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Brown : poems / Kevin Young

James Brown. John Brown's raid. Brown v. the Topeka Board of Ed.: the recently National Book Award-longlisted author of Blue Laws meditates on all things "brown" in this powerful new collection. (Baker & Taylor)

Cruel futures / Carmen Giménez Smith

A Latina feminist state of the union address at the intersection of pop culture and interiority. (Perseus Pub.)

Falling ill / C.K. Williams

Over the past half century, the great shape-shifting poet C. K. Williams took upon himself the poet’s task: to record with candor and ardor “the burden of being alive.” In Falling Ill, his final volume of poems, he brings this task to its conclusion, bearing witness to a restless mind’s encounter with the brute fact of the body’s decay, the spirit’s erasure. (McMillan Palgrave)

Not here / Hieu Minh Nguyen

Not Here is a flight plan for escape and a map for navigating home; a queer Vietnamese American body in confrontation with whiteness, trauma, family, and nostalgia; and a big beating heart of a book. Nguyen’s poems ache with loneliness and desire and the giddy terrors of allowing yourself to hope for love, and revel in moments of connection achieved. (Perseus Pub.)

Pray me stay eager / Ellen Watson

These are wonderful, witty, wise poems in love with language and singing the music of the world with all its pleasures and piquancies, its oddities and tragedies. Ellen Doré Watson's vision is agile with quick shifts in direction and vivid juxtapositions. (Perseus Pub.)

The undressing : poems / Li-Young Lee

Drawing from different sources—including the Old Testament, the Dao De Jing and the music of the Wu Tang Clan—a collection of poems attempts to uncover things hidden since the dawn of the world, investigating human violence and dispossession increasingly prevalent around the world, as well as the horrors the poet grew up with as a child of refugees. (Atlas Pub.)

Wade in the water / Tracy K. Smith

A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, using her signature voice—inquisitive, lyrical and wry—mulls over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence, boldly tying America’s modern moment both to our nation’s fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. (Atlas Pub.)

Wild is the wind / Carl Phillips

In Wild Is the Wind, Carl Phillips reflects on love as depicted in the jazz standard for which the book is named—love at once restless, reckless, and yet desired for its potential to bring stability. (McMillan Palgrave)