Abdurraqib’s work shows a keen awareness of how to marry subjective lived experience with the world’s larger contexts. In this way, his poems and essays make even foreign subjects familiar, with their content being felt as much as read.
Erika L. Sanchez – Lessons on Expulsion
This book provides a master class in imagery, particularly the ways poems can complicate our perceptions of an image’s context through fresh uses of language.
John Murillo – Up Jump the Boogie
This collection excels with variations of forms. Murillo not only presents ghazals, sestinas, and more in unique ways, but he also marries his alterations with his subjects and speakers, creating reflections between the craft and the content.
Ocean Vuong – Night Sky With Exit Wounds
Sometimes writing needs to make direct statements, but these moments are among the hardest to earn in poems. Vuong’s collection delivers many of these lines in ways that sink your heart while illuminating the surrounding content and not calling too much attention to themselves in an attempt at profundity.
Brooks has endured because she is one of the greatest examples of what happens when we stretch the confines of formalist poetry. Additionally, her literary citizenship knew no bounds, and we are privileged to know so many writers because of her giving spirit.
Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and Solstice MFA Program Assistant Director. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Homology Lit, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Anti-Heroin Chic, Transition magazine, and elsewhere. He also received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2019. Quintin likes to post poems and writing memes on his Twitter (@qcollinswriter). He thinks the memes are funny sometimes, but that’s debatable.