What to Read: 4 New Poetry Books – The New York Times

Nov. 10, 2021
From the body’s betrayals to colonial Africa, 1970s Jersey and a collection curated by a retired dean of libraries, this batch of poetry takes readers from the intangible to the material world.
Here are four new poetry books to linger on this week →
A DANGEROUS PLACE, by Chelsea B. DesAutels. (Sarabande, paper, $15.95.) This debut’s title refers to the frail human body and to the world itself. “Most people/don’t want to hear your story/of grief unless they knew you before,” one poem declares.
REFRACTIVE AFRICA: Ballet of the Forgotten, by Will Alexander. (New Directions, paper, $16.95.) Since the 1980s, the Los Angeles-based Alexander has mixed politics with mesmeric, oracular lines. Here, three long poems evoke colonial Africa.
MADRIGALIA: New & Selected Poems, by Lisa Russ Spaar. (Karen & Michael Braziller/Persea, paper, $19.95.) The poems that make up the first third of Spaar’s career overview are cast as madrigals: brief odes to everything from spring onions to 1970s New Jersey, with surprising notes of eros.
BOOKS AND LIBRARIES: Poems, edited by Andrew Scrimgeour. (Everyman’s Library, $15.95.) This collection of fond poems celebrating books, curated by the retired dean of libraries at Drew University, includes work from Horace, Dante, Shakespeare, Borges, Cavafy, Angelou, Walcott and others.
Check out other newly published titles out this week.
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