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Curl up with a hot drink and discover poetry with the BWG Library

Some of the BWG Library's top poetry picks
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Do you love poetry?  Hate it?  Don’t have strong feelings either way?  The BWG Library can help you find the right poet for you to make reading poetry fun and entertaining.  From modern tomes like Rupi Kaur’s Home Body, to Shakespeare’s classics, there are poets that will appeal to each and every reader.  The trick is finding the right one for you.

If you need help finding the perfect poetry book, let the BWG Library know!  You can message them through Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwglibrary or email bwgmailbox@bradford.library.on.ca.  Help us grow our book collection and let us know which poets you think we should share with the BWG community!

Day/break, by Gwen Benaway

day/break, poet Gwen Benaway’s fourth collection of work, explores the everyday poetics of the trans feminine body. Through intimate experiences and conceptualizations of trans life, day/break asks what it means to be a trans woman, both within the text and out in the physical world.

Shifting between theory and poetry, Benaway questions how gender, sexuality, and love intersect with the violence and transmisogyny of the nation-state and established literary institutions. In beautiful lyric verse, day/break reveals the often-unseen other worlds of trans life, where body, self, and sex are transformed, becoming more than fixed binary locations.

Field Notes for the Self, by Randy Lundy

Field Notes for the Self is a series of dark meditations: spiritual exercises in which the poem becomes a forensics of the soul. The poems converse with Patrick Lane, John Thompson, and Charles Wright, but their closest cousins may be Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabulations—overlapping structures in which notes or images are rung slowly and repeatedly like bells. The goal is freedom from illusion, freedom from memory, from “the same old stories” of Lundy’s violent past; and freedom, too, from the unreachable memories of the violence done to his Indigenous ancestors, which, Lundy tells us, seem to haunt his cellular biology. Rooted in exquisitely modulated observations of the natural world, the singular achievement of these poems is mind itself, suspended before interior vision like a bit of crystal twisting in the light.

The Dyzgraphxst, by Canisia Lubrin

The Dyzgraphxst presents seven inquiries into selfhood through the perennial figure Jejune. Polyvocal in register, the book moves to mine meanings of kinship through the wide and intimate reach of language across geographies and generations. Against the contemporary backdrop of intensified capitalist fascism, toxic nationalism, and climate disaster, the figure Jejune asks, how have I come to make home out of unrecognizability. Marked by and through diasporic life, Jejune declares, I was not myself. I am not myself. My self resembles something having nothing to do with me.

As Far As You Know, by A.F. Moritz

As Far As You Know, acclaimed poet A. F. Moritz’s twentieth collection of poems begins with two sections entitled “Terrorism” and “Poetry.” The book unfolds in six movements, yet it revolves around and agonizes over the struggle between these two catalyzing concepts, in all the forms they might take, eventually arguing they are the unavoidable conditions and quandaries of human life.

Written and organized chronologically around before and after the poet’s serious illness and heart surgery in 2014, these gorgeously unguarded poems plumb and deepen the reader’s understanding of Moritz’s primary and ongoing obsessions: beauty, impermanence, history, social conscience and responsibility, and, always and most urgently, love. For all its necessary engagement with worry, sorrow, and fragility, As Far As You Know sings a final insistent chorus to what it loves: “You will live.”

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, by Leanne Howe

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo gathers the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into the first historically comprehensive Native poetry anthology.

This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize–winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete.

Home Body, by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.




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