Publication: Pleasures of the Game – Austin Allen

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Winner of the 11th annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize
Foreword by the judge, Eavan Boland

Pleasures of the Game, the latest winner of the prestigious annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, is a book of deceptively playful poems, of sparkling surfaces that conceal dark undercurrents. Its subjects include games of all kinds: from schoolyard Double Dutch to the chess match of love, from painters’ illusions to professional ice hockey, from the stratagems of spies to the life-and-death game we play against the universe.


Publication: Plundered Hearts: New and Selected Poems – J. D. McClatchy

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At last, a definitive selection of the elegant work by a poet at the forefront of American poetry for more than three decades. With his first several books, J. D. McClatchy established himself as a poet of urbanity, intellect, and prismatic emotion, in the tradition of James Merrill, W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop––one who balances an exploration of the underworld of desire with a mastery of poetic form, and whose artistry reveals the riches and ruins of our "plundered hearts." Now, opening with exquisite new poems––including the stunning "My Hand Collection," a catalogue of art objects that steals up on the complexity of human touch, and a witty and profound poem entitled "My Robotic Prostatectomy"––this selection is a glorious full tour of McClatchy’s career. It includes excerpts from the powerful book-length sequence Ten Commandments (1998) and his more recent works Hazmat (2002) and Mercury Dressing (2009)—books that explored the body’s melodrama, as well as the heart’s treacheries, grievances, and boundless capacities. All of his poems present a sumptuous weave of impassioned thought and clear-sighted feeling. He has been rightly hailed as a poet of "ferocious alertness," one who elicits (says The New Leader) "the kind of wonder and joy we experience when the curtain comes down on a dazzling performance."


Publication: Stone Fruit – Stephen Yenser

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The locales in Stephen’s Yenser’s new volume are California, Kansas, and Greece, where the titular fruits include respectively the date palm, the blackberry, and the olive. But the sculpted fruit on a grave marker qualifies as well, along with the stone wall that is the yield of hard labor, both of which also figure in this book. Words too may be fleshy and hard at once, may be elegiac and memorial, and may build a structure. To cultivate, to commemorate, and to construct are the poet’s objects, each involved with the others.


Publication: The Trumpiad – Cody Walker

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The new U.S. president doesn’t read books, but for everyone else, there’s Cody Walker’s The Trumpiad, a blistering and hilarious take on America’s political collapse. Key Difference: I wouldn’t lump / Trump / in with Hitler and Mussolini. / Trump’s hands are littler. (They’re teeny.) The Trumpiad will be published on April 29th 2017, which will mark Trump's 100th day in office.


All proceeds will be donated to the ACLU.


US launch of Christopher Cessac’s The Youngest Ocean at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

Folger Shakespeare Library 201 East Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC, United States
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Winner of the 13th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, Christopher Cessac, will be introduced by the judge who awarded the prize, Sir Andrew Motion, and the two poets will take it in turns to read from their work at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The event will be introduced by Waywiser's Editor in Chief, Philip Hoy.