Deaf Republic – Ilya Kaminsky
Quite simply, one of the most ambitious and impacting literary experiences of my life. This epic poem is set in a fictitious world that feels all-to-familiar and relevant to our present social-political moment—I can’t remember crying this much reading a book of poetry.
Hybrida – Tina Chang
Chang’s astounding collection reckons with what it means to raise her Black son in America, as she employs a dynamic range of both traditional and hybrid poetic forms as a means of grappling with the vulnerability, rage, beauty, and restlessness of her experiences as a mother.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude – Ross Gay
This astounding collection by Gay is centered around the author’s relentless excavations of gratitude and joy, in all their complexities and varied dimensions. These poems are like buoys that I find I can return to again and again.
Incendiary Art – Patricia Smith
It is not hyperbole to say that Smith is a legend and someone I’ve admired since I was nineteen and first met her. Really, I could easily have picked any of her eight poetry collections, but this is her latest and perhaps her at the height of her literary superpowers.
Alabanza: New and Selected Poems 1982-2002 – Martín Espada
Espada is able to craft work that somehow always feels firmly grounded in our actual world and yet boundless in its emotional depth and resonance. I would not be a poet today without his work and, in particular, these poems.
Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Colombian American poet from New York City and the author of “Hijito,” selected by Eduardo C. Corral as the winner of the 2018 Broken River Prize, to be released this September by Platypus Press. For more on Carlos or the book, please visit: www.CarlosLive.com