BOA Editions

BOA Editions
BOA Editions
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Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher of poetry, literary fiction, & poetry in translation.
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A fastidious pet robot with a knack for knitting. A soporific giant pitching camp in the middle of a city. A mysterious mime whose upcoming performance has the whole town on edge. The stories in Mark Polanzak’s BOA Short Fiction Prize-winning The OK End of Funny Town stitch fantastic situations into the drab fabric of everyday life. Polanzak delights in stretching every boundary he encounters, from the new focus on practical learning at the New Community School, to the ever-changing tastes of diners in search of the next big trend in local cuisine. Wondrous yet familiar, The OK End of Funny Town excavates the layers between our collective obsession with passing fads and our secret yearning for lasting connection.
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In Brand New Spacesuit, John Gallaher writes with honesty, humor, and tenderness about caring for his aging parents. These poems offer snapshots of the poet’s memories of his adoption and childhood, his father’s heart attacks, his mother’s progressing Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, raising his own children, and his reflections on the complex mysteries of the universe within everyday moments. With exquisite attention to detail, Gallaher captures the losses, anxieties, and possibilities that come with caring for one another.
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Rick Bursky’s latest poetry collection reaches into the peculiarities of human relationships with emotional accuracy, charm, and a touch of surrealism. In poems that channel memories of brief encounters and long-lost loves through imagination and half-recalled dreams, Let’s Become a Ghost Story turns nostalgia inside-out to reveal the innate humor of our most intimate connections.
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In the tradition of women as the unsung keepers of history, Deborah Paredez’s second poetry collection tells her story as a Latina daughter of the Vietnam War.

The title refers to the year 1970—the “year of the Metal Dog” in the lunar calendar—which was the year of the author’s birth, the year of her father’s deployment to Vietnam with a troop of Mexican-American immigrant soldiers, and a year of tremendous upheaval across the United States. Images from iconic photographs and her father’s snapshots are incorporated, fragmented, scrutinized, and reconstructed throughout the collection as Paredez recalls untold stories from a war that changed her family and the nation.

In poems and lamentations that evoke Hecuba, the mythic figure so consumed by grief over the atrocities of war that she was transformed into a howling dog, and La Llorona, the weeping woman in Mexican folklore who haunts the riverbanks in mourning and threatens to disturb the complicity of those living in the present, Paredez recontextualizes the historical moments of the Vietnam era, from the arrest of Angela Davis to the haunting image of Mary Ann Vecchio at the Kent State Massacre, never forgetting the outcry and outrage that women’s voices have carried across time.
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In this fiercely feminist ecopoetic collection, Kathryn Nuernberger reclaims love and resilience in an age of cruelty.

As the speaker—an artist and intellectual—finds herself living through a rocky marriage in conservative rural Missouri, she maintains her sense of identity by studying the science and folklore of plants historically used for birth control. Her ethnobotanical portraits of common herbs like Queen Anne’s lace and pennyroyal are interwoven with lyric biographies of pioneering women ecologists whose stories have been left untold in textbooks.

With equal parts righteous fury and tender wisdom, Rue reassesses the past and recontextualizes the present to tell a story about breaking down, breaking through, and breaking into an honest, authentic expression of self.
Rue, Kathryn Nuernberger
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Selected by Patricia Smith as winner of the 2018 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Matt Morton’s debut poetry collection Improvisation Without Accompaniment embraces uncertainty with a spirit of joyous playfulness.

These lyric poems follow the rhythms of life for a young man growing up in a small Texas town. As the speaker wrestles with ruptures within the nuclear family and the loss of his religious beliefs, he journeys toward a deeper self-awareness and discovers a fuller palette of experiences. Over the course of this collection, the changing seasons of small-town Texas life give way to surprise encounters in distant cities. The speaker’s awareness of mortality grows even as he improvises an affirming response to life’s toughest questions.

