by Graywolf Press

On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint
Maggie Nelson
Graywolf Press - 27.00€ -

So often deployed as a jingoistic, even menacing rallying cry, or limited by a focus on passing moments of liberation, the rhetoric of freedom both rouses and repels. Does it remain key to our autonomy, justice, and well-being, or is freedom's long star turn coming to a close? Does a continued obsession with the term enliven and emancipate, or reflect a deepening nihilism (or both)? On Freedom examines such questions by tracing the concept's complexities in four distinct realms: art, sex, drugs, and climate.  

Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and plain exchanges of daily life, Maggie Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day. Her abiding interest lies in ongoing "practices of freedom" by which we negotiate our interrelation with, indeed, our inseparability from others, with all the care and constraint that entails, while accepting difference and conflict as integral to our communion.  

For Nelson, thinking publicly through the knots in our culture, from recent art-world debates to the turbulent legacies of sexual liberation, from the painful paradoxes of addiction to the lure of despair in the face of the climate crisis, is itself a practice of freedom, a means of forging fortitude, courage, and company. On Freedom is an invigorating, essential book for challenging times.

Love and I: Poems
Fanny Howe
Graywolf Press - 16.00€ -

Set in transit even as they investigate the transitory, the cinematic poems in Love and I move like a handheld camera through the eternal, the minds of passengers, and the landscapes of Ireland and America. From this slight remove, Fanny Howe explores the edge of "pure seeing" and the worldly griefs she encounters there, cast in an otherworldly light. These poems layer pasture and tarmac, the skies above where airline passengers are compressed with their thoughts and the ground where miseries accumulate, alongside comedies, in the figures of children in a park.

Love can do little but walk with the person and suddenly vanish, and that recurrent abandonment makes it necessary for these poems to find a balance between seeing and believing. For Howe, that balance is found in the Word, spoken in language, in music, in and on the wind, as invisible and continuous lyric thinking heard by the thinker alone. These are poems animated by belief and unbelief. Love and I fulfills Howe's philosophy of Bewilderment.

"[Love and I] hurries to join a long and illustrious career, which, besides poetry, includes novels, stories, memoir, and short films. . . . Howe prefers the clarity of misunderstanding to the blur of certainty. Like stained glass, her poems await illumination, but it is important not to flood them with a klieg light. . . . It is marvelous to think of these works as having been made not in some bower but in the midst of life." -- The New Yorker 

Don't Call Us Dead
Danez Smith
Graywolf Press - 16.00€ -

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality—the dangers experienced in skin, body, and blood—and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing collection, one that confronts America where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle. 

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Smith has received fellowships from the McKnight Foundation and the Poetry Foundation, and lives in Minneapolis.

Homie
Danez Smith
Graywolf Press - 16.00€ -

Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.

& colin kaepernick is my president, who kneels on the air
bent toward a branch, throwing apples down to the children
& vets & rihanna is my president, walking out of global summitswith wine glass in hand, our taxes returned in goldto dust our faces into coins
& my mama is my president, her grace stuntson amazing, brown hands breaking brown bread overmouths of the hungry until there are none unfed & my grandma is my president
& her cabinet is her cabinetcause she knows to trust what the pan knowshow the skillet wins the war  
—from “my president”

Published Jan 2020

Just Us
Claudia Rankine
Graywolf Press - 30.00€ -  out of stock

As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.

Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine’s questions disrupt the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces—the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth—where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.

The White Card: A Play
Claudia Rankine
Graywolf Press - 16.00€ -  out of stock

The White Card stages a conversation that is both informed and derailed by the black/white American drama. The scenes in this one-act play, for all the characters' disagreements, stalemates, and seeming impasses, explore what happens if one is willing to stay in the room when it is painful to bear the pressure to listen and the obligation to respond.
--from the introduction by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine's first published play, The White Card, poses the essential question: Can American society progress if whiteness remains invisible?

Composed of two scenes, the play opens with a dinner party thrown by Virginia and Charles, an influential Manhattan couple, for the up-and-coming artist Charlotte. Their conversation about art and representations of race spirals toward the devastation of Virginia and Charles's intentions. One year later, the second scene brings Charlotte and Charles into the artist's studio, and their confrontation raises both the stakes and the questions of what--and who--is actually on display.

Feeling as a foreign language
Alice Fulton
Graywolf Press - 18.00€ -  out of stock

In Feeling as a Foreign Language, poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics? 

In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare genetic syndrome, the aesthetics of complexity theory, and the need for "cultural incorrectness." She also meditates on electronic, biological, and linguistic screens; falls in love with an outrageous 17th-century poet; argues for a Dickinsonian tradition in American letters; and calls for a courageous poetics of "inconvenient knowledge."

Recyclopedia
Harryette Mullen
Graywolf Press - 18.00€ -  out of stock

Recyclopedia shows the extraordinary development of Harryette Mullen's career, in her books Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge, all originally published in the 1990s and now available again to new readers. These prose poems and lyrics bring us into collision with the language of fashion and femininity, advertising and the supermarket, the blues and traditional lyric poetry. Recyclopedia is a major gathering of work by one of the most exciting and innovative poets writing in America today.

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