SPD is proud to celebrate recent titles that have drawn critical praise & attention! We've gathered some of our favorite recent review highlights and will compile that buzz for you here regularly.

Publishers & authors: if you've got a new review you'd like considered for our highlights, please send it to!

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019)
By Asiya Wadud

from Dispatches from the Poetry Wars | August 31, 2019
"Asiya Wadud's Syncope demonstrates efficacy and brilliance....she achieves an impressive work of Investigative poetry." -Patrick James Dunagan

(Make Now Press, 2019)
By Joseph Mosconi

from BOMB | August 30, 2019
"With meaning dispersed across...various components, Ashenfolk extends the tradition of the multimedia assemblages of the 1960s like Phyllis Johnson’s 'three-dimensional magazine' Aspen. In that spirit, Ashenfolk, too, is a book of dimensions––the virtual and real (and related categories of the cultural and subcultural, digital and analog, fantasy and reality, material and immaterial, etc.)."  -Eric Schmaltz

small siren
(The Cultural Society, 2018)
By Alexandra Mattraw

from Jacket2 | August 29, 2019
"There is a quality like mist to her work; the poems branch and disperse, miss syntactic steps on purpose, wonder “how / can any symbol manage itself.'" -Kenna O'Rourke

Red Mother
(NYQ Books, 2018)
By Laurel Radzieski

from Jacket2 | August 29, 2019
"Written from the perspective of a parasite, these short poems force us to 'Imagine a blemish / or, better yet, a sore' with a kind of twisted love." -Kenna O'Rourke

GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime
(Noemi Press, 2018)
By Chaun Webster

from Ploughshares | August 24, 2019
"Poems that critique power structures by diving as deep as possible into the work of citation." -Kathryn Nuernberger

(Wave Books, 2019)
By Mary Ruefle

from Publishers Weekly | August 19, 2019
"A giddy, incisive ode to failure, fragility, and unknowing."
-starred review

Everything Breaking/For Good
(YesYes Books, 2019)
By Matt Hart

from Publishers Weekly | August 19, 2019
"Hart revels in the impossibility of his own rhetorical situation, suggesting that poetry affords a testing ground for ideas and speculations, and seemingly implausible models of the world around us."

Of Death. Minimal Odes

(co-im-press, 2018)
By Hilda Hilst, tr. Laura Cesarco Eglin

from Harvard Review | August, 2019

"Warps time into impossible folds, staking out a kind of paradoxical pre-posthumous queer time." -Zack Anderson

New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña
(Kelsey Street Press, 2018)
By Cecilia Vicuña, ed. Rosa Alcalá

from Harvard Review | August, 2019
"The content of the poems weaves us together, returning us to our forgotten selves and too-often forgotten histories; the form is as expansive and shape-shifting as a cloud." -Christopher Soto

(Nightboat Books, 2019)
By Etel Adnan, tr. Sarah Riggs

from Jacket2 | August 13, 2019
"Time moves through years and distances as a postcard does, sent from afar and calling us to join it in its grief." -Quinn Gruber

The Hanky of Pippin's Daughter
(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2019)
By Rosmarie Waldrop

from Publishers Weekly | August 12, 2019
"...powerfully models the desire, and the moral responsibility, to know one’s history."

Me & Other Writing
(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2019)
By Marguerite Duras

 from Publishers Weekly | August 12, 2019
"Reveal[s] an abiding preoccupation with the writing process itself, and its meaning in Duras's will particularly treasure the clarity of thought that shines through this slight, thoughtful book."

from The Paris Review | July 26, 2019
"While reading Marguerite Duras, it can be hard to tell if you are pressing your hands to her chest or if she is pressing her hands to yours. Has she mined your deepest feelings or have you caught her heart’s fever?" -Julia Berick 

At Home in the New World
At Home in the New World
(Bordighera Press, 2018)
by Maria Terrone

from The Common | August 8, 2019
"Reading Terrone’s essays, filled with honesty and vulnerability, I began to feel fortunate for the chance to know her; I felt like I was making a new friend." -Susan Tacent

RED TORY: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell

(Montez Press, 2019)
By Huw Lemmey

from 3:AM Magazine | August 4, 2019
"Set just after the Tory victory in 2015, the novel’s main protagonist is Tom, a Blairite policy wonk who gets sucked into a much more radical queer world view via chemsex orgies and his infatuation with Otto, a German anarchist...By inhabiting and inflating the caricatures of tabloid Britain, Lemmey draws attention to the absurdity of our political-media discourse, its disconnection from lived and felt experiences of being in the world."-James Miller

The Transformation

(Atelos, 2007)
By Juliana Spahr

from Jacket2 | August 2, 2019

"Spahr’s book, which Rachel Zolf calls 'a laboratory to exhaustively experiment with her ideas and feelings about US hegemonic practices,' is in part a lengthy catalog of the legacy of the passiflora (or passionflower) in colonial and environmental history, as well as in sexual, political, and artistic identity in the immediate post-9/11 American social imaginary." -Adam Dickinson

