Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Staff Pick

With Spanish translations (done by Manuel García Verdecia) side by side with their English counterparts, Alice Walker's Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (Atria, $25) features almost seventy poems of complex questions and emotions. Alice Walker's humanistic, compassionate, and environmentally aware perspective is clearly felt throughout the collection. Her poems describe pollution and preservation in its many forms. She touches on and interweaves the racism, sexism, and violence that have affected us all. She exposes the dark of the world, but she also gives us the tools to walk with a little light of hope through it all. Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart is a call to healing, especially in the face of destruction. We are in pain, and often due to reasons that were out of our control. How do we address our wounds? For those familiar with Alice Walker and her writing, you will not be disappointed. For those who aren't, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart is a good place to start, especially in our current political and social climate.

Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart By Alice Walker Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501179525
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: 37 Ink - October 2nd, 2018

The Farm by Wendell Berry

Staff Pick

In novels and short stories, incisive essays, and steadying poetry, Wendell Berry has spent fifty years writing on his family’s farm in Henry County, Kentucky, about slow and small living. His writing is nuanced and elegant, his output immense. An advocate of the local through and through, Berry’s books have traditionally been crafted by small presses, and accordingly, the original printing of his book-length poem The Farm, by Kentucky's Larkspur Press, has been hard to find. Whether you are a devoted fan or have never heard of him, this long-awaited reproduction of The Farm (Counterpoint, $18.95) is pure Wendell Berry distilled. Featuring the original restrained drawings of Kentucky bookbinder Carolyn Whitesel, Berry’s verse cycles through the yearly tasks of farm management, its transcendent wisdom serenely grounded in his place in the world. It’s a poem not unlike Donald Hall’s “Ox-Cart Man,” serene and sublime in its economy.

The Farm By Wendell Berry, Carolyn Whitesel (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Wendell Berry, Carolyn Whitesel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781640090958
Availability: Backordered
Published: Counterpoint - October 2nd, 2018

American Journal by Tracy K. Smith

Staff Pick

Resisting the trend of divisiveness, American Journal (Graywolf, $14) looks for what unites us. This outstanding anthology of contemporary poetry, edited by Tracy K. Smith, opens with a simple request: “Please raise your hand” if you’ve ever “been a child / lost,” and with Aracelis Girmay’s disarming “Second Estrangement,” we’re reminded that at some level we’re all still vulnerable as children and live in a “world…/filled, finally with strangers.” Part of this collection’s mission is to make those strangers less strange. As Smith notes in her introduction, poetry is ideally suited for this task; reading a poem, we draw close to those we’d “never get the chance to meet” otherwise. In his beautiful “becoming a horse,” Ross Gay taps into such empathy by first “putting my heart to the horse’s” to learn what the horse feels. After that he’s ready to “drop my torches/…drop my knives.” But before we can adopt the “slow honest tongue of horses,” we have to listen carefully to the many voices and languages around us, from that of Nathalie Diaz’s brother, tormented by a “hellish vision,” to Erika L. Sánchez’s “The Poet at Fifteen,” speaking with a “hybrid mouth, a split tongue,” to the insistent “ringing hum” of a war vet’s PTSD in Brian Turner’s “Phantom Noise.”

American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time By Tracy K. Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978150
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - September 4th, 2018