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Tyler's Book Recommendations

Prelude to Bruise Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566893749
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - September 9th, 2014

A son or “boy” in conflict with his father’s expectations of masculinity. These poems are a gut-punch of identity liberation. “Father in my room looking for more sissy clothes to burn.” Jones will take you under.

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Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780375711954
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2013

These prose poems changed my life. Every line drags you further into a place you’ve been afraid to go or didn’t know you needed to. This is Franz Wright at his most startlingly brutal. It’s as if he’s holding up a mirror you’ve been avoiding and saying, Look at what you are.

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Cathedral (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679723691
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Published: Vintage - June 18th, 1989

This collection of Carver’s short stories never stays on my shelf; I need it close by. This is poverty, alcoholism and love stripped to their barest, the portraits so intimate you feel like a voyeur, but why look away? I have the last line of “Vitamins” tattooed on my arm if that means anything. 

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Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871403599
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - April 8th, 2013

This is a book that makes you take breaks (in a good way). It’s freaked me out. Here the concepts of “nothing” and “infinity” make me want to hide and just go back to dumb YouTube videos on loop. But inevitably I return to this book because maybe in secret I want to be scared by philosophy. 

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Crush (Yale Series of Younger Poets) Cover Image
By Richard Siken, Louise Glück (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780300107890
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - April 11th, 2005

These poems are the dizzy hangover of a night spent with someone you know you shouldn’t have. Abrasive in form, Crush begs you to start reading but won’t let you stop or even slow down, no matter what. This is where you learn about poetry’s velocity. You won’t get off this ride unscathed, trust me. 

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One Big Self Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556592584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 2007

This long form, investigative poem freed me of how I saw poetry. It gave me permission to do what I wanted to. The collage of the anecdotes and prison protocol Wright creates is where poetry can go if you let it expand further and further. This is the hybrid form at its best; this is where she created a new genre we’re lucky to have.

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If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) Cover Image
By Italo Calvino, William Weaver (Translated by), Peter Washington (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780679420255
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Published: Everyman's Library - June 1993

Reading about reading about reading about reading about reading…
My favorite experimental novel. Be frustrated in the best way possible.

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The MS of My Kin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781848610354
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Published: Shearsman Books - February 15th, 2009

Janet Holmes makes erasure poetry look effortless. I think of these as remixes of Emily Dickinson. Although some may be angry she has discarded many of Dickinson’s words, I like the tension between these two worlds, pulling one from the other, that otherwise would never have existed. 

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The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays (Vintage International) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780679733737
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 1991

This is the book where I was forced to think about boredom as the enemy of utopia and needed a drink. Camus writes philosophy with perfect clarity and literary craft, yet it is within this clarity he confronts you with your life.