Vivarium: Poems
(Tupelo Press, 2014)
by Natasha Saje

from Rhino Poetry | August 2019
"Although playing seriously with the abecedarian form, the title VIVARIUM signals a radical appropriation of the epistemology of empire--and it is high time indeed." - Virginia Bell

(Kelsey Street Press, 2019)
By Andrea Abi-Karam

from MASK Magazine | July, 2019
"Abi-Karam’s EXTRATRANSMISSION is a manifesto for ungovernable queers...those who would rather be considered criminals in the pursuit of a collective insurgency than be affiliated with the pigs." -Zaina Alsous

The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet
(Rose Metal Press, 2019)
by David Carlin and Nicole Walker

from Entropy | July 25, 2019
"The central question in this book is 'What are the chances that we, of all people in human history, should have been born into this moment of existential responsibility? And how do we face up to it?'...each essay is flash nonfiction, quick reflections that build on one another and give the reader plenty of space to join the conversation."-Christy Crutchfield

Hear Trains
Hear Trains
(Wave Books, 2019)
by Caroline Knox

 from Rob Mclennan Blog | July 19, 2019
"There is such a richness to these poems, a descriptive and lyrical abundance that stand without a single wasted word, thought or image." -Rob Mclennan

Heaven Is All Goodbyes
(City Lights, 2017)
By Tongo Eisen-Martin

from Commune | July 17, 2019
"More than grieving the dead and the ideology that normalizes their killing, poetry should encourage disinvestment in the state of affairs that normalizes death and suffering. It should encourage broad reimagining of social arrangement, and address itself to the forms of collective life that may emerge. Heaven Is All Goodbyes does just that, and offers a glimpse of what poetry might follow the dissolution of the current order." -Anthony Reed

The Problem of the Many
(Wave Books, 2019)
By Timothy Donnelly

Starred review from Publishers Weekly | July 15, 2019
"Impressive in its precise articulation and range of insights...[a] dazzling third collection." 

Mary’s Dust
(Entre Ríos Books, 2017)
By Melinda Mueller

from Jacket2 | July 15, 2019
"Ranging from the fourth century BCE well into the modern twentieth, these poems chart the stories of women, both remarkable and mundane, who were too frequently set aside as footnotes." -Brianne Alphonso

Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts
(Entre Ríos Books, 2017)
By Maya Jewell Zeller and Carrie DeBacker

from Jacket2 | July 15, 2019
"A book of 'little spells' for unraveling the feminine body within a fluctuating environment." -Brianne Alphonso

Silk Poems
(Nightboat Books, 2017)
By Jen Bervin

from Jacket2 | July 15, 2019
"Bervin reimagines lines of poetry as coded strands of DNA, short chains of six characters that twine together in patterns that tell the story of who and what we are."  -Brianne Alphonso

Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader
(City Lights Publishers, 2019)
By G. Caples, D. Fenner, D. Rich, & J. Torra, Editors

from BOMB | July 10, 2019
"Possessing an infallible ear ('I have come to / chew up yr language / to make more palatable / the L’s & collaterals / (at the service / entrance') and harboring no illusions ('this is one Hell you won’t / legislate easily / yr way out of'), Jonas was largely self-taught. By 1948, he had immersed himself in both Pound and Williams and become, according to poet Joe Dunn, 'a fountain of books and information.' Arcana provides a sense of this with transcriptions and reproductions from two notebooks, one on alchemy and the other on the tarot, both subjects Jonas was steeped in." - Ammiel Alcalay

An Interface for a Fractal Landscape
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019)
By Ed Steck

from 3:AM Magazine | July 8, 2019
"Who is to say that life in the fractal landscape is less real than the fabricated narratives one resides in on a day-to-day basis? " -Victoria Nebolsin

Motion Studies 
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019)
By Jena Osman

from Jacket2 | July 8, 2019
"Osman’s investigative gaze retains an adroit intensity on the afterlives of raw data that haunt us and mark nonhuman power on our bodies." -Orchid Tierney

(Miami University Press, 2018)
By Katy Bohinc

from Jacket2 | July 8, 2019
"Beautiful in its excess of music, logic, and ambiguity..." -Orchid Tierney

from Plume | July 1, 2019
"Bohinc is a heroine of the new lyric communism—a movement in and for poetry that breaks apart the barriers between people rooted in the subjective I—that explodes lyric for the sake of making contact with the abject and excluded." -Joshua Corey

Sheep Machine 
(Black Sun Lit, 2018)
By Vi Khi Nao

from Jacket2 | July 8, 2019
"As a timecode ticks on the page, pastoral images are made strange and incredible through the poet’s deep perceptive slants." -Orchid Tierney

while they sleep (under the bed is another country)
(Birds, LLC, 2019)
By Raquel Salas Rivera

from Colorlines | July 5, 2019 
"Uproots the imperialist language that obfuscates the ongoing, living devastation of Puerto Rico." - catherine lizette gonzalez

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