West Bloomfield Township Public Library
⮜ More Featured Titles

New Poetry

Check out some of the recent additions to the Library's poetry collection.

Dog-eared : poems about humanity's best friend

"Dogs are at once among the most ordinary of animals and the most beloved by mankind. But what we may not realize is that for as long as we have loved dogs, our poets have been seriously engaged with them. In this collection, English professor Duncan Wu digs into the wealth of poetry about our furry friends -- who have been domesticated longer than any other species -- to show not only how attitudes toward dogs have changed over the centuries, but how those changes have been refracted through the prism ofliterature. While it's natural for dog lovers to understand their canine companions as whimsical, and to sentimentalize them, the greatest poets have transcended that impulse, and written about dogs in a way that engages with the more serious aspects oftheir lives -- and ours. Dogs have, in short, insinuated themselves into nearly every facet of human thought. And to see them as anything less than of central significance in our cultural perceptions is to underestimate them. Rich and inviting, Dog-earedis a definitive, spellbinding collection of poetic musings about humans and dogs"--

Break your glass slippers by Amanda Lovelace

From the two-time winner of the Goodreads Choice Award comes first installment of the 'break your glass slippers' series, a collection of poems about overcoming those who dont see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself

Smear : poems for girls by G Bellamacina

"A powerful and sincere anthology of pieces from many incredible female poets. The poems here cover a range of important themes and strike the heart on every page.

Dandelion by Gabbie Hanna

"New York Times bestselling author Gabbie Hanna delivers everything from curious musings to gut-wrenching confessionals in her long-awaited sophomore collection of illustrated poetry. This edition includes a collection of uncomfortably honest personal essays about Gabbie's childhood and relationships. In this visually thrilling installment of the inner-workings of Gabbie's mind, we're taken on a journey of self-loathing, self-reflection, and ultimately, self-acceptance through deeply metaphorical imagery, chilling twists on child-like rhymes, and popular turns of phrase turned on their heads. Through raw, provocative tidbits, Dandelion explores what it means to struggle with a declining mental health in a world where mental health is both stigmatized and trivialized. The poems range from topics of rage and despair to downright silliness, so if you don't know whether to laugh or cry, just laugh until you cry." -- Cover

Dearly : new poems by Margaret Atwood

The internationally acclaimed author presents her first collection of poetry in over a decade that addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, nature, and zombies

Every day we get more illegal by Juan Felipe Herrera

"In this collection of poems, written during and immediately after two years on the road as United States Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera reports back on his travels through contemporary America. Poems written in the heat of witness, and later, in quiet moments of reflection, coalesce into an urgent, trenchant, and yet hope-filled portrait. The struggle and pain of those pushed to the edges, the shootings and assaults and injustices of our streets, the lethal border game that separates and divides, andthen: a shift of register, a leap for peace and a view onto the possibility of unity. Every Day We Get More Illegal is a jolt to the conscience-filled with the multiple powers of the many voices and many textures of every day in America"--

Everyday mojo songs of Earth : new and selected poems, 2001-2021 by Yusef Komunyakaa

"A selection of new and previously published poems from the celebrated poet"--

The collection plate : poems by Kendra Allen

Looping through the overlapping experiences of girlhood, Blackness, sex, and personhood in America, award-winning essayist and poet Kendra Allen braids together personal narrative and cultural commentary, wrestling with the beauty and brutality to be found between mothers and daughters, young women and the world, Black bodies and white space, virginity and intrusion, prison and freedom, birth and death. Most of all, The Collection Plate explores both how we collect and erase the voices, lives, and innocence of underrepresented bodies--and behold their pleasure, pain, and possibility

Vertigo & ghost : poems by Fiona Benson

"Winner of the 2019 Forward and Roehampton Prizes, Vertigo & Ghost pitches quickly into an "addictive, thrilling, sickening" (John Self, Guardian) sequence of graphic, stunning pieces about Zeus as a serial rapist, for whom woman are prey and sex is weaponized. These are frank, brilliant, devastating poems of vulnerability and rage. In the book's second half, acclaimed poet Fiona Benson shifts to an intimate and lyrical document of depression, family life, and early motherhood. Vertigo & Ghost introducesan important British voice to an American audience, a voice that speaks out with clarity, grace, and bravery against abuse of power"--

