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My Poems Won't Change the World

Patrizia Cavalli (Author)

Two hours ago I fell in love
and trembled, and tremble still,
and haven't a clue whom I should tell.

Any hall she reads her poetry in is invariably filled to the gills. In Italy, Patrizia Cavalli is as beloved as Wislawa Szymborska is in Poland, and if Italy were Japan she'd be designated a national treasure. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said of Cavalli that she has written 'the most intensely ethical poetry in Italian literature of the 20th century'. One could add that it is, easily, also the most sensual and comical. Though Cavalli has been widely translated into German, French, and Spanish, she remains little known in Britain; My Poems Won't Change the World is the first substantial gathering of translations of her work into the English language.

The book is made up of poems from Cavalli's collections published by Einaudi from 1974 to 2006, here translated by an illustrious group of poets including Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, Jonathan Galassi and Gini Alhadeff. Thoughtful, sly and full of life, these are poems of the self, the body, pasta, cats, the city traversed on foot or by car, and - always, and above all - love.

Green Noise

Jean Sprackland (Author)

Jean Sprackland is celebrated for her tactile, transformative poetry that makes the miraculous seem familiar and the domestic other-worldly. Her new collection is tuned to new and deeper frequencies. ‘Green noise’ is the mid-frequency component of white noise – what some have called the background noise of the world – and these poems listen for what is audible, and available to be known and understood, and what is not. Each poem is an attempt at location – in time, in place, in language. Some inquire into the natural world and our human place in it, by investigating hidden worlds within worlds: oak-apples, aphid-farms, firewood teeming with small life. Others go in search of fragments of a mythic and often brutal past: the lost haunts of childhood, abandoned villages, scraps of shared history which are only ever partially remembered. A physical relic or a mark on the landscape seems briefly to offer a portal, where a sounding is taken from present to past and back again.

Deeply engaged with the flux of the world, these poems are alert, precise and vividly memorable – listening to the ‘machine of spring/with all your levers thrown to max’, ‘hearing the long bones of the trees stretch and crack’.

The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem

Jeremy Noel-Tod (Author)

The last decades have seen an explosion of the prose poem. More and more writers are turning to this peculiarly rich and flexible form; it defines Claudia Rankine's Citizen, one of the most talked-about books of recent years, and many others, such as Sarah Howe's Loop of Jade and Vahni Capildeo's Measures of Expatriation, make extensive use of it. Yet this fertile mode which in its time has drawn the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein and Seamus Heaney remains, for many contemporary readers, something of a mystery.

The history of the prose poem is a long and fascinating one. Here, Jeremy Noel-Tod reconstructs it for us by selecting the essential pieces of writing - by turns luminous, brooding, lamentatory and comic - which have defined and developed the form at each stage, from its beginnings in 19th-century France, through the 20th-century traditions of Britain and America and beyond the English language, to the great wealth of material written internationally since 2000. Comprehensively told, it yields one of the most original and genre-changing anthologies to be published for some years, and offers readers the chance to discover a diverse range of new poets and new kinds of poem, while also meeting famous names in an unfamiliar guise.

Playtime

Andrew McMillan (Author)

In these intimate, sometimes painfully frank poems, Andrew McMillan takes us back to childhood and early adolescence to explore the different ways we grow into our sexual selves and our adult identities. Examining our teenage rites of passage: those dilemmas and traumas that shape us - eating disorders, circumcision, masturbation, loss of virginity - the poet examines how we use bodies, both our own and other people’s, to chart our progress towards selfhood.

McMillan’s award-winning debut collection, physical, was praised for a poetry that was tight and powerful, raw and tender, and playtime expands that narrative frame and widens the gaze. Alongside poems in praise of the naivety of youth, there are those which explore the troubling intersections of violence, masculinity, class and sexuality, always taking the reader with them towards a better understanding of our own physicality. ‘isn’t this what human kind was made for’, McMillan asks in one poem, ‘telling stories learning where the skin/is most in need of touch’. These humane and vital poems are confessions, both in the spiritual and personal sense; they tell us stories that some of us, perhaps, have never found the courage to read before.

Emerald

Ruth Padel (Author)

'Here in deep earth the black
blossom of mourning still sifting within me
I remembered that emerald was my birthstone…'


Emerald is a grief observed, a book from the heart of loss. Prizewinning poet Ruth Padel’s heartfelt new collection is an elegy for her mother at her passing at the age of 97.

