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BOOK LIST:

Poetry

Updated: May 1, 2024

A selection of poetry books.


Book cover for An American sunrise : poems
An American sunrise : poems
Harjo, Joy,
Call Number: 811 H2816-8

Joy Harjo, first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, reflects on returning to her native tribal land, and the past history of her people being forcibly removed from their homeland.


Book cover for The book of ruin
The book of ruin
Gonzalez, Rigoberto,
Call Number: 811 G6424-3

Through his poetry Rigoberto González lyrically confronts harrowing cultural, political and moral issues.


Book cover for Carlos Bulosan and His Poetry: A Biography and Anthology
Carlos Bulosan and His Poetry: A Biography and Anthology
Evangelista, Susan
Call Number: 811 B939Ev

Biographical information about Carlos Bulosan's life and poetry that includes an anthology of his poetry.


Book cover for Che in verse
Che in verse
Call Number: 808.1 C5145

Written by writers from all over the world this collection of poems pays tribute to Che Guevara


Book cover for The conference of the birds
The conference of the birds
ʻAṭṭār, Farīd al-Dīn, d. ca. 1230.
Call Number: 891.5 A883 2011

A Persian epic poem written over 800 years ago.  The birds of the world go on a quest for a leader.  The seven valleys they cross represent the stations a Sufi must pass through in search of enlightenment, and when they reach their destination they find only a lake in which they can see their own reflections.
 


Book cover for The Elements of San Joaquin: Poems
The Elements of San Joaquin: Poems
Soto, Gary,
Call Number: 811 S718 2018

In this new edition of a classic work of poetry, Gary Soto draws upon his own Chicano heritage and of others who labored as immigrant agricultural workers in the San Joaquin Valley.


Book cover for For all of us, one today : an inaugural poet's journey
For all of us, one today : an inaugural poet's journey
Blanco, Richard, 1968-
Call Number: 811 B6395B

Richard Blanco was the fifth poet selected to read an original poem for a United States Presidential Inauguration. As an openly gay man and Cuban immigrant this was a very special event, which he recounts with humor, insight and reverence. 


book cover
Gabriela Mistral, the Poet and Her Work
Arce de Vazquez, Margot
Call Number: 861 M678Ar

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945 "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world"


Book cover for Hermosa
Hermosa
Salgado, Yesika
Call Number: 811 S164-2

Salvadoran poet Yesika Salgado is based in Los Angeles and writes about her family and her culture.


Book cover for I am the beggar of the world : landays from contemporary Afghanistan
I am the beggar of the world : landays from contemporary Afghanistan
Call Number: 891.58108 I115

A surprising book from women who are oppressed in many ways, but their spirits, heart-felt desires (secular, sensual, and religious),and thoughts are not.


Book cover of If I were another
If I were another
Darwīsh, Maḥmūd.
Call Number: 892.71 D228-6

A collection of some of the epic poetic works of one of the most important modern poets in the Arab world. Mahmoud Darwish was Palestinian and through his poetry addressed the Palestinian struggle as well as other subjects, with truth, clarity and elegance. His other books can be found here.

 
 

Book cover for Insides she swallowed : poems
Insides she swallowed : poems
Chacón, Sasha Pimentel.
Call Number: 811 C4315

Sensuous poetry about the poet's family, life, death and politics.


Book cover of The mirror of my heart : a thousand years of Persian poetry by women
The mirror of my heart : a thousand years of Persian poetry by women
Call Number: 891.508 M6765

A collection of poems, by eighty-three Persian women, from more than a thousand years ago to the present. According to the translator, Dick Davis, “The Persian language, especially its literary form, has remained far more stable over the past millennium than is true of most European languages.” Many of the subjects and issues that are important to women have remained the same: marriage, children, politics, emancipation (political, social and economic freedom) and death.  As well as the freedom of women to express themselves without serious repercussions. Therefore some poems are attributed to anonymous.

 
 

Book cover for My life as a foreign country
My life as a foreign country
Turner, Brian, 1967-
Call Number: 811 T9447T

He comes from several generations of military men, and as a soldier honors but does not glorify various types of war service. In this autobiography, Turner, a veteran of our most recent wars, suffering the effects of PTSD, sees the enemy, and himself through the enemy's eyes, and even through the imagined vision of a greviously injured cook. This book and  Redeployment by Phil Klay, listed on the Best of 2014:  Fiction, speak of the pain and truth of war.

 

 


Book cover for On Louise Glück : change what you see
On Louise Glück : change what you see
Call Number: 811 G567On

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”


Book cover for Poems across the pavement
Poems across the pavement
Rodriguez, Luis J., 1954-
Call Number: 811 R696 2014

The 25th anniversay edition of Luis J. Rodriguez's first published poetry collection,  when he was "a 35-year old unknown writer hungry for the power of words, metaphors, and images, for the purposeful agreements that keep people in life, in art, in the realms of meaning and connection."


Book cover for Poems, new and collected, 1957-1997
Poems, new and collected, 1957-1997
Szymborska, Wisława.
Call Number: 891.851 S999-3

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996 "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"


Book cover for A portrait of the self as nation : new and selected poems
A portrait of the self as nation : new and selected poems
Chin, Marilyn,
Call Number: 811 C5386-4

 Marilyn Chin's poetry is direct, asssertive and examines her own identity as a woman and Asian American. Never self-deprecating, she weaves humor, earthiness, and candor about origins, family and love.


Book cover for Returning a borrowed tongue : poems by Filipino and Filipino American writers
Returning a borrowed tongue : poems by Filipino and Filipino American writers
Call Number: 811.08 R4395

A rich anthology of poems by Filipino and Filipino American writers.


Book cover for Start With a Small Guitar: Poems
Start With a Small Guitar: Poems
Thompson, Lynne
Call Number: 811 T4733-1

A collection of poems by Lynne Thompson, who was Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles, 2021 - 2022.


Book cover for Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems
Voyage of the Sable Venus: And Other Poems
Lewis, Robin Coste
Call Number: 811 L675

Robin Coste Lewis, Los Angeles Poet Laureate, uses words, metre, rhyme and format to examine the artistic representation of black female enslavement through the millenniums.


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