Ballistics - Billy Collins

Billy Collins is one of America’s most popular poets. The former Poet Laureate took his job seriously and attempted to get poetry to as many people as possible. Through his work, his anthologies Poetry 180 and More Poetry 180, and through his appearances, he has spread the message that poetry is for everyone. In his new collection, Ballistics (Random House, $24), he takes us along on his poetic journeys from the Charles to the Seine. And while the title poem could well have been an exploration of the bullet-riddled streets of Baghdad or Baltimore, it is a meditation on a photograph in which a bullet tears through a book—a collection of poetry by someone Collins does not admire—at 2,800 feet per second.

Ballistics: Poems By Billy Collins Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812975611
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 16th, 2010

One Secret Thing - Sharon Olds

In her ninth collection, Sharon Olds continues to write the powerful, passionate poetry that has made her voice distinctive. These poems are rooted both in a social consciousness that speaks out against injustice, and in her inexhaustible memories of growing up in an unhappy and violent home. But if One Secret Thing (Knopf, $16.95) reflects Olds’s outrage at war and her bitter ambivalence toward her mother, it also tempers these emotions with tolerance, appreciation for beauty, and humor. At her dying mother’s bedside, Olds notes how her mother’s “throat made a guttural/creek bed sound, like pebbly relief.” Olds is never less than frank about illness, death, and relationships. Above all, she renders the full range of physical experience, whether her subject is loneliness, the aging body, or a photo of someone else’s suffering.

One Secret Thing By Sharon Olds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375711770
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - September 30th, 2008

Verses and Versions: Three Centuries of Russian Poetry Selected and Translated - Vladimir Nabokov

Author, translator, and teacher—these three sides of Vladimir Nabokov are showcased in  Verses And Versions: Three Centuries of Russian Poetry (Harcourt, $40). First proposed in the 1950s, the idea of a volume of Nabokov’s English renderings of Russian poetry is finally a reality, co-edited by Nabokov’s biographer, Brian Boyd, and Stanislav Shvabrin. In addition to generous selections (in the original Russian and in English) of the works of Pushkin, Lermontov, Blok, Fet, and Mandelstam, among other 18th- through 20th-century poets, this anthology also includes Nabokov’s translations of several French poets, his own English lyrics, and essays on poetry, poets, and the art of translation which, as he noted in a poem to Pushkin, might at best come up with “roadside prose--/All thorn, but cousin to your rose.”