Tag: books

REVIEWS: O – ZEINA HASHEM BECK (PENGUIN POETS)

Zeina Hashem Beck quickly and repeatedly establishes herself as one of the most talented formal technicians in contemporary poetry – Ronnie K. Stephens

THE STUDY OF HUMAN LIFE – JOSHUA BENNETT (PENGUIN POETS)

Bennett has established himself as an intensely patient and deliberate writer capable of upending genre as seamlessly as he upends our understanding of the world. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: FEEL ALRIGHT BY KRIIISPY

This year I been moving different
People acting mad funny – Peter griffin
People shooting for the stars
When they should’ve just stayed wishing
– Reggie Johnson

REPLAYS: ICU BY COCO JONES

You
Yes you
I need you
– Reggie Johnson

REPLAYS: 3AM IN GLENWOOD BY 21 SAVAGE

Take it back to the time
To who was really riding with me
And not just in the passenger seat
– Reggie Johnson

REPLAYS: SHIRT BY SZA

Blood again on my cardigan
Yes, we could’ve been more than friends
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20 – S4EP3: DONNEY ROSE

Join Chris in conversation with performance poet, advocacy journalist, and teaching artist, Donney Rose, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: BET BY RUSS

Bet
I’m over here just matching my energy
You sigh in relief
But there ain’t no relief in me
– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: MEMORY AND ALTERNATE HISTORIES AS CATHARSIS

Franny Choi’s “Wildlife” and “Demilitarized Zone” both offer excellent frameworks to facilitate lessons that center retrofitted memory and alternate history as a cathartic process. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20 – S4EP2: COURTNEY FAYE TAYLOR

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in conversation with Courtney Faye Taylor, author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press) and winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REPLAYS: MIXY BY QUAVO, TAKEOFF & SUMMER WALKER

I ain’t mixy
If my actions change
Adjusting to your nonsense
Now all of sudden I’m acting strange
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: BETWEEN EVERY BIRD, OUR BONES – EMET EZELL (NEWFOUND)

The equation is one, in which, survival and domestic intimacy, are constants. It is true then, that emet ezell was first, a witness, before being identified as a poet. – Martins Deep

TPQ20 – S4EP1: LUTHER HUGHES

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Luther Hughes, author of Shiver in the Leaves, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry.

REPLAYS: BIG MAD BY KTLYN

Had to spell it out for you
On my national Scripps
Quiet ones to watch
Since we stay tight lipped
Readying my arsenal
Stay fully equipped
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S3EP17 – JASMINNE MENDEZ

Join Chris of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Jasminne Mendez, Author of City Without Altar (Noemi Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, & Poetry!

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TPQ20 – SAIDA AGOSTINI BOSTIC

Join Chris in a sit down with Saida Agostini Bostic, author of Let the Dead In (Alan Squire Publishing), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: SO TALL IT ENDS IN HEAVEN – JAYME RINGLEB (TIN HOUSE)

Debut author Jayme Ringleb has mastered the art of language that yearns, of metronomic white space that beats with all the quiet inevitability of an unrequited heart. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: S3EP15 – DR. DESTINY O. BIRDSONG

Join Chris in a sit down with Dr. Destiny O. Birdsong, author of Nobody’s Magic (Grand Central Publishing) and Negotiations (Tin House), about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: UNRAVELING – BRANDON LEAKE (SIMON AND SCHUSTER)

This collection of poems is a mosaic of mirrors, reflecting the innerman with the wavelength of an x-ray. – Martins Deep

SPEAK FREELY: BANNED BOOKS EDITION

Though book burning may appear historically and practically extreme in comparison to book bans, consider that one of the guiding principles of book burning is public spectacle. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: OUTSIDE BY BRYSON TILLER

Luckily I clean it up well
Yeah prepare for the tide
Not a stain on me
We take off on our ride
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S3EP14 – SANDRA CISNEROS

Join Chris in a sit-down with the legendary Sandra Cisneros, author of Woman Without Shame (Alfred A. Knopf), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: ALIVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD – SAEED JONES (COFFEE HOUSE PRESS)

