BOA Editions

BOA Editions
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Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher of poetry, literary fiction, & poetry in translation.
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    “A vital voice in the short story, telling us new truths with deep humanity."–George Saunders

    Celebrated Nigerian-born writer E.C. Osondu delivers a short-story collection of nimble dexterity and startling originality in his BOA Short Fiction Prize-winning Alien Stories.

    These eighteen startling stories, each centered around an encounter with the unexpected, explore what it means to be an alien. With a nod to the dual meaning of alien as both foreigner and extraterrestrial, Osondu turns familiar science-fiction tropes and immigration narratives on their heads, blending one with the other to call forth a whirlwind of otherness. With wry observations about society and human nature, in shifting landscapes from Africa to America to outer space and back again, Alien Stories breaks down the concept of foreignness to reveal what unites us all as ‘aliens’ within a complex and interconnected universe.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions14 days ago
    Rachel Mennies embraces the public/private duality of writing letters in her latest collection of poems. Told through a time-honored epistolary narrative, The Naomi Letters chronicles the relationship between a woman speaker and Naomi, the woman she loves.

    Set mostly over the span of a single year encompassing the 2016 Presidential Election and its aftermath, their love story unfolds via correspondence, capturing the letters the speaker sends to Naomi—and occasionally Naomi’s responses, as filtered through the speaker’s retelling. These letter-poems form a braid, first from the use of found texts, next from the speaker’s personal observations about her bisexuality, Judaism, and mental illness, and lastly from her testimonies of past experiences. As the speaker discovers she has fallen in love with Naomi, her letters reveal the struggles, joys, and erasures she endures as she becomes reacquainted with her own body following a long period of anxiety and suicidal ideation, working to recover both physically and emotionally as she grows to understand this long-distance love and its stakes—a love held by a woman for a woman, forever at a short, but precarious distance.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions22 days ago
    Punk-rock feminist poems exploring motherhood, pop culture, and resistance with a spirit of defiance, abundance, and irreverent joy
    Kendra DeColo reaffirms the action of mothering as heroic, brutal, and hardcore. These poems interrogate patriarchal narratives about childbirth, postpartum healing, and motherhood through the lens of pop culture and the political zeitgeist. With references ranging from Courtney Love to Lana Del Rey to Richard Burton to Nicolas Cage, I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World revitalizes the way we look at mothering: pushing its boundaries and reclaiming one's spirit of defiance, abundance, and irreverent joy.
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    Selected by Richard Blanco as winner of the 2019 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Justin Jannise turns the self-help manual on its head in How to be Better by Being Worse.
    These poems flout, subvert, question, and ignore the rules with exploratory energy. Queer experiences are celebrated—from crushing on long-dead, sad-eyed poets to drag divas dancing at Halloween parties—gender constructs are questioned, and familial transgressions are laid bare for the world.
    Delightfully modulating between flippant, sincere, and back again, How to Be Better by Being Worse freely indulges in harmless wickedness as its speaker grows in self-awareness, slowly learning to let go of inherited shame while continuing to seek self-forgiveness for the harms he has caused the outside world.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions7 months ago
    The Complete Writings of Art Smith, the Bird Boy of Fort Wayne, Edited by Michael Martone is a Midwestern mythology that celebrates facts, fiction, and the impermanence of art. Inspired by the real-life pioneer of early aviation who invented the art of skywriting, the brief stories in this collection by “editor” Michael Martone follow the adventures of Art Smith and his authorship in the sky. In the spirit of Kurt Vonnegut and Hayao Miyazaki, The Complete Writings of Art Smith, the Bird Boy of Fort Wayne, Edited by Michael Martone recreates the wonder of the early flying machines as it reimagines the unwritten stories we tell about the daredevils who flew them.
    BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions7 months ago
    Mother Country examines the intricacies of mother–daughter relationships: what we inherit from our mothers, what we let go, what we hold, and what we pass on to our own children, both the visible and invisible.

    As the speaker gradually loses the mother she has always known and upon whom she has always depended to early onset Parkinson’s disease and mental illness, she asks herself: “How do you deal with the grief of losing someone who is still living?” The caregiving of a child to her parent is further compounded by anxiety and depression, as well as the pain of a miscarriage and the struggle to conceive once more. Her journey comes full circle when the speaker gives birth to a son and discovers the gap between the myths of motherhood and a far more nuanced reality.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    The long-awaited collection by one of the most distinguished poets working today.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    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.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editions8 months ago
    The long-awaited tenth collection of poetry from the Shelley Memorial Prize-winning poet Lucille Clifton.
  • BOA Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfBOA Editionslast year
    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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