ReadersMagnet recommends these five recently published poetry books to read this May 2021.
In the Lateness of the World: Poems by Carolyn Forché
Carolyn Forché is an award-winning poet, translator, memoirist, and university professor. For more than forty years, Forché’s extensive body of works has inspired poets and readers alike. Last year, Carolyn Forché released her latest collection of poetry, seventeen years in the making. In the Lateness of the World: Poems by Carolyn Forché takes us to another incredible journey of emotions and self-discovery. To quote Forché, “In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life, and death. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives, and ‘there is nothing that cannot be seen.”
Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind by Jaime P. Fidler
Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind is a 2019 poetry book by Jaime P. Fidler. She is a published poet with two poems in the National Book of Poetry. Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind is a collection of personal poems that cover various human emotions and experiences. In this book, Fidler takes us to different moments in our lives and the corresponding feelings, nostalgia, and lessons that go along with them. The intense emotions on Jaime’s inspirations book are not only relatable, but they invite us to have the courage to confront these feelings. Written with sincerity and the hope to reach out to its readers, Jaime’s Inspirations definitely warms our hearts and offers us a light yet remarkable read.
I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose by Dawn Lanuza
Dawn Lanuza is known for her collection of contemporary poetry. After her recent string of successes with You are Here (2019), This Is How It Starts (2017), and The Last Time I’ll Write About You (2017), Dawn Lanuza is back with another collection of heartwarming poetry. I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose was written during her year of rest and travel. In this collection, Dawn invites us to talk about feelings of displacement and the longing for companionship. I Must Belong Somewhere also touched on issues of body image, death, bullying, sexism, mental health, and injury. Rich in contemporary insights and brutal honesty, Dawn Lanuza’s latest masterpiece helps us confront several topics with courage and sincerity. I Must Belong Somewhere is a book that many readers from different backgrounds can relate to. It is a remarkable contemporary gem.
The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void by Jackie Wang
Published early this year, The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void is the latest work from indie writer and one of the active contemporary poets today, Jackie Wang. As can be expected from punk zine and dream poetry writer, Wang’s latest collection is another unique masterpiece. In this book, Wang shares her ‘personal index of dreams with its scenes of solidarity and resilience, interpersonal conflict and outlaw jouissance.’ There are strong elements of historical trauma and communal memory. As only Jackie Wang can deliver, the book takes us to the very familiar interplay between crisis and resistance and even resilience. Filled with humor, wit, and unapologetic honesty, Wang reminds us of the importance of the social dimension of dreams and how they are able to reform the dreamer’s actual reality with fresh energy and perspective.
If This Is the Age We End Discovery by Rosebud Ben-Oni
The 2021 poetry book If This Is the Age We End Discovery by Rosebud Ben-Oni is another exciting contemporary read. Award-winning poet and author Rosebud Ben-Oni is back with a unique blend of science and poetry. She is known for her previous works, including Turn Around, BRXGHT XYX (2019), and Black Warrior Review (2020). In If This Is the Age We End Discovery, Rosebud Ben-Oni takes us to the ancient Jewish Idea about “Efes,” which is Modern Hebrew for “zero.” In mystical texts, it also means “nullification” and “concealment.” Finally, Efes becomes a process of transformation for the speaker, revealing as well that the closer humanity gets to discovering this mysterious force, it inevitably changes the riddle– and us along with it. Enigmatic but written with precision and finesse, Rosebud Ben-Oni’s latest masterpiece is worth checking out.