Jones reaffirms his place as one of the most talented living poets writing in English with this collection, demonstrating an ever-evolving mastery of language and a distinct eye for structural balance. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TPQ20: S3EP13 – AURIELLE MARIE

Join Chris in a sit-down with Aurielle Marie, author of Gumbo Ya Ya (University of Pittsburgh Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: A SHIVER IN THE LEAVES – LUTHER HUGHES (BOA EDITIONS)

His use of structure, rhythm and extended metaphor are among the best, and his particular utilization of the crow throughout A Shiver in the Leaves sets this debut apart as one of the most layered, complex collections of the year. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TALK TO ME: NOLCHA FOX

I love putting odd images together, playing with alternate definitions of words, twisting the end. My adult me is the one who figures out where to submit the glorious mess I make of a poem. – Nolcha Fox

Speak Freely: Imperative Voice and the Performance of Womanhood

Xie’s use of the imperative voice, intentionally or not, mirrors the language in Kincaid’s text, and both authors use the imperative specifically to convey expectations to younger generations of women. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: TOXIC BY YG

Dramamine because I’m sick of you
When patience ran thin
Where was thick for you?
What didn’t click for you?
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S3EP11 – H. MELT

Join Chris in a sit down with H. MELT, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: LOTUS & THE APOCALYPSE – AUSTIN DAVIS (OUTCAST PRESS)

It’s a testament to all of us holding depression and joy in both hands, to everyone that has ever felt their world could end before the sun goes down. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: PICTURE IN MY MIND BY PINK PANTHERESS & SAM GELLAITRY

You’re no longer a need
No longer a want
A picture in my mind
My dreams you won’t haunt
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: MAGNOLIA – NINA MINGYA POWLES (TIN HOUSE)

The poems are clearly the work of someone who has dedicated significant time to craft, & who approaches language like an anthropologist or philosopher might. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: THE WET HEX – SUN YUNG SHIN (COFFEE HOUSE PRESS)

At the heart of the poem is an image of the author’s passport, effectively bridging mythos and history to highlight a long and violent legacy of colonialism and its impact on colonized peoples. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: I LITERALLY NEVER THINK ABOUT YOU BY KYLE

No matter the companionship
Friend, coworker or foe
You’ll never catch me banana slip
I literally never think about you
I just stack chips and I dip
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: SO, STRANGER – TOPAZ WINTERS (BUTTON POETRY)

Winters offers a layered and thoughtful critique of the immigrant experience in America, the nuances of her relationship with her father and how borders operate in our lives. – Ronnie K. Stephens

SPEAK FREELY: MEANING AND METAPHOR IN RACHEL MCKIBBENS’ “THE WIDOWER”

Rachel McKibbens “The Widower” captures students because it’s visceral, emotional, and refuses to be ignored. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: GRAND BY KANE BROWN

I had thoughts
Deep thoughts
Of me, myself and the pen
Replay the moment in my head
Not taking it for granted again
Some people say they family
And they never been a kin
– Reggie Johnson

TPQ20: S3EP7 – I.S. JONES

Join Chris in a sitdown with I.S. Jones, author of Spells of My Name, and Editor at Frontier Poetry, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry! 

REVIEW: DIARIES OF A TERRORIST – CHRISTOPHER SOTO (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Soto’s poems are meant to be rough, triggering at times, and cut straight to the point. Readers can’t help but understand the message, empathize, and feel like we’re supposed to fix things ourselves.

REPLAYS: THE SIGN BY LIZZO

Hey how you doing?
Are you getting tired yet?
I might forgive you
But I never forget
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: LET THE DEAD IN – SAIDA AGOSTINI (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)

The language, lyrically dispensed in its distinct style, portrays bravery and reveals a poet whose voice is both an ache and a cure. – Martins Deep

REVIEW: YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT HAS EXPERIENCED AN EMERGENCY – CHEN CHEN (BOA EDITIONS LTD)

The risk of centering a speaker who is, at times, painfully self-involved is significant, but Chen balances these sentiments with frequent moments of grace, desire and appreciation. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: KARMA BY SUMMER WALKER

There is a fine line
In the root of good and evil
So stop it with this balancing act
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: TIME IS A MOTHER – OCEAN VUONG (PENGUIN PRESS)

Vuong uses structure to further disrupt linear fluidity. His poems frequently utilize a style of enjambment that eschews natural speech, presenting fragments that time and again force the reader forward. – Ronnie K. Stephens

SATURDAY T-SHIRT ALERT

𝐏𝐎𝐄𝐓𝐑𝐘? 𝐅𝐔𝐂𝐊 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐇.
It’s the only shirt your kid’s teacher won’t dress code them on.

