Poetry Books to Look Forward to in 2014
From What’s Coming for National Poetry Month in April? 28 Key Titles To Consider, by Barbara Hoffert, the following got me excited:
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan. Farrar. Apr. 2104. 160p. tr. by Eliza Griswold. ISBN 9780374191870. $24:
The landay, an ancient oral form created not by scholars but by everyday women, is being revived to reflect contemporary Pashtun life in Afghanistan, with references to Facebook, drone strikes, and memories of ancient caravans. Learning that a teenage girl set herself on fire when she was barred from writing, poet Griswold—also, relevantly, the author of the award-winning and New York Times best-selling The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam—traveled to Afghanistan with photographer Seamus Murphy to collect the landays found here.
Maxine Kumin, And Short the Season: Poems. Norton. Apr. 2014. 112p. ISBN 9780393241006. $24.95:
Pulitzer Prize winner Kumin captures the ebb and flow of nature with a broader purpose. Along with the “first rubythroat/ in the fading lilacs,” she aims to face her own mortality and imminent threats to the well-being of the earth.
W.S. Merwin, Moon Before Morning. Copper Canyon. Apr. 2014. 120p. ISBN 9781556594533. $24:
Merwin’s first collection of original poems since 2008 and the publisher’s lead title for the season, this work expands on the poet’s Pulitzer Prize–winning The Shadow of Sirius. Merwin’s awed gaze at the natural world also captures a human dimension: how we remember and how we experience the flow of days.