Mr West

Author: Sarah Blake
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819575186
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Mr. West covers the main events in superstar Kanye West’s life while also following the poet on her year spent researching, writing, and pregnant. The book explores how we are drawn to celebrities—to their portrayal in the media—and how we sometimes find great private meaning in another person’s public story, even across lines of gender and race. Blake’s aesthetics take her work from prose poems to lineated free verse to tightly wound lyrics to improbably successful sestinas. The poems fully engage pop culture as a strange, complicated presence that is revealing of America itself. This is a daring debut collection and a groundbreaking work. An online reader’s companion will be available at http://sarahblake.site.wesleyan.edu.

Let s Not Live on Earth

Author: Sarah Blake
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819577677
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Sarah Blake follows up her previous book of poetry, Mr. West, with a stunning second collection about anxieties and injury. Blake uses self-consciousness as a tool for transformation, looking so closely at herself that she moves right through the looking glass and into the larger world. Fear becomes palpable through the classification of monsters and through violences made real. When the poems find themselves in the domestic realm, something is always under threat. The body is never safe, nor are the ghosts of the dead. But these poems are not about cowering. By detailing the dangers we face as humans, as Americans, and especially as women, these poems suggest we might find a way through them. The final section of the book is a feminist, science fiction epic poem, “The Starship,” which explores the interplay of perception and experience as it follows the story of a woman who must constantly ask herself what she wants as her world shifts around her.

Spells

Author: Annie Finch
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819573639
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Annie Finch’s Spells brings together her most memorable and striking poems written over forty years. Finch’s uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. A feminist and pagan, Finch writes poems as “spells” that bring readers to experience words not just in the mind, but in the body. Celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, over the course of her career Finch has shaped her own innovative and radically traditional aesthetic. Her strange but familiar metrical language decenters the Self, creating a new, more open emotional relationship between ourselves, other people, and the world. Spells displays Finch’s virtuosity in a broad range of genres and forms, from lyrics, chants, and narrative poems to performance pieces, poetic drama, and verse translation. The book also includes a number of new and previously unpublished poems, notably her 1980s-era “Lost Poems,” experimental work in meter that prefigures postmodern reclamations of poetic form. This wonderfully talented poet gives voice to the female and earth-centered spirituality of our era. Her emotionally eloquent and rhetorically powerful work will echo in the reader’s ear long after the book is closed. Check for the online reader’s companion at http://spells.site.wesleyan.edu.

Talking Dirty to the Gods

Author: Yusef Komunyakaa
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374272557
Format: PDF
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A collection of poems explores rituals that link humans, animals, and insects.

Here Bullet

Author: Brian Turner
Publisher: Alice James Books
ISBN: 1938584147
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Alice James’ own Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes power-fully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. Based on Turner’s yearlong tour in Iraq as an infantry team leader, the poems offer gracefully rendered, unflinching description but, remarkably, leave the reader to draw conclusions or moral lessons. Here, Bullet is a must-read for anyone who cares about the war, regardless of political affiliation.

Queering Post Black Art

Author: Derek Conrad Murray
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1784532878
Format: PDF, Mobi
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What impact do sexual politics and queer identities have on the understanding of 'blackness' as a set of visual, cultural and intellectual concerns? In Queering Post-Black Art, Derek Conrad Murray argues that the rise of female, gay and lesbian artists as legitimate African-American creative voices is essential to the development of black art. He considers iconic works by artists including Glenn Ligon, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas and Kalup Linzy, which question whether it is possible for blackness to evade its ideologically over-determined cultural legibility. In their own unique, often satirical way, a new generation of contemporary African American artists represent the ever-evolving sexual and gender politics that have come to define the highly controversial notion of 'post-black' art. First coined in 2001, the term 'post-black' resonated because it articulated the frustrations of young African-American artists around notions of identity and belonging that they perceived to be stifling, reductive and exclusionary. Since then, these artists have begun to conceive an idea of blackness that is beyond marginalization and sexual discrimination.

Along the Valley Line

Author: Max R. Miller
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819577383
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Connecticut Valley Railroad once carried both passengers and freight along the west bank of the Connecticut River between Hartford and Old Saybrook. Completed in 1871, today the railroad is known throughout New England for the nostalgic steam-powered excursion trains that run on a portion of the line between Essex and Chester. Until now the history of this popular tourist attraction has been the stuff of local lore and legend. This book, written by railroad historian and former vice president and director of Valley Railroad, Max R. Miller, provides the first comprehensive history of the Connecticut Valley Railroad through maps, ephemera, and archival photographs of the trains, bridges, and scenery surrounding the line. Offering tales of train wrecks, ghost sightings, booms and busts, Along the Valley Line will be treasured by railroad enthusiasts and historians alike.

Semiautomatic

Author: Evie Shockley
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 081957743X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Poetry that acts as a fierce and loving resistance to violence

Plume

Author: Kathleen Flenniken
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295805897
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The poems in Plume are nuclear-age songs of innocence and experience set in the "empty" desert West. Award-winning poet Kathleen Flenniken grew up in Richland, Washington, at the height of the Cold War, next door to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where "every father I knew disappeared to fuel the bomb," and worked at Hanford herself as a civil engineer and hydrologist. By the late 1980s, declassified documents revealed decades of environmental contamination and deception at the plutonium production facility, contradicting a lifetime of official assurances to workers and their families that their community was and always had been safe. At the same time, her childhood friend Carolyn's own father was dying of radiation-induced illness: "blood cells began to err one moment efficient the next / a few gone wrong stunned by exposure to radiation / as [he] milled uranium into slugs or swabbed down / train cars or reported to B Reactor for a quick run-in / run-out." Plume, written twenty years later, traces this American betrayal and explores the human capacity to hold truth at bay when it threatens one's fundamental identity. Flenniken observes her own resistance to facts: "one box contains my childhood / the other contains his death / if one is true / how can the other be true?" The book's personal story and its historical one converge with enriching interplay and wide technical variety, introducing characters that range from Carolyn and her father to Italian physicist Enrico Fermi and Manhattan Project health physicist Herbert Parker. As a child of "Atomic City," Kathleen Flenniken brings to this tragedy the knowing perspective of an insider coupled with the art of a precise, unflinching, gifted poet. Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iSaR9mfeeM