School is back in session! Whether you’re back in the academic swing or glad you’ll never be there again, we’ve assembled a tantalizing list of titles full of smarts and hearts. Suitable for valedictorians and dropouts alike, below you'll find the perfect distraction to stave off whatever works needs to be done. 

Save 20% on each of these titles with the code SCHOOL2021

Learn Korean Through K-Dramas
Lee Miok
(Seoul Selection)

Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Learn Korean through K-Dramas is a Korean language textbook developed around short scenes from five of the most popular Hallyu K-drama shows aired between 2012 and 2019, making the study of the Korean language fun and effective. In addition to scene scripts, this book comes with QR codes that provide direct links to corresponding YouTube videos, allowing for readers to totally understand the scenes' language content while watching. This book is also entirely written in both English and Korean to enable even beginner Korean language students to make the most out of its content. The right-side pages of the book are dedicated to the original K-drama scripts and the left-side pages provide English translations for a convenient learning experience for students of all proficiency levels.

Year By Year Poems
Lynne Sachs
(Tender Buttons Press)

When filmmaker Lynne Sachs turned fifty, she dedicated herself to writing a poem for every year of her life, so far. Each of the fifty poems investigates the relationship between a singular event in Sachs' life and the swirl of events beyond her domestic universe. Published by Tender Buttons Press, YEAR BY YEAR POEMS juxtaposes Sachs' finished poems, which move from her birth in 1961 to her half-century marker in 2011, with her original handwritten first drafts. In this way, she reveals her process of navigating within and alongside historical events such as the Moon Landing, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., streaking, the Anita Hill hearings, the Columbine shootings, and controversies around universal health care. In YEAR BY YEAR POEMS, Lynne Sachs realizes the long anticipated leap from her extraordinary career in filmmaking to this, her first book of poems. With an introduction by Paolo Javier, former Queens poet laureate and author of the book Court of the Dragon.

My Antigua, An Island Revealed
Janice Levy
(Standing Stone Books)

Literary Nonfiction. Photography. Poetry. Caribbean Studies. MY ANTIGUA, AN ISLAND REVEALED is a collection of beautifully crafted and often poignant photographs, stories and poems by 13 "at risk" students in a media education program sponsored by the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward supporting further development of such programs designed to enhance the lives of young Antiguan artists and writers.

"The photographs and writing in this wonderful collection remind us that the human heart in undiminishable, and that people, no matter how easily described as marginal, are often superb artists and wordsmiths."—Ken McClane, W.E.B. Dubois Professor Emeritus, Cornell University

Teaching Shakespeare
Susan Montez
(Astoria Books/Ugly Duckling Presse)

In language that is bold, wild, alarming, and invariably lyrical, the poems of Susan Montez are marked by the beauty and power of unabashedly honest intimacy. Grief that emanates from what's been lost—love, time, marriage, daring, and possibilities—haunts that which remains. "I will not quip / about my love for you since no decree / awaits our sorry tale. That is, my life / is closer than my thoughts of you, and then there is a conclusion: Sorrow is the pleasure of the youth. The dead are ever-present." Cows die from the cold, the bombing of Dubrovnik is recollected, an electric chair is moved from one prison to another, a man is murdered by his two sisters, and Montez fears that the angels will take her newborn child. Her perspectives are truly original and unexpected and not without a wry sense of humor. She ponders her alcoholic husband dying in a car wreck, and at a site memorializing drowned sailors, she observes, "The dead never visit / the visitor's center." The title poem lays bare the effects of poverty and racism with the uncomfortable truth that is the darkest comedy of tragedy. Montez holds firm to William Carlos Williams dictum, "There are no ideas but in things." A formalism of style juxtaposed with tangible content written in a conversational tone renders Susan Montez's poetry all the more complex in ideas and unforgettable in its wake.