Summer snow : new poems by Robert Hass

"A major collection of entirely new poems from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of Time and Materials and The Apple Trees at Olema. A new volume of poetry from Robert Hass is always an event. In Summer Snow, his first collection of poems since 2010, Hass further affirms his position as one of our most highly regarded living poets. Hass's trademark careful attention to the natural world, his subtle humor, and the delicate but wide-ranging eye he casts on the human experience are fully on display in his masterful collection. Touching on subjects including the poignancy of loss, the serene and resonant beauty of nature, and the mutability of desire, Hass exhibits his virtuosic abilities, expansive intellect, and tremendous readability in one of his most ambitious and formally brilliant collections to date."--Provided by publisher

The complete stories by Noah Warren

"A collection of poems by Noah Warren"--

The absurd man : poems by Major Jackson

"In this knock-out collection, Major Jackson savors the complexity between perception and reality, the body and desire, accountability and judgment. Inspired by the philosophy of Albert Camus, Major Jackson's fifth volume subtly configures the poet as "absurd hero." With intense musicality and buoyant lyricism, The Absurd Man follows the titular speaker as he confronts the struggle for meaning in a technological world and the difficulty of social and political unity, finding refuge in intellectual and sensuous passions. At once melancholic and jubilant, Jackson considers the journey of humanity, with all its foibles, as a sacred pattern of discovery reconciled by art and the imagination. From "The Absurd Man at Fourteen" He punched her again, a woman called the house, some yelling then us out the door leaving the kitchen phone cord swinging."--

I hope you stay by Courtney Peppernell

I Hope You Stay is a reminder of the resilience and hope needed after heartache and pain. The book is divided into five sections, with poems ranging from free verse to short form. These words are a light in the deepest hours of the night: Hold on. The sun is coming

Obit : poems by Victoria Chang

"After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of "the way memory gets up aftersomeone has died and starts walking." These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died ("civility," "language," "the future," "Mother's blue dress") and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living"--

Words like thunder : new and used Anishinaabe prayers by Lois Beardslee

Dear girl by Aija Mayrock

From a poet and celebrated spoken-word performer comes a debut poetry collection that takes readers on an empowering, lyrical journey exploring truth, silence, wounds, healing, and the resilience we all share.

Taught by women : poems as resistance language : new and selected by Haki R Madhubuti

In these new and selected poems Madhubuti, poet, publisher, editor, and activist, places us in lyrical proximity to a legacy of women whose lives he honors with heart warm verses and timeless reverence. Each poem is a vivid portraiture of the “magnificent energy” emanating from a rainbow of Black women. In this mosaic collection of poetry, Madhubuti celebrates the luminous spirits of women whose visible ‘greatness’ has left an indelible mark on his life’s work. In Taught By Women, Madhubuti sings their struggles and praises with pitch perfect precision, every note― an empowering song and unforgettable melody.

I would leave me if I could : a collection of poetry by 1994- author Halsey

"Grammy Award-nominated, platinum-selling musician Halsey is heralded as one of the most compelling voices of her generation. In I Would Leave Me If I Could, she reveals never-before-seen poetry of longing, love, and the nuances of bipolar disorder"--

Living weapon by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

A bracing renewal of civic poetry from the author of Heaven and The Ground

Violet bent backwards over the grass by Lana Del Rey

"The collection features more than thirty poems, many exclusive to the book. This beautiful hardcover edition showcases Lana's typewritten manuscript pages alongside her original photography. The result is an extraordinary poetic landscape that reflects the unguarded spirit of its creator"--

