#TPQ5: RONNIE K. STEPHENS

Magical Negro – Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker is quickly establishing herself as one of the most talented and poignant voices in contemporary American poetry. This collection deftly addresses issues at the forefront of sociopolitical conversation today.

Deaf Republic – Ilya Kaminsky

Deaf Republic appeals as much to the literary critic as it does to the historian, as much to the political strategist as it does to the refugee, as much to the activist as it does to the casual reader. These poems are haunting and celebratory and difficult and life-giving.

Soft Science – Franny Choi

Franny Choi is a unique and vital voice in American poetry, and her poems frequently extend into the political realm. Educators will find numerous poems in Soft Science which can serve as catalysts for poignant, necessary debates on contemporary political issues.

A Fortune for Your Disaster – Hanif Abdurraqib

The poems are rich with the subtle, introspective style for which Abdurraqib is known, and he touches on the themes that remain ever-present in his writing. They also show the increased patience and nuance of an author continually focused on improving his artifice.

Space Struck – Paige Lewis

In a year of absolutely gorgeous verse, Paige Lewis sets themselves apart, at once informed by the masters of craft and entirely unique in their own right. This is a collection you won’t want to miss.


Ronnie K. Stephens is a poet, novelist, and essayist with five kids and a pregnant wife. He is every bit as tired and incomprehensible as you would expect, but he still travels with a dozen books in his bag and writes reviews for The Poetry Question. You’ll never see him without coffee and, if you do, send help.

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