Please Add To This List: Teaching Bernadette Mayer's Sonnets and Experiments
Edited by Katy Bohinc
(Tender Buttons Press)

25 years ago Bernadette Mayer's SONNETS were published in a run of 1,000 copies and quickly went out of print. SONNETS continues to be loved and taught as an underground classic, often on sun-bleached photocopy. Finally, in 2014, Tender Buttons Press has brought out an expanded 25th Anniversary Edition of SONNETS, along with this companion teaching guide. Included are the first review of SONNETS from Poetry Flash, an expanded version of Bernadette Mayer's List of Experiments, and a sampling of responses in answer to her call: "Please add to this list." Now even more poets, students, parents, scholars, pets and aliens can write poems after reading Bernadette Mayer's Experiments.

Featuring contributions from: Bernadette Mayer, Shanna Compton, Brenda Coultas, Dodie Bellamy, Carole Wagner Greenwood, Jen Hofer, Sophie Seita, Hoa Nguyen, Julie Patton, Kyra Lunenfeld, Sandra Simonds, Stacy Szymaszek, Linda Kozloff-Turner, Maureen Thorson, Lee Ann Brown, Jennifer Karmin, Jan Bohinc, Laynie Browne and Laura Henriksen.

Teaching at the Crossroads: Cultures and Critical Perspectives in Literature by Women of Color
Laurie Grobman
(Aunt Lute Books)

Literary Nonfiction. Literary Criticism and History. Women's Studies. African & African American Studies. TEACHING AT THE CROSSROADS presents an innovative model for teaching multicultural women's literature. Combining theory and practice, Grobman presents a much-needed guide for teachers who want to introduce their students to multiple literary traditions. The model presented here encourages teachers approach texts by women of color from multiple perspectives, connecting them to a range of cultural, social, political, and geographical contexts.

The Conversation: Learning to be a Poet
Dawn Potter
(Deerbrook Editions)

Literary Nonfiction. Literary Criticism and History. Filling a niche that has long been neglected, THE CONVERSATION addresses issues of both writing and close and considered reading. Chapters focus on specific elements of poetic language and structure and offer writing exercises—which include both poetry and personal essays—that link directly to the featured works and the accompanying discussions.

A New School of Design
Thomas Zemsky
(Broadstone Books)

Poetry. "It's what is familiar in dreams / that is full strange, / as any child will tell you, / I too am unbidden/ & aspire to digress." There are poets who describe the world, a great many of them; but far fewer are the poets who create worlds. Tom Zemsky is one of those, and masterfully so. The dedication to his latest collection announces his program: "Metaphor is poetry enough." Using metaphor as his raw material, he constructs dreamlike poems, "full strange," that strangeness deriving from "what is familiar," fragments of the everyday we recognize in new and unexpected places, rather like finding a bit of ancient stonework recycled in a wall along a country lane. And what wonderful digressions he offers, including a kaleidoscope of possible Shakespeares ("Shakespeare the sous chef or Shakespeare the snake handler... / Shakespeare able to pull Shakespeare out of a hat"), or imagining Emily Dickinson as a "devotee of heroin / her kit / kept neatly / on a doily...." "I just try to write / like I have the DT's", he declares in "Drinking Song," "really a concoction / of inexhaustible ingredients / I have no choice in taking...." But while he may claim no choice in the taking, there is ample evidence of his choices in the making of these poems, the assurance in the placement of each word. His wonder at the world indeed appears childlike, as in his response to the discovery that he had left a purchase back at the store: "How like money/ To change hands like that. / I thought I was going out to buy something / for the evening meal / instead of participating in magic." Zemsky's poems reveal that we are always and everywhere participating in magic, if only we will recognize it. His closing poem bathes the reader in "That Kind of Moonlight" which inspires all manner of dreaming, from the "coolly hysterical predicament / caught in Kafka's pen" to the "churned ecstasy" of Jackson Pollack's paintings—"babies bring out their most improbably syllables / for that kind of moonlight...." Zemsky conjures his most improbable, and most delightful, syllables out of it as well. Let us be glad of his digressions.

How to Write Stunning Sentences
Nina Schuyler
(Fiction Advocate)

Literary Nonfiction. Writing. Composition. You've got a great story, but do you have great sentences? Stylish sentences have their own powerful energy that mesmerizes and even rearranges a reader's world. Think of this book as a private lesson with Nina Schuyler—award-winning author and professor of creative writing at the University of San Francisco—featuring guest appearances by the masters, including James Baldwin, Grace Paley, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and Toni Morrison. They've arrived to show you the mechanics of their magic. With 25 essays and over 100 writing prompts, HOW TO WRITE STUNNING SENTENCES is the best way to expand your writing style.

