BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Now that it's spring, it's time to start reading books outside in parks and coffee shops and get your brain thinking in new and different ways. Which is why it's also perfect for poetry. People don't read enough poetry (I have no idea why), so I rounded up four new collections of poetry that you should get your hands on. All of these collections explore identity, persona, gender, and the horrifying realities of our current society because of gender and sexual norms. Basically, you need to read them, now more than ever.
Check them out below:
1. M. Wright - a boy named jane (Bottlecap Press, 2017)
This book of narrative poetry is both playful and a serious journey showing us how complicated coming-of-age actually is, and how fluid and strange identity is. Check out this poem:
Those first two stanzas kill me.
2. Nate Logan - Post-Reel (Locofo Chaps, 2017)
Best part about this chapbook? It's free. It takes popular movies and turns them on their heads.
Very Donald Trump-esque, right?
3. Nicelle Davis - The Walled Wife (Red Hen Press, 2016)
These poems are delicious. The book is a fantastic exploration into The Ballad of the Walled-up Wife, and its modern interpretation is tantalizing. Check out one below:
4. Claudia Cortese - Wasp Queen (Black Lawrence Press, 2016)
This book is something that needs to be reread again and again. We follow Lucy through her young adolescence, and gives a voice to someone who is usually ignored and silenced. We see girlhood in all its brutality, and it's horrifying but necessary. Check out this poem:
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Publications, 2016), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016) and the editor of “A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault” (CCM, 2017). Joanna received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, a managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM, as well as an instructor at Brooklyn Poets. Some of Joanna's writing has appeared in Prelude, Apogee, Spork, The Feminist Wire, BUST, and elsewhere.