Kingdom Animalia – Aracelis Girmay

With her glowing elegies and meditations on reincarnation, Girmay invites us to stay in the body—to resist, to associate, to process, to witness. This is one I recite, carry around in my bag, gift to friends.

Black Milk – Tory Dent

Here is a highly rational speaker wrestling with the irrational situation of illness. Dent contextualizes the sick body via popular culture and historical and literary allusion—and she remains unconcerned with the labor or comfort of the reader, which I have found massively empowering as a disabled poet.

R E D – Chase Berggrun

Berggrun’s heavy-lifting erasure of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA is permissive and transgressive and instructive, even if erasure is not part of your project. I return to it all the time.

Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille Dungy

This is an essential anthology to complicate (y)our relationship to nature and nature writing. Required reading.

No Tender Fences: An Anthology of Immigrant & First-Generation American Poetry edited by Carla Sofia Ferreira, Kim Sousa, and Marina Carreira

A smart and ecstatic collation of powerhouse poets and fresh new voices from so many borderlands, plus pedagogical resources. Proceeds benefit RAICES.

Shannon Sankey is the author of We Ran Rapturous (The Atlas Review 2019). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Poets.org, Best New Poets 2019, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, the minnesota review, Puerto del Sol, Redivider, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2017 Academy of American Poets University & College Prize and a 2019 SAFTA residency. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, where she was the Whitford Fellow. http://www.shannonsankey.com

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