Borderland apocrypha by Anthony Cody

"Borderland Apocrypha is centered around the collective histories of Mexican lynchings following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and the subsequent erasures, traumas, and state-sanctioned violences committed towards communities ofcolor in the present day. Cody's debut collection responds to the destabilized, hostile landscapes and silenced histories via an experimental poetic that invents and shapeshifts in both form and space across the margin, the page, and the book's axis in aresistance, a reclamation and a re-occupation of what has been omitted. Part autohistoria, part docupoetic, part visual monument, part myth-making, Borderland Apocrypha exhumes the past in order to work toward survival, reckoning, and future- building"--

Sometimes I never suffered : Poems by Shane McCrae

"Spanning religious, historical, and political themes, a new collection from the award-winning poet"--

An incomplete list of names : poems by Michael Torres

"This collection of poems is an act of remembrance of a speaker looking back on a community of Mexican-American boys who are grappling with the impulse to assimilate while at the same time trying to create something new for themselves through graffiti"--

Some are always hungry by Jihyun Yun

"Some Are Always Hungry chronicles a family's war-time survival, immigration, and heirloom trauma through the lens of food or the lack thereof"--

Field music : poems by Alexandria Hall

"In her remarkable and assured debut, Alexandria Hall explores the boundaries and limits of language, place, and the self, as well as the complicated space between safety and danger, intimacy and isolation, playfulness and seriousness, home and away. Witha keen eye for the importance of place, Hall shows us daily life in rural Vermont, illuminating the beauty and difficulty inherent in the dichotomies of human language and experience. Incisive and tender, Field Music is a thoughtful and alert collectionfrom a major emerging voice"--

Fantasia for the man in blue by Tommye Blount

"An examination of a brutal America through the voices of its most vulnerable sons. In his debut collection, Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Tommye Blount orchestrates a chorus of distinct, unforgettable voices that speak to the experience of the black, queer body as a site of desire and violence. A black man's late-night encounter with a police officer - the titular "man in blue" - becomes an extended meditation on a dangerous, erotic fantasy. The late Luther Vandross, resurrected here in a suite of poems,addresses the contradiction between his public persona and a life spent largely in the closet: "It's a calling, this hunger / to sing for a love I'm too ashamed to want for myself." In "Aaron McKinney Cleans His Magnum," the convicted killer imagines thebarrel of the gun he used to bludgeon Matthew Shepherd as an "infant's small mouth" as well as the "sad calculator" that was "built to subtract from and divide a town." In these and other poems, Blount viscerally captures the experience of the "other" and locates us squarely within these personae"--

We inherit what the fires left : poems by William Evans

"William Evans, the award-winning poet and cofounder of the popular culture website Black Nerd Problems, offers an emotionally vulnerable poetry collection exploring the themes of inheritances, dreams, and injuries that are passed down from one generationto the next and delving into the lived experience of a black man in the American suburbs today"--

Reflection by Tyler Lockett

"The debut poetry book from All-Pro NFL wide receiver Lockett is a reflective and positive journey through faith, identity, and life's many challenges and rewards. A scorching read, an evocative portrait of a professional athlete, and a captivating exercise in rhythm and verse, Reflection strives above all else to be a force for positivity."--Publisher's description

Love and other poems by Alex Dimitrov

"A collection of poems by Alex Dimitrov"--

Postcolonial love poem by Natalie Diaz

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages―bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers―be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden.” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

Make me rain : poems & prose by Nikki Giovanni

The seven-time NAACP Image Award-winning poet unapologetically celebrates her heritage in a deeply personal collection of verse that speaks to the injustices of society and the depths of her own heart

