New Poetry: The Lunatic – Charles Simic & Dark Sparkler – Amber Tamblyn

I have two offerings for your Poetry Month displays from very different camps. (My hands down favorite for your tables is outside the scope of this newsletter since it’s from a competitor–but I have to offer it a shout out: Jane Hirshfield’s Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. If you don’t read poetry, it might change your mind.)


A Yugoslavian immigrant whose family left for America in the difficult aftermath of WWII, Simic was drafted into the U.S. military in his twenties, later put himself through school and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and become U.S. Poet Laureate. Simic’s is a true American story. His poetry is dark, humorous, frequently absurdist—all in service of getting to the heart of our human experience.

“70 grimly playful poems that confirm [Simic’s] position among the literary elite. The collection primarily revolves around nostalgia, aging, and unappreciated everyday wonders. Unvarnished yet profound, these poems show a boundless sensitivity underneath their impish presentation…. While some poems dwell on the loneliness of old age…Simic battles this loneliness in the company of ‘Imagination, devil’s old helper,’ who helps him breathe life into the inanimate—and greater significance into the animate….Simic’s new collection is an outlandish and masterly mixture of morbidity and heartfelt yearning.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Lunatic: Poems (9780062364746) by Charles Simic. $22.99 hardcover. 4/7/15 on sale.


Bonus for Simic fans! Ecco is also releasing his selected prose this month:

“In artful, lucid, and sometimes humorous essays, [Simic] offers commanding insights on such diverse topics as poetry’s relationship to philosophy, the ravages of war, and the unpredictable beauties of film and music… his wit shines and sparkles on every page.”
Publishers Weekly

The Life of Images: Selected Prose (9780062364715) by Charles Simic. $27.99 hardcover. 4/7/15 on sale.


Though her celebrity comes from acting, Amber Tambyn has been writing poems since she was a teen (she published her first poem in the San Francisco Chronicle when she was 12). She’s the author of two previous collections and