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“The resolute heart and keen human insights found everywhere in After the Body: New and Selected Poems renew the ‘claim’ many readers of contemporary American poetry have made for decades, that Cleopatra Mathis is one of our most important and essential poets.”
—Michael Collier, former poet laureate of Maryland and author of Dark Wild Realm
From the publisher: After the Body charts the depredations of an illness that seems intent on removing the body, piece by piece. Through close and relentless observation of her own physical being, Mathis shows us how miniscule ambition, planning, and a sense of control over our own bodies are—things we so blithely take as real and solid when healthy.
Cleopatra Mathis is the author of five previous collections of poetry, including What to Tip the Boatman?, winner of the 2001 Jane Kenyon Award. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tri-Quarterly, Southern Review, and many other journals and anthologies. Since 1982, she has taught at Dartmouth College, where she directs the creative writing program. Her work has appeared in NER multiple times, most recently in NER 32.2.
After the Body can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
“This is a book I know I needed as a young brown girl; it’s a book I didn’t know I needed, still. Reyes’s collection is a gathering place, a site of survival.”―Michelle Peñaloza, author of Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire
From the publisher: Barbara Jane Reyes answers the questions of Filipino American girls and young women of color with bold affirmations of hard-won empathy, fierce intelligence, and a fine-tuned BS detector. The Brown Girl of these poems is fed up with being shushed, with being constantly told how foreign and unattractive and unwanted she is. She’s flipping tables and throwing chairs. She’s raising her voice. She’s keeping a sharp focus on the violences committed against her every day, and she’s writing through the depths of her “otherness” to find beauty and even grace amidst her rage. Simultaneously looking into the mirror and out into the world, Reyes exposes the sensitive nerve-endings of life under patriarchy as a visible immigrant woman of color as she reaches towards her unflinching center.
Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of five previous collections of poetry: Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2006), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, Diwata (BOA, 2010), which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry, To Love as Aswang (PAWA, Inc. Publications, 2015), and Invocation to Daughters (City Lights, 2017). She is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco’s Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, California. Her poem “Brown Girl Mixtape” appeared in NER 39.4.
Letters To a Young Brown Girl can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
From the publisher: In the seventh century, on the coast of Fife, Scotland, an Irish missionary named Ethernan withdrew to a cave in order to decide whether to establish a priory on May Island, directly opposite, in the Firth of Forth, or pursue a hermit’s solitude. His decision would have been informed by the realities of war, religious colonization, and ideas of progress, power, and corruption, and complicated by personal interest, grief, confusion, and a faith (religious and secular) under extreme duress. Karen Solie’s fifth book of poetry, The Caiplie Caves, attends to transition in times of crisis. Around passages informed by Ethernan’s story are poems that orbit the geographical location of the caves but that range through the ages, addressing violence, power, work, economies, self-delusion, and belief. Indecision and necessity are inseparable companions. As are the prospect of error and regret.
Karen Solie is the author of four previous collections of poetry. Short Haul Engine won the BC Book Prize Dorothy Livesay Award and was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize. Modern and Normal was shortlisted for the Trillium Poetry Prize. Pigeon won the Pat Lowther Award, the Trillium Poetry Prize, and the Griffin Prize, and The Road In Is Not The Same Road Out was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award. A volume of selected poems, The Living Option, published in the UK, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. An associate director for the Banff Centre’s Writing Studio program, she edits and teaches and has served as writer-in-residence for universities across Canada and in Scotland. She lives in Toronto. Read her poem “Stinging Nettle Appreciation” in NER 39.3.
The Caiplie Caves can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
From the publisher: Artifact is the dazzling, half-century-spanning story of biologist Lottie Kristin. Born in Michigan in the early 1940s to a taciturn mother and embittered father, Lottie is independent from the start, fascinated with the mysteries of nature and the human body. By age sixteen, she and her sweetheart, cheerful high school sports hero Charlie Hart, have been through a devastatingly traumatic pregnancy. When an injury ends Charlie’s football career four years later, the two move to Texas hoping for a fresh start.
Bravely and wisely written, Artifact is an intimate and propulsive portrait of a whole woman, a celebration of her refusal to be defined by others’ imaginations, and a meditation on the glorious chaos of biological life.
Arlene Heyman was born in the United States, in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from Bennington College in Vermont. The year after graduation she spent writing short stories in Madrid on a Fulbright Fellowship, and then returned to the US, to Syracuse University, where she received an MFA. For six years, while publishing short stories in the New American Review and other literary magazines, she taught freshman English and World Literature at community colleges in Upstate New York. She went on to become a physician (MD from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia), and then fell in love with psychiatry and psychoanalysis. She lives in Manhattan, where she is in private practice and writes fiction. Her fiction appears in NER 37.1.
Artifact can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
“Ragtime in a fever dream. . . . When you mix 19th-century racists, feminists, misogynists, freaks, and a flim-flam man, the spectacle that results might bear resemblance to the contemporary United States.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
From the publisher: In the seventh stand-alone book of The American Novels series, Ellen Finch, former stenographer to Henry James, recalls her time as an assistant to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, heroes of America’s woman suffrage movement, and her friendship with the diminutive Margaret, one of P. T. Barnum’s circus “eccentrics.” When her infant son is kidnapped by the Klan, Ellen, Margaret, and the two formidable suffragists travel aboard Barnum’s train from New York to Memphis to rescue the baby from certain death at the fiery cross.
A savage yet farcical tale, American Follies explores the roots of the women’s rights movement, its relationship to the fight for racial justice, and its reverberations in the politics of today.
Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. He has won The Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, The Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and has been longlisted for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He has also received writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey. Lock has appeared in NER several times, “A Theory of the Self” his most recent contribution in NER 34.2.
American Follies can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
From the publisher: In the foreword to her book-length poem Salient, Elizabeth Gray writes, “This work began by juxtaposing two obsessions of mine that took root in the late 1960s: the Battle of Passchendaele, fought by the British Army in Flanders in late 1917, and the chöd ritual, the core ‘severance’ practice of a lineage founded by Machik Lapdrön, the great twelfth-century female Tibetan Buddhist saint.” Over the course of several decades, Gray tracked the contours and traces of the Ypres Salient, walking the haunted battlefield ground of the contemporary landscape with campaign maps in hand, reading “not only history, poetry, and fiction, but also unit diaries; contemporary reports and individual accounts; survey information and maps of all kinds; treatises on aerial photography and artillery tactics; and manuals on field engineering and tactical planning.” Out of this material, through a process of collage, convergence, and ritual chöd visualization, Gray has composed a spare, fascinating, lyrical engagement with the Missing, in shell hole and curved trench, by way of amulets and obstacles. What is salient rises from the secret signs in song, like a blessing, protected from harm.
Elizabeth T. Gray Jr., born in Boston, Massachusetts, is the author of the poetry collection Series | India. Her celebrated translations from classical and contemporary Persian include Wine and Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Díwán of Hafiz, The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Díwán of Hafiz, and Iran: Poems of Dissent. Her poem “Devi: The Goddess” appeared in NER 35.1.
Salient can be purchased at Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.