Staff Pick

Mychal Denzel Smith is both urgent and hilarious as he goes from Dave Chapelle to Lebron James, and from male masculinity to the role of the strong black woman deserving more respect. He speaks about mental illness & LGBTQ in the black community, subjects that are considered too taboo to be discussed. But he has the strength and knowledge to raise the discussion about these topics and make you want to hear more. Running a thread throughout about the horrors and struggles of constantly seeing our young black men & women killed by the authorities sworn to protect us, he is yet another amazing voice speaking up. And he needs to be heard.

 

The Annotated African American Folktales (Annotated Books) Cover Image
By Henry Louis Gates (Editor), Maria Tatar (Editor)
$39.95
ISBN: 9780871407535
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - November 14th, 2017

Staff Pick

To reduce an irreducible book, this is a set of linked essays around breast cancer: the author’s own, those of figures like Susan Sontag and Audre Lorde, and those of the pseudonymous Internet posters. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but mostly you’ll think, not least about why some things might make you laugh and cry instead of others. And none are better at infusing that deep thought into their vocabulary and syntax than Anne Boyer. It’s the kind of book where certain passages hit so hard, you have to step back for a second to feel your basest-level reasoning alter, about the cancer-care marketplace and much beyond. For someone writing so eloquently about oncologically-induced exhaustion, Boyer’s is the most alert writing of the year.

 
The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374279349
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 17th, 2019

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

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