With this edition of Requiem and Poem without a Hero, Swallow Press presents two of Anna Akhmatova's best-known works, ones that represent the poet at full maturity, and that most trenchantly process the trauma she and others experienced living under Stalin's regime. Akhmatova began the three-decade process of writing Requiem in 1935 after the arrests of her son, Lev Gumilev, and her third husband.
Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966) was part of that magnificent and tragic generation of Russian artists which came to first maturity before 1917, and which then had to come to terms with official discouragement and often persecution. You Will Hear Thunder brings together for the first time all D.M. Thomas’s translations of her poems.
In Animal Purpose, Michelle Y. Burke explores the lives of men and women as they stand poised between the desire to love and the compulsion to harm. She scours the hard edges of the world to find “fleeting softness,” which she wishes “into the world like pollen that covers everything.”
On the Desire to Levitate is the first collection of poems by Alison Powell. This striking collection includes vivid, unflinching meditations on aging, mythology, poetry, and family. In tight, elegant lines that alternate between homage and elegy, these poems explore known subjects with a rebellious eye: a defeated Hercules and a bitter Eurydice, a sympathetic Lucifer, and generations of adolescent girls as mythical adventurers moving within a beloved but confining Midwest.
Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson's award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it.
In her second collection of poems, Jennifer Rose writes primarily of places and displacement. Using the postcard’s conventions of brevity, immediacy, and, in some instances, humor, these poems are greetings from destinations as disparate as Cape Cod, Kentuckiana, and Croatia. Rich in imagery, deftly crafted, and imbued with a lightness of voice, these poems are also postmarked from poetry’s more familiar provinces of love, nature, and loss.
The Palace of Bones by Allison Eir Jenks is an often stark and startling vision of the way we live, the places we inhabit, and the relics we make to comfort ourselves. Haunted by a quiet, unquenchable longing, Jenks expertly and calmly guides the reader through a vivid dreamscape in this first full-length collection of poems. The Palace of Bones was selected by final judge and Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Kizer.
In 1967, Yvor Winters wrote of Helen Pinkerton, “she is a master of poetic style and of her material. No poet in English writes with more authority.” Unfortunately, in 1967 mastery of poetic style was not, by and large, considered a virtue, and Pinkerton's finely crafted poems were neglected in favor of more improvisational and flashier talents.
In choosing the winning manuscript for the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, judge Andrew Hudgins remarked: “With immense poetic verve, Pelizzon finds flamboyance in places where it has been forgotten and brings it back to vivid life--and she sees it for what it is. Her vision is then both passionate and dispassionate at the same time, a maturity of perspective that is just one of the many accomplishments of this superb first book.”
Since the appearance in print of her early poems over seventy-five years ago, the poetry of Janet Lewis has grown in quiet acclaim and popularity. Although she is better known as a novelist of historical fiction, her first and last writings were poems. With the publication of her selected poems, Swallow Press celebrates the distinguished career of one of its most cherished authors.
About the author of this award-winning collection, final judge Miller Williams commented: “Meredith Carson writes poems so well-controlled in tone that the language of conversation takes on an elegance rarely found in contemporary poetry, but emphatically contemporary.” In this, her first collection of poetry, Meredith Carson combines form and feeling, human nature and animal instinct, a scientist's eye and a poet's heart to create poetry of detail and delight.
Kenneth Rexroth wrote: “Janet Lewis uses reason to veil and adorn the flesh of feeling and intuition. This is the way the greatest poetry has always been written.” The poems in this collection range over a period of 60 years. The style is spare, direct, cutting to the core of subject. Richness of intelligence and a concern for the human has also characterized every phase of Lewis’ development.