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Wrapping up National Poetry Month with our TOP PICKS!

26th April 2020

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Winner of the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry

Multiversal, the second book by award-winning, Amy Catanzano proposing a theory of quantum poetics, invites readers to explore the intersections between language, nature, science, and consciousness. Multiversal takes its name from the “multiverse,” a science fiction concept that has become an accepted theory in physics. It suggests that reality comprises multiple dimensions in space and time. In form and content, this collection takes novel approaches to the materiality of language itself, to the spacetime of poems.

Amy Catanzano is an American poet from boulder, CO. She is the author of Multiversal (FUP, 2009), which won the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry. She was recently featured in Symmetry Magazine as “The Quantum Poet” bridging the worlds of poetry and science.


A work of documentary poetics that investigates the cost of whiteness in South Africa, Xamissa code-switches at times into Lontara, the subversive Indonesian script that undercuts the prevalence of Dutch in the colonial archive. Through serial questions around the ethics of its address, Xamissa probes the interrelation of language, sociality, and resistance, in its bid to interrogate the archive as a draft of the city’s future.

Henk Rossouw is from Cape Town, South Africa. His book-length poem Xamissa, published by Fordham Press in 2018, won the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize.

“Julia Bouwsma’s chilling tale of the quietus of Malaga Island is shattering in its simplicity. The ease with which an ‘undesirable’ culture can be summarily disappeared is not a grim aberration relegated to a long-ago past―it’s a monster of the here-and-now. This is a chilling commentary, compassionate and character-driven, penned by a poet who is resolute and relentless as witness”Patricia Smith

Midden Julia Bouwsma

Selected as one of NPR’S 2018 GREAT READS!

Author Julia Bouwsma in Midden confronts the events and over one hundred years of silence that surround this shameful incident in Maine’s history. Utilizing a wide range of poetic styles—epistolary poems to ghosts, persona poems, erasure poems, interior poems, interviews and instructions, poems framed both in the past and in the present—Midden delves into the vital connections between land, identity, and narrative and asks how we can heal the generations and legacies of damage that result when all three of these are deliberately taken in an attempt to rob people of their very humanity. The book is a poetic excavation of loss, a carving of the landscape of memory, and a reckoning with and tribute to the ghosts we carry and step over, often without our even knowing it.

Julia Bouwsma was the winner of the 2019 Maine Literary Award for Poetry and a finalist for the Julie Suk Award in 2018.

(September 2020)

‘There’s a kind of suspension in a car on a highway, so that to stop feels a great affront.’ This line, from near the end of S. Brook Corfman’s new book, describes the poet’s own power to ‘gather the propulsive forces’ that carry us through worlds lived, felt, and dreamt. From these, the subject emerges as an energy, a force seen in its passing: ‘I, the death wail of each passing car; I, a late night but still somehow bright sky.’ This is subjectivity in motion, a self in transformation, through emotion’s mutable ground. —Jessica Fisher, author of Frail-Craft and Inmost

S. Brook Corfman is the author of Luxury, Blue Lace, chosen by Richard Siken for the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize & hailed as an “extraordinary debut” by Publishers Weekly, and My Daily Actions, or The Meteorites, chosen by Cathy Park Hong for the Fordham University Press POL Prize (forthcoming Fall 2020).

(September 2020)

In scenery, lyric’s public voice, and memoir’s personal reconciliations confront the archives of America’s racial and legal histories, resulting in a genre-bending exploration of what it means to exist as oneself for an Other. The author, a Salvadorean immigrant, and parent, reflects on the status of personhood in America between racial supremacy and racial disavowal, thinking through his own structural role as a naturalized citizen, and naturalization’s historical condition in the denial of full legal and emotional Black personhood. The writing delves into the archive of liberal humanism from colonial-era writing on the competing status of slaves versus converts, to the Dred Scott decision’s framing of naturalization, up through the rise of model minorityism during the LA Riots, while the visual archive of public news provides an ekphrastic environment to the author’s bigger lyric-memory, being the parent of a biracial American born child in a contemporary era accentuated by violence, nationalism, and fear. 

José Felipe Alvergue is a graduate of both the Cal Arts Writing (MFA) and Buffalo Poetics (PhD) programs. Rather than distinguish between critical and creative inquiry, his work engages the intersection of aesthetic experience and political discipline, and appears in numerous journals. He is the author of gist : rift : drift : bloom (2015) and precis (2017). His third book, scenery: a lyric, is forthcoming this September. He is currently at work on a new project, asylum : After Nation, which is a scholarly-lyric investigation into the lasting, catastrophic effects on the meaning of national identity following the current practices of detention at the Mexico/US Border. His research shapes the way he approaches teaching, in that he believes we can’t unlock the empathy hidden behind words if we don’t understand what is at stake in the risk writers and artists take when they decide to transform the matter which makes up the world around them.


Fannie+Freddie uses poetry to perform and document (or, as Carroll has suggested, ‘undocument‘) the capitalist roller coaster of the 2000s in pieces that are compellingly personal and insistently social, and that remind us how deeply our globalized crises are inscribed on the body. -—Make/shift

Amy Sara Carroll is the author of the poetry collections Fannie + Freddie/The Sentimentality of Post-9/11 Pornography (Fordham Press, 2013), chosen by Claudia Rankine for the 2012 Poets Out Loud Prize and Secession (Hyperbole Books, 2012). She is also the author of REMEX: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era (University of Texas Press, 2017), an examination of art created during and in response to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

MLA First Book Prize (finalist)

What a deep and long-awaited pleasure to hold in the hand such an exquisite book of poems by one of our most incisive and buoyant theorists. Snediker’s ear is spectacularly tuned—to surprise, to insistence, to beauty; his intelligence is coiled, fervent, avid, and inspiring. And while Henry James may not be the ‘solution’ to these poems, he is certainly here Honored—both writers gift us an intricacy and artifice never far from stink, roar, meat, halo, heart.“—Maggie Nelson

Michael D. Snediker is the author of the poetry collections The New York Editions (Fordham University Press, 2017) and The Apartment of Tragic Appliances (Punctum Books, 2013). He is also the author of Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), a collection of critical essays.

Poets Out Loud is a community of poetry at Fordham University at Lincoln Center. POL’s mission is to provide opportunities for the creation, dissemination, and enjoyment of poetry. Serving the Fordham University community and New York City at large, the POL Reading Series presents free public readings throughout the academic year.

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