Night Sky with Exit Wounds
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Winner of the 2016 Whiting Award One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2016" One of Lit Hub's "10 must-read poetry collections for April" “Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition. His poems are by turns graceful and wonderstruck. His lines are both long and short, his pose narrative and lyric, his diction formal and insouciant. From the outside, Vuong has fashioned a poetry of inclusion.”—The New Yorker "Night Sky with Exit Wounds establishes Vuong as a fierce new talent to be reckoned with...This book is a masterpiece that captures, with elegance, the raw sorrows and joys of human existence."—Buzzfeed's "Most Exciting New Books of 2016" "This original, sprightly wordsmith of tumbling pulsing phrases pushes poetry to a new level...A stunning introduction to a young poet who writes with both assurance and vulnerability. Visceral, tender and lyrical, fleet and agile, these poems unflinchingly face the legacies of violence and cultural displacement but they also assume a position of wonder before the world.”—2016 Whiting Award citation "Night Sky with Exit Wounds is the kind of book that soon becomes worn with love. You will want to crease every page to come back to it, to underline every other line because each word resonates with power."—LitHub "Vuong’s powerful voice explores passion, violence, history, identity—all with a tremendous humanity."—Slate “In his impressive debut collection, Vuong, a 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, writes beauty into—and culls from—individual, familial, and historical traumas. Vuong exists as both observer and observed throughout the book as he explores deeply personal themes such as poverty, depression, queer sexuality, domestic abuse, and the various forms of violence inflicted on his family during the Vietnam War. Poems float and strike in equal measure as the poet strives to transform pain into clarity. Managing this balance becomes the crux of the collection, as when he writes, ‘Your father is only your father/ until one of you forgets. Like how the spine/ won’t remember its wings/ no matter how many times our knees/ kiss the pavement.’”—Publishers Weekly "What a treasure [Ocean Vuong] is to us. What a perfume he's crushed and rendered of his heart and soul. What a gift this book is."—Li-Young Lee Torso of Air Suppose you do change your life. & the body is more than a portion of night—sealed with bruises. Suppose you woke & found your shadow replaced by a black wolf. The boy, beautiful & gone. So you take the knife to the wall instead. You carve & carve until a coin of light appears & you get to look in, at last, on happiness. The eye staring back from the other side— waiting. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong attended Brooklyn College. He is the author of two chapbooks as well as a full-length collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. A 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellow and winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, Ocean Vuong lives in New York City, New York.
A haunting debut that is simultaneously dreamlike and visceral, vulnerable and redemptive, and risks the painful rewards of emotional honesty.
Winner of the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize Winner of the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection A Guardian / Daily Telegraph Book of the Year PBS Summer Recommendation An extraordinary debut from a young Vietnamese American, Night Sky with Exit Wounds is a book of poetry unlike any other. Steeped in war and cultural upheaval and wielding a fresh new language, Vuong writes about the most profound subjects – love and loss, conflict, grief, memory and desire – and attends to them all with lines that feel newly-minted, graceful in their cadences, passionate and hungry in their tender, close attention: ‘...the chief of police/facedown in a pool of Coca-Cola./A palm-sized photo of his father soaking/beside his left ear.’ This is an unusual, important book: both gentle and visceral, vulnerable and assured, and its blend of humanity and power make it one of the best first collections of poetry to come out of America in years. ‘These are poems of exquisite beauty, unashamed of romance, and undaunted by looking directly into the horrors of war, the silences of history. One of the most important debut collections for a generation.’ Andrew McMillan
Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction! An instant New York Times Bestseller! Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal! Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more. “A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
The long-awaited second novel from David Chariandy, whose debut, Soucouyant, was nominated for nearly every major literary prize in Canada and published internationally. An intensely beautiful, searingly powerful, tightly constructed novel, Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991. With shimmering prose and mesmerizing precision, David Chariandy takes us inside the lives of Michael and Francis. They are the sons of Trinidadian immigrants, their father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home. Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry -- teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves. Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael's dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow. With devastating emotional force David Chariandy, a unique and exciting voice in Canadian literature, crafts a heartbreaking and timely story about the profound love that exists between brothers and the senseless loss of lives cut short with the shot of a gun.
