Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems

10 best books like Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (Yusef Komunyakaa): The World Doesn't End, Native Guard, The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994, Thomas and Beulah, The First Four Books of Poems, Vice: New and Selected Poems, The Country Between Us, Late Wife, Moy Sand and Gravel, Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems

AuthorCharles Simic
Throw a pebble into the pool and
see it dissolve into shimmering currents,
carrying burdens of ashen leaves that autumn
has swept beneath the silent tremors, teaming to cry
their laments; Or hide behind a ripe tree and cast a glance,
all the way to that faint window where a boy, on...
AuthorNatasha Trethewey
Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, Natasha Trethewey confronts the racial legacy of her native Deep South -- where one of the first black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards, was called into service during the Civil War. Trethewey's resonant and...
AuthorJorie Graham
The Dream of the Unified Field is a selection of Jorie Graham's poems from five collections, including: Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts , Erosion , The End of Beauty , Region of Unlikeness , and Materialism ...

From Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts ...

The slow overture of...
AuthorRita Dove
No one can help him anymore.
Not the young thing next door
in the red pedal pushers,
not the canary he drove distracted

with his mandolin. There’ll be
no more trees to wake him in moonlight,
nor a single dry spring morning
when the fish are lonely for company.

AuthorLouise Glück
Gluck's poetry focuses on emotions living just below a tranquil domesticity. Many of these poems seem angry or resentful of isolation within a relationship, but the language is moving enough to make each stanza evoke empathy. Through it all is the theme of mature love and what it means to maintain a relationship...
Ai's collection is startling, difficult, and important. Selected from the five books preceding this collection - Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed - these poems tackle dangerous parts of the human spirit in ways that leave readers gasping for air. Her metaphors and similes are often spiritual,...
AuthorCarolyn Forché
“Here is poetry of courage and passion, which manages to be tender and achingly sensual and what is often called ‘political’ at the same time. This is a major new voice.” — Margaret Atwood

The Country Between Us opens with a series of poems about El Salvador, where Carolyn Forché...
AuthorClaudia Emerson
In Late Wife, a woman explores her disappearance from one life and reappearance in another as she addresses her former husband, herself, and her new husband in a series of epistolary poems. Though not satisfied in her first marriage, she laments vanishing from the life she and her husband shared for...
AuthorPaul Muldoon
Paul Muldoon's ninth collection of poems, his first since Hay (1998), finds him working a rich vein that extends from the rivery, apple-heavy County Armagh of the 1950s, in which he was brought up, to suburban New Jersey, on the banks of a canal dug by Irish navvies, where he now lives. Grounded, glistening,...
AuthorWilliam Carlos Williams
This collection makes available work of one of our greatest American poets in the last decade of his life. The first section, Pictures from Brueghel, contains previously uncollected short poems, while the second and third parts are the complete texts of The Desert Music (1954) and Journey...
AuthorCharles Wright
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Black Zodiac offers poems suffused with spiritual longing—lyrical meditations on faith, religion, heritage, and morality. The poems also explore aging and mortality with restless grace. Approaching his vast subjects...
AuthorMark Doty
A versatile, technically astute poet, Doty masterfully tackles themes of death, beauty and discovery in this collection. Particularly moving is "Days of 1981," in which he recalls the memory of his first gay lover--a sculptor he met in a bar. "Nothing was promised, nothing sustained/or lethal offered....
AuthorJames Tate
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1992)
Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award (1992)

The Selected Poems James Tate's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection and his first British publication, gathers work from nine previous books, from the Lost Pilot which was a Yale Younger...
AuthorJames Wright
I may skip a detailed review on this, simply because poetry reviews are a real ass kicker for me. Like work. But, that said, it deserves one. Wright is one best poets I've read (and I've read A LOT). One reason for this is that he's SO American in his settings and voice. If you like Whitman, you should like this...
AuthorLarry Levis
Edited and with an Afterword by David St. John

When Larry Levis died suddenly in 1996, Philip Levine wrote that he had years earlier recognized Levis as “the most gifted and determined young poet I have ever had the good fortune to have in one of my classes. . . . His early death is a staggering...
AuthorLi-Young Lee

Furious Versionis

The Interrogation
This Hour And What Is Dead
Arise, Go Down
My Father, In Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud
For A New Citizen Of These United States
With Ruins

This Room And Everything In It
The City...
AuthorGalway Kinnell
Did you know Galway Kinnell was active in the Civil Rights movement, jailed in Louisiana for his role in voter registration activities? I didn't know that until I read the excerpts from Kinnell's long poem "The Last River" that are included in this 1982 compilation. "The Last River" is, interestingly,...
AuthorC.K. Williams
Nominated for the National Book Award--The eighth book by one of our greatest poets

"Always, "These gigantic inconceivables."
Always, "What will have been done to me?"
And so we don our mental armor,
flex, thrill, pay the strict attention we always knew we should.
A violent...
AuthorStephen Dunn
Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

A wise and graceful new collection by one of our "major, indispensable poets" (Sidney Lea). The mysteries of Eros and Thanatos, the stubborn endurance of mind and body in the face of diminishment--these are the undercurrents of Stephen Dunn's...
AuthorRobert Hass
The poems in Robert Hass's new collection—his first to appear in a decade—are grounded in the beauty and energy of the physical world, and in the bafflement of the present moment in American culture. This work is breathtakingly immediate, stylistically varied, redemptive, and wise.

AuthorPhilip Levine
Brilliant, engaging, human and personal. Levine is one of the greats.

Ask for Nothing

Instead walk alone in the evening
heading out of town toward the fields
asleep under a darkening sky;
the dust risen from your steps transforms
itself into a golden rain fallen
AuthorLucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton: Ave Atque Vale

Lucille Clifton is gone but her legacy of simple, honestly felt, seemingly spontaneously written poems about the live of ordinary people who become icons almost by accident will live on, especially through the collection of her works in this award winning...
New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995
AuthorThomas Lux
One of the New York Public Library's 25 "Books to Remember" in 1997

Lux comments on the absurd, the pathetic, and the commonplace in our culture, writing with compassion as well as satire. He is "singular among his peers in his ability to convey with a deceptive lightness the paradoxes of human...
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