Maps and Transcripts of the Ordinary World, Kathryn Cowles-Milkweed Editions

Using small boxes of text and labeled photographs, Cowles gives the reader a series of visual and textual cues to follow through her collection–photos become maps of language, snapshots of language capture interior and exterior landscapes, where decay unsettles beauty, and musicality troubles static meaning, like waves lapping at the shore. A kind of ode to transience and the limits of representational forms that points to doors and windows which open those very limits, in which she works so beautifully.

Quantum Heresies, Mary Peelen-Glass Lyre Press

Peelen brings theories of theoretical physics-that can leave my mind baffled-down to earth through her gorgeous language and wide ranging imagery. I loved the skillful fusion of scientific theory and poetry that tap, tap, tapped at the solid world until it opened outward and expanded my own experience of being in this temporary human body.

Night Angler, Geffrey Davis-BOA Editions

Davis’s book of poems is full of generous, image-rich language, which he uses to explore the emotional landscape of fatherhood, both as a son and new father. It was such a pleasure to read a collection by a male poet who is not only skilled, but tender and vulnerable in a way I’ve rarely encountered and I found deeply hopeful.

Eye Level, Jenny Xie-Graywolf Press

In “Eye Level”, Xie uses the conversation between line and empty space on the page, to create a collection that captures the experience of simultaneous stillness and movement. This stunning collection of poems, weaves a kind of trance, that somehow seems to hold the essence of the whole world in its pages.

Linda Gregg

Gregg’s poetry is composed, mostly, of familiar language-often a series of painterly descriptions of the natural world (human and non) interlaced with simple statements. No other poet I’ve read, besides maybe Merwin, holds longing and joy in together and makes a seemingly simple series of lines sing and sing and sing.

Twila Newey’s favorite poets and collections are prone to fluctuation. These choices represent this particular moment in time and space. Twila received her M.F.A. in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. She was a finalist for the 2019 Coniston Prize at Radar Poetry and won honorable mention in the 2019 JuxtaProse Poetry Contest. Her poems also appear in Summerset Review, Rust & Moth, After the Pause, and other journals. Her first novel, “Sylvia” is forthcoming in 2020 with BCC Press. She is a poetry reader for Psaltry & Lyre and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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