Tender, passionate and resonantly honest, Emerald is a daughter’s chronicle of loss, assembling not only the memories, photographs and conversations that bring her mother to life, but the patterns they leave on the bedrock of the heart. These are poems that flash with emotion and sparkle with colour: from the sunset-pink of the Emerald City Jaipur to the pitch-black honeycomb of a Colombian emerald mine and, of course, the jewel itself, ‘the only stone in which the flaws are prized’.

With an imagination that turns to, and finds solace in, the renewal of nature, Padel follows the glint of green, ‘green for awakening/for bringing life back from the dead.’ Beautifully carved and cadenced, Emerald is a celebration of all that is precious in the life that remains.

American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin

Terrance Hayes (Author)

The black poet would love to say his century began
With Hughes or God forbid, Wheatley, but actually
It began with all the poetry weirdos & worriers, warriors,
Poetry whiners & winos falling from ship bows, sunset
Bridges & windows. In a second I'll tell you how little
Writing rescues.

So begins this astonishing, muscular sequence by one of America's best-selling and most acclaimed poets. Over 70 poems, each titled 'American Sonnet for my Past and Future Assassin' and shot through with the vernacular energy of popular culture, Terrance Hayes manoeuvres his way between touching domestic visions, stories of love, loss and creation, tributes to the fallen and blistering denunciations of the enemies of the good.

American Sonnets builds a living picture of the whole self, and the whole human, even as it opens to the view the dividing lines of race, gender and political oppression which define the early 21st Century. It is compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, bewildered - and unstoppably, rhythmically compelling, as few books can hope to be.

Useless Magic

Florence Welch (Author)

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Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from the iconic vocalist of Florence and the Machine

Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.

Assurances

J. O. Morgan (Author)

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are. We listen to the whirring minds of machines; to the voice of the bomb itself. We spy on enemy agents: always there, always somewhere close at hand.

Assurances is an intimate, dramatic work for many voices: lyrical, anxious, fragmentary and terrifying; a poem about the nuclear stalemate, the deterrent that is still in place today: how it works and how it might fail, and what will vanish if it does.

The House with Only an Attic and a Basement

Kathryn Maris (Author)

But back to the summer day the spike
grazed my brother's scalp: I slept beside him
in his racing car bed and my father woke me
and slapped my face, thinking, I assume, of sex,
whereas I was already thinking about death.

Urban, suburban, observant, obsessive and wickedly witty, the poems in Kathryn Maris's third book range over such subjects as parenthood, marriage, adultery, the politics of children's sports contests, female incarceration and psychoanalysis. The House with Only an Attic and a Basement is that rare thing: a darkly funny collection of poems that courses with keen intelligence, yet carries its sophistication lightly so that it is a pleasure to stride along with every poem.

A Country to Call Home: An anthology on the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers

Lucy Popescu (Author)

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of new writing on one of the defining issues of our time; focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike.

There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s fortitude, their dreams and aspirations.

A Country to Call Home implores us to build bridges, not walls. It is intended as a reminder of our shared humanity, seeking to challenge the negative narratives that so often cloud our view of these vulnerable young people, and prevent us giving them the empathy they deserve.

The book will include newly commissioned stories, flash fiction, poetry and original artwork from some of our finest children’s writers: Michael Morpurgo, David Almond, Chris Riddell, Moniza Alvi, Simon Armitage, Sita Brahmachari, Eoin Colfer, Kit de Waal, Peter Kalu, Judith Kerr, Patrice Lawrence, Anna Perera, the late Christine Pullein-Thompson, Bali Rai and S. F. Said.

The Penguin Book of Haiku

Adam L. Kern (Translator) , Adam L. Kern (Translator)

The first Penguin anthology of Japanese haiku, in vivid new translations by Adam L. Kern.

Now a global poetry, the haiku was originally a Japanese verse form that flourished from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Although renowned for its brevity, usually running over three lines in seventeen syllables, and by its use of natural imagery to make Zen-like observations about reality, in fact the haiku is much more: it can be erotic, funny, crude and mischievous. Presenting over a thousand exemplars in vivid and engaging translations, this anthology offers an illuminating introduction to this widely celebrated, if misunderstood, art form.

Adam L. Kern's new translations are accompanied here by the original Japanese and short commentaries on the poems, as well as an introduction and illustrations from the period.

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each

Peter MacMillan (Translator) , Peter MacMillan (Translator)

A new edition of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry.

The best-loved and most widely read of all Japanese poetry collections, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu contains 100 short poems on nature, the seasons, travel, and, above all, love. Dating back to the seventh century, these elegant, precisely observed waka poems (the precursor of haiku) express deep emotion through visual images based on a penetrating observation of the natural world. Peter MacMillan's new translation of his prize-winning original conveys even more effectively the beauty and subtlety of this magical collection.

