Enduring and celebrated poet Carl Phillips combines new and older work from the previous thirteen years in a collection of poems that allows readers to revisit Phillips’ earlier work while witnessing the poet’s evolution to a contemporary presence in the American landscape. Then the War and Selected Poems, 2007-2020 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) stands as a testament to Phillips’ refusal of pessimism. This selection also includes Phillips’ recent lyric prose memoir, “Among the Trees,” and chapbook, Star Map with Action Figures. Phillips has appeared in multiple issues of NER, most recently in NER 39.1.
In this short collection of poems, Rob Hardy’s new chapbook Shelter in Place (Finishing Line Press) showcases the present moment through keen observation of the natural world and examination of human nature. Hardy’s new collection challenges the contemplation of the future with a fearless examination of the present, offsetting dread and absence with the depth of the familiar. Hardy has appeared in multiple issues of NER. Most recently, Hardy’s nonfiction piece, “Deceit only was forbidden: A Brief Literary Biography of Richard Henry Wilde” appeared in NER 37.2.
Informed by the music that shaped him as a young man, The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo (Penguin) recounts author Garrett Hongo’s audio obsession and decades-long quest for the perfect stereo setup. This memoir follows Hongo’s penchant for music from a young boy in Hawaii to his worldly adventures as an adult yearning to find his now-celebrated poetic voice. Hongo has appeared in multiple issues of NER. Most recently, Hongo’s poem, “Orison: February, Eugene, Oregon” appeared in NER 39.2.
Paul Tran’s debut collection of poems, All the Flowers Kneeling (Penguin) meditates on processes of reckoning and recovery in a powerful testament to the human capacity for resilience and love. Tran’s poems take on forms that mirror the physical and emotional responses and transformation experienced in the aftermath of abuse in the form of intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and U.S. imperialism. Tran’s poem “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus: Oil on Canvas: Pieter Bruegel: 1520” appeared in NER 42.2.
Maud Casey‘s latest book, City of Incurable Women (Bellevue Literary), reimagines the nineteenth-century female psychiatric patients confined in Paris’s Salpêtrière hospital and reduced to specimens for study by the celebrated neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot and his male colleagues. In an exploration of the female psyche, linked prose portraits restore the humanity of history’s long forgotten—those deprived of recognition and proper care due to their gender and class. Casey has appeared in multiple issues of NER, most recently in NER 41.1.
After a compounding series of hardships—the transgenerational impact of mental illness, a struggle with disordered eating, a father’s death from cancer, the loss of loved ones to addiction and suicide—Brian Tierney reckons with the impacts of loss and pain in his debut book of poems, Rise and Float (Milkweed). Tierney’s poems provide a cathartic experience of remembrance and transcendence through lines of confession and intimacy. Tierney’s poem “Greystone Park” appeared in NER 38.1.
Lyrical and steamy, unflinching and diaristic, Richie Hofmann’s book of love poems catalog everyday experiences and encounters imbued with sex. In A Hundred Lovers (Knopf), Hofmann explores erotic desire and the complicated relationship between pleasure and pain. The speaker observes, “Our bodies manufacture their odors. I taste earth / on his skin.” These poems are filled with the tastes and textures of the carnal appetite. Hofmann’s poem “The House of Red and White Lions” appeared in NER 39.2.
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