REVIEW: ALL THE BLOOD INVOLVED IN LOVE (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Maya Marshall’s debut interrogates the current sociopolitical nature and its threat to reproductive rights, choice, and Blackness. – Caitie L. Young

REPLAYS: BREAK MY SOUL BY BEYONCÉ

They don’t like us outside
But now we ain’t gonna be inside
From the inside, I can see your insides
Looks like y’all don’t like yourself inside
y’all should’ve kept your opinions inside
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S3EP4 – KHALISA RAE

Join Chris in conversation with Khalisa Rae, author of Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat (Red Hen Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REPLAYS: SURPRISE BY CHLÖE BAILEY

Not into too many surprises
Unless it’s a special occasion
And whenever I’m with you
It’s a cause for a celebration
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: ALL THE FLOWERS KNEELING – PAUL TRAN (PENGUIN POETS)

Paul Tran’s long-awaited debut collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, is a fierce reminder that Tran is one of the most talented and visceral poets writing in America today. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: SAVE ME BY DANNY LONDON & HALFOFYOU

Running from the fears
When it’s coming from the inside
No more counted out
No where for me to hide
Who knows what happens when
Pain and perseverance collides?
– Reggie Johnson

RELEASE DAY: HALF-BRED – ANTHONY SALANDY

Order your copy of A.R. Salandy’s Half-Bred! Only 100 copies available!

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TPQ20: S3EP2 – JENNIFER HUANG

Join Chris Margolin of The Poetry Questions in a sit-down with Jennifer Huang, author of Return Flight (Milkweed Editions), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

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TPQ20: S3EP1 – ADA LIMÓN

Sit down with Chris and Courtney Margolin, as they talk with Ada Limón, author of The Hurting Kind (Milkweed Editions), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: DEAR GOD. DEAR BONES. DEAR YELLOW. – NOOR HINDI (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is the divine feminine’s wrath with no apologies, and yes, you should say thank you. – Lyra Thomas

BROWN STUDY: Ọbáfẹ́mi Thanni

Thanni paints the scenery for us clearly—the love between families, the high stakes involved in pursuing change (fly/break, free/remembered), and nestled in these intense bonds, intense violence. – Jeni De La O

SPEAK FREELY: MENTAL HEALTH AND THE POETICS OF COLLECTIVE HEALING

Discussing mental health in the classroom can be incredibly daunting, especially as educators face public criticism and accusations of indoctrinating students. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REVIEW: REVENGE BODY – RACHEL WILEY (BUTTON POETRY)

These poems rip at the meat, bone, and marrow of aspects of the institution that has settled in the hearts and minds of our societal zeitgeist. – Melissa Ferrer

REPLAYS: WAVES – RUSS

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I just need to breathe

Inhale exhale put my mind at ease
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE TREES WITNESS EVERYTHING – VICTORIA CHANG (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

Each section speaks to a specific season, emphasizing the passage of time and its effect on our understanding of the world around us. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: N95 BY KENDRICK LAMAR

Does drained looked good on me?
The pressures of life begin to sink in
And it’s like someone left the water running
Washing ourselves of the sins 
But it feels like I’m taking a ho bath
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: THE HURTING KIND – ADA LIMÓN (MILKWEED EDITIONS)

If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. – Ronnie K. Stephens

TALK TO ME: ALEAH DYE

I think the brevity comes somewhat from the fact that I see this glow, this halo, around my intimacy so clearly. I see it, I feel it, I say it. And that’s that. It comes (ah, another pun!) easy. – Aleah Dye

SPEAK FREELY: NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EDITION

This month, I’m sharing some of my favorite pedagogical practices to introduce during National Poetry Month, as well as some of the poems I return to in my classes year after year. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: S2EP15 – COURTNEY LeBLANC

Join Chris in a one-on-one with EiC of Riot in Your Throat Press and author of and Winner of the Jack McCarthy book prize (Write Bloody, 2023), Courtney LeBlanc, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry!

