From 2010 to 2012, Guggenheim Fellow and award-winning poet Lisa Russ Spaar was the poetry editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education's Arts & Academe and Brainstorm blogs, where every Monday she regaled an ever-growing audience with a brief commentary on a poem of her choosing. This book collects the best of these memorable micro-essays, demonstrating how a well-wrought poem speaks to our rich cultural and spiritual life. As the title essay reveals, Spaar's own father believed that "poetry was out to trick him" and in this collection, encompassing a range of crucial poets from the formal to the experimental, Spaar gently and lovingly debunks that notion, showing us the vital place that contemporary poetry can have in the life of the mind. This is an enthralling book for poets and non-poets alike. Available for purchase at Amazon.com.
Drunken Boat Books presents the inaugural title in its book series, Indian-American poet Reetika Vaziranis posthumous manuscript, Radha Says. A rising star and companion of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Vazirani was at the height of her poetic powers when she tragically ended her own life and the life of her young son, Jehan. She left behind a manuscript of poems sealed in an envelope, with which Leslie McGrath and Ravi Shankar worked to edit and to bring out her last poems. With a foreward by Kazim Ali and blurbs by Meena Alexander and Marilyn Hacker, Radha Says extends the poetic evolution of one of the most important Diasporic poets of her time. Published as a paperback original, Radha Says is intended for a wide general readership and will be out with Drunken Boat Books in January 2010. Available for purchase at Amazon.com.