The New Testament – Jericho Brown
Brown writes with the fire of a prophet, evoking desire and violence and loss for the ages. He is also the king of line breaks.
Sorrow Arrow – Emily Kendal Frey
Frey captures the oddness of despair like no one else and almost makes it bearable. I return to this book in the worst—and best—of times. Your
First Real Boyfriend & Other Poems – Big Bruiser Dope Boy Big Bruiser
Dope Boy masters a sort of ecstatic disaffection—for lack of a better phrase to describe his purely unique sensibility—in this remarkable collection, which makes me laugh-cry and cry-laugh a ton. A bracing read that will never grow old. At the
Bottom of the River – Jamaica Kincaid
Kincaid’s short collection of lyrical, hallucinatory prose rises to the level of poetry while turning narrative convention on its head to stunning effect.
Bluets – Maggie Nelson
Another short book of prose that borders on poetry, Bluets marries high intellect with deep feeling and makes it sing and sting. I would follow Nelson’s writing anywhere.
Jennifer Wortman is the author of the story collection This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love (Split Lip Press, 2019). Her fiction, essays, and poetry appear in TriQuarterly, Glimmer Train, Hobart, Brevity, Split Lip Magazine, Juked, and elsewhere. She is an associate fiction editor at Colorado Review and an instructor at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.