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5 Books to Read This Valentine's Day

By Jenna Fisher, Director of Marketing and Production

Ah, Februarythe month of love, heart-shaped sugar, and even anti-mush cynicism. There's no doubtwhether with bright words of love, or furious words of heartbreakpoetry and Valentine's Day go naturally hand-in-hand. Celebrate the way you want to with our Valentine's Day Book Guide. Keep these titles near, whether you're rejoicingor enduringFebruary 14. And for all you Valentine's Day lovers and Anti-Valentine's Day cynics, we give you the gift of FREE SHIPPING on any BOA Bookstore order through February 24! Because BOA loves you.

1. For the jaded heart that's lost its way.

TheKeystotheJail_Bookstore The Keys to the Jail
Poems by Keetje Kuipers
March 2014 selection for The Rumpus Poetry Book Club

According to Elyse Fenton, these are "love and after-love poems" which "are not afraid to feel." Continuing Elizabeth Bishop’s tradition of the art of losing, while delving even deeper, The Keys to the Jail seeks blame for all that's lost. A poet of daring leaps and unflinching observations, Keetje Kuipers’ new collection calls us to reexamine the harsh words of failed love, the aging of a once-beautiful body, and our own voracious desires.

2. For the friend dealing with a break up (or even the ex).

BookofGoodbyes_cvr_MR2.indd The Book of Goodbyes
Poems by Jillian Weise
Winner, 2013 James Laughlin Award Winner, Isabella Gardner Poetry Award

Called “edgy” and “in-your-face” by Library Journal, Jillian Weise’s award-winning collection “slyly deliver[s] ache and anger” in poems which chronicle an affair with a man she names Big Logos. According to Publishers Weekly, “These fierce, hip, heartbreaking love poems call out to a lover who can’t be lived with or without. They’re humorous, odd, and full of all the unreasonable truth of love. This book is the real thing.” The Book of Goodbyes is named a "Best Book of 2013" by Publishers Weekly, NPR Books, and Coldfront magazine.

3. For the introspective family man.

To Keep Love Blurry To Keep Love Blurry
Poems by Craig Morgan Teicher

The Rumpus calls this collection "refreshingly human." Inspired by Robert Lowell’s Life Studies, Craig Morgan Teicher’s To Keep Love Blurry is an exploration of the charged and troubled spaces between intimately connected people: husbands and wives, parents and children, writers and readers. According to Publishers Weekly, "The book risks most everything poetry can risk: family, reputation, legacy, privacy." As a son becomes a husband and then a father, Teicher expertly probes a life recast as poetry, with poems that long to leap into the lives of their subjects.

4. Who says Valentine's Day is just for lovers?

Transfer_2_smaller Transfer
Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye

Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers; it can be a celebration of love in all forms--a family member, a friend, any person or place which means most to you. Transfer deals heavily with the difficult loss of Naomi Shihab Nye's father, and the process of finding a dialogue with him even after his death. Nye, one of Robert Bly's confessed "favorite poets of all time," draws on her Palestinian-American heritage in a collection which attests to our shared humanity. According to William Stafford, Nye is a "champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life."

5. For the unconventional one who lives life out loud.

AllYouAskForIsLonging_Bookstore All You Ask for Is Longing
New and Selected Poems by Sean Thomas Dougherty

Called "the gypsy punk heart of American poetry" by Dorianne Laux, Sean Thomas Dougherty has negotiated between modernist and avant-garde writing and more populist traditions that extend back to Walt Whitman for more than 20 years. According to Martin Espada, Dougherty's poetry has "empathy, that essential element of poetry and humanity, for a dying grandfather, for the insomniacs of the city...." Selecting from the best of eight previous collections, this 'New and Selected' reveals the powerful arc and development of Dougherty’s writing and establishes him as a voice of dissent for the future.

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