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Little Black Daydream

These poems hurtle through life, wide-eyed and bewildered by what has been abandoned, by what has been lost, by what is hurtling past—“The telegram came today: I will never reach the moon.” Yet, in spite of the wreckage, Little Black Daydream bristles with shards of wisdom and moments of sheer joy.
—Nick Flynn, author of Th… >>Read more

Pictures at an Exhibition

Wrestling with the questions of travel, memory, and perception, Pictures at an Exhibition: A Petersburg Album is, at its core, an unrequited love song to St. Petersburg. The fever dream of Peter the Great, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Akhmatova, St. Petersburg is the occasion for a broader meditation on all we come to love and lose. Pictures began as a journal notebook in … >>Read more

Groundspeed

Groundspeed moves and doesn’t stop moving. From pastorals on American highways to self-reckonings after a cancer diagnosis to examinations on grief and transience after the death of a brother, this collection of poems asks readers not only to size up threats but anxieties. Phillips witnesses a small plane crash and examines roadside attractions. She reckons with sexuality after a… >>Read more

Signaletics

Signaletics pits the measured against the immeasurable, the body against identity, and the political against the personal. With a defunct nineteenth-century body measurement system of criminal identification as a foundation, the poems move in and out of history, only to arrive at the immediate voice of a speaker, distraught about the death of a child brother, the remove of a father, an… >>Read more

Carnival

As I read these poems, I feel as though I’m bailing out of a German fairy tale with a chute that might or might not open. I don’t care, though. Jason Bredle’s night sky is as beautiful as it is scary—I’m happy to fall through it forever.
—David Kirby, author of Talking about Movies with Jesus

Strange, prickly, absurd,… >>Read more

Blues for Bill

Blues for Bill celebrates the life and work of poet William Matthews through his own language, that of poetry. While poems of William Matthews are well known and remembered, this collection of poems ensures that the world will remember Bill himself: his graciousness, intelligence, knowledge, style, good humor, capacity for friendship, immense talent, and wit. In this anthology, the edito… >>Read more

Fire Wheel

Winner of the 2003 Akron Poetry Prize

Sharmila Voorakkara’s family poems are tough-minded, sometimes angry, often elegiac, detailing the sad fate of her father who sells vacuum cleaners door to door, or serves as a night watchman, or takes up the holy life as an ascetic with begging bowl. An uncle takes a knife to his wife’s face: “What mirror didn’t throw… >>Read more

How We Spent Our Time

Winner of the 2004 Akron Poetry Prize

Nearly every poem in How We Spent Our Time flies at its mast a title in the form of a gerund or ground phrase, that humble verbal noun. The book's table of contents, therefore, reads like an equally humble enumeration of the ways—some ordinary, some less soa human lifetime… >>Read more

Lingo

In "Foreword," the opening poem of Clare Rossini's new book, the poet exclaims: "Don't tell me the tongue's / Not a magical place." And who would argue the point after reading these poems in which the body and spirit of language bring such joy, from a toddler's garbled imitations to the ripe lines of Shakespeare? Whether in the Midwest or New England, in elegies or celebrations, Rossini takes c… >>Read more

Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields

Winner of the 2005 Akron Poetry Prize

In her first book, Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields, Ashley Capps sounds like the voice of a fresh generation of poets, where the familiar turns suddenly elliptical, straight talk goes engagingly crooked, and the lyric negotiates with the matter-of-fact. Desperate for something solid to believe in, Capps still mistrusts authority, feeling… >>Read more

Half/Mask

In Half/Mask, Roger Mitchell goes in search of the magic that remains when the world is stripped down to “an inhospitable beauty.” Many of these starkly lyrical poems explore the human and natural communities found on tundra and borrow freely from the great narrative and sculptural traditions of the Inuit and other rugged people who have learned to live intensely under challe… >>Read more

Big Muddy River of Stars

Winner of the 2006 Akron Poetry Prize

In Big Muddy River of Stars, her second full-length collection of poems, Alison Pelegrin continues her celebration of the quirks and characters of south Louisiana, tempered now by the devastations of hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. These sassy poems come on like a carnival parade, with boisterous shout-outs to sleepy rivers and Big… >>Read more

Spoken among the Trees

“I am a native but not exactly at home,” says the speaker near the end of “The Song of the Weed Witch,” a declaration that echoes through Jeff Gundy's Spoken among the Trees. Gundy is restless in body and spirit—and in poetic form—a compulsive explorer through the flatlands of Ohio and Indiana. On one level, he seeks out “the green, astonishing w… >>Read more

