NIGHT SKY WITH EXIT WOUNDS, by Vuong NOTE: Meeting Online

Poetry
Tuesday, October 26, 7:30 pm

The Poetry Book Group is led by Gwenn Gebhard and meets online the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information to join.

Night Sky with Exit Wounds By Ocean Vuong Cover Image

Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Paperback)

$16.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Aug 12 1:18am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
2 on hand, as of Aug 12 1:33am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Aug 12 1:33am

One of the most celebrated poetry books of the year:


The New Yorker, The Best Books of Poetry of 2016
New York Times, Critics Pick
Boston Globe, Best Books listing
NPR, Best Books listing
Miami Herald, Best LGBTQ Books
San Francisco Chronicle, Top 100 Books of the Year
Library Journal, Best Books of 2016

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times writes: "The poems in Mr. Vuong's new collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds...possess a tensile precision reminiscent of Emily Dickinson's work, combined with a Gerard Manley Hopkins-like appreciation for the sound and rhythms of words. Mr. Vuong can create startling images (a black piano in a field, a wedding-cake couple preserved under glass, a shepherd stepping out of a Caravaggio painting) and make the silences and elisions in his verse speak as potently as his words...There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong's sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things."

"Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition. His poems are by turns graceful and wonderstruck. His lines are both long and short, his pose narrative and lyric, his diction formal and insouciant. From the outside, Vuong has fashioned a poetry of inclusion."--The New Yorker

"The language is painfully, exquisitely exact, the scenes haunting and indelible.... Highly recommended."--Library Journal, starred review

Night Sky with Exit Wounds establishes Vuong as a fierce new talent to be reckoned with...This book is a masterpiece that captures, with elegance, the raw sorrows and joys of human existence.--Buzzfeed's Most Exciting New Books of 2016

This original, sprightly wordsmith of tumbling pulsing phrases pushes poetry to a new level...A stunning introduction to a young poet who writes with both assurance and vulnerability. Visceral, tender and lyrical, fleet and agile, these poems unflinchingly face the legacies of violence and cultural displacement but they also assume a position of wonder before the world."--2016 Whiting Award citation

Night Sky with Exit Wounds is the kind of book that soon becomes worn with love. You will want to crease every page to come back to it, to underline every other line because each word resonates with power.--LitHub

Vuong's powerful voice explores passion, violence, history, identity--all with a tremendous humanity.--Slate

"In his impressive debut collection, Vuong writes beauty into--and culls from--individual, familial, and historical traumas. Vuong exists as both observer and observed throughout the book as he explores deeply personal themes such as poverty, depression, queer sexuality, domestic abuse, and the various forms of violence inflicted on his family during the Vietnam War. Poems float and strike in equal measure as the poet strives to transform pain into clarity."--Publishers Weekly

Torso of Air

Suppose you do change your life.
& the body is more than

a portion of night--sealed
with bruises. Suppose you woke

& found your shadow replaced
by a black wolf. The boy, beautiful

& gone. So you take the knife to the wall
instead. You carve & carve

until a coin of light appears
& you get to look in, at last,

on happiness. The eye
staring back from the other side--

waiting.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong attended Brooklyn College. He is the author of two chapbooks as well as a full-length collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. A Ruth Lilly Fellow and winner of the Whiting Award, Ocean Vuong lives in New York City.


Ocean Vuong: Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong attended Brooklyn College. He is the author of two chapbooks as well as a full-length collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. A 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellow and winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, Ocean Vuong lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9781556594953
ISBN-10: 155659495X
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 70
Language: English


Coverage from NPR



EMPIRES, by Balaban

Poetry
Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 pm

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

Empires By John Balaban Cover Image

Empires (Paperback)

$17.00


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Balaban has long been one of our finest poetic craftsmen working in the lyric mode. In his latest collection, Empires, Balaban once again demonstrates why he is celebrated as a major American poet. --War, Literature, and the Arts

John Balaban's Empires is an elegant addition to this distinguished poet's body of work, and will surely be remembered as one of the indispensable poetry publications of its decade.--Literary Matters

John Balaban's sixth collection of poetry considers America in its innate beauty and complex ugliness, in its powerfully healing landscapes and its destructive misadventures. With a compelling lyricism and cinematic imagery, Empires showcases the pervasiveness of the human spirit across a diverse cast of characters, both modern and ancient. From the rubble of the World Trade Center to Washington's troops crossing the Potomac to powerful insights into the Vietnam War, Balaban's genius is in connecting the dots of history. Despite the destruction and persecution associated with empires, Balaban illuminates the often overlooked transcendent hope available through poetry, music, and an unwavering connection to the land. Through heart warming elegies, gripping narratives and new translations from several Romanian poets, Balaban's poems shine a redemptive light amidst the darkness and chaos of changing empires.

"In a way that few poets do, John Balaban truly roams the globe--and the centuries. He has his eye on empires, yes, but also on moments when different slices of history collide... His capacious poems enlarge our eyes on the world." --Adam Hochschild

"In these poems, John Balaban plumbs the recent and ancient past. His generous spirit and technical brilliance cast a very bright light. Empires is luminous work." --Elizabeth Farnsworth.
Product Details ISBN: 9781556595707
ISBN-10: 1556595700
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 88
Language: English


DEAF REPUBLIC, by Kamisnky

Poetry
Tuesday, February 25, 7:30 pm

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

Deaf Republic: Poems By Ilya Kaminsky Cover Image

Deaf Republic: Poems (Paperback)

$16.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
3 on hand, as of Aug 12 1:18am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
1 on hand, as of Aug 12 1:33am

Finalist for the National Book Award Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winner of the National Jewish Book Award Finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry AwardFinalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize Finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection

Ilya Kaminsky’s astonishing parable in poems asks us, What is silence?


