Poetry News

Academy of American Poets Notes 2017's Standouts

By Harriet Staff

Academy of American Poets presents a few of this year's most captivating reads in a new feature on its website. Included are collections by Danez Smith, Frank Bidart, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Victoria Chang. It nods first to Mary Jo Bang's Doll for Throwing:

Coldly beautiful and relentlessly quotable, this eighth collection from Mary Jo Bang (who won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Elegy, published by Graywolf Press in 2007) is also her first to consist wholly of prose poems, and her second, after The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (Grove Press, 2004), to take its bearings from modern art. Many of its pages respond to the life and work of Lucia Moholy, the photographer whose Bauhaus-era images were later used without her consent. Looking back at us “like someone looking into a box of scattered catastrophes,” Moholy may be one type of the neglected artist, or the woman kept down by patriarchy; other characters, silhouettes, and imagined faces surface amid Bang’s bleak, almost Beckett-like aphorisms and terse exclamations. 

Read more about this year's great books at the Academy of American Poets.