Frozen Falls

Frozen Falls, Barry Seiler's fourth full-length collection of poems, extends the range of his themes and poetic strategies. Readers of his earlier work will recognize Seiler's concern with family loss, popular music and film, Jewish experience, and the intensities and disappointments inherent in the act of writing. But they will also find a series of brief, inventive poems on the inner l… >>Read more

Circle Routes

Winner of the 2000 Akron Poetry Prize

In Circle Routes, a navigational term, John Minczeski transports the reader to a series of places that often interconnect, whether they are as close as the poet's back yard or as distant, in history and geography, as a Japanese concentration camp and the pungent streets of Rome. What links the poems, however diverse in subject and situ… >>Read more

I Have My Own Song for It

I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio gathers together 117 poems by 85 poets for a fresh perspective on the Buckeye State. Not since 1911 has there been a comprehensive collection of poems written about Ohio. And this anthology is especially relevant as Ohio celebrates its 200th year as a state. It could be called Ohio's bicentennial gift to itself.

These poems, writing… >>Read more

Private Hunger

Private Hunger, Melody Lacina's first collection of poetry, begins as a book of snapshots from a family album, becomes a carousel of colorslides from travels in Europe, and concludes as a gallery of poems celebrating the vitality of the body and its enormous appetite for life. Lacina is also a poet who can say, in the credo that opens the book,"I believe in the underside ... the rhythm a… >>Read more

Ascending Order

Ascending Order is the work of a poet who has thought hard about the circumstances of his past and present, and found an attitude, part concerned and part amused, that serves him well in both his life and his art. The poems in William Greenway's new book range widely, from memories of childhood and family through meditations on works of art, from humorous topics such as the cars in Hell'… >>Read more

Zones of Paradise

Lynn Powell's earlier work has deservedly brought her prestigious prizes and a loyal following. Now, in The Zones of Paradise, Powell extends her range and raises her language to a new intensity. These poems travel from Australia to New Mexico, from the Garden of Eden to her own back yard in Ohio, and everywhere they tremble with the restless exploration of desire, thwarted or fulfilled:… >>Read more

Nothing Fatal

What happens when love is replaced by romance? In Nothing Fatal, Sarah Perrier explores this and other questions about our contemporary understanding of dating, relationships, sex, and marriage. In the opening lines of "Too Darn Hot," a poem fueled by the same weary ardor as Cole Porter's song, the speaker asks, "Why sort the doubletalk from the innuendo? / They're both lyrical." Rather … >>Read more

Orphan, Indiana

Orphan, Indiana is a collection of spontaneous outbursts framed by reticence and the guiding mania of the subconscious. Profane and poignant, accidental-seeming but soaring with satirical intent, David Dodd Lee's poems capture a verisimilitude that's phenomenological, and yet of the moment.

The poems in Orphan, Indiana are cinematic, disorie… >>Read more

How the Dead Bury the Dead

With reverence and exasperation and good humor, the poems in William Greenway's book, How the Dead Bury the Dead, evoke the pain of loss and celebrate the ways we transform our losses into strength. Dislocated from his native Georgia to the rust belt of the Midwest, haunted by the ghost of his father, by memories of his mother, and by dreams of his own mortality, Greenway turns his warm … >>Read more

Comma after Love

From more than nine hundred poems left behind at the poet's death, Donald Justice has chosen the seventy-four representative works that comprise The Comma After Love. By turns rueful and amused, intimate and restrained, these poems speak movingly about the difficulties of love and faith, the pleasure of friendship and poetry, the loneliness and disappointments of the solitary life. In hi… >>Read more

Internal Strategies

In a daring first book that challenges contemporary poetic practice and pieties, Anita Feng speaks in a voice completely different from her own, submerging her gender, race, and nationality in these powerful and sensitive poems. In Internal Strategies, she tells the story of her husband, Xiao Ge Feng, who was born at the outset of communist rule in China and who grew up on succeeding wav… >>Read more

Her Slender Dress

Winner of the 1995 Akron Poetry Prize
Winner of the
1997 Norma Farber First Book Award, Poetry Society of America

Her Slender Dress, the first volume of poetry to win the Akron Poetry Prize, follows Virginia Woolf's advice to women writers: to move out of the sitting room and into reality. The staccato, often fragmented, syntax of these poems is an attem… >>Read more

Winter Morning with Crow

Winner of the 1996 Akron Poetry Prize

What a bright, engaging, lively intelligence is at play here! In these days of noisy promotion, the quietly self-assured poems of Winter Morning with Crow would seem familiar only if they were louder and more demonstrative, if they had some sort of platform to run on, if they cultivated the grotesque or t… >>Read more

Delicate Bait

Winner of the 2002 Akron Poetry Prize

In Delicate Bait, Roger Mitchell explores the small histories of the self in the larger world, intent on giving everything its just place and name. The poems roam over field and seashore and city, “inventing a world so similar to the world itself / it becomes the world.” Whether musing on the past … >>Read more