Deaf Republic
opens in an occupied country in a time of political unrest. When soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, Petya, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear—they all have gone deaf, and their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. The story follows the private lives of townspeople encircled by public violence: a newly married couple, Alfonso and Sonya, expecting a child; the brash Momma Galya, instigating the insurgency from her puppet theater; and Galya’s girls, heroically teaching signing by day and by night luring soldiers one by one to their deaths behind the curtain. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Ilya Kaminsky’s long-awaited Deaf Republic confronts our time’s vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.

Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union. He is the author of a poetry collection, Dancing in Odessa, and coeditor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. He was a 2014 finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Product Details ISBN: 9781555978310
ISBN-10: 1555978312
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Pages: 80
Language: English

One of the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2019

“These poems bestow the power of sacred drama on a secular martyrology. . . . Kaminsky is wonderfully attentive to . . . repeating patterns of details, contributing to the impression that his book is a through-composed whole, rather than simply a sequence of individual poems. . . . By situating these poems in a country at war, Kaminsky forces the reader to consider both the ways in which we define our social belonging and the loyalties according to which we operate. . . . A visit to this republic will not leave the reader unchanged.”The New York Times Book Review

“Evident throughout [Deaf Republic] is a profound imagination, matched only by the poet’s ability to create a republic of conscience that is ultimately ours, too, and utterly his own—a map of what it means to live ‘in a peaceful country.’”—Kevin Young, The New Yorker

“Described as a ‘parable in poems,’ Kaminsky’s soulful new collection opens on an act of horrific violence before meditating on silence and deafness in times of political unrest. The language is exquisite; the ethical questions Kaminsky poses are provocative.”Entertainment Weekly

“Re-envisioning disability as power and silence as singing, Kaminsky has created a searing allegory precisely tuned to our times, a stark appeal to our collective conscience.”—NPR.org

“Cutting-edge.”The Washington Post

“With lyrical and fearless language, Ilya Kaminsky has written an engrossing page-turner that challenges society’s silence, and celebrates the power of community in the face of violent atrocities.”The Seattle Times

Deaf Republic is harrowing and damning, if we dare to listen.”Vox

“[Deaf Republic] is curved with beautiful oddities of phrase. . . . A play in verse, a novel in verse, collective pain in verse—classifications are unnecessary here, as Kaminsky’s book is at its soul a story. . . . Deaf Republic arrives, textured and alive.”The Millions

“With Deaf Republic, Kaminsky delivers another stunning achievement.”Kenyon Review

“The peculiar achievement of Deaf Republic—echoey with calls and responses, song and clamor—is that the whole is not simply greater than its parts: it is their counterargument, their antidote.”Poetry Magazine

“Within the world of these poems, silence becomes both a foreshadowing and an appeal, as these gaps leave room for the reader to participate in the poems’ revolutionary politics.”The Brooklyn Rail

“[Deaf Republic] sings with a necessary freshness.”World Literature Today

Deaf Republic is nurtured by a commitment to poetry as a form of resistance, dialogue, and a noble spiritual vocation—ethos that hearkens back to poetry’s origins and its power.”Tablet Magazine

“Breathtaking . . . a highconcept interrogation of individual and civic response to political upheaval and collective action.”American Poets

Deaf Republic contains some of the most exquisite lines you’ll find in contemporary poetry.”New York Journal of Books

“Kaminsky demands that we reevaluate our own language — about deaf culture, about silence itself — in a time when language in the larger, cultural public square has never been more vitriolic. . . . Deaf Republic is a masterfully wrought collection.”Los Angeles Review of Books

“Kaminsky speaks of our darkest days, of tyranny and death. Yet he sings of the world—of poetry and dance and sex and love—with the highest praise.”Commonweal Magazine

“Few poets can claim such originality, intensity of feeling and expression, and conscience.”Blackbird

“Intoxicating and wondrous. . . . In these sincere, striking poems, Kaminsky posits the beauty of this world as essential.”BookPage

Deaf Republic is stringent medicine for all nations, especially powerful ones that have grown slack in their apprehension and practice of the ‘categorical imperative.’ With its lapidary, figurative conceits, this poem that weaves in and out of poetry, drama, and prose as a hybrid and liminal tour de force works on both the stage and page as a poignant reminder for our present age of the proverbial dangers of fascism’s recrudescence.”On the Seawall

“A contemporary masterpiece.”Washington Examiner

“Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic is both rigorous and profound. Kaminsky reveals himself as a showman of narrative, informed by a deep sense of character and tension, as well as a skillful lyricist, present with each syllable, each letter, each rhythm the breath makes as it darts its ways around his sparse and elegant poems.”Michigan Quarterly Review

“A bruising, haunting examination of humanity’s paradoxical reserve for great compassion and endless cruelty, Deaf Republic holds an unsettling gaze on how we love amid chaos and despair.”Carolina Quarterly

“In Kaminsky’s lines, sound takes visible shape. The ordinary things of the world transmogrify, and a small detail, stripped down, takes on the weight of a country.”The Critical Flame

Deaf Republic challenges us to think about listening, silence, and communication in a world that regards both violence and joy with dull indifference.”Barrelhouse

“A riveting and emotional story line with parallels to the author’s life, which relies on plain spoken diction, repetition, and small moments of romantic desire to anchor its larger political themes.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The product of 15 years of meditation, this chilling work—an important warning about the forces of repression and a quiet salute to the courage of the few who resist—heralds the maturity of an important voice in world poetry.”Library Journal, starred review

“Stunning. . . . At once intimate and sensual but also poignant and timely.”Booklist, starred review



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