The new edition of a prize-winning memoir-in-poems, a meditation on life as a queer Indigenous man--available for the first time in the United States "i am one of those hopeless romantics who wants every blowjob to be transformative." Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut poetry collection, This Wound Is a World, is "a prayer against breaking," writes trans Anishinaabe and Métis poet Gwen Benaway. "By way of an expansive poetic grace, Belcourt merges a soft beauty with the hardness of colonization to shape a love song that dances Indigenous bodies back into being. This book is what we've been waiting for." Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound Is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky / to world inside." Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder their sadness and pain without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where "everyone is at least a little gay." Presented here with several additional poems, this prize-winning collection pursues fresh directions for queer and decolonial theory as it opens uncharted paths for Indigenous poetry in North America. It is theory that sings, poetry that marshals experience in the service of a larger critique of the coloniality of the present and the tyranny of sexual and racial norms.
*WINNER OF THE T. S. ELIOT PRIZE 2015* *WINNER OF THE SUNDAY TIMES / PETERS FRASER + DUNLOP YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2015* *SHORTLISTED FOR THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST COLLECTION 2015* There is a Chinese proverb that says: ‘It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.’ But geese, like daughters, know the obligation to return home. In her exquisite first collection, Sarah Howe explores a dual heritage, journeying back to Hong Kong in search of her roots. With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love – what meaning we find in the world, in art, and in each other. Crossing the bounds of time, race and language, this is an enthralling exploration of self and place, of migration and inheritance, and introduces an unmistakable new voice in British poetry.
“Kim Addonizio’s voice lifts from the page, alive and biting—unleashing wit with a ruthless observation.”—San Francisco Book Review Passionate and irreverent, Mortal Trash transports the readers into a world of wit, lament, and desire. In a section called “Over the Bright and Darkened Lands,” canonical poems are torqued into new shapes. “Except Thou Ravish Me,” reimagines John Donne’s famous “Batter my heart, Three-person’d God” as told from the perspective of a victim of domestic violence. Like Pablo Neruda, Addonizio hears “a swarm of objects that call without being answered”: hospital crash carts, lawn gnomes, Evian bottles, wind-up Christmas creches, edible panties, cracked mirrors. Whether comic, elegiac, or ironic, the poems in Mortal Trash remind us of the beauty and absurdity of our time on earth. From “Scrapbook”: We believe in the one-ton rose and the displaced toilet equally. Our blues assume you understand not much, and try to be alive, just as we do, and that it may be helpful to hold the hand of someone as lost as you.
Nothing Ever Dies, Viet Thanh Nguyen writes. All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the bestselling novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both the Americans and the Vietnamese.
*Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2018* *Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award 2018* *Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize 2017* *Shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Poetry Collection Prize 2018* *Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2018* *Shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018* *Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018* *Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian and Daily Telegraph* 'A brilliant debut – a tender, nostalgic and, at times, darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief. A gorgeous and necessary collection from one of my favourite writers' Warsan Shire Translating as ‘initiation’, kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. The poems of Kayo Chingonyi’s remarkable debut explore this passage: between two worlds, ancestral and contemporary; between the living and the dead; between the gulf of who he is and how he is perceived. Underpinned by a love of music, language and literature, here is a powerful exploration of race, identity and masculinity, celebrating what it means to be British and not British, all at once.
A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize A new book from a poet whose work is "wild with imagination, unafraid, ambitious, inventive" (Jorie Graham) Located in a menacing, gothic landscape, the poems that comprise A Woman of Property draw formal and imaginative boundaries against boundless mortal threat, but as all borders are vulnerable, this ominous collection ultimately stages an urgent and deeply imperiled boundary dispute where haunting, illusion, the presence of the past, and disembodied voices only further unsettle questions of material and spiritual possession. This is a theatrical book of dilapidated houses and overgrown gardens, of passageways and thresholds, edges, prosceniums, unearthings, and root systems. The unstable property lines here rove from heaven to hell, troubling proportion and upsetting propriety in the name of unfathomable propagation. Are all the gates in this book folly? Are the walls too easily scaled to hold anything back or impose self-confinement? What won't a poem do to get to the other side?