Poignant, searching, and earnestly philosophical, Improvisation Without Accompaniment reaches for meaning within life’s joys and griefs.
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Presented bilingually with a new English translation by Man Booker Prize-winning translator Jessica Cohen, these brief fables by Israeli author Daniel Oz engage with vast concepts about human nature. Full of timeless, open-ended parables, Further Up the Path offers no answers, moralizing, or conclusion: only an uneasy bewilderment with the paradoxes of the human—and animal—condition.
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The awkwardness of modern living takes center stage in these nine short stories by Brian Wood. Well-intentioned characters fumble through social situations: a man making small talk in line for a deadly thrill ride, a pet parrot arrested for murder, a seductive stranger on an airplane who just pulled out a handle of gin. With sparse prose and candid humor, these stories draw attention to the absurdities of our day-to-day interactions.
Joytime Killbox, Brian Wood
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In this Isabella Gardner Award-winning collection of poems, Bruce Weigl meditates on the ghosts and the grace one encounters in life’s second act. A celebrated poet and veteran of the Vietnam War, Weigl offers a nuanced sense of aging as a departure and death as a returning home. With a sage’s eye for mindfulness and a soldier’s longing for the country where he served, Weigl’s poems reveal the long scars left by Vietnam and the new possibilities one encounters in the wake of life-altering experiences.
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Set in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, Diana Marie Delgado’s debut poetry collection follows the coming-of-age of a young Mexican-American woman trying to make sense of who she is amidst a family and community weighted by violence and addiction. With bracing vulnerability, the collection chronicles the effects of her father’s drug use and her brother’s incarceration, asking the reader to consider reclamation and the power of the self.
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In her third collection of poems, Jillian Weise delivers a reckoning to the ableism of the Western Canon. These poems investigate and challenge the ways that nondisabled writers have appropriated disabled bodies, from calling out William Carlos Williams to biohacking Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” to chronicling the ongoing headlines of violence against disabled women. Part invective, part love poem, Cyborg Detective holds a magnifying glass to the marginalization and fetishization of disabled people while claiming space and pride for the people who already use technology and cybernetic implants every day.
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Loosely based on the medieval bestiary, The Rapture Index examines the relationship between animals, humans, and storytelling. Harnessing the bestiary’s combination of religious parable, encyclopedia, and artifice, Molly Reid journeys deep into suburbia to reveal characters struggling to fulfill the expectations of society and family while indulging their baser desires. Filled with moments of curiosity, misunderstanding, fervor, and heart, these stories offer a new twist on familiar landscapes where the wilderness has been tamed (sometimes just barely) but our own animal nature cannot be.
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Threaded with echoes of familial trauma—a sister’s battle with cancer, a brother’s struggles with depression—the lyric poems in The Human Half reveal an open-hearted speaker who finds solace in the beauties of celestial navigation, the flowers along the railroad tracks, and the brushwork of Vermeer and Van Gogh. Filled with quirks of perception, Deborah Brown holds space for wonder amidst of life’s seasons of longing.
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WINNER OF THE 2018 JAMES LAUGHLIN AWARDGeffrey Davis’s second collection of poems reads as an evolving love letter and meditation on what it means to raise an American family. In poems that express a deep sense of gratitude and wonder, Davis delivers a heart-strong prayer that longs for home, for safety for black lives, and for the messy success of breaking through the trauma of growing up during the crack epidemic to create a new model of fatherhood. Filled with humor and tenderness, Night Angler sings its own version of a song called grace—sung with a heavy and hopeful mix of inherited notes and discovered chords.
Night Angler, Geffrey Davis
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A luminous new collection from Keetje Kuipers, All Its Charms is a fearless and transformative reckoning of identity. By turns tender and raw, these poems chronicle Kuipers’ decision to become a single mother by choice, her marriage to the woman she first fell in love with more than a decade before giving birth to her daughter, and her family’s struggle to bring another child into their lives. All Its Charms is about much more than the reinvention of the American family—it’s about transformation, desire, and who we can become when we move past who we thought we would be.
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Rooted in the experience of living in America as a queer undocumented Filipino, Documents maps the byzantine journey toward citizenship through legal records and fragmented recollections. In poems that repurpose the forms and procedures central to an immigrant’s experiences—birth certificates, identification cards, letters, and interviews—Jan-Henry Gray reveals the narrative limits of legal documentation while simultaneously embracing the intersections of identity, desire, heritage, love, and a new imagining of freedom.
Documents, Jan-Henry Gray
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Internationally beloved poet Naomi Shihab Nye places her Palestinian American identity center stage in her latest full-length poetry collection for adults. The collection is inspired by the story of Janna Jihad Ayyad, the “Youngest Journalist in Palestine,” who at age 7 began capturing videos of anti-occupation protests using her mother's smartphone. Nye draws upon her own family's roots in a West Bank village near Janna's hometown to offer empathy and insight to the young girl's reporting. Long an advocate for peaceful communication across all boundaries, Nye’s poems in The Tiny Journalist put a human face on war and the violence that divides us from each other.
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Hugh Martin’s second full-length poetry collection moves within and among history to broaden and complicate our understanding of war. These poems push beyond tidy generalizations and easy moralizing as they explore the complex, often tense relationships between U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The speaker journeys through training to deployment and back again, returning home to reflect on the soldiers and civilians—both memories and ghosts—left behind. Filled with recollected dialogue and true-to-life encounters, these poems question, deconstruct, examine, and reintegrate the myths and realities of service.
In Country, Hugh Martin
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In Laura Read’s second poetry collection, the former poet laureate of Spokane, WA, weaves past and present together to create a portrait of a life in progress. As the speaker looks back on her life, she exists simultaneously as all the selves she has ever been: a lost child, a lonely adolescent, a teacher, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a mother—a woman continually shaped and reshaped by memory and experience. Deeply rooted in a particular time and place, Read’s poems strip away the illusion of the passage of time as they reveal how we are all wearing “dresses from the old country.”
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In his fifth collection of poems, Christopher Kennedy sifts through the detritus of the past to uncover the memories, images, and symbols that shape an individual’s consciousness. Looking to animals and their instincts for inspiration, drawing shape from the poet’s Irish Catholic working-class roots, these prose poems transcend grief and depression by seeking humanity’s place in the natural world.
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