Translated with an introduction and commentary by Peter MacMillan.

Repeal the 8th

Una Mullally (Author)

Abortion is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland, making it the only democracy in the western world to have such a constitutional ban:

· Between 1980 and 2015, at least 165,438 Irish women and girls accessed UK abortion services. In 2016, the figure was 3,265.
· Any woman or girl who procures an abortion, or anyone who assists a woman to procure an abortion in Ireland can be criminalised and imprisoned for up to fourteen years.
· A woman may not procure an abortion in Ireland if she is pregnant due to incest or rape, or to prevent inevitable miscarriage and fatal foetal abnormality.

The movement to repeal the Eighth Amendment and make abortion legal in Ireland has grown massively over the last few years. This anthology shares the literature, personal stories, opinions, photography, art and design produced by the movement that catalysed 2018’s momentous referendum.

Featuring prize-winning novelists, critically acclaimed poets, cutting-edge artists and journalists on the front line, this anthology will be the definitive collection of the art inspired by the most pressing debate in contemporary Ireland, and beyond.

Contributors include: Lisa McInerney, Anne Enright, Louise O’Neill, Caitlin Moran, Tara Flynn, Aisling Bing, Sinead Gleeson, Emmet Kiran.

Wade in the Water

Tracy K. Smith (Author)

Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else

Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade
Sizing up the heart's familiar meat?

In Wade in the Water, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith's signature voice - inquisitive, lyrical and wry - turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence. The various connotations of the title, taken from a spiritual once sung on the Underground Railroad which smuggled slaves to safety in 19th-century America, resurface throughout the book, binding past and present together. Collaged voices and documents recreate both the correspondence between slave owners and the letters sent home by African Americans enlisted in the US Civil War. Survivors' reports attest to the experiences of recent immigrants and refugees. Accounts of near-death experiences intertwine with the modern-day fallout of a corporation's illegal pollution of a major river and the surrounding land; and, in a series of beautiful lyrical pieces, the poet's everyday world and the growth and flourishing of her daughter are observed with a tender and witty eye. Marrying the contemporary and the historical to a sense of the transcendent, haunted and holy, this is a luminous book by one of America's essential poets.

Asylum

Sean Borodale (Author)

Like his two previous books, Asylum was written live on-site; in this case deep within the caves, mines, quarries, geological and archaeological horizons of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. The poems stage modes of exile in the darkness of earth, enacting solidarity with those others who have made their journey into the underworld – Dante, Orpheus, blinded Oedipus, Euripides. These are semi-dramatic voicings, staged across the thirty-mile theatre of the Mendip subterranean: each an act of recovery, of rescue. Traversing the broken, collapsed, eroded stones, looking for voices that express the damaged and the damned, Asylum pays homage to the darkness of the human cave: its memories and ancient histories, and to its more contemporary signals – internationally owned quarries, abandoned coal mines, decommissioned Cold War bunkers.

As with Bee Journal and Human Work, these poems take on the nature of the experience recorded. Written blind, as it were, the diction here becomes mineral, deeply tactile – hard and granular, alert to sound in its own blackness. Descending underground with the poet is to enter a theatre of heightened senses, and these extraordinary poems feel both unearthed and unearthly.

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry (Author)

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

The poems of Wendell Berry invite us to stop, to think, to see the world around us, and to savour what is good. Here are consoling verses of hope and of healing; short, simple meditations on love, death, friendship, memory and belonging; luminous hymns to the land, the cycles of nature and the seasons as they ebb and flow. Here is the peace of wild things.

Food

Gertrude Stein (Author)

Sadder than salad.

From apples to artichokes, these glittering, fragmented, painterly portraits of food by the avant-garde pioneer Gertrude Stein are redolent of sex, laughter and the joy of everyday life.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

I Have More Souls Than One

Fernando Pessoa (Author)

'But no, she's abstract, is a bird
Of sound in the air of air soaring,
And her soul sings unencumbered
Because the song's what makes her sing.'

Dramatic, lyrical and ranging over four distinct personae, these poems by one of Portugal's greatest poets trace a mind shaken by intense suffering and a tireless search for meaning.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

Television Was a Baby Crawling Toward That Deathchamber

Allen Ginsberg (Author)

'Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!-and you, García Lorca, what were you doing by the watermelons?'

Profane and prophetic verses about sex, death, revolution and America by the great icon of Beat poetry.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

The Dialogue of Two Snails

Federico García Lorca (Author)

My heart
brims with billows
and minnows
of shadows and silver

Beautiful, brutal, strange and lovely: this is Lorca reborn, in a selection of previously unpublished pieces and masterful new translations.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

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