Cage of Water

The poems in Dennis Hinrichsen's Cage of Water explore collisions of spirit and matter, that thorn-and-thistle bath as he states in the book's final poem, where the limitations and entanglements of the flesh give over to a provisional and sometimes fractured radiance and everlasting. This radiance takes many forms: an uncle with Down Syndrome calling the make… >>Read more

Other Latitudes

Winner of the 2007 Akron Poetry Prize

Attempting to repair the fissures of everyday life, Brian Brodeur negotiates the psychological distances between desire and disgust, humor and catastrophe, banality and dream. The poems of Other Latitudes begin in the realm of personal experience, and expand into larger territories of cultural narcissism and political blindness. These … >>Read more

Everywhere at Once

William Greenway’s Everywhere at Once travels between muggy recollections of a Southern Baptist childhood, meditations on the otherworldly beauty of Wales, and commentary on life, death, and the revelry in between. In lines taut with bluesy musical precision, Greenway clearly demarcates the before and after, pivoting on his wife’s stroke and arduous recovery. “This is o… >>Read more

Bride Minaret

Heather Derr-Smith’s second collection journeys to the rough core of desire, creating and destroying binaries along the way. Familiar artifacts of domesticity become as volatile as land mines, and the streets of Damascus, Calcutta, and other faraway locales obliterate the American landscape. Yet Derr-Smith’s poetry transcends time and place, illuminating the ties that bind man to wo… >>Read more

Letter to Serafin

A Letter to Serafin is a multi-paneled study of juxtapositions and duplicities, where history becomes a living entity, not just a shadowy artifact. Minczeski colors his lines with dark hues of wry comedy and sharp tones of pathos, transcending geography and time by providing testimony on behalf of those who no longer can. This is a vital book for anyone who has ever been transported by a… >>Read more

Wild Rose Asylum

Winner of the 2008 Akron Poetry Prize

The poems of The Wild Rose Asylum offer a multi-faceted consideration of the historical phenomenon of Ireland’s Magdalen asylums, the largest and most controversial of which were run for 150 years, until 1996, by the Catholic Church. In poems that embrace both traditional … >>Read more

Black Leaf

Out of our endgame of giddy chaos, Black Leaf sustains and deepens the themes and images first confronted in Seiler's 1994 book, The Waters of Forgetting. Whether attentive to the poet in Paris, or to Isaac Bashevis Singer in Hoboken, or to Sam Cooke on the radio, these poems carry the reader through the postwar premillenial world, sifting through layers of history, popular culture, lite… >>Read more

Simmer Dim

Simmer Dim is a book of roots and epiphanies, of travels that become an inward journey as the poet searches for origins familial and literary, finally discovering what Eliot found in his Four Quartets: "And the end of all our exploration / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."

Though the poems take us to many landscapes (in France, Greece, I… >>Read more

Ohio Blue Tips

Winner of the 1997 Akron Poetry Prize

Jeanne E. Clark heeds Dickinson's advice to tell all the truth and tell it slant. Rather than settling for the preening gush or anecdotal flatness of much contemporary poetry, her work travels down roads named Bluelick and Slabtown to retrieve a rich sense of place and a sinewy American language. Like the best blues songs, these poems create … >>Read more

Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr

In Notes for a Late-Blooming Martyr, Marlys West takes a coolly amused look at what we create of ourselves: our habits of home and mind, the prosthetics and courtesies, the small timid gestures and screaming leaps that make up our lives and deaths. Influenced by such diverse things as summer vacations, the plight of Satan and the saints, and a love of American speech, these poems suggest… >>Read more

Pale Bird, Spouting Fire

Susan Yuzna's new collection of poetry builds on the success of her 1995 Akron Poetry Prize winner, Her Slender Dress, which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. The new poems speak in a voice recognizably Yuzna's, though now deepened and darkened with a quickening twist of mordant humor.

