#TPQ5: ASHLEY WAGNER

Think of the Danger – Thea Brown

Wavering and bright, Thea Brown’s debut collection never fails to enchant me with its beautiful images and thoughtful use of language. Brown works with a deft hand, using fresh and striking lyricism to engage with life’s most pressing questions.

Bright Dead Things – Ada Limón

A collection I find myself returning to time and time again, Bright Dead Things thrums with the power of horses’ hooves and a heart refusing to break. The voice, empowered and probing, navigates such topics as sexuality, heritage, control (or a lack thereof), and loss in such a way that lends the collection its air of timelessness.

Han Kang

Han Kang, a clear, poetic voice among novelists, handles human tragedy and cruelty with unprecedented grace and nuance. Her works, including The Vegetarian and Human Acts, touch on the horrors of life with careful consideration and a subtle, hopeful brightness.

Helen Oyeyemi

Oyeyemi is a fairytale weaver for the modern era, spinning familiar tropes into gold. Rich with imagination and female power, works such as Gingerbread and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours are intelligent reads for devourers of the fantastical and the inventive.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude – Ross Gay

Unapologetically upbeat and delightfully buoyant, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude never fails to give me the urge to tell someone I love them. Gay meditates on that which is fleeting and preaches togetherness, vulnerability, and yes, gratitude during the time we have on the earth.


Ashley Wagner is a Maryland native currently working as poetry editor for Ligeia Magazine and pursuing her Master’s degree in Professional Writing at Towson University. Her work has previously been featured in Grub Street.

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