Common Sense
Carlos Soto-Roman
(Make Now Press)

"Bringing the poetics of Ulises Carrión and Heimrad Bäcker up to date, Carlos Soto-Román's COMMON SENSE is a prime example of the political potential of conceptual writing. With an ear to both the cries and the silences of a vox populi, it paints a portrait of freedom in the age of the 'free,' crowd-sourced database. Lifting the fingerprints of the corporate, financial, pharmaceutical, legal and bureaucratic, Soto-Román documents the crime-scene evidence of the realities of democratic ideals and the 'facts' sought at the intersection of personal aspiration and imperial ambition. From computer crashes to space-shuttle crashes, from public suicides, assassinations, and executions to code-talkers and conscientious objectors, and down to the dollars, hours, and sheer numerical versions of the ominous accounting that the wikis of our cultural memory takes, here are a few of the lists that characterize our current crowd-sourced archives (including the archived catalogue of destroyed and lost archives—and within those archives: the Library of Congress call numbers of the poetry that would open the way for a poetry of call numbers). Which is to say: among the atrocities of this exhibition one can still make out some hints for—and even maybe hints of—protest, resistance, and insurrection."
—Craig Dworkin

Schoolboy in Wartime: Memories of My Early Years
Gerard van Veen
(House of Nehesi Publishers)

Literary Nonfiction. SCHOOLBOY IN WARTIME is a true World War II story, centered in Alkmaar, a Netherlands city founded in 1254. The author recalls his family lore; being asked to prepare vestments for a Nazi "soldier priest" during the occupation of his neighbourhood; the sudden disappearance of a Jewish citizen who frequented the shop of his grandparents; his father returning from "police action" in "the Netherlands East Indies"; and school days. Gerard van Veen is a former Catholic priest now living in St. Martin, Caribbean.

Carpeing The Diem - Poems About High School
David Lee Garrison
(Dos Madres Press)

Poetry. "Remember high school? Sure you do! Those tentative looks in the mirror, the guy in the leather jacket, the myth of Hook Man and Lover's Lane? David Lee Garrison's poems capture the awkward grace of adolescence with such good humor and tenderness you might not mind being a teenager again."—Cathryn Essinger

I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac
Jamie Iredell
(Future Tense Books)

Literary Nonfiction. After two full-length collections of fiction that mixed his irreverent treatment of form and gritty real-life candor, Jamie Iredell delivers an assured and honest collection of personal essays. I WAS A FAT DRUNK CATHOLIC SCHOOL INSOMNIAC reveals a writer who takes on his (literal) highs and (existential) lows with the unembellished voice of an anthropologist. Erudite, funny, and fearless, Iredell dives into subjects like drugs, alcoholism, body image, racism, feminism, and religion, and shines a light on some of the darkest moments of life. The essays are personal, confessional, and ultimately full of hope.

Ode: Salute to the New York School, 1950-1970 (A Libretto)
Peter Gizzi
(Letter Machine Editions)

Poetry. An abecedarian cento of New York School poems, this piece was first delivered in March 1996 at The Popular Culture Association Conference. As Gizzi notes: "ODE: SALUTE TO THE NEW YORK SCHOOL is a cento, a late Roman verse form made up of lines from other sources. First, I put together a chronological bibliography of over 100 books published by New York poets from 1950 to 1970. Many of these books are deeply out of print so I had to do some real digging. Then I extracted lines from each book to compose the cento. Happily, Clark Coolidge supplied lines from the books I couldn't find. The cento also works as an index to the bibliography. The combined bibliography and cento form the libretto to a musical work for the composer Richard Alan Applebaum. My intention was to make what I call a 'performing bibliography.' Since this is, in effect, what most of us do on a daily basis—referring to or performing what we've read—it seemed a useful metaphor to describe how we enact our reading practice. My idea was that a simple accompaniment to a series of bibliographic entries could generate both scholarly information and an emotive effect. I wanted to express the latent desire for lists and order, and to create a texture to accommodate the eros inherent in research. What I learned along the way is that literary movements survive primarily in the ruins of the texts they leave behind rather than in the unified literary histories that we create for them after the fact."

