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.
Poetry. Asian American Studies. LGBT Studies. The poems of BURNINGS explore refugee culture, be the speaker a literal refugee from a torn homeland, or a refugee from his own skin, burning with the heat of awakening eroticism. In this world, we're all refugees from something. As two-time National Slam Champion Roger Bonair-Agard says: "Ocean manages to imbue the desperation of his being alive—with a savage beauty. It is not just that Ocean can render pain as a kind of loveliness, but that his poetic line will not let you forget the hurt or the garish brilliance of your triumph; will not let you look away. These poems shatter us detail by detail because Ocean leaves nothing unturned, because every lived thing in his poems demands to be fed by you; to nourish you in turn. You will not leave these poems dissatisfied. They will fill you utterly."
From the bestselling & award-winning poetess, amanda lovelace, comes the finale of her illustrated duology, "things that h(a)unt." In the first installment, to make monsters out of girls, lovelace explored the memory of being in a toxic romantic relationship. In to drink coffee with a ghost, lovelace unravels the memory of the complicated relationship she had with her now-deceased mother.
From National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Ada Limón comes The Carrying—her most powerful collection yet. Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility—“What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?”—and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: “Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.” And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. “Fine then, / I’ll take it,” she writes. “I’ll take it all.” In Bright Dead Things, Limón showed us a heart “giant with power, heavy with blood”—“the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it’s going to come in first.” In her follow-up collection, that heart is on full display—even as The Carrying continues further and deeper into the bloodstream, following the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.
Bright Dead Things examines the chaos that is life, the dangerous thrill of living in a world you know you have to leave one day, and the search to find something that is ultimately “disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.” A book of bravado and introspection, of 21st century feminist swagger and harrowing terror and loss, this fourth collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact—tracing in intimate detail the various ways the speaker’s sense of self both shifts and perseveres as she moves from New York City to rural Kentucky, loses a dear parent, ages past the capriciousness of youth, and falls in love. Limón has often been a poet who wears her heart on her sleeve, but in these extraordinary poems that heart becomes a “huge beating genius machine” striving to embrace and understand the fullness of the present moment. “I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying,” the poet writes. Building on the legacies of forebears such as Frank O’Hara, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty, Limón’s work is consistently generous and accessible—though every observed moment feels complexly thought, felt, and lived.
A POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION I could not be held responsible for desire he could not be held at all Tracking the joys and pains of the path through addiction, and wrestling with desire, inheritance and faith, Calling a Wolf a Wolf is the darkly sumptuous debut from award-winning poet Kaveh Akbar. These are powerful, intimate poems of thirst: for alcohol, for other bodies, for knowledge and for life. 'The struggle from late youth on, with and without God, agony, narcotics and love, is a torment rarely recorded with such sustained eloquence and passion as you will find in this collection' FANNY HOWE 'Compelling . . . strange . . . always beautiful' ROXANE GAY, AUTHOR OF BAD FEMINIST AND HUNGER 'Truly brilliant' JOHN GREEN, AUTHOR OF THE FAULT IN OUR STARS 'A breathtaking addition to the canon of addiction literature' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
Danez Smith is our president Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.
A selection of essays on writing and reading by the master short-fiction writer Lydia Davis Lydia Davis is a writer whose originality, influence, and wit are beyond compare. Jonathan Franzen has called her “a magician of self-consciousness,” while Rick Moody hails her as "the best prose stylist in America." And for Claire Messud, “Davis's signal gift is to make us feel alive.” Best known for her masterful short stories and translations, Davis’s gifts extend equally to her nonfiction. In Essays I, Davis has, for the first time, gathered a selection of essays, commentaries, and lectures composed over the past five decades. In this first of two volumes, her subjects range from her earliest influences to her favorite short stories, from John Ashbery’s translation of Rimbaud to Alan Cote’s painting, and from the Shepherd’s Psalm to early tourist photographs. On display is the development and range of one of the sharpest, most capacious minds writing today.
The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson—“the French Brokeback Mountain” (Elle)—about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald. We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside. Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair. Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love—and the heartbreaking passage of time.
Coal and Roses is a collection of 21 intricately formal glosas, arranged to explore the endless possibilities of language. In this slim volume, P. K. Page offers the reader a wildly eclectic overview of the history of poetry, as well as a master class in the evolution of language as evidenced in the poet’s ‘communion’ with her attributed predecessors. Coal and Roses offers a collection of poems that stand by themselves as commentaries on many of the issues endemic to the varying times, places and circumstances of the aforementioned attributees. Life, death, a palpable need for belonging and the inevitable passage of time are all to be encountered, as one might expect in a work that ranges from the sort of trivial, light-hearted sympathy for the trials of day-to-day life to much weightier reflection on the probability of a greater existence. The use of the glosa form serves to emphasize both the continuity and the evolution of life, and of art. Included are twenty-one glosas, borrowing on the works of nineteen artists. Spanning numerous centuries, movements, genres and corners of the world, Page explores the works of Wallace Stevens, Theodore Roethke, Margaret Cavendish and Akhmatova amongst others. Coal and Roses is an exquisite work, respectful of the past and hopeful for the future.
*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.
A captivating, no-holds-barred collection of new poems from an acclaimed poet and novelist with a fierce and original voice Dothead is an exploration of selfhood both intense and exhilarating. Within the first pages, Amit Majmudar asserts the claims of both the self and the other: the title poem shows us the place of an Indian American teenager in the bland surround of a mostly white peer group, partaking of imagery from the poet’s Hindu tradition; the very next poem is a fanciful autobiography, relying for its imagery on the religious tradition of Islam. From poems about the treatment at the airport of people who look like Majmudar (“my dark unshaven brothers / whose names overlap with the crazies and God fiends”) to a long, freewheeling abecedarian poem about Adam and Eve and the discovery of oral sex, Dothead is a profoundly satisfying cultural critique and a thrilling experiment in language. United across a wide range of tones and forms, the poems inhabit and explode multiple perspectives, finding beauty in every one.
Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color . . . A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists. Maggie Nelson is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.
A fast-paced debut that draws upon reservation folklore, pop culture, fractured gospels, and her brother's addiction to methamphetamine
"A poet to watch."—O Magazine "I tell the truth, but I try to be kind about it."—Camille Rankine in 12 Questions Named "a poet to watch" by O Magazine, Camille Rankine's debut collection is a series of provocations and explorations. Rankine's short, lyric poems are sharp, agonized, and exquisite, exploring themes of doubt and identity. The collection's sense of continuity and coherence comes through recurring poem types, including "still lifes," "instructions," and "symptoms." From "Symptoms of Aftermath": …When I am saved, a slim nurse leans out of the white light. I need to hear your voice, sweetheart. I see my escape. I walk into the water. The sky is blue like the ocean, which is blue like the sky. Camille Rankine is the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Prize and a MacDowell fellowship, her poetry appears in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Tin House, and other publications. Currently, she is assistant director of the MFA program in creative writing at Manhattanville College and lives in Harlem.
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?