Gems of Small Press Poetry

Article by Danielle

So much poetry, so little time! With all the new verse coming out every year, keeping up with small press releases can be difficult. Yet it’s the small presses that so consistently publish the most groundbreaking poetry written today! While you may have to search a little harder to find such diamonds in the rough, the payoff is almost always well worth the effort. Who knows? You may just discover your new favorite poet! Here are a few cutting edge titles to get you started this National Poetry Month. -Keaton

Democracy Is Not for the People Cover Image
ISBN: 9780984885749
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Truck Books - May 10th, 2012

I was originally drawn to this collection because of its provocative title and cover. Once I actually read the poems, I was stunned and a little taken aback (in a good way). These aren’t poems in the traditional sense. Kaplan’s verses explore the connections -- and divergences -- between the poetic and the political. He appropriates the language of propaganda, employs detailed descriptions of weapons technologies, and adds a generous dash of comic absurdity to produce an astute, irreverent meditation on the nature of political violence. Can poetry effect political change? Can political speech be poetic? These are the kinds of questions Kaplan’s poetry posits for its readers.

Seven American Deaths and Disasters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781576876367
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: powerHouse Books - March 12th, 2013

Another collection that tests the boundaries of what can be considered poetry, Goldsmith has transcribed TV and radio broadcasts covering some of the most infamous tragedies in American history--the assassinations of the Kennedys and John Lennon, the Challenger disaster, Columbine, 9/11, and the death of Michael Jackson--and recontextualized them as a set of intense prose poems. By rendering in writing what was originally spoken aloud, Goldsmith coaxes forth the underlying emotions inherent in “impartial journalism” and presents an exploration of how media affects our reactions to the larger events that shape our lives.

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