Tuesday, May 22, 7:30 pm

The Poetry Book Group is led by Rhonda Williford and meets 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.

Made in Detroit: Poems By Marge Piercy Cover Image

Made in Detroit: Poems (Paperback)


Special Order—Subject to Availability

Now in paperback, a collection to treasure from one of our most popular poets: poems that range from the Detroit of her childhood to her current life on Cape Cod, from deep appreciations of the natural world to elegies for lost friends and fellow poets.

In her trademark style combining the sublime with gritty reality, Marge Piercy describes the night she was born: "the sky burned red / over Detroit and sirens sharpened their knives. / The elms made tents of solace over grimy / streets and alley cats purred me to sleep." She writes in graphic, unflinching language about the poor, banished now by politicians, no longer "real people like corporations." There are elegies for her peer group of poets, gone now, whose work she cherishes but from whom she cannot help but want more. There are laments for the suicide of dolphins and for her beloved cats, as she remembers "exactly how I loved each." She continues to celebrate Jewish holidays in compellingly original ways, and sings the praises of her marriage and the small pleasures of life. A stunning collection in the best Piercy tradition.

MARGE PIERCY is the author of nineteen poetry collections, a memoir, seventeen novels, and a book of short stories. Her work has been translated into nineteen languages, and she has won many honors, including the Golden Rose, the oldest poetry award in the country. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, Ira Wood, the novelist, memoirist, community radio interviewer, and essayist. She has given readings, lectures, or workshops at more than five hundred venues in the States and abroad.
Product Details ISBN: 9780804173209
ISBN-10: 0804173206
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Pages: 192
Language: English
“Made in Detroit traces the personal and poetic evolution that has made Marge Piercy one of the most esteemed and enduring writers of the past four decades. It begins with childhood memories of Depression-era Detroit, where she witnessed poverty, desolation and the silent struggles of her mother, who was dominated by an overbearing husband. Piercy’s decision to speak for the voiceless fuels a lifelong journey that begins with some wild days, broken relationships and learning what it means to be a poet. One of those lessons—to speak authentically—shapes every section in the collection as Piercy shifts from the city to the natural world, where snow, the ocean and other forces soften or block human advances. . . . Some of the most powerful pieces show the speaker grappling with spirituality and struggling to be a better person. ‘I walk  into this new beginning/of a self still under construction.’ Works about marriage, enduring love and the loss of peers and relatives round out this collection, which beautifully weaves multiple threads into a rich portrait.” –Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post
“Piercy once again proves her talent for finding beauty anywhere and masterfully elevating it against the dark grit of reality. From her own humble beginnings in Detroit to her life on the Cape, Piercy reflects on how she’s loved, how she’s changed, how the country around her has evolved, and how her past continues to inform her present.   Touching and relatable, hers is a journey you won’t want to miss.”—Meaghan Wagner, Everyday eBook

“The excavation of landscape and memory bring a majestic tone to Piercy’s 19th collection. Her poetry is softened by nostalgia and plainspoken language; it is sharpened by striking images and her fury at the failures of social society.”—Anna Clark, The Detroit Free Press

A working-class gal who grew up in Detroit in the wake of the Great Depression, Piercy begins her nineteenth poetry collection with an autobiographical sequence of electrifying braggadocio and deep pain. She declares that she was saved by books. “Libraries were my cathedrals. Librarians / my priests promising salvation.” Piercy also experienced transcendence in nature, eventually finding her true home on Cape Cod. Piercy writes sensitively of the glory of the sea, storms, the seasons, but always with a divining sense of the living world’s hard lessons. In jabbing and fleet-footed poems that swing from rapture to outrage, she describes a heron wrestling with a snake, salutes the mummichog, a scrappy little fish tolerant of climate extremes and pollution, and shares a gardener’s knowledge of the changes wrought by global warming. Writing poignantly of social injustice, Jewish holidays, marriage, and age, Piercy, frank, caustically witty, and caring, generates suspense, drama, and arresting images, such as when she envisions her many selves, embodied in all the clothes she’s ever worn, “strung on a blocklong clothesline.” --Donna Seaman, Booklist

Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 pm

The Poetry Book Group is led by Rhonda Williford and meets 4th Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.


The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai By Yehuda Amichai, Robert Alter (Editor) Cover Image

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Paperback)


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Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
1 on hand, as of Sep 25 1:18am

The largest English-language collection to date from Israel’s finest poet

Few poets have demonstrated as persuasively as Yehuda Amichai why poetry matters. One of the major poets of the twentieth century, Amichai created remarkably accessible poems, vivid in their evocation of the Israeli landscape and historical predicament, yet universally resonant. His are some of the most moving love poems written in any language in the past two generations—some exuberant, some powerfully erotic, many suffused with sadness over separation that casts its shadow on love. In a country torn by armed conflict, these poems poignantly assert the preciousness of private experience, cherished under the repeated threats of violence and death.

Amichai’s poetry has attracted a variety of gifted English translators on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1960s to the present. Assembled by the award-winning Hebrew scholar and translator Robert Alter, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai is by far the largest selection of the master poet’s work to appear in English, gathering the best of the existing translations as well as offering English versions of many previously untranslated poems. With this collection, Amichai’s vital poetic voice is now available to English readers as it never has been before.

Yehuda Amichai (1924–2000) is considered to be Israel's greatest contemporary poet. Translated into forty languages, he may be the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David. Amichai's work published in English includes Songs of Jerusalem and Myself, Time, The Great Tranquillity, Amen, Open Closed Open, and Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers. Robert Alter's achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned him the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. Alter is the Class of 1937 Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
Product Details ISBN: 9780374536589
ISBN-10: 0374536589
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 576
Language: English
Series: The Copenhagen Trilogy
"I've become more than ever convinced that Amichai is one of the biggest, most essential, most durable poetic voices of this past century--one of the most intimate, alive and human, wise, humorous, true, loving, inwardly free and resourceful, at home in every human situation. One of the real treasures." --Ted Hughes on Yehuda Amichai


Tuesday, March 27, 7:30 pm
After the Ceremonies: New and Selected Poems (African Poetry Book ) By Ama Ata Aidoo, Helen Yitah (Editor) Cover Image

After the Ceremonies: New and Selected Poems (African Poetry Book ) (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Ama Ata Aidoo is one of the best-known African writers today. Spanning three decades of work, the poems in this collection address themes of colonialism, independence, motherhood, and gender in intimate, personal ways alongside commentary on broader social issues. After the Ceremonies is arranged in three parts: new and uncollected poems, some of which Aidoo calls “misplaced or downright lost”; selections from Aidoo’s An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems; and selections from Someone Talking to Sometime.

Although Aidoo is best known for her novels Changes: A Love Story and Our Sister Killjoy, which are widely read in women’s literature courses, and her plays The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa, which are read and performed all over the world, her prowess as a poet shines in this collection.
Ama Ata Aidoo was born in Abeadzi Kyiakor, in south central Ghana in 1942. She studied literature at the University of Ghana, won a fellowship to Stanford University, and subsequently accepted visiting professorships in the United States and Africa. Her poetry collections include Birds and Other Poems, Someone Talking to Sometime, and An Angry Letter in January and Other Poems. Helen Yitah is an associate professor of English at the University of Ghana. She is the founding director of the University of Ghana–Carnegie Writing Centre and author of Throwing Stones in Jest: Kasena Women's Proverbial Revolt.
Product Details ISBN: 9780803296947
ISBN-10: 0803296940
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2017
Pages: 276
Language: English
Series: African Poetry Book