Concordance by Susan Howe

""Only artworks are capable of transmitting chthonic echo-signals," Susan Howe has said. In Concordance, she has created a fresh body of work transmitting vital signals from a variety of archives. "Since," a semi-autobiographical prose-poem, opens the collection: concerned with first and last things, meditating on the particular and peculiar affinities between law and poetry, it ranges from the Permian time of Pangea through Rembrandt and Dickinson to the dire present. "Concordance," a collage poem originally published as a Grenfell Press limited edition, springs from slivers of poetry and marginalia, cut from old concordances and facsimile editions of Milton, Swift, Herbert, Browning, Dickinson, Coleridge, and Yeats, as well as from various field guidesto birds, rocks, and trees: the collages' "rotating prisms" form the heart of the book. The final poem, "Space Permitting," is collaged from drafts and notes Thoreau sent to Emerson and Margaret Fuller's friends and family in Concord while on a mission torecover her remains from the shipwreck on Fire Island. The fierce ethic of salvage in these three very different pieces expresses the vitalism in words, sounds, syllables, the telepathic spirit of all things singing into air"--

Be holding : a poem by Ross Gay

"Be Holding is a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving--known as Dr. J--who dominated courts in the 1970s and '80s as a small forward for the Philadelphia '76ers. But this book-length poem is more than just an ode to a magnificent athlete. Through a kind of lyric research, or lyric meditation, Ross Gay connects Dr. J's famously impossible move from the 1980 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to pick-up basketball and the flying Igbo and the Middle Passage, to photography and surveillance and state violence, to music and personal histories of flight and familial love. Be Holding wonders how the imagination, or how our looking, might make us, or bring us, closer to each other. How our looking might make us reach for each other. And might make us be reaching for each other. And how that reaching might be something like joy."--publisher's website

When the light of the world was subdued, our songs came through : a Norton anthology of Native nations poetry

"United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo gathers the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into the first historically comprehensive Native poetry anthology. This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Dinae poet born in 1991, andincluding renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete"--

Fugitive atlas : poems by Khaled Mattawa

"Fugitive Atlas is a sweeping, impassioned account of refugee crises, military occupations, and ecological degradation, an acute, probing journey through a world in upheaval. Khaled Mattawa's chorus of speakers finds moments of profound solace in searching for those lost-in elegy and prayer-even when the power of poem and faith seems incapable of providing salvation. With extraordinary formal virtuosity and global scope, these poems turn not to lament for those regions charted as theaters of exploitation and environmental malpractice, but to a poignant amplification of the lives, dreams, and families of those within them. In this exquisite collection, Mattawa asks how we are expected to endure our times, how we inherit the journeys of our ancestors, and how we let loose those we love into an unpredictable world"--Provided by publisher

African American poetry : 250 years of struggle & song

Only now, in the 21st century, can we fully grasp the breadth and range of African American poetry: a magnificent chorus of voices, some familiar, others recently rescued from neglect. Here, in this unprecedented anthology expertly selected by poet and scholar Kevin Young, this precious living heritage is revealed in all its power, beauty, and multiplicity. Discover, in these pages, how an enslaved person like Phillis Wheatley confronted her legal status in verse and how an antebellum activist like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper voiced her own passionate resistance to slavery. Read nuanced, provocative poetic meditations on identity and self-assertion stretching from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Amiri Baraka to Lucille Clifton and beyond. Experience the transformation of poetic modernism in the works of figures such as Langston Hughes, Fenton Johnson, and Jean Toomer. Understand the threads of poetic history--in movements such as the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, Black Arts, Cave Canem, the Dark Room Collective--and the complex bonds of solidarity and dialogue among poets across time and place. See how these poets have celebrated their African heritage and have connected with other communities in the African Diaspora. Enjoy the varied but distinctly Black music of a tradition that draws deeply from jazz, hip hop, and the rhythms and cadences of the pulpit, the barbershop, and the street. And appreciate, in the anthology's concluding sections, why contemporary African American poetry, amply recognized in recent National Book Awards and Poet Laureates, is flourishing as never before. Taking the measure of the tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song sets a new standard for a genuinely deep engagement with Black poetry and its essential expression of American genius. --

