This is for an in-depth review of a book, this is not to be confused with the staff recommendations page.

Lyric Reviews AMERICA, MINE

“If you don’t know it, make it up.” Thus Sasha Banks implores Black Americans to reshape America in our own image in a poem from her first full-length book, AMERICA, MINE In a poem that echoes an exam-- either for school or for citizenship, Banks asks us to record what we remember of an America that has passed away into memory, throwing into doubt everything we thought we knew about history.


America, Mine By Sasha Banks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947918047
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Co-Im-Press - April 24th, 2020

Lyric Reviews The Paper Camera by Youmna Chlala

THE PAPER CAMERA opens with the voice of someone reporting from the end of the world, giving the text the tone of a dispatch. 

“A young girl / sticks her tongue / out at a gun—” Disparate moments press together in memory, over the breadth of space, anchored by architectural details such as a window, and by landscape markers, like lemon trees, connected by the tanks rolling by. The tongue, and therefore language, becomes a weapon.

The Paper Camera By Youmna Chlala Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933959351
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Litmus Press - December 15th, 2019

Lyric Reviews MUSLIM: A NOVEL

Zahia Rahmani's "Muslim: A Novel" is at its core a warning of the danger and violence of distilling human life down to a single identity label: religion, gender, or nationality. It also warns against the violence of erasing any part of one's life that encompasses those identities and cultures: the colonized who are forced to stop speaking their language, or oppressed groups who are forced to assimilate into the dominant culture while their own cultural practices are demonized and marginalized. This is the tension of the novel, pulling between multivalent life and erasure.

Muslim By Zahia Rahmani, Matt Reeck (Translator) Cover Image
By Zahia Rahmani, Matt Reeck (Translator)
ISBN: 9781941920756
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 19th, 2019

Lyric Reviews G by Emmalea Russo

Emmalea Russo’s G is doing several things at once.

By employing a hemispheric division, creating borders reminiscent of a hem, the poems’ form resembles, on one side, a raised garden bed. On the facing side, the prose-poem rests on the bottom of the page, creating a ground. As in a painting, the ground creates, not a negative space of whiteness, but a full sky. The poem becomes a landscape.

G By Emmalea Russo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996002592
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Futurepoem - December 15th, 2018

Laura M Reviews Maria Popova's FIGURING

Maria Popova is the author, curator, and brain child behind the blog Brain Pickings: a cultural treasure trove of the thoughts, letters, and life’s work of some of history’s greatest thinkers. Most Brain Pickings articles have titles like “How to Grow Old: Bertrand Russel on What Makes a Fulfilling Life” and “Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair.” Spanning centuries, her articles delve into a person’s writing to find the fundamental truths that make them who they are.

Figuring By Maria Popova Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524748135
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Pantheon - February 5th, 2019

Laura Reviews THE DREAMERS by Karen Thompson Walker

Everything is heightened in a crisis. The way we interact with people changes. We become fiercely protective of those we love. We act selfishly or selflessly. Fear, grief, and loneliness become sharper, but so do those brief moments of joy, wonder, and connection.

The Dreamers: A Novel By Karen Thompson Walker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812994162
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Random House - January 15th, 2019

Dust, Light, and Air: Alexis Reviews Jeffrey Yang's HEY, MARFA

Jeffrey Yang’s Hey, Marfa presents a multifaceted look at the tiny, West Texas town of Marfa, a self-referential art town that thrives on aesthetic and feeds philosophical thought. The poet uses dense nouns and verbs juxtaposed create a surplus of image-based poems, alongside the more historical, narrative-based pieces. Yang references the town’s focus on art in poems like “Thirteen Stations” when he describes the landscape as expressing “titanium white wisps / brushed raw sienna earth”, calling to mind the names for tubes of paint. Poems like “Circle” are wistful in tone.

Hey, Marfa: Poems By Jeffrey Yang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978198
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Graywolf Press - October 2nd, 2018

Bend What's Expected: Bao Phi's THOUSAND STAR HOTEL

Thousand Star Hotel, Bao Phi’s powerful second collection of poetry, wrestles with inheritance and lineage – the devastation of war, poverty, racism and the costs of masculinity. In the book’s opening poem, “Say What?,” Phi uses a repetition of the word “Ma” and the six different meanings in Vietnamese to conclude that “Vietnamese people have always been spoken word poets.

Thousand Star Hotel By Bao Phi Cover Image
By Bao Phi
ISBN: 9781566894708
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Coffee House Press - July 4th, 2017

Mapping Home: Fatimah Asghar's IF THEY COME FOR US

Poet Fatimah Asghar has written a substantial amount of striking and intimate work in her debut collection If They Come for Us. In this collection, Asghar digs into themes of national and personal identity, chronicling her development as a young immigrant into her teens and young adulthood in America. She relates a dissonance in her identity, the struggle to “Map Home” as she balances her people's history with her developing identity in America.

If They Come for Us: Poems By Fatimah Asghar Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525509783
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: One World - August 7th, 2018

Mark Reviews Bernardo Esquinca’s THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

Although he’s had more than seven books (novels and story collections) published in Spanish, THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM is Bernardo Esquinca’s first collection in English. In a gorgeous bilingual edition, these stories introduce the English language reader to the strange, eerie world of Esquinca.