In Reenactments, poet Hai-Dang Phan explores the history, memory, and legacy of the Vietnam War from his vantage point as a second-generation Vietnamese American. Woven throughout the poems is a narrative of his family’s exodus from Vietnam that beautifully elucidates the American record of immigration, dislocation, inheritance, and ultimately hope. The poems are persuasively varied in their approach. The past and present, the remembered and imagined, all intersect at shifting angles, providing bold new perspectives. And, in a fresh move, Phan widens the lens, interspersing translations of several other contemporary Vietnamese poems to the mix. This subtle and moving debut is an important addition to the literature of immigration.
Best-selling poet and painter Richard Siken uses strong, bold strokes to reveal a world abstract, concrete, and exquisitely complex.
Following the religious turn in other disciplines, literary critics have emphasized how modernists like Woolf and Joyce were haunted by Christianity’s cultural traces despite their own lack of belief. In Poetry and Theology in the Modernist Period, Anthony Domestico takes a different tack, arguing that modern poets such as T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and David Jones were interested not just in the aesthetic or social implications of religious experience but also in the philosophically rigorous, dogmatic vision put forward by contemporary theology. These poets took seriously the truth claims of Christian theology: for them, religion involved intellectual and emotional assent, doctrinal articulation, and ritual practice. Domestico reveals how an important strand of modern poetry actually understood itself in and through the central theological questions of the modernist era: What is transcendence, and how can we think and write about it? What is the sacramental act, and how does its wedding of the immanent and the transcendent inform the poetic act? How can we relate kairos (holy time) to chronos (clock time)? Seeking answers to these complex questions, Domestico examines both modernist institutions (the Criterion) and specific works of modern poetry (Eliot’s Four Quartets and Jones’s The Anathemata). The book also traces the contours of what it dubs "theological modernism": a body of poetry that is both theological and modernist. In doing so, this book offers a new literary history of the modernist period, one that attends both to the material circulation of texts and to the broader intellectual currents of the time.
The poems of this dazzling second collection are of contradictory impulses: of abundance and famine, of absence and presence, of endings and new beginnings. Here again are the intelligent, elegant and emotionally potent poems that are O’Riordan’s trademark, yet pushes into bolder territories, from a herring famine of 1907 to the Strangeways Prison Riot of 1990. Bounding place and time, and urging into being both the living and the dead, this crystalline collection captures the struggle, folly and wonder of the human heart.
Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE Traveling to the most intimate extremes of the human heart Fraught with madness, brutality, and ecstasy, Traci Brimhall’s Rookery delves into the darkest and most remote corners of the human experience. From the graveyards and battlefields of the Civil War to the ancient forests of Brazil, from desire to despair, landscapes both literal and emotional are traversed in this unforgettable collection of poems. Brimhall guides readers through ever-winding mazes of heartbreak and treachery, and the euphoric dreams of missionaries. The end of days, the intoxication of religion that at times borders on terror, and the post-evangelical experience intertwine with the haunting redemptions and metamorphoses found in violence. These tender yet ruthless poems, brimming with danger and longing, lure readers to “a place where everyone is transformed by suffering.”
"The first time I heard Chiwan Choi read, I had no idea what to expect. By the time he was done a few minutes later, I was shaken, almost vibrating with the energy of his voice, his line. The poems in his latest, The Yellow House, show that this energy has only intensified over time. There's a kind of low-key power to his writing that can be casually devastating--a naked, a cappella warbling that can rise, in an instant, to the ecstatic." --Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe
A powerful new collection of poetry from the National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and recipient of the Forward Poetry Prize In The Unaccompanied, Armitage gives voice to the people of Britain with a haunting grace. We meet characters whose sense of isolation is both emotional and political, both real and metaphorical, from a son made to groom the garden hedge as punishment, to a nurse standing alone at a bus stop as the centuries pass by, to a latter-day Odysseus looking for enlightenment and hope in the shadowy underworld of a cut-price supermarket. We see the changing shape of England itself, viewed from a satellite "like a shipwreck's carcass raised on a sea-crane's hook, / nothing but keel, beams, spars, down to its bare bones." In this exquisite collection, Armitage X-rays the weary but ironic soul of his nation, with its "Songs about mills and mines and a great war, / lines about mermaids and solid gold hills, / songs from broken hymnbooks and cheesy films"--in poems that blend the lyrical and the vernacular, with his trademark eye for detail and biting wit.