2018 brought with it a lot of great poetry. Some revisited older forms or older stories to create something vital and new, while others took bold risks with language in order to illuminate aspects of the present sociopolitical condition. Whether they were causing us to rethink the quotidian or leading us to unexpected places, here are some of our favorite examples of verse that emerged this year.
It’s been several weeks since I first read Maryse Meijer’s Northwood, and I’m still sorting out how best to classify it. For the record, I mean that in the “this is a feature, not a bug” kind of way. This is the sort of book for which the term “hybrid works” was invented: Meijer blends the quotidian with the folkloric, tells much of the story in verse, and utilizes a host of formally inventive page layouts along the way. If the most striking figure of the book’s design — white text on black pages — isn’t indicator enough, I’ll say it clearly: this is not a conventional read.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Ian King and Blake Schwarzenbach, a review of Maryse Meijer’s new book, and more.
And here we go, deeper into fall. Daylight Savings Time looms this weekend, making for shorter days and longer nights; colder temperatures beckon. Does that make it the right time of the year to curl up with a book? Well, sure–but is there ever not a good time of year for that? Among the books we’re most excited about this month are bold riffs on detective fiction, genre-defying narratives, and works of fiction and nonfiction that put politics and culture into sharp relief. Here are some November books (plus a pair from the final days of October) that have caught our eye.
In our afternoon reading: Sarah McCarry on Cristina Rivera Garcia’s newly-translated novel, Alan Sparhawk on football, and much more.
In our afternoon reading: exploring the writings of Dag Solstad, new fiction by Maryse Meijer, and more.
In our morning reading: George Saunders on politics; Jenny Zhang, Tanwi Nandini Islam, and Karan Mahajan in conversation; The Millions previews the second half of the year; and more.