A novel told in short stories, The Affliction is an astounding fiction debut by an award-winning poet full of memorable characters across America and the Caribbean. Young beautifully weaves together the elaborate stories of many while holding together a clear focus: people are not always as they seem.
David Dodd Lee Four Way Books, 2014 Library of Congress PS3562.E3383A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Reading Animalities is like inhaling and exhaling innumerable versions of life—and like life, these poems embrace “carnage and joy”: “the sun on the horizon bleeding…/ where the loons swim in it by moonlight still laughing.” The curious juxtaposition of the familiar with the surreal—“the flaming peonies,” “black lemons floating on white water.”—contemplates the question, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” PRAISE FOR DAVID DODD LEE “Highly dynamic, irreverent, subversive, and driven by a kinetic music that often breaks into riot…”–Nick Sturm, The Laurel Review “Obsessively, elegantly, poignantly, David Dodd Lee immerses himself in the mysterious intercourse of self and place.”—Franz Wright
Daniel Simko Four Way Books, 2009 Library of Congress PR9170.S563S56 2009 | Dewey Decimal 821.92
Poet and translator Daniel Simko emigrated with his parents to the U.S.A. and lived here until his death, aged 45, in 2004. Steeped in the traditions of European art, Simko remained reticent about publishing. Thanks to his literary executor, Carolyn Forché, this first collection, in the language Simko grew up into, showcases his gift for the unexpected, exact phrase. The Arrival maps a haunting choreography of travel, memory, and the body so gently you will feel you have been carrying this book around with you all along.
The Art of Fiction
Kevin Prufer Four Way Books, 2021 Library of Congress PS3566.R814A89 2021 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
An investigation, performed through storytelling, of the constructed beliefs of society and individuals
In this his eighth collection of poetry (and fifth with Four Way Books), Prufer’s career-spanning talent for estranging the familiar—and also for recording the unthinkable with eerie directness—recurs, enhanced and transformed by the collection’s meta-level attention to the role of fiction in our civic lives. Prufer describes, often through personae, a near future, tracing there the political gambit of Fake News and the role of the imagination in our self-understanding (whether it’s cogent or delusional). Via both satire and direct address (to the point of reader-squeamishness), Prufer aims to understand the ugly-casual atmosphere of our often racialized, pervasive distrust. The Art of Fiction fundamentally understands that fictions are deployed to divide us, and they work: they get under our skin. Prufer powerfully explores the roles of imagination and art in how we explain ourselves to ourselves.
Yerra Sugarman Four Way Books, 2022 Library of Congress PR9199.4.S84A85 2022 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Aunt Bird is an astonishing, hybrid poetry of witness that observes and testifies to social, political, and historical realities through the recovery of one life silenced by the past. Within these pages, poet Yerra Sugarman confronts the Holocaust as it was experienced by a young Jewish woman: the author’s twenty-three-year-old aunt, Feiga Maler, whom Sugarman never knew, and who died in the Kraków Ghetto in German-occupied Poland in 1942. In lyric poems, prose poems, and lyric essays, Aunt Bird combines documentary poetics with surrealism: sourcing from the testimonials of her kin who survived, as well as official Nazi documents about Feiga Maler, these poems imagine Sugarman’s relationship with her deceased aunt and thus recreate her life. Braiding speculation, primary sources, and the cultural knowledge-base of postmemory, Aunt Bird seeks what Eavan Boland calls “a habitable grief,” elegizing the particular loss of one woman while honoring who Feiga was, or might have been, and recognizing the time we have now.