REVIEW: SPELLS OF MY NAME – I.S. JONES (NEWFOUND)

This entire collection is a canal–a wrenching chasm opening for rebirth–a witness to the psyche, split apart, in a world ruled by men who abandoned their humanity for the sake of domination. – Melissa Ferrer

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TPQ20: S2EP14 – KRISTIN GARTH

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with Kristin Garth, the Editor in Cheif of Pink Plastic House, for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: AGAINST HEAVEN – KEMI ALABI (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“Against Heaven is an ode to blackness with a question mark to Black Christianity. It is a tribute to queerness and transness. It is a love letter to polyamory, and the lovers had and yet to have….” Lyra Thomas

REVIEW: DROWNING IN LIGHT – TAYLOR STEELE (PLATYPUS PRESS)

In this speaker’s world, loneliness becomes a proper noun. A thing of beauty. A thing that will grow into its own season. – Amanda Rabaduex

REVIEW: YEAR OF THE UNICORN KIDZ – JASON B. CRAWFORD (SUNDRESS PUBLICATION)

These are painful in a glorious way – a healing kind of hurt. This collection offers a safe space for queerness and self and love. – Courtney Margolin

REVIEW: AS SHE APPEARS – SHELLEY WONG (YESYES BOOKS)

With a hint of irony she reminds us of all the rules we’ve been exposed to growing up, of the smallest signs we have to use every day to express ourselves in front of the societal expectations. – Valentina Linardi

REVIEW: NOT FLOWERS – NOREEN OCAMPO (VARIANT LIT)

This collection of life-flowers reminds us that life may be ordinary, but this ordinary may just be lovely enough to convince us that we want to be in it. – Melissa Ferrer

REVIEW: CUSTOMS – SOLMAZ SHARIF (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

[This collection takes a] hard look at the challenges of existing in exile, of growing accustomed to the comforts of America, and of conflicting feelings around claiming a home to which the speaker cannot return. – Ronnie K. Stephens

SPEAK FREELY: FORMAL VERSE AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE

“The activist in me wants students to grapple with how form, and departure from form, serves as commentary on systemic oppression and gatekeeping”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: LITTLE STORY – KEHLANI

The nightmare is when all the magic stops
Boogeyman syndrome, stay away
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S2EP8 – MX. FAYLITA HICKS

Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Mx. Faylita Hicks, author of Hoodwitch (Acre Books) and EiC of Black Femme Collective, about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry! LISTEN IN HERE: https://anchor.fm/tpq20/episodes/MX–FAYLITA-HICKS-e1f0ctn   FAYLITA HICKS (she/they) is the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist

REVIEW: HEADLESS JOHN THE BAPTIST HITCHHIKING – C.T. SALAZAR (ACRE BOOKS)

“The idea of losing blood to be filled with salvation, to make sacrifices, to hitchhike trying to find a way home – these speak to overarching themes throughout”. – Amanda Rabaduex

TALK TO ME: MORDECAI MARTIN WITH ARDEN HUNTER

“When I’m in the middle of creating I’m actually not very reflective; I don’t sit back and think, ‘why am I doing it this way?’ I just get a bit possessed by it and power through”. – Arden Hunter

REPLAYS: RENT MONEY – MARY J. BLIGE & DAVE EASTc

Not a care in the world
Learning about one’s self 
Take what I know now 
And protect myself and mental health
Protect my peace
Now I’m up here living with my life on a lease
– Reggie Johnson

REVIEW: BLOODFRESH BY EBONY STEWART (BUTTON POETRY)

Stewart is at her best, masterfully blending her understanding of craft with her keen ear for orality to offer a collection readers will be talking about for years. – Ronnie K. Stephens