Confessions of a Plagiarist: And Other Tales from School
Kevin Kopelson
(Counterpath Press)

Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. In college, Kevin Kopelson passed off a paper by his older brother Robert as his own. In graduate school, he plagiarized nearly an entire article from a respected scholar, and then later, having met her and been asked if he would send something for her to read, sent that essay he had plagiarized from her work. This is not to mention the many instances in which he quoted others extensively, not passing their work off as his own, but substituting it for his own words when his words were what were called for. Until recently, such plagiarisms and thefts had been his most shameful secret, shared only with a trusted few. But then Kopelson—now an English professor and the author of a number of respected books, most recently 2007's Sedaris—wrote an essay entitled "My Cortez," which was published in the London Review of Books in 2008. It was a satirical literary confession, an exploration of Kopelson's personal and professional life via his various acts of plagiarism. From that jumping off point and exploring also his other vices, CONFESSIONS OF A PLAGIARIST is the compelling and clever retelling (not to mention renovation) of Kopelson's life, one transgression at a time.

Epiphany School
Chris Green
(Mayapple Books)

Poetry. Chris Green's EPIPHANY SCHOOL, penned with all the wonder and curiosity of a wise child, is not a book for the timid, the slack-minded, the duped or sleeping. These are poems that hold us in their headlights and tap our backs in the dark, that beg us to notice life and death, the big and small moments of illumination in our lives. He is a poet who writes with wings. His clear-cut honesty embraces his subject matter with reckless abandon. The poems range from gut-wrenching to heartbreaking, but, throughout the book, a sense of humor prevails. Each turn of thought and phrase arrives unexpectedly with a poignancy that touches on the revelatory. This is the Green movement we've been waiting for.

Flemish School, Old Paris, & Night & Its Spells
Aloysius Bertrand
(Quale Press)

Poetry. Translated from the French by Gian Lombardo. This book includes the first half of Bertrand's Gaspard of the Night: Fantasies in the Manner of Rembrandt and Callot (published in 1842), which is considered to be the first Western example of the modern prose poem. His work has been important for many French writers, from Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Mallarmé to the Surrealists and writers of the present day. Constructed almost like a hall of mirrors, Bertrand used the character of Gaspard to render these vignettes. Written in the early 19th century, but mimicking life two, three and even four centuries before, the modern reader is presented with what a mirror does best: presenting both "sides" of an image--ugliness and beauty.

Writing Class: The Kootenay School of Writing Anthology
Edited by Andrew Klobucar and Michael Barnholden
(New Star Books)

Since the mid 1980s, the Kootenay School of Writing, a writer-run center in Vancouver, has been the site of some of the most innovative poetry coming out of North America. Leaving behind conventional ideas about syntax and lyricism, the KSW poets have produced a body of work that is jarring, troubling, provocative, funny, and beautiful. In their introduction to this sampling from the work of fourteen writers, Andrew Klobucar and Michael Barnholden describe the historical and aesthetic environment which produced the Kootenay School of Writing, and in doing so demystify a poetry that many regard as "difficult." WRITING CLASS is a fascinating introduction to the most vital poetry being written today.

Underworld Lit
Srikanth Reddy
(Wave Books)

Poetry. Simultaneously funny and frightful, Srikanth Reddy's UNDERWORLD LIT is a multiverse quest through various cultures' realms of the dead. Couched in a literature professor's daily mishaps with family life and his sudden reckoning with mortality, this adventurous serial prose poem moves from the college classroom to the oncologist's office to the mythic underworlds of Mayan civilization, the ancient Egyptian place of judgment and rebirth, the infernal court of Qing dynasty China, and beyond—testing readers along with the way with diabolically demanding quizzes. It unsettles our sense of home as it ferries us back and forth across cultures, languages, epochs, and the shifting border between the living and the dead.

