The Millions

Must-Read Poetry: June 2019

Here are five notable books of poetry publishing in June.

Sightseer in This Killing City by Eugene Gloria

“To whom does God pray? Does He ever sleep? / Why did Judas hang himself?” In , Eugene Gloria’s debut back in 2000, the young narrator questions his father, who “clears his voice, / says nothing, his silence / the very shape of our distance.” Nearly 20 years later, Gloria’s fourth collection, continues his themes of family, silence, and wonder, but his poetry has evolved into an even more deft lineation: original phrasings, unique imagery, and lasting emotions. Gloria is full of surprises. “Apron” gives curious life to the functional garment which is “agreeable / as a/ she’ll tattoo on your chest.” Gloria takes his illuminating eye to varied subjects: the war on drugs, , fathers, coffins, , and more. We get the sense that Gloria can write about anything, and can do it well—a rare gift. “There’s only lyric,” Gloria writes in one poem, “the rest is merely prose.”

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