Read widely this season with the help of our authors! Check out our summer book roundup for 5 new books by NER contributors and don’t forget to shop these titles on our Bookshop.org page.
Find more books by NER authors on our Bookshop.org page.
Read widely this season with the help of our authors! Check out our summer book roundup for 5 new books by NER contributors and don’t forget to shop these titles on our Bookshop.org page.
Find more books by NER authors on our Bookshop.org page.
Support independent bookstores from home by purchasing these titles and others from bookshop.org or from your local bookstore.
“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.
“Extraordinary . . . I can’t remember the last time a book affected me as profoundly as Three Women.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
From the publisher: Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.
It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored—until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.
Lisa Taddeo has contributed to New York magazine, Esquire, Elle, Glamour, and many other publications. Her nonfiction has been included in the Best American Sports Writing and Best American Political Writing anthologies, and her short stories have won two Pushcart Prizes. She lives with her husband and daughter in New England. Her story “Forty-Two” was published in NER 36.1 and featured in the NER Out Loud live event.
Three Women can be purchased through the publisher or at your local independent bookstore.
From the publisher: In Poetry and Time, [Max] Neumann’s haunting images are accompanied by a lyrical and penetrating text from poet Joachim Sartorius, who notes that a certain silence is at the very heart of poems, stating: “They know what it is they do, but do not say it.” Exploring this mystery, he considers examples from Dickinson, Rilke, and Shakespeare, among others, and examines the realities of transience and mortality at the center of poems’ reasons for being, their urge to form their own reality and abolish time while being inextricably bound to time. Sartorius’s ruminations beautifully complement Neumann’s series of thirty poignant paintings, making this volume is an extraordinarily rare and exquisite book.
Alexander Booth is a writer and translator living in Berlin. A recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for his translations of Lutz Seiler’s in field latin (Seagull Books, 2016), he has also published his own poems and other translations in numerous print and online journals. His poetry translations were featured in NER 37.3.
Poetry and Time can be purchased from the publisher or at your local independent bookstore.
From the publisher: Time Inside, Gary Margolis’s seventh book of poems, takes us behind the walls, through the metal gates of his experience leading a poetry workshop for inmates in a maximum security correctional facility, and back out to the surrounding worlds of love’s nature and memory’s hold and release of us. Emblematic of Margolis’s writing, sometimes in phrases, sometimes in sentences, Margolis always has an ear for a line’s turning. Each poem finds its centering image that arrests the heart. With clarity, humor, and a counselor’s and poet’s eye, Margolis sees the keys and latches of dark and light inside our time.
An award-winning poet and counselor, Gary Margolis is Emeritus Executive Director of College Mental Health Services and Associate Professor of English and American Literatures at Middlebury College. He was a Robert Frost and Arthur Vining Davis Fellow and has taught at the University of Tennessee, Vermont, Bread Loaf, and Green Mountain Writers’ Conferences. His poem “The Interview” was featured on National Public Radio’s The Story, and after the 2004 World Series he read his poem “Winning the Lunar Eclipse” on Boston’s ABC Channel 5. His poem “In Audubon’s Notebook” was featured in NER 23.1.
Time Inside can be purchased through the publisher or from your local independent bookstore.
“This spectacular work will delight and awe readers with Lock’s magisterial wordsmithing.”— Library Journal (starred review)
From the publisher: In the sixth stand-alone book in The American Novels series, Shelby Ross, a merchant ruined by the depression of 1873–79, is hired as a New York City Custom House appraiser under inspector Herman Melville, the embittered, forgotten author of Moby-Dick. On the docks, Ross befriends a genial young man and makes an enemy of a despicable one, who attempts to destroy them by insinuating that Ross and the young man share an unnatural affection. Ross narrates his story to his childhood friend Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the soon-to-be-completed Brooklyn Bridge. As he is harried toward a fate reminiscent of Ahab’s, he encounters Ulysses S. Grant, dying in a brownstone on the Upper East Side; Samuel Clemens, who will publish Grant’s Memoirs; and Thomas Edison, at the dawn of the electrification of the city. Feast Day of the Cannibals charts the harrowing journey of a tormented heart during America’s transformative age.
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 writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lock has appeared in NER several times, “A Theory of the Self” his most recent contribution in NER 34.2.
Feast Day of the Cannibals can be purchased through the publisher or at your local independent bookstore.
“Powerful and probing, Stanton’s book offers a sharp portrait of a wayward girl ‘leaping backward’ into disaster. . . A compellingly honest coming-of-age memoir.” — Kirkus Reviews
From the publisher: For Maureen Stanton’s proper Catholic mother, the town’s maximum security prison was a way to keep her seven children in line. But as the 1970s brought upheaval to America, and the lines between good and bad blurred, Stanton’s once-solid family lost its way. A promising young girl with a smart mouth, Stanton turns watchful as her parents separate and her now-single mother descends into shoplifting, then grand larceny, anything to keep a toehold in the middle class for her children. Stanton too slips into delinquency—vandalism, breaking and entering—all while nearly erasing herself through addiction to angel dust, a homemade form of PCP that swept through her hometown in the wake of Nixon’s “total war” on drugs. Body Leaping Backward is the haunting and beautifully drawn story of a self-destructive girlhood, of a town and a nation overwhelmed in a time of change, and of how life-altering a glimpse of a world bigger than the one we come from can be.
Maureen Stanton, the author of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, has been awarded the Iowa Review prize, a Pushcart Prize, the American Literary Review award in nonfiction, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Stanton teaches at UMass Lowell, and her work appeared most recently in NER 39.2.
Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood can be purchased online from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt or at your local independent bookstore.
“The Wound, with timely and urgent precision, leads the reader to value its activist energy and depth of insight into the ‘ambiguities’ of the human condition, in which intuitions of dwelling in peace are at war with an impulse—always a repulsive one from Kinsella’s perspective—to conquer and master.” —Michael O’Neill, The London Magazine
From the publisher: The Wound is the latest collection from esteemed Australian poet John Kinsella. The Wound was inspired by his anger towards the destruction being wrought on the West Australian coastal bushland by the controversial proposed construction of the Roe 8 Highway Extension, which environmentalists protested would endanger the area’s wildlife . . . In this collection Kinsella mixes mythology with modernity.
John Kinsella is a prolific writer and author of over 25 books, and has published poems in literary journals internationally and has received a number of literary awards, including a Young Australian Creative Fellowship and a two-year Fellowship from the Literature Fund of the Australia Council. His work can be found in NER 36.1 and is forthcoming this fall in 40.3.
The Wound can be purchased from the publisher or at your local independent bookstore.
From Mark Twain to George Saunders, Bradley Bazzle’s Trash Mountain joins a long tradition of dark humor, wild inventiveness, and social satire in American letters. ―Maceo Montoya, author of The Deportation of Wopper Barraza.
From the publisher: Trash Mountain reflects on life in small southern cities in decline and an adolescent’s search for fundamental values without responsible adults to lead the way.
Bradley Bazzle’s first novel, Trash Mountain, won the 2016 Red Hen Press Fiction Award. His short story “Gift Horse” appeared in NER 31.4. Bradley grew up in Dallas, Texas, and lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife and daughter.
Trash Mountain can be purchased from your independent booksellers and online.
In a time when we confront daily the frenetic, desensitizing maelstrom of political rhetoric and a ubiquitous flood of mass media, Bruce Bond reminds us in Dear Reader of the quiet but urgent philosophical and spiritual inquiries, sometimes monstrous and animal, that define and affirm our humanity. —Kathleen Graber, author of The Eternal City and Correspondence
From the publisher: In his single-poem sequence, Dear Reader, Bruce Bond explores the metaphysics of reading as central to the way we negotiate a world—the evasions of our gods and monsters; our Los Angeles in flames; the daily chatter of our small, sweet, and philosophical beasts.
Bruce Bond is the author of sixteen books including For the Lost Cathedral, The Other Sky, and Black Anthem, which won a Tampa Review Prize in 2016. Presently he is Regents Professor at University of North Texas. His poem “Blood” was published in NER 36.2.
Dear Reader can be purchased directly from the publisher.
Like the birds that populate so many of his poems, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s Dulce is a lesson in song, an instructive repetition of the melodies that shape the inner self. The poems here are for a reader willing to mix and remix, to reimagine themselves in a thousand pieces. —Matthew Shenoda, author of Somewhere Else
From the publisher: Dulce is truly a lyrical force rife with the rich language of longing and regret that disturbs even the most serene quiet. Surreal and deeply imagistic, the poems map a parallel between the landscape of the border and the landscape of sexuality. Castillo invites the reader to confront and challenge the distinctions of borders and categories, and in doing so, he obscures and negates such divisions.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a Canto Mundo fellow and the first undocumented student to graduate from the University of Michigan’s MFA program. He cofounded the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets and Writers magazine. His poems “Pulling the Moon” and “Rituals of Healing” appeared in NER 35.2.
Dulce: Poems can be purchased from the publisher.
Hoagland’s verse is consistently, and crucially, bloodied by a sense of menace and by straight talk. ―The New York Times
From the publisher: Tony Hoagland’s poems interrogate human nature and contemporary culture with an intimate and wild urgency, located somewhere between outrage, stand-up comedy, and grief. His new poems are no less observant of the human and the worldly, no less skeptical, and no less amusing, but they have drifted toward the greater depths of open emotion. Over six collections, Hoagland’s poetry has gotten bigger, more tender, and more encompassing. The poems in Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God turn his clear-eyed vision toward the hidden spaces―and spaciousness―in the human predicament.
Tony Hoagland is the author of five previous poetry collections, including Application for Release from the Dream and What Narcissism Means to Me, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Two of his poems appeared recently in NER 38.3.
Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God can be purchased online.
Norman Lock’s fiction, The Wreckage of Eden, shimmers with glorious language, fluid rhythms, and complex insights. ―NPR
From the Publisher: Powerfully evocative of Emily Dickinson’s life, times, and artistry, this fifth, stand-alone volume in The American Novels series captures a nation riven by conflicts that continue to this day. Lyrically written but unafraid of the ugliness of the time, Lock’s thought-provoking series continues to impress.
Norman Lock is an author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. He has honored with The Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and 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. His fiction has appeared frequently in NER, most recently with “A Theory of the Self” in NER 34.2.
The Ensemble can be purchased directly from the publisher, or from independent booksellers.
Well imagined, intricately plotted, and deeply felt, both humane and human. It unfurls like a peony: you keep thinking it can’t get any more perfect, and it does. A stunning feat. —Rabih Alameddine, author of The Angel of History and Koolaids: The Art of War
From the publisher: A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai.
Rebecca Makkai is the author of The Borrower, The Hundred-Year House, which won the Novel of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, and Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Harper’s, and Tin House, among others. Her story “The Briefcase” was featured in New England Review 29.2.
The Great Believers can be purchased directly from the publisher.