Dark, Dark Mouth by MTN.
These short poems play like stuttered thoughts that flow in and out of your brain before you can censor them from yourself. They allow breathing between them, as well, which is necessary for poems so visceral and evocative of internal and external conflict.
Emergency Brake by Ruth Madievsky
The marriage of poetry and medicine in this book is a gorgeous if tumultuous one — Madievsky’s hand for metaphors is unquestionable, in their anxious, wry revelry. They become something stuck between your teeth in the best way.
Cool Zebras of Light by Robert Peters
These poems are short bursts of loneliness and mourning before mourning has proven necessary, ripe with descriptions both beautiful and uncomfortable, both divine and mundane. Interwoven with these is a narrative of prose detailing the speaker’s dying relationship with a younger man as they travel through Europe together, doomed from the start and yet still continuing on. A provocative, unexpected rendering that has me searching Peters’ other works out voraciously now.
Odes by Sharon Olds
A poet everyone should read, Sharon Olds’ “Odes” is deeply moving — every poem is a song to something, full of a reverence for the simplest and/or most perverse of things. These odes don’t shy away from the gross and uncomfortable, something I try to do in my own poetry so it is a joy and a gift to read how Olds does it so effectively.
When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen
Delightfully weird and exuberantly sad, Chen’s poems straddle the line between poetic diction and imagery beautiful in their goofiness. He is unafraid to provide deeply personal content with evocative, assembling language; I have never read better love poems, whether about love or not.
Gabrielle Grace Hogan is a poet from St. Louis, Missouri currently living in Austin, Texas. Her work has been published by the Academy of American Poets, Sonora Review, Best Buds! Collective, Ghost City Review, & others. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming Harry Styles anthology “”You Flower / You Feast,”” associate editor of Bat City Review, & works as part of the social media team for ATX Interfaces, an Austin monthly reading series. She is currently pursuing her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin as part of the New Writers Project. Her social media & also poems can be found on gabriellegracehogan.com.” firstname.lastname@example.org