Must-Read Poetry: July 2017

Poetry forces us to slow down, sit, and pay attention. Poets make us work, and we should be thankful for ; language is resurrected when it’s spun and stretched and smoothed. 2017 is a banner year for poetry: debuts, new takes by established authors, and collections span careers. In this monthly column, ’ll profile new titles are worth your time. Stories of transfigurations and conflagrations. Poets affirming their existence on the page. Poetry cuts through the daily noise and does justice to . Here are five notable books of poetry publishing in July. Sánchez’s collection begins with “Quinceañera,” a poem about desire born when “Summer boredom flutters its / sticky wings.” Cooking wine is guzzled. Old whiskey is downed. “In the warmth of your bedroom,” the narrator pierces her navel with a safety pin, and tumbles backward in time as her skin remains pressed against the present. Out “in the murky dance clubs,” music “vibrating / your face and skull,” there is a pain that “suckles you,” and “Everywhere, / you hold its lumpy head to your breast like a saint.” I put a lot of worth on a poet’s opening salvo, and Sánchez sets […]

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