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Singing School

Singing School

Learning to Write (And Read) Poetry by Studying With the Masters

by Robert Pinsky

Hardcover, 160 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $25.95, published August 5 2013 | purchase
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  • Singing School
  • Learning to Write (And Read) Poetry by Studying With the Masters
  • Robert Pinsky

A former poet laureate provides informative introductions and sidebar notes for more than 80 poems by greats including William Butler Yeats, Emily Dickinson and George Herbert, in an effort to spark pleasure in reading and writing poems.

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Shahnameh

Shahnameh

The Epic of the Persian Kings

by Ferdowsi, Hamid Rahmanian, Ahmad Sadri and Sheila Canby

Hardcover, 570 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $75, published May 20 2013 | purchase
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  • Shahnameh
  • The Epic of the Persian Kings
  • Ferdowsi, Hamid Rahmanian, et al

Retells the ancient Iranian epic poem of the tenth century, and includes tales of the Simurgh--a giant bird who brings an orphaned king into her nest--man-eating snakes, and the great hero Rustam.

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A Thousand Mornings

A Thousand Mornings

by Mary Oliver

Paperback, 82 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published September 24 2013 | purchase
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  • A Thousand Mornings
  • Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life's work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved home, Provincetown, Mass. She shares the wonder of dawn, the grace of animals and the transformative power of attention. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her adored dog Percy, she patiently observes the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.NPR Bestseller

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O, What a Luxury

O, What a Luxury

Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound

by Garrison Keillor

Hardcover, 170 pages, Pgw, $20, published October 1 2013 | purchase
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  • O, What a Luxury
  • Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound
  • Garrison Keillor

The host of A Prairie Home Companion presents his first collection of poetry, featuring his reflections on daily life, love, politics, and religion in verse.

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The Waste Land

The Waste Land

by T. S. Eliot

Hardcover, 84 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $15.95, published September 16 2013 | purchase
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  • The Waste Land
  • T. S. Eliot

This reissue of the first edition, now back with its original publisher, brings to life the most important poem of the 20th century — which defined modernity after World War I — for a new generation of readers.

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Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire

Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire

by Brenda Hillman

Hardcover, 108 pages, Univ Pr of New England, $22.95, published August 22 2013 | purchase
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  • Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire
  • Brenda Hillman

Fire — its physical, symbolic, political, and spiritual forms — is the fourth and final subject in Brenda Hillman's series on the elements. Here, Hillman evokes fire as metaphor and as event to chart subtle changes of seasons during financial breakdown, environmental crisis and street movements for social justice. She gathers factual data, earthly rhythms, chants to the dead, journal entries and lyric fragments in the service of a radical animism.

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The Conference of the Birds

The Conference of the Birds

by Peter Sis

Paperback, 0 pages, Penguin Group USA, $18, published October 29 2013 | purchase
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  • The Conference of the Birds
  • Peter Sis

Peter Sis reimagines the 12th-century Persian poem The Conference of the Birds, fitting out an English translation with lavish illustrations. It's the harrowing story of thousands of birds on a perilous journey in search of a king. While Sis is best known for his many children's books, this book is his first intended for adults.

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New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

by David Lehman

Paperback, 288 pages, Simon & Schuster, $20, published November 5 2013 | purchase
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  • New and Selected Poems
  • David Lehman

The founder of The Best American Poetry series draws from material produced over the course of more than 40 years.

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Urban Tumbleweed

Urban Tumbleweed

Notes from a Tanka Diary

by Harryette R. Mullen

Paperback, 127, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $15, published November 5 2013 | purchase
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  • Urban Tumbleweed
  • Notes from a Tanka Diary
  • Harryette R. Mullen

Urban Tumbleweed is an exploration of spaces representing a convergence between the city and the natural world, inspired by the author's daily walking practice. It adapts the traditional Japanese tanka form to consider environmental transitions and humanity's role in nature.

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Metaphysical Dog

Metaphysical Dog

Poems

by Frank Bidart

Hardcover, 112 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $24, published April 30 2013 | purchase
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  • Metaphysical Dog
  • Poems
  • Frank Bidart

Many of Frank Bidart's most famous poems have been long dramatic monologues in the voices of the doomed and disturbed — the anorexic Ellen West, the pedophilic murderer Herbert White, the brilliant dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. But in the shorter poems in Metaphysical Dog, the poet takes on his own persona: an aging, accomplished poet, perennially fascinated by humanity's uneasy blend of philosophical minds and animal bodies.

