungrammatical as they may be, archy's wry insights are a true delight, for, as he puts it, "one advantage of being a cockroach is that i see things from the under side." From that unique perspective we follow the continuing saga of archy, the Cockroach Detective, a spoof on the gumshoe genre in which the six-legged private eye encounters a raja, his chorus-girl harem, Bolshevist twins, an Egyptologist, seven sister manicurists, and a set of bejeweled false teeth. In other episodes archy saves the US fleet from a German U-boat attack, muses with a spider about humanity's inhumanity to insects, stows away on a freighter to London, and climbs to the top of the Washington Monument. In the Capitol building itself, archy says, "there is no attention paid to me because there are so many other insects around it gives you a great idea of the american people when you see some of the things they elect." The Ku Klux Klan, he observes elsewhere, "is going strong and the national emblem will soon be the great american kleagle." Meanwhile, mehitabel, who claims to be a reincarnation of Cleopatra, offers to hire hit-cats to clean up City Hall, not of rats but of reporters. Accompanied by the inspired drawings of cartoonist Ed Frascino, these new archy tales are, Adams writes, "classic American humor, as vivid and amusing today as they were decades ago." (syndetics)

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  • Another America: Otra América

    Another America: Otra América

    Kingsolver, Barbara

    This edition contains six new poems, a foreword by Margaret Randall, a new preface by Barbara Kingsolver, and a newly designed cover. (syndetics)

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  • Poems

    Poems

    Plath, Sylvia

    A representative selection of verse by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who left in the wake of her personal tragedy a legacy of poems that combine terrifying intensity and dazzling artistry. With their brutally frank self-exposure and emotional immediacy, Plath's poems, from "Lady Lazarus" to "Daddy," have had an enduring influence on contemporary poetry. (syndetics)

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