Feisty or contemplative, in Eden or on the mean streets, these… >>Read more

Waters of Forgetting

In The Waters of Forgetting, Seiler brings together poems that spring from the tensions between memory and forgetting, the past and the present, the daily and the eternal. Whether he is writing about his family or popular music or the violent horrors of our age, Seiler's poems are always concerned with time, the difficulties of living in it and living with it. Moving through these variou… >>Read more

Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie

Winner of the 2010 Akron Poetry Prize

Praise for Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie:

[A] tender anti-epic, a grunge-tinged love song to America’s benighted post-industrial heartland.
—G. C. Waldrep, author of Disclamor and Archicembalo

Joshua Harmon is the flâneur of Poughkeepsie, and Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie is w… >>Read more

Hurricane Party

Hurricane Party is a collection of larger-than-life poems that capture the cadence of New Orleans speech, and the indomitable spirit of its speakers and its culture. It’s refreshing to hear an authentic Louisiana voice, gutsy and genuine, putting it out there in the midst of the mess of “Yankeefied” and “celestial” poems Pelegrin rails against in “Katr… >>Read more

American Busboy

When Matthew Guenette says your mother is a busboy, it sounds like an insult. When he says Jesus is a busboy, it sounds like a prayer. But aren’t we all busboys? Aren’t we all essential to the hum of daily life? Aren’t we all unsung? Don’t we all put cornstarch in our polyester pants to keep from getting a butt rash? The next time you’re chowing down at The … >>Read more

Never Be the Horse

Winner of the 1998 Akron Poetry Prize

Never Be the Horse depicts the world of a postmodern Dark Dorothy whose attempts to return home are foiled when she falls into the Garden of Eden, into the underworld with Walt Whitman, into mysterious versions of her own childhood. The poems evoke this nighttime within the self haunted by mythic and shadow-paradises—of home, hom… >>Read more

Book of Accident

In her latest collection of poems, The Book of Accident, Beckian Fritz Goldberg invites the reader into a shadowy atmosphere where her language prowls among strange images; hummingbirds become a "fistful of violet amphetamines" and desire gnaws away like a "live rat sewed up inside us." Reading The Book of Accident is like entering a graphic novel with missing panels, a noir world… >>Read more

Good Kiss

Winner of the 2001 Akron Poetry Prize

The Good Kiss is a collection of poems dealing loosely with the subjects of divorce, sexuality, and American culture from the 1950's to today.The poems vary in tone from the fairly serious to the reflective and meditative, to the wryly comic. Perhaps it is fair to say that this range of tones exists within many of the individual poems,… >>Read more

Further Problems with Pleasure

“If Coleridge, Plath, Ovid, and Celan started a love commune where they built a manifesto Molotov cocktail out of the pastoral, eros, blank verse, and kitsch: it would be this book. A true original, thrilling in her brash complex feminism and virtuosic in sound and line, Simonds writes of the lives and desires trod upon by late capitalism and poetry.”

&m… >>Read more

The Book of Endings

The poems in The Book of Endings try to make sense of, or at least come to some kind of reckoning with absence—the death of the author's mother, the absence of the beloved, the absence of an accountable god, cicadas, the dead stars arriving, the dead moon aglow in the night sky.

… >>Read more

Veronica Maneuver

Jennifer Moore's debut collection takes its title from a bullfighting technique in which the matador draws the bull with his cape; in these poems, however, traditional moves are reconfigured and roles are subverted. In a broader sense, the word "veronica" (from the Latin vera, or "true" and the Greek eikon, or "image") functions as a frame for exploring the nature of visual experience, and unde… >>Read more

Girl-King

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The poems in Brittany Cavallaro’s Girl-King are whispered from behind a series of masks, those of victim and aggressor, nineteenth-century madame and reluctant magician’s girl, of truck-stop Pe… >>Read more

Fat Jersey Blues

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I know I’m holding a good book in my hand when I use the other to call my friends and read poems to them. How generous John Repp is! He zooms in on the moment, but he’s always glancing at everything tha… >>Read more

Map of the Folded World

Map of the Folded World, John Gallaher's third full-length collection, examines the eros and desperation of suburban America with the precision of a cartographer's eye. But as its title suggests, it does so according to the polar opposite of convention. More concerned with subtext than narrative, often childlike in tone and propelled by the logic of innocence, Gallaher's poems don't shy … >>Read more

Prop Rockery

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Winner of the 2011 Akron Poetry Prize

"Art is about something the way a cat is about the house,” says Allen Grossman. This is abundantly true of Emily Rosko’s poems in Prop Rock… >>Read more

Post Subject

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Ecstatic and obsessive, the prose poems that make up Oliver de la Paz's Post Subject: A Fable reveal the monuments of a lost country. Through a series of epistles addressed to "Empire" a catalog emerges, w… >>Read more

Requiem for the Orchard

Winner of the 2009 Akron Poetry Prize

These are vivid, visceral poems about coming of age in a place “where the Ferris Wheel/ was the tallest thing in the valley,” where a boy would learn “to fire a shotgun at nine and wring a chicken’s neck/ with one hand by twirling the bird and whipping it stra… >>Read more

Thievery

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Here is a book that is truly quietly deeply subtle. It appears to operate along the lines of here is how one thing follows another; it appears to rely on anticipated cause and effect to spring us forth from one fra… >>Read more