Summer is fully upon us, making leaving the air-conditioned comfort of the indoors harder to extricate ourselves from. But what to do with all that time indoors while the sun cooks everything in sight to a crisp? Books of course! Here are some new poetry books to help you while away the bright summer months.
Award winning author Jennifer Huang’s debut work “Return Flight” connects the past to the present through an examination of the self. Generational trauma and the concepts of home are interspersed throughout, working to understand their impact on the human psyche. Through their work, Huang uses images of intimacy to aid in the defining of a person. All these memories are not just seen with sadness, there is joy as well. Huang shows us that both sorrow and joy can exist in the same realm.
Nicky Beer explores the joy of artifice in her latest work “Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes.” Beer explores the concepts of imitation and what it means when the fake is more real than the original. She shows how imitation is an art form in its own right such as through the art of drag. She references many other pop culture representations of illusion as well, such as Marlene Dietrich and Batman, to get at the heart of the question, what is truth? Beer’s poetry uses redaction and the concept of stereoscopes to invite the reader to see that the truth can look very different depending on which way you are looking at it.
Shane McCrae, in his latest work, “Cain Named the Animal” explores the idea of what it means to exist. Having undergone an unusual and traumatic upbringing, he questions how different circumstances might have led to a different existence. McCrae turns back time, and postulates how an imperfect god might result in a flawed world. He also uses the idea of cyclical time to explore the ability to look inwards. By creating a world that circles back on itself, McCrae shows how such a thing would allow for reflection and new revelations.
Enjoy these books and try to stay cool this summer!