Books To Watch Out For
What are we reading? What can’t we sit still for? What are we wildly refreshing to preorder? Anomaly’s got ya with what’s good.
1. recombinant by Ching-In Chen
Loving Anomaly#25’s poetry? Meet one of the writers behind the scenes on Anomaly’s poetry team in their latest collection that bends syntax, form, diaspora, and queerness like you’ve never seen before.
2. Before I Step Outside [You Love Me] by Travis Alabanza
“To be trans, black, and femme is to be a constant obstacle course / it is to be in continuous movement dictated from the track / it is learning how to simultaneously apply your lipstick whilst jumping away from incoming traffic / to dodge bullets whilst ensuring your heel doesn’t sink into cracks of sidewalks.”
UK performance artist Travis Alabanza wrote every poem in this self-published poetry chapbook while on public transit, where they’ve experienced frequent harassment. Bear witness: survival!
3. Landscape of The Wait by Jami Macarty
Kazim Ali describes Macarty’s book: “From the trauma of ruin, Jami Macarty tries to make sense. The more delicate and beautiful these lyrics are the keener we feel the double-edged blessing and wound of living in a human form.”
4. Holodeck One by Jessica Baer
Monica de la Torre describes this book: “The norms limiting the sayable are as pulverized in Baer’s hands as in the poetry of Perlongher, Sarduy, Lezama Lima, Haroldo de Campos. Witness language acquiring a propulsive force shattering the time and space divide.”
Sonically neo-baroque or Sapphic, Jessica Baer’s poems sound “dismembering world” in “trans/verse wavenoise”. They’re textured, rhythmic, and gorgeous as vast canyons. Out from Magic Helicopter Press.
5. Buckskin Cocaine by Erika Wurth
This collection of short stories is gritty, cynical, and so damn full of truths. Exploring what it means to be an urban Indian, Erika Wurth has cast aside tired tropes of Nativeness that indigenous authors are often forced to write. Exploring the world of Natives and film, what she’s written is so fresh, it’ll make you choke. But in a good way.
6. Don’t Come Back by Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas
Lina is the powerhouse behind Anomaly’s fiction team (did we mention issue #25 is out?). From Brevity: “Cabeza-Vanegas is in-between nations, languages, and mythologies. Her subject matter is as ambitious as the forms they take. Fragments, translations, interviews, code-switching, graphs, images, and multiple perspectives effectively strip the collection of a single, centered self, so that this is not just one narrator’s exploration of place, home, and identity.”
7. Gospel of Regicide by Eunsong Kim
Anomaly’s poetry editor and one of the critical minds behind the arts project contemptorary.org, Eunsong Kim is rare mind in the world of poetry and poetics. Somehow, this is her first collection. Bhanu Kapil co-signs, “Ardor, aversion and courage are all present in this line, a charge which carries this much longed-for book by a writer who has been dazzling me since I first heard her present an incredible talk, Rogue Count, at a conference on race and creative writing in Spring 2015.” Yes please, Noemi Press.
8. Hospital Series by Amelia Rosselli, translated by Diana Throw
A bilingual collection of poetry in Italian and English, Hospital Series examines the “landscape and language of illness,” contemporary society, and what it means to continue resisting fascism and its legacies.
Amelia wrote most of these poems following a hospitalization for mental illness. This isn’t Chicken Soup. This is napalm brilliance.
9. Mannish Tongues by jayy dodd
“To speak in tongues is to be possessed / overcome by your own body. This collection speaks to these charades of understanding / some things about language, something about possessions & higher powers.”
jayy dodd has been rocking the poetry world with their takes on language, making and unmaking, race, and genius on gender. I’ve never read a poem by jayy that was OK — they don’t seem capable of writing anything that isn’t mind-blowing. Platypus Press has the honors.
10. They Say by Kenyatta JP Garcia
One of the editors behind Rigorous, a gorgeous magazine by and for people of color, JP writes science fiction, lyric poetry, and puns on Facebook. They Say is a book of lyric poetry (though we wouldn’t have complained if it were a compendium of their Facebook puns).
Published with West Vine Press, this book is a vital answer to the binary, a book of connections and reflections.