The struggle from late youth on, with and without God, agony, narcotics and love is a torment rarely recorded with such sustained eloquence and passion as you will find in this collection. --Fanny Howe
This highly-anticipated debut boldly confronts addiction and courses the strenuous path of recovery, beginning in the wilds of the mind. Poems confront craving, control, the constant battle of alcoholism and sobriety, and the questioning of the self and its instincts within the context of this never-ending fight.
whatever's real to you, you have to clomp
through fields and kick the caps off
all the toadstools. Sometimes
you have to march all the way to Galilee
or the literal foot of God himself before you realize
you've already passed the place where
you were supposed to die. I can no longer remember
the being afraid, only that it came to an end.
Kaveh Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper. His poems appear recently or soon in The New Yorker, Poetry, APR, Tin House, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.
- ISBN-13: 9781938584671
- ISBN-10: 1938584678
- Publisher: Alice James Books
- Publish Date: September 2017
- Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds
- Page Count: 100
The Hold List: October 2019
It’s the time of year when pumpkin spice suddenly flavors everything. But what if autumn were distilled into a book? The mixture of crispness and warmth, the thrill of possibility, the bittersweetness of change—these books are pure pumpkin spice.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Lake Michigan on a cool morning, a well-worn copy of Moby-Dick, a lazily draped scarf worn to a beloved college class—this is pumpkin spice latte territory. Chad Harbach’s debut novel is a philosopher’s playhouse, a literature student’s carnival and a baseball fan’s last hurrah of the season. It’s the story of shortstop star Henry Skrimshander and the many intellectuals in his orbit at Wisconsin’s small Westish College. Cute literary jokes abound (Henry’s last name is an obvious nod to Melville and scrimshaw), and meandering passages are capably balanced by thrilling baseball scenes. There’s angst and romance as well—always best in autumn—and a cheeky sense of humor that looks so good with your fading summer tan. —Cat, Deputy Editor
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
First of all, what’s more autumnal than the words of Nora Ephron? (Think “bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.”) But I love this collection in particular because it’s the last book Ephron published before she died. Every time I read I Remember Nothing, I cherish it more urgently because I know I’m approaching the end of her expansive but finite body of work. (Oh, for a thousand more charming observations about seersucker napkins!) I think this makes it a perfect book for fall, which is the season for lapping up every drop of beauty we can before it’s gone. Poignantly, the last essay in the book is a list called “What I Will Miss,” and it includes: fall, a walk in the park, the idea of a walk in the park and pie. —Christy, Associate Editor
Possession by A.S. Byatt
This supremely meta, deeply romantic bestseller is a lot. But its dual narratives—a doomed romance between Victorian poets and the modern-day scholars who stumble upon their story—offer some sublimely cozy pleasures for a very specific type of book nerd. If your ideal autumn involves prowling through Victorian letters while a storm rages outside, taking baths in crumbling old manor houses and sighing over love thwarted and love gained, Possession is the book for you. And for those who miss school (but not its over-caffeination and assigned reading), A.S. Byatt’s awe-inspiring creation of not only the work of two poets but also the modern scholarly commentary surrounding them will scratch that essay-writing, argument-crafting itch—sans the all-nighter. —Savanna, Assistant Editor
Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar
Scalding, flavorful and unapologetic, this poetry collection invites readers to scrutinize its speaker’s struggle with alcoholism, desire and mental obstruction. The reader is welcomed into madness, ardor, misery and silence, but this is not our madness, our sadness or our experiences. We may not have experienced alcoholism, but we are allowed to smell the same odors, hear the cacophony of a bar and call out to the speaker’s hope. This collection taught me that poetry is never about the reader but is ultimately an act of generosity. I thank this book for the warmth it gave me, for I needed a comforting drink to withstand the multiclimatic world. Ultimately, I found myself warm enough—and secure enough—to ditch my cup. —Prince Bush, Editorial Intern
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
If your perfect walk through autumnal woods—fallen leaves in fiery hues crunching beneath your boots, the scents of mist-damp soil and October’s chill filtering through the air—comes with the sense that something is hiding behind every tree, waiting just ahead at every crook in your path, something not sinister but curious about your strange mortal ways, then may I suggest settling down with An Enchantment of Ravens once your latte has chased your chill away? Full of tricksy fairies, a delicious slow-burn romance and plenty of wit and literal Whimsy (the name of the village where Margaret Rogerson’s characters live), it reads the way autumn feels, deep down in your bones. —Stephanie, Associate Editor