With an unstinting eye, Pimentel gathers in this book the disembodied, the lost and unhomed, the migrants at the border, the ones holding meth in their palms like ‘crystal glittering,’ the ones in the throes of withdrawal . . . The crossings Pimentel speaks of are perilous, but I am glad to have her as a guide, because she has the capacity for finding the smallest lights in the incinerated cities, shining through glass or the throats of pipes. —Luisa A. Igloria, author of Ode to the Heart Smaller Than a Pencil Eraser
From the publisher: El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States, while across the river, Ciudad Juárez suffers a history of femicides and a horrific drug war. Witnessing this, a Filipina’s life unravels as she tries to love an addict, the murders growing just a city—but the breadth of a country—away. This collection weaves the personal with recent history, the domestic with the tragic, asking how much “a body will hold,” reaching from the border to the poet’s own Philippines.
Born in Manila and raised in the United States and Saudia Arabia, Sasha Pimentel is the winner of the 2011 American Book Award for her collection of poems, Insides She Swallowed. Selected as a finalist for the 2015 Rome Prize in Literature, Pimentel’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Crazy Horse, and NER 36.4. Pimentel teaches contemporary American poetry, poetry writing, and creative nonfiction writing at the University of Texas at El Paso.
For Want of Water can be purchased directly from the publisher, Beacon Press.
In this riveting debut, Marian Crotty’s characters illuminate the improbably beautiful space between knowing exactly what’s wrong and being powerless to fix it. –Alicia Erian, author of The Brutal Language of Love
From the publisher: In these nine stories, Marian Crotty inhabits the lives of people searching for human connection. Her characters, most often young women, are honest, troubled, and filled with longing. The stories are set in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Persian Gulf, and often touch on themes of addiction, class, sexuality, and gender. What Counts as Love is a poignant, often funny collection that asks us to take it and its characters seriously.
Crotty is an assistant professor at Loyola University Maryland. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared or are forthcoming in literary journals such as the Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southern Review, Gettysburg Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. Her essay “It’s New Year’s Eve, and This Is Dubai,” appeared in NER 34.2. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
What Counts as Love can be purchased directly from University of Iowa Press or from independent booksellers.
James Longenbach knows as much about how poems work as anyone in the world, but he hides this knowledge behind poems that feel so real and artless they hardly seem composed at all. The poems in Earthling are mythological in their simplicity . . . —John Koethe
From the publisher: “Earthling” is one of the oldest words in the English language, our original word for ploughman, a keeper of the earth. In poems simultaneously ordinary and otherworldly, James Longenbach traces the life of a modern-day earthling as he looks squarely at his little patch of earth and at the vast emptiness of interstellar space. Beginning with the death of the earthling’s mother and ending with a confrontation with his own mortality, the poems within Earthling resist complaint or agitation. In them, the real and the imagined, the material and the allegorical, intersect at shifting angles and provide fresh perspectives and lasting consolation.
Longenbach is the author of four previous volumes of poetry and six volumes of literary criticism. His contributions to New England Review include the essays “Poetic Compression” (32.1) and “Line and Syntax” (28.4). He lives in Rochester, New York, where he teaches at the University of Rochester.
Earthling can be purchased directly from W. W. Norton or from independent booksellers.
Geminder’s book showcases an acute sensitivity to worlds both inside and out. There’s real delicacy to the craft but underneath all the skill is a shaking sense of purpose, and a great love of the brokenness and beauty of humanity. This is a substantive, memorable debut. —Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
From the publisher: With lyric artistry and emotional force, Emily Geminder’s debut collection charts a vivid constellation of characters fleeing their own stories. A teenage runaway and her mute brother seek salvation in houses, buses, the backseats of cars. Preteen girls dial up the ghosts of fat girls. A crew of bomber pilots addresses the sparks of villagers below. In Cambodia, four young women confuse themselves with the ghost of a dead reporter. And from India to New York to Phnom Penh, dead girls both real and fantastic appear again and again: as obsession, as threat, as national myth and collective nightmare.
Geminder’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in AGNI, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Tin House Open Bar, Witness, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and her work was noted in Best American Essays 2016. She has worked as a journalist in New York and Cambodia, and is a Provost’s Fellow in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California.
Dead Girls and Other Stories can be purchased directly from Dzanc Books or from independent booksellers.
To attempt to deconstruct these poems would be to blow them apart. They are utterly contemporary. They are deeply intimate. They are the lashes of a forest of thought.”
—Mary Jo Bang, author of The Last Two Seconds: Poems
From the publisher: A stunning debut collection that examines the geophilosophy of lyric poetry. Here the “beheaded” poet displaces her mind into the landscape, exploring territories as disparate as India’s Western Ghats and the cinematic Mojave Desert, as absurd as insomnia and dream. Some Beheadings asks three questions: “How does thinking happen?” “What does thinking feel like?” “How do I think about the future?” The second question takes primacy over the others, reflecting on what poets and critics have called “the sensuous intellect,” what needs to be felt in language, the contours of questions touched in sound and syntax.
Admit Machado is an Indian poet. Previous works include Route: Marienbad and her translation of Farid Tali’s Prosopopoeia. She is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver. Her poem “Outside the Aviary” appeared in NER 33.2.
Some Beheadings can be purchased directly from Nightboat Books or from independent booksellers.
[A] simmering debut . . . at once clinically precise and brazenly effusive, vulnerable, and extraordinarily daring, sax’s poems redefine ‘madness’ altogether . . . feral, soaring, and uncommonly beautiful. —Booklist
In this powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet’s personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax’s innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.
Sax is a queer Jewish writer and educator. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. He’s the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and other journals. His poem “Will” appeared in NER 36.3. Madness can be purchased directly from Penguin Books or from independent booksellers.
[In Some Say the Lark], each dynamic formal shift, each nimble swing in register, reveals a different kind of quiet; a freshconsideration of familiar attempts to “redress sorrow” in a way that is more real and true.—Publishers Weekly STARRED Review
From the Publisher: Chang’s poems narrate grief and loss, and intertwines them with hope for a fresh start in the midst of new beginnings. With topics such as frustration with our social and natural world, these poems openly question the self and place and how private experiences like motherhood and sorrow necessitate a deeper engagement with public life and history.
Jennifer Chang is the author of The History of Anonymity, which was a finalist for the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers, and listed by Hyphen Magazine as a Top Five Book of Poetry for 2008. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry 2012, the Nation, Poetry, A Public Space, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC with her family. She most recently appeared in New England Review with her poem “The World” (36.1.)
Some Say the Lark can be purchased directly from Alice James Books or from independent booksellers.