Celebrating National Poetry Month | Wyatt’s World

Close out April, National Poetry Month, by sharing and reading poems new and old. From backlist favorites to debut works to titles not yet on the shelves, here are five books to underscore the vibrant power of the poet and poetry reader.

  • The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily completepoems.jpg42817Dickinson; ed. by Thomas H. Johnson (Back Bay: Little, Brown).
    Emily Dickinson (1830–86), poet of Amherst, MA, is getting new attention thanks to the newly released Terence Davies film, A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon. This collection is a solid backlist choice to share with readers just finding their way to this essential artist.
  • Fast by Jorie Graham (Ecco: HarperCollins).
    Coming out in May, as if to help the month-long celebration linger a bit, is this new collection from Pulitzer Prize winner Graham. These poems are notable not only for their inventive and rigorous composition but also for their great range of subject matter, here dealing with our future world.
  • Magdalene by Marie Howe (Norton).
    Known for her metaphysical poetry and use of religious and spiritual themes to examine the modern world, Howe in her newest collection reimagines the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene. In contemporary life, Mary goes about her days, observing her children, all while grieving a terrible loss.
  • New Collected Poems by Marianne Moore; ed. by Heather Cass White (Farrar).
    Coming in June is this new volume by one of the foremost voices of the early 20th-century modernist movement. A fresh addition for all libraries, this title highlights Moore’s inventive, striking, and precise poetry.
  • Afterland by Mai Der Vang (Graywolf).
    Winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award, Der Vang, in her debut collection, addresses the secret war in Laos and the fate of the Hmong refugees. Critics note the book’s power and grace and urgent yet historical framework. The Whitman Award is one to track, as recipients (all debut writers) are chosen by an acclaimed poet, making possible the publication of a first book.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

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