Wave Books

New Book :: Triptychs

Triptychs poetry by Sandra Simonds book cover image

Triptychs
Poetry by Sandra Simonds
Wave Books, November 2022

Sandra Simonds’s Triptychs is a brilliant intersection of poetic form and the passage of time. Initially crafted in handwritten strips on rolls of receipt paper obtained at a dollar store, then assembled into three textual columns that sit side-by-side on the page, these triptychs are joined or disjoined in several ways—through diction, through the special relation of words (evoking intimacy, touch, or, in contrast, alienation), and through thematic similarities or dissimilarities. As a result, the poems energize the confines of this writing space as they invite readers to recall painterly constructions and news headlines, wherein each pillar is in conversation with another, sequentially and simultaneously. With the same lyric attention found in all of Simonds’s poetry, the poems here mark an innovative shift in poetics that is both polyvocal and singular.

New Book :: Optic Subwoof

Optic Subwoof poetry by Douglas Kearney book cover image

Optic Subwoof
Poetry by Douglas Kearney
Wave Books, November 2022

Optic Subwoof is a collection of talks that poet and National Book Award finalist Douglas Kearney presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series in 2020 and 2021. As kinetic on the page as they are in person, these lectures offer an urgent critique of the intersections between violence and entertainment, interrogating the ways in which poetry, humor, visual art, music, pop culture, and performance alternately uphold and subvert this violence. With genius precision and an avant-garde sensibility, Kearney examines the nuances around Black visibility and its aestheticization. In myriad ways, Optic Subwoof is a book that establishes Kearney as one of the most dynamic writers and thinkers of the twenty-first century.

New Book :: Slight Return

Slight Return poetry by Rebecca Wolff book cover image

Slight Return
Poetry by Rebecca Wolff
Wave Books, October 2022

In her new collection, renowned publisher and poet Rebecca Wolff voyages in the myopia of American consumer consciousness—erotic regard, spiritual FOMO, gentrification, branding—without destination. Labyrinthine in their paradoxical musings and incisive in their witty recriminations, these poems grapple with the hubris and dysmorphia of the soul. Wolff is a poet that is unafraid to be a querent, not only of sages (“I only hang out with people / who are psychic / anything else is a / waste of precious / continuity”) but of language itself (“How else is one to know how to proceed / How is one to make a motion against— / electric word life”) In Slight Return, the journey is infinite and elusive—aspiring in the best way toward a point of diminishing returns and withholding any promise of a comfortable landing.

New Book :: Blood Snow

Blood Snow poetry by dg nanouk okpik book cover image

Blood Snow
Poetry by dg nanouk okpik
Wave Books, October 2022

American Book Award–winning poet dg okpik’s second collection of poems, Blood Snow, tells a continuum story of a homeland under erasure, in an ethos of erosion, in a multitude of encroaching methane, ice floe, and rising temperatures. Here, in a true Inupiaq voice, okpik’s relationship to language is an access point for understanding larger kinships between animals, peoples, traditions, histories, ancestries, and identities. Through an animist process of transfiguration into a shaman’s omniscient voice, we are greeted with a destabilizing grammar of selfhood. Okpik’s poems have a fraught relationship to her former home in Anchorage, Alaska, a place of unparalleled natural beauty and a traumatic site of devastation for Alaskan native nations and landscapes alike. In this way, okpik’s poetry speaks to the dualistic nature of reality and how one’s existence in the world simultaneously shapes and is shaped by its environs.

New Book :: Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists

Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists poetry by Laynie Browne published by Wave Books book cover image

Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists
Poetry by Laynie Browne
Wave Books, June 2022

Laynie Browne’s latest poetry collection, Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists playfully employs the list poem and delivers poems which evade genre and subvert the quotidian material of daily life. These poems consider elegy, absence and bewilderment while allowing associative logic to make poetic leaps in imagination and mood that belie convention. This book explores the myriad ways one could attempt to categorize a lived experience with its dizzying infinitudes by marking it in finite language and ultimately shows how poetry is an experiment for that translation. Browne’s collection considers language, time, and poetics in a way that is as electrifying as it is elusive. In homage to poet C.D. Wright, her title is inspired by Translations of the Gospel Back into Tongues.

New Book :: Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina

Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina poetry by Dara Barrois/Dixon published by Wave Books book cover image

Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina
Poetry by Dara Barrois/Dixon
Wave Books, June 2022

With the same tender honesty found in all of Dara Barrois/Dixon’s (formerly Dara Wier) poetry, the poems in Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina are curious about the world we inhabit and the worlds we create. Barrois/Dixon brings profound attention to the things we love—be they animals, books, skyscapes, movies, poems, or other human beings—and to the stories that shape our worlds. Here, with emotional exactitude, is a collection of poems that is unafraid to express “love humor despair loving kindness love humor empathy/humor joy sympathy love kindness courage.”

New Book :: Plans for Sentences

Plans for Sentences by Renee Gladman book cover image

Plans for Sentences
Poetry by Renee Gladman
Wave Books, May 2022

“These sentences—they—will begin having already been sentences somewhere else, and this will mark their afterlife, and this will be their debut.” So begins Renee Gladman’s latest interdisciplinary project, Plans for Sentences. Gladman’s book blurs the distinctions between text and image, recognizing that drawing can be a form of writing, and vice versa: a generative act in which the two practices not only inform each other but propel each other into futures. In this radical way, drawing and writing become part of a limitless loop of energy, unearthing fertile possibilities for the ways we think about poetry. If Gladman ascribes to any particular type of poetics, here in Plans for Sentences, readers are sure to find that it is robustly grounded in a poetics of infinite language.

New Book :: Copy

Copy by Dolores Dorantes translated by Robin Myers

Copy
Poetry by Dolores Dorantes
Translated by Robin Myers
Wave Books, April 2022

“Without the copying process,” the poet Dolores Dorantes has said, “there would be no life, no reality.” Through deconstructed dictionary entries and powerfully syncopated, recursive texts, Copy is a prose poem sequence that insinuates an experience of violent removal: a person’s disappearance from a country, from normal life, and forcible reintegration into a new social and existential configuration. This displaced, dispossessed voice explores what it means to be extracted, subtracted, abstracted out of being—and returned into it. Meditative, urgent, and alive, Copy asserts itself as an invocation, both intensely personal and insistently communal, of the right to refuge, and it enacts a powerful homage to the human capacity for creation and metamorphosis. In this way, this book points to the wound of being extricated, serving as both a suture and a salve.

New Book :: And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight

And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight book cover image

And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight
Poetry by Lynn Xu
Wave Books, April 2022

Part protest against reality, part metaphysical reckoning, part internationale for the world-historical surrealist insurgency, and part arte povera for the wretched of the earth, this book-length poem by Lynn Xu holds fast to our fragile utopias. Under the auspice of birth and the contingency of this beginning, time opens: Ecstatic, melancholy, and defiant, the voices of the poem flicker between life and death, gorgeous and gruesome, visionary and intimate. Born in Shanghai, China, Lynn Xu is the author of the full-length collection Debts & Lessons (Omnidawn, 2013) and the chapbooks June (Corollary Press, 2006) and Tournesol (Compline, 2021). She has performed cross-disciplinary works at the Guggenheim Museum, The Renaissance Society, Rising Tide Projects, and 300 S. Kelly Street. She teaches at Columbia University, coedits Canarium Books, and lives with her family in New York City and Marfa, Texas.