Our spring 2010 titles have officially been released and all of us at BOA are very excited! This season, we have collections from Peter Makuck, Keetje Kuipers, Wyn Cooper and Craig Morgan Teicher -- three books of poetry and one of short stories, respectively -- and wanted to share something of each with you. [caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="167" caption="Peter Makuck's "Long Lens""][/caption] Long Lens: New and Selected Poems is the newest in a long list (no pun intended) of books by Peter Makuck. It represents forty years of Makuck's poetry, and also includes twenty-five new poems. In this collection, he touches on such subjects as the aftermath of the 1970 killings at Kent State University, scuba-diving on an offshore shipwreck, flying through a storm in a small plane and rescuing a boy caught in a riptide with precise language. He evokes spiritual longing, love, loss, violence and transcendence in this collection, inspiring Brendan Galvin to say, "Peter Makuck sees through the detritus of daily life to what matters … It’s that essence that lives deep down in things, looked for in people, sea- and-landscapes, and creatures, that lifts the quotidian toward the marvelous, and animates this selection of poems from four decades." [caption id="attachment_847" align="aligncenter" width="167" caption="Keetje Kuipers' "Beautiful in the Mouth""][/caption] The fact that Keetje Kuipers won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize for 2009 makes Beautiful in the Mouth quite a debut. The fact that critics like Thomas Lux are noting "the boldness of imagination, the strange cadences, and wild music of these poems" doesn't hurt either. Kuipers' poems work towards answering questions about contemporary female loss, questions like: What happens when the things we care for—children, lovers, parents, dreams, homes—are taken away? How do we perceive these objects? What populates our landscapes? To answer, she takes us on a journey from Paris to New York to Oregon, telling us how these landscapes unwillingly receive loss and alter to cope with it. [caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="167" caption="Wyn Cooper's "Chaos is the New Calm""][/caption] Wyn Cooper, in Chaos is the New Calm, takes something familiar to poetry readers --the sonnet-- and turns it on its head. Some rhyme, some do not. Some rhymes come in unusual places. Sometimes even the stanza forms are altered. Even the subject matter is wildly varied. However, every poem displays what Major Jackson calls "subtle echoes, balance of cultural sophistication and bare, formal construction." They range from travelogue to inner monologue, from surveys of the news, to social commentary, to solitary musing, all the while singing with sound, rhythm, and extremes of syntax, diction and style. None of these poems lacks sense, though, creating a challenging, though rewarding, poetic environment through which we may gain lyric insight into the world. [caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="167" caption="Craig Morgan Teicher's "Cradle Book""][/caption] The stories in Craig Morgan Teicher's Cradle Book encapsulate the timeless and the timely, and hope with a dark underbelly to revive a tradition as old as Aesop. The worlds Teicher creates are rich with a storyteller's imagination and a poet's mastery, populated by animals fated for disaster and the humans who act like them. These include a boy who wishes he was raised by wolves, some badly behaving Gods, a talking tree and a shape-shifting room. Of this collection, Aimee Bender writes, "Wrapped lightly in philosophy and whimsy and wisdom, here's a book to be savored, and revisited, and read aloud. Teicher is brewing some elegant magic here." There's nothing better than to curl up with a good book during the spring rain, so all of us at BOA invite you to share in our delight with our new spring titles!
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