REPLAYS: HRS & HRS – MUNI LONG

Who knows how one’s body could have
All the answers to our questions
Thank you for your blessings
– Reggie Johnson

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TPQ20: S2EP5 – JAE NICHELLE

Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with @CropTopAssassin, author of The Porch (@yesyesbooks), in a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

Cover of This House

REVIEW: THIS HOUSE – REHEMA NJAMBI (THE EMMA PRESS)

“When we write about family, we tread a complicated tightrope between sentimentality and honesty; The way that Njambi writes about family is what pulls each poem together”. – Caitie L. Young

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TPQ20: S2EP3 – KB

Join Chris, of The Poetry Question, in a one-on-one with KB, author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REPLAYS: JOHNNY P’S CADDY – BENNY THE BUTCHER & J. COLE

Done giving you a reason
You can’t take my words 
And make your own
You don’t have your own seasoning
Soon you’ll learn there’s no appeasing me
Within good reasoning
– Reggie Johnson

SPEAK FREELY: EBONY STEWART TRANSFORMS LIVED EXPERIENCES INTO AWARD-WINNING LITERATURE

“…let us be intentional in recognizing the incredible contributions that women of color have made & continue to make, not just in literature but in all fields”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

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TPQ20: S2EP1 – GABRIELLE BATES

Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Gabrielle Bates about passion, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

REVIEW: SUCH COLOR BY TRACY K. SMITH (GRAYWOLF PRESS)

“[There is a] willingness to engage space as a living entity, something that is at once incomprehensible and animate”. – Ronnie K. Stephens

EVERYTHING IS A POEM: SPAM AND SOY SAUCE SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH RICE

There’s a deep hurt I feel when I share my food with others and they respond with, “That looks gross!” – Alex Dang

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TPQ20: EPISODE 22 – REAGAN MYERS

Chris sits down for a one-on-one with Reagan Myers, author of Afterwards (Button Poetry), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, poetry… and YA lit!

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TPQ20: EPISODE 16 – TAYLOR BYAS

Chris sits down for a one-on-one conversation with Taylor Byas, author of Bloodwarm (Variant Lit), for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!

TALK TO ME: CLAIRE TAYLOR

“I wonder if I can write an entire manuscript centered around the lines from [the Growing Pains] theme song. And that is what I did”. – Claire Taylor

REVIEW: EVERY JOURNAL IS A PLAGUE JOURNAL – RAYE HENDRIX (BOTTLECAP PRESS)

“Hendrix does not shy away from the complex, daily horrors that were ushered in, and the microscopic to multidimensional trauma that came from hearing the city cheer nightly, like a ritual or like war”. – Rachael Crosbie

EVERYTHING IS A POEM: BETTER CALL SOMEBODY, AND PLEASE DON’T YELL

“I have also tried to be somebody that I’m not. It hurts to crack yourself into multiple parts. It is the loudest noise. It breaks you”. – Alex Dang

REPLAYS: OVER – DRAKE

The song served as a reintroduction for my love for writing. For the first time, I was able to combine my love for both music and writing together.

REPLAYS: CAN’T TOUCH THIS – MC HAMMER

My love for music dates back to me being a kid, where whenever my mom needed to occupy my time while she was busy, she would turn on the music videos.

ODES FROM THE EDITOR: AUGUST EDITION

But, damn, Poetry, you always have a way of bringing me right back. Because it turns out every writer, narrator, and subject matter, has a different make, model, obstacle, feel, and endgame. Plotlines do change. Stories do unfold. Forms to do come together. Characters do come to life.

REVIEW: DOPPLEGANGBANGER – CORTNEY LAMAR CHARLESTON (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

Because it’s not easy to discover your voice or yourself inside a world that doesn’t love you – or at least doesn’t love you back.

BROWN STUDY: “OMELET” – ZORA SATCHELL

What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another? 

REPLAYS: “LOVE ME LIKE YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME” – KYLE

Should’ve learned to love me
By asking questions
Instead of taking my actions for granted
And second guessing
My motives
My intentions