The Black Feminist Study Theory Atlas
Ra Malika Imhotep and miyuki baker
(The Church of Black Feminist Thought)

Literary Nonfiction. African & African American Studies. Women's Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. The Church of Black Feminist Thought (CoBFT) is an effort to share citations in more accessible ways. The CoBFT met as an intergenerational community of artist and changemakers in the Bay Area from January 2018—January 2019. In preparation for each month, we (Miyuki and Malika) generated a portrait of the thinker and a written invocation. Notes from small group study sessions and large group dialogues were gathered and distilled until a collection of visual theory maps. How do we express what is felt at a gathering? How do we honor the meaning created between words? And how do we celebrate black feminist thinkers in ways that amplify their work to everyone? These are some of the questions that the visual theory maps begin to answer. We believe that our theory maps activate a more imaginative way to access learning that nourishes the spirit. Black feminist counter-imaginings and strategies for how to thrive in our minds, bodies, and spirits are thus shared in a format that opens up to living with theory/knowledge/wisdom, rather than mastering it.

Queenzenglish.mp3: poetry | philosophy | performativity
Edited by Kyoo Lee
(Roof Books)

Poetry. Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. African & African American Studies. Latinx Studies. Native American Studies. Middle Eastern Studies. Jewish Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Editor Kyoo Lee describes QE3 as an anthology "focusing on the expressive diversity of English in transition. Fifty+ poets, writers, and scholars coming together here show, telegraphically, ways in which they creatively engage the world of dynamic 'Englishing' and its polyphonic futurity." Caroline Bergvall says in her Aferword, "Although this anthology is a literary poetic volume, written by a great many hands, it is built and seems to want to function like a grammar or a manual for the sociolinguistic study of a region with topical testimonies and local ethnographic samples provided."

Contributors include Dohra Ahmad, Dina Al-Kassim, Steven Alvarez, Kostas Anagnopoulos, Bruce Andrews, Rae Armantrout, Daisy Atterbury, Caleb Beckwith, Caroline Bergvall, Lee Ann Brown, Laynie Browne, Vahni Capildeo, Chia-Lun Chang, Valentine Conaty, Jonathan P. Eburne, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Norman Fischer, Michael Gottlieb, Carla Harryman, Erica Hunt, Paolo Javier, Vincent Katz, erica kaufman, Kyoo Lee w/Amy Evans Bauer & Laura Wetherington (annotators), Virginia Lucas w/Jen Hofer (translator), E.J. McAdams, Thurston Moore, Tracie Morris, Eileen Myles, Shelagh Patterson, Julie Patton, Marjorie Perloff, M. NourbeSe Philip, Sarah Riggs, Kit Robinson, Dannie Ruth, Jocelyn Saidenberg & M. Ty, Sophie Seita, James Sherry, Simon Shieh, Rommi Smith, Christopher Soto, Keijiro Suga, Scott Thurston, Edwin Torres, Robin Tremblay-McGaw, The Urban Mythfits, Jeffrey Yang, and Yanyi.

Radical Acts: Theatre and Feminist Pedagogies of Change
Edited by Ann Elizabeth Armstrong and Kathleen Juhl
(Aunt Lute Books)

Literary Nonfiction. Drama. RADICAL ACTS is an exciting and innovative compilation of essays and interviews about how feminist approaches to teaching theater challenge and engage students, teachers, and audiences alike. Contributors include theater practitioners working in a wide variety of settings (university, community, high school, and professional theaters) and with diverse social groups (disabled, working class, people of color), offering not only bracing critiques of mainstream theater institutions and practices, but inspiring and energizing accounts of how to create a more inclusive, reflexive, and liberating theater education. Includes essays by Cherrie Moraga and Ellen Margolis and interviews with Deb Margolin and Kate Bornstein.

Dearest Annie, you wanted a report on Berkson's class: Letters from Frances LeFevre to Anne Waldman
Frances LeFevre
(Hanging Loose Press)

Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Edited by Lisa Birman with an introduction by Bill Berkson and afterword by Anne Waldman. Frances LeFevre's reports on Bill Berkson's poetry class at the New School, sent to her daughter Anne Waldman, then an undergraduate at Bennington. These lively letters detail Berkson's assignments and mention such fellow classmates as Bernadette Mayer, Hannah Weiner, and Peter Schjeldahl. Not to mention the occasional shopping trip to S. Klein.

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