Living nations, living words : an anthology of first peoples poetry

"A powerful, moving anthology that celebrates the breadth of Native poets writing today. Joy Harjo, the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, has championed the voices of Native peoples past and present. Her signature laureate project gathersthe work of contemporary Native poets into a national, fully digital map of story, sound, and space, celebrating their vital and unequivocal contributions to American poetry. This companion anthology features each poem and poet from the project to offer readers a chance to hold the wealth of poems in their hands. With work from Natalie Diaz, Ray Young Bear, Craig Santos Perez, Sherwin Bitsui, Layli Long Soldier, among others, Living Nations, Living Words showcases, as Joy Harjo writes in her stirring introduction, "poetry [that] emerges from the soul of a community, the heart and lands of the people. In this country, poetry is rooted in the more than 500 living indigenous nations. Living Nations, Living Words is a representative offering.""--

The hill we climb : an inaugural poem for the country by Amanda Gorman

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe. Including an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, this keepsake celebrates the promise of America and affirms the power of poetry

Black girl, call home by Jasmine Mans

"A literary coming-of-age poetry collection, an ode to the places we call home, and a piercingly intimate deconstruction of daughterhood, Black Girl, Call Home is a love letter to the wandering black girl and a vital companion to any woman on a journey tofind truth, belonging, and healing. As a competitive spoken-word poet who draws large crowds of people, Jasmine Mans's collection is divided into six sections, each with a corresponding active telephone number where she has recorded excerpts of her poems. You can listen now, just dial! Using poetry to bring change to the world with positive agitation and hoping to prompt dialogue where there is normally fear, poet Jasmine Mans explores the intersection of race, feminism, and queer identity in her latestcollection Black Girl, Call Home..."--

I had a brother once : a poem, a memoir by Adam Mansbach

"Adam Mansbach--a young and mostly unknown jazz musician, rapper, poet, screenwriter, and novelist - had just had his first brush with fame from a most unlikely source: a book of rhyming couplets about putting his young daughter to sleep that had improbably sold millions of copies and shot to the top of bestseller lists. Just as his dreams of writing success were coming true - interviews on late-night and morning shows, standing-room only events, an audiobook read by Samuel L. Jackson and Werner Herzog (not all dreams make sense) - he received a call from his father, with news about his older brother, David. 'my father said david has taken his own life & i answered as if i didn't understand or hadn't heard. my reply was what? & he repeated it. there is plenty to regret & perhaps this is insignificant but i wish i had not made him say it to me twice.' This epic poem tells the story of a young man grappling with the death of his beloved and troubled older brother - but more than that, trying to understand the nature of love, family, and mortality itself. In his Go the Fuck to Sleep, Mansbach deftly captured for millions of readers the comic tension betweeen the love we have for our newborn children and the ways they drive us crazy; here, he uses that same sensitivity and ability to find a fresh language for common human experience to illuminate the search for meaning within grief at the other end of life. Mansbach finds himself facing a sudden void where once he brother stood without any way to make sense of the loss. This poem turns into his ritual of grief, his way of redeeming and understanding loss - and moving on"--

I am the rage by Martina McGowan

"I Am the Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can;putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Black American. This entire collection was created during 2020, many shortly after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, to name but a few"--

American melancholy : poems by Joyce Carol Oates

The first poetry collection in twenty-five years by the National Book Award-winning author observes the human heart and mind while exploring subjects ranging from politics and racism to poverty and loss.

Conjure by Rae Armantrout

"A new book of poems by the National Book Critics Circle Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner, exploring thought, dialogue, and everyday interactions"--

The renunciations : poems by Donika Kelly

"These poems construct life rafts and sanctuaries even in their most devastating confrontations with what a person can bear, with how families harm themselves. With the companionship of "the oracle"--an observer of memory who knows how each close call with oblivion endd--the act of remembrance becomes curative, and personal mythologies give way to a future defined less by wounds than by possibility"--

100 poems to break your heart by Edward Hirsch

"100 of the most moving and inspiring poems of the last 200 years from around the world, a collection that will comfort and enthrall anyone trapped by grief or loneliness, selected by the award-winning, best-selling, and beloved author of How to Read a Poem"--
⮜ More Featured Titles
National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.