Staff Pick

Teicher is a poet, and much of what he says in these elegant essays about poetic development has poetry’s unmistakable depth charge: poetry is a “reader’s art,” one whose future depends on the work that has preceded it.  Revising a predecessor himself, he sees poetry as a “means of knowledge, a way,” not of happening, but “of understanding the self” and the world.  It is also an essential connection between people, a tool “to bring the inner out, to give my blue to you.” Finally, a poem is “something that can’t otherwise be said addressed to someone who can’t otherwise hear it.” Teicher grounds these beautiful abstractions in the lives and work of a handful of twentieth-century and contemporary poets, such as John Ashbery (“his style is the sound of Zeitgeist itself”), James Wright, W.S. Merwin, Louise Glück (whose poems “shun excitement but court surprise”), D.A. Powell (a poet of saturation, writing mash-ups of the Bible and 1980s club music), francine j. harris, and Lucille Clifton. He traces these poets’ evolution from early to late, identifying the moments they found their true voices, and showing what they, and later poets, made of them. Writing with authority and passion, Teicher brilliantly evokes the twists and turns of an art that stems from “an awareness of the unsayable” and reads poems as necessary and vital outgrowths of the lives and culture they came from.

We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978211
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - November 6th, 2018

Staff Pick

Tolentino writes from an explicitly millennial perspective, but the “generation-defining” forces she so ably and deeply explores—the internet, feminism, sexual harassment, the 2016 election--have touched everyone alive today, no matter when they were born. Blending the intimate, honest approach of a personal essayist—one not afraid to show us her weaker moments—with an experienced cultural critic’s skepticism and range, Tolentino both clarifies and complicates every subject she touches, from athleisure-wear and reality shows (her story of appearing in one is priceless) to “difficult women” and drug use. Calling the name of today’s game “scamming,” she draws on her own early experiences with blogs, books, and a megachurch—christened by its youthful members “the Repentagon”—to dissect some of the artifices at work on us today. These are mostly web-based, but even with familiar suspects like Amazon and Facebook Tolentino adds a lot to our understanding of how these forces work on us and how they stay so powerful; her discussion of the internet as a theatre without a backstage is apt and memorable, as are her expositions of how feminism still knuckles under to the “tyranny of the ideal woman” and of how intensive marketing, dating only from the nuptials of Queen Victoria, has created “traditional” weddings where, for just tens of thousands of dollars, every woman can get the royal treatment for a day.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525510543
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House - August 6th, 2019

Staff Pick

Does time really heal all wounds—or only pass them on? Does history actually repeat itself? For whom? When? In a series of case studies that shift the focus from the motives and humanity of the rescuer to those of the people needing help, Tumarkin’s passionate and compassionate study of trauma explores “what …humans do with their pain” and dramatically shows that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Why did one child survivor of the Holocaust become a dynamic force in the entertainment world while another landed in jail for trying to protect her grandson? For both, their early experiences remained a daily reality, permeating their lives with the unmistakable “atmosphere” of the Holocaust. Even more difficult to explain is suicide. Do children of parents who killed themselves feel compelled to repeat the last act of their parent? The fear that one suicide will spark another inhibits even raising the subject, and Tumarkin’s chapter on a series of young peoples’ suicides within one community is both heartbreaking and revelatory. If suicide seems to run in families, can it run in a school, that loco parentis? Yet “there’s no space for a suicide in a school’s institutional memory”—even as teachers state that it’s the students they lose, not the success stories, they always remember. Grounded in “the bottomlessness of human endurance,” this is one of the many hard-won—not pat—truths Tumarkin uncovers in this riveting and troubling book.

Axiomatic Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492297
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Transit Books - September 3rd, 2019

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