Poets & Writers

The Whole Self

THE TEN poetry collections featured in our thirteenth annual roundup of debut poets offer a glimpse of the wide range of contemporary poetry. Each of the books, published in 2017, shows just how much poetry can do. Eve L. Ewing’s tells stories that reckon with history and and sam sax’s reclaim language that has been distorted by governments and institutions of power. Emily Skillings’s reveals the tendencies of our culture and society through the trappings of modern life, as does Chen Chen’s . Kaveh Akbar’s and Jenny Johnson’s both give voice to the interior—Akbar to the ongoing work of faith, Johnson to the vagaries of the heart and desire. Joseph Rios’s and Airea D. Matthews’s create personas and alter egos that argue and spar with one another, while William Brewer’s clears a path for understanding others. And all ten collections do what poetry does best: inhabit the many possibilities of language and form as well as attend to, as Seamus Heaney put it, “the lift and frolic of the words in themselves.”

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers5 min readWellness
Narrative Medicine for Doctors
Toby Campbell under-stands that storytelling is good medicine. As an oncologist and associate professor in the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at UW Health—the academic medical center and health system at the University of Wisconsi
Poets & Writers3 min read
A Century of Yale Younger Poets
This year marks the centennial of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the oldest annual literary award in the United States. The prize, which offers publication of a debut collection by Yale University Press, has heralded the arrival of luminaries such
Poets & Writers4 min readSociety
Truth to Power
A BOOK is a timeless medium that can’t be hacked, surveilled, or used to co-opt movements—as political and insurgent now as it was when the printing press was invented. But too often the stories we’re allowed to tell are dictated by an exclusionary c