Does Your Book Club Read Poetry?
These authors would love to make a remote appearance by videoconference
These authors from the group Lockdown Lit wrote fabulous books released in 2020. As long as “lockdown” prevents us from gathering in person, they’d be delighted to make a “virtual visit” to your book club in 2021 to chat about their books!
Ralph Adamo, author of All The Good Hiding Places
Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, author of A Brief History of Fruit
Adam O. Davis, author of Index of Haunted Houses
Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes, author of Ashley Sugarnotch & the Wolf
Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Tricks of Light
Tess Taylor, author of Rift Zone and Last West
Read on to learn more about their books. Would these be a good fit for your book club? If you’d like to invite an author to a special session of your group, please contact the author directly. They’d be happy to hear from you.
Author: Ralph Adamo
Contact: Use the Xavier University search
The book: All The Good Hiding Places
“Ralph Adamo writes with enormous heart, and he does not dodge anything. Some of his best poems are about aging, but what for another poet might be misery, is exalted by a wit that is both epigrammatic and loving. His subject, finally, seems to be perspective itself, what it feels like to be alive.”— Rodney Jones, author of Village Prodigies (Mariner Books)
Author: Kimberly Quiogue Andrews
The book: A Brief History of Fruit
In A Brief History of Fruit, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews’s full-length debut and winner of the Akron Prize for Poetry, we are shuttled between the United States and the Philippines in the search for a sense of geographical and racial belonging. Driven by a restless need to interrogate the familial, environmental, and political forces that shape the self, these poems are both sensual and cerebral: full of “the beautiful science,” as she puts it, of “naming: trees of one thing, then another, then yet another.”
“This superb collection offers up history — personal, familial, postcolonial, geopolitical, ecological — and indeed the history of fruit, fruit as sustenance, pleasure, exploitable product, as image, parent, love, and wound. There is no eating fruit without decimating its wholeness, and it is this split, especially in regard to the speaker’s bifurcated racial and cultural identity, that generates the book’s intricate architecture and vitality. These are hard-won poems, fought for, lived through.” — Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
“As devotional hymn and origin myth, A Brief History of Fruit braves our ‘language // of fracture’ to illuminate the blossoms and bruises of family, the sweetbitterness of memory and identity. This phenomenal first book grows from a revolutionary, revelatory imagination — and Kimberly Quiogue Andrews dreams and grieves with ‘polycrystalline’ vision.” — R. A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria
Author: Adam O. Davis
The book: Index of Haunted Houses
Named one of “15 New & Forthcoming Indie Press Gems” by Publishers Weekly and one of “nearly 100 titles that represent some of the best work coming in 2020” by Library Journal, Index of Haunted Houses is a lyric investigation of longing and belonging, of haunting as a mode of living, of history as a congress of ghosts clamoring for attention through a bad telephone connection. Through skillful wordplay and deeply imaginative imagery, Adam O. Davis confronts a country whose fashion, whether in the cities or upon the plains, has always been foreclosure, and, in doing so, explores how we navigate our need for a home as we reconcile with the ghosts that rise from the homes themselves. This is a stunning debut — one that will surprise, convince, and, most of all, delight.
“From ‘the body of New Jersey’ to ‘the desert/like a house of belief,’ the poems of Index of Haunted Houses traverse the entirety of time and space that we call American. In this book, Adam O. Davis means for language as precise as ‘ledgers lavish with loss,’ to lead us to the place within us where history meets landscape. This is a brilliant debut.” — Jericho Brown
“The world of this collection is one of debt and desire, ghost stories and foreclosures, where ‘weather is a borrowed room.’ Yet these poems still offer delight in their alliteration and repetition….This is a collection of stark witness and testimony, with a voice that manages to sing.”―Publishers Weekly
Author: Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes
The book: Ashley Sugarnotch & The Wolf
In the mythic world of Ashley Sugarnotch & the Wolf, two characters are cosmically intertwined, both moored to their past and to the expectations of society. Through syllabic and prose poems, the collection asks questions about what happens when people find themselves in a cycle of violence. Myths, retold over centuries, also mean that these cycles repeat through the storytelling. Both Ashley and the Wolf are modern, but they are forever tied to their myth.
“Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes is a thoughtful and careful writer who writes not towards firm conclusion, but instead eagerly towards a consistently blooming imagination.”— Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Fortune For Your Disaster
Author: Thaddeus Rutkowski
The book: Tricks of Light
The poems in Tricks of Light, a breathtaking collection from award-winning writer Thaddeus Rutkowski, meditate on myriad ways of seeing not merely the small, astounding mysteries of life but how seeing, the effort to see clearly, might be the most important thing of all.
“Funny, disarming, and profound, Rutkowski will twist a cliché into something unique, trick you into a new way of seeing. This is a terrific collection!”— Denise Duhamel, author of Scald
Author: Tess Taylor
Rift Zone, Taylor’s much-anticipated fourth book traces literal and metaphoric fault lines — rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor’s hometown — an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault — these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls, strip malls, redwood trees, and the painful history of Japanese internment. What emerges is a powerful core sample of America at the brink — an American elegy equally tuned to maternal and to geologic time. At once sorrowful and furious, tender and fierce, Rift Zone is startlingly observant, relentlessly curious — a fearsome tremor of a book.
“In Taylor’s stunning new book, Rift Zone, we are faced with the unsteadiness of our current universe, the many ‘minor scales’ unfurling inside our days, as well as ways of feeling connected through time and trouble.” — Naomi Shihab Nye, The New York Times Magazine
In Last West, poet Tess Taylor follows Dorothea Lange’s winding paths across California during the Great Depression and in its immediate aftermath. On these journeys, Lange photographed migrant laborers, Dust Bowl refugees, tent cities and Japanese American internment camps. Taylor’s hybrid text collages lyric and oral histories against Lange’s own journals and notebook fragments, framing the ways social and ecological injustices of the past rhyme eerily with those of the present. The result is a stunning meditation on movement, landscape and place.
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