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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Barbara Jane Reyes answers the questions of Filipino American girls and young women of color with bold affirmations of hard-won empathy, fierce intelligence, and a fine-tuned B.S. detector.

The Brown Girl of these poems is fed up with being shushed, with being constantly told how foreign and unattractive and unwanted she is. She’s flipping tables and throwing chairs. She’s raising her voice. She’s keeping a sharp focus on the violences committed against her every day, and she’s writing through the depths of her “otherness” to find beauty and even grace amidst her rage. Simultaneously looking into the mirror and out into the world, Reyes exposes the sensitive nerve-endings of life under patriarchy as a visible immigrant woman of color as she reaches towards her unflinching center.
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In passionate poems about sin, obsession, and mortality—an artist’s infatuation with a doll, an interspecies relationship, an ex-lover whose presence lingers in recipes, ecclesiastical birds, and a sex toy holding a loved one’s ashes—Waters delivers impeccably crafted narratives infused with his signature lyrical gestures. At the book’s core is a sequence of twenty-five poems on aging, dementia, and caregiving, chiseled phrase by phrase toward unflinching and memorable closure. Caw is a brilliant, intimate and moving addition to Waters’s body of work and may be his most powerful collection yet.
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How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton celebrates both familiar and lesser-known works by one of America’s most beloved poets, including 10 newly discovered poems that have never been published.

These poems celebrating black womanhood and resilience shimmer with intellect, insight, humor, and joy, all in Clifton’s characteristic style—a voice that the late Toni Morrison described as “seductive with the simplicity of an atom, which is to say highly complex, explosive underneath an apparent quietude.” Selected and introduced by award-winning poet Aracelis Girmay, this volume of Clifton’s poetry is simultaneously timeless and fitting for today’s tumultuous moment.
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In 2007, Lucille Clifton became the first African American woman to win the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, one of the most prestigious American poetry awards and one of the largest literary honors for work in the English language. Clifton has also won the National Book Award in poetry for Blessing the Boats (BOA Editions, 2000), and is the only author ever to have two collections, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (BOA Editions, 1987) and Next: New Poems (BOA Editions, 1987), named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in one year.In Voices, Clifton continues her celebrated aesthetic of writing poems for the disempowered and the underprivileged while finding humor and redemption among life’s many hardships. This book also highlights Clifton’s ability to write inventive dramatic monologues. Voices includes monologues spoken by animals, as well as by the food product spokespeople Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and the apparently nameless guy on the Cream of Wheat box.“cream of wheat”sometimes at nightwe stroll the market aislesben and jemima and me theywalk in front humming this and thati lag behindtrying to remove my chef’s capwondering what ever pictured methen left me personlessrastusi read in an old paper that i was called rastusbut no mother evergave that to her sontoward dawn we head backto our shelvesour boxes ben and jemima and mewe pose and smile i simmerto myself what is my nameBOA Editions is thrilled to present the newest poetry collection by the one and only Lucille Clifton.
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Lucille Clifton’s poetry carries her deep concerns for the world’s children, the stratification of American society, those people lost or forgotten amid the crushing race of Western materialism and technology. In turns sad, troubled and angry, her voice has always been one of great empathy, knowing, as she says, “the only mercy is memory.” In this, her 12th book of poetry, the National Book Award-winner speaks to the tenuous relationship between mothers and daughters, the debilitating power of cancer, the open wound of racial prejudice, the redemptive gift of story-telling. “September Song,” a sequence of seven poems, featured on National Public Radio, presents a modern-day Orpheus who, through her grief, attempts to heart-intelligently respond to the events of September 11th. The last sequence of poems—a tightly-woven fabric of caveats and prayers—was initially written in the 1970s, then revised and reshaped in the last few years.Lucille Clifton is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and author of children’s books. Her most recent poetry book, Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1969–1999 (BOA), won the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry. Two of Clifton’s BOA poetry collections, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969–1980 and Next: New Poems, were chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, while Clifton’s The Terrible Stories (BOA) was a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award. Clifton has received fellowships from the NEA, an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Shelley Memorial Prize and the Charity Randall Citation. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities as St. Mary’s College in Maryland. She was appointed a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and elected as Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 1999. She lives in Columbia, MD.
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Finalist, 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. “Clifton mythologizes herself: that is, she illuminated her surroundings and history from within in a way that casts light on much beyond.”--The Women's Review of Books
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The long-awaited collection by one of the most distinguished poets working today.
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Brilliantly honed language, sharp rhythms and striking syntax empower Lucille Clifton's personal and artistic odyssey. Hers is poetry of birth, death, children, community, history, sexuality and spirituality, and she addresses these themes with passion, humor, anger and spiritual awe.
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The long-awaited tenth collection of poetry from the Shelley Memorial Prize-winning poet Lucille Clifton.
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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.
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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.
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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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