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The Big Smoke

The Big Smoke

by Adrian Matejka

Paperback, 109 pages, Penguin Group USA, $18, published May 28 2013 | purchase
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  • The Big Smoke
  • Adrian Matejka

Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion, is a figure of mythological proportions; in this new collection, poet Adrian Matejka gives the boxer a voice that's wholly human. The poet examines race and racism from Johnson's singular perspective: the son of slave-born Southerners, the opera-loving international celebrity, the abusive playboy arrested for dating white women, the wealthy world champion who couldn't get served at restaurants. Matejka's unflinching verse conveys Johnson's bravura and his bravery, and both the power and the vulnerability of a bleeding, breakable body in the ring.

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Black Aperture

Black Aperture

by Matt Rasmussen

Paperback, 64 pages, Louisiana State Univ Pr, $17.95, published May 13 2013 | purchase
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  • Black Aperture
  • Matt Rasmussen

Black Aperture is an elegy writ large, a book mourning the suicide of the poet's brother. The collection is not born out of the rawness of fresh loss: "You have been dead / half of my life," Matt Rasmussen writes in "Burial." Instead, Rasmussen focuses on the strange complexities of building a life after tragedy. One of several poems entitled "After Suicide" opens, "A hole is nothing / but what remains around it." What is left around the vacancy of a brother's violent death? Burned letters, parties warped by absence, ghostly answering-machine voices to be erased.

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Incarnadine

Incarnadine

Poems

by Mary Szybist

Paperback, 72 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $15, published February 5 2013 | purchase
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  • Incarnadine
  • Poems
  • Mary Szybist

Ten years after her debut collection, Mary Szybist returns with this long-awaited second book, a skeptic's consideration of the spiritual. Mixing the profane and the divine, she presents several unusual Annunciations; blurring the lines between herself and the Virgin, she provides an "Update on Mary." The poems are experimental in form — lines radiating out from an empty center, a poem consisting of a diagrammed sentence — and meditative in tone, finding beauty, sorrow and the divine in unexpected corners of modern life.

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Stay, Illusion

Stay, Illusion

by Lucie Brock-Broido

Hardcover, 100 pages, Random House Inc, $26, published October 15 2013 | purchase
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  • Stay, Illusion
  • Lucie Brock-Broido

Lucie Brock-Broido's new collection is, in many ways, about the noncorporeal: Death, mourning, the tangled intangibles of language and the power of poetic imagination, like the "illusions" of the title, haunt this book. But Brock-Broido's work is simultaneously lush, tactile and physical — full of fabrics, flavors and colors, building up layers of objects and perceptions.

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The Essential Rumi

The Essential Rumi

by Coleman Barks and Maulana Jalal Al-Din Rumi

Paperback, 302 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published February 1 1997 | purchase
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  • The Essential Rumi
  • Coleman Barks and Maulana Jalal Al-Din Rumi

The Sufi master's work is translated here in a comprehensive volume designed to bring all the magic, mysticism and wisdom of the great Persian poet to an English-speaking audience.

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The Gorgeous Nothings

The Gorgeous Nothings

by Emily Dickinson, Marta Werner and Jen Bervin

Hardcover, 255 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $39.95, published October 29 2013 | purchase
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  • The Gorgeous Nothings
  • Emily Dickinson, Marta Werner, et al

This deluxe, large-scale edition features full-color reproductions of the reclusive Amherst poet's writings on scraps of envelopes exactly as she wrote them and accompanying transcriptions of 52 of these works.

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Chasing Utopia

Chasing Utopia

A Hybrid

by Nikki Giovanni

Hardcover, 143 pages, HarperCollins, $19.99, published October 29 2013 | purchase
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  • Chasing Utopia
  • A Hybrid
  • Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni pays homage to gatherings of friends, family and lovers where, at the center, is food as sustenance, as aphrodisiac and as memory.

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New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

1962-2012

by Charles Simic

Hardcover, 355 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, published March 26 2013 | purchase
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  • New and Selected Poems
  • 1962-2012
  • Charles Simic

This first-ever volume of new and selected poetry from Charles Simic collects close to 400 poems that draw inspiration from a vast array of topics including folktales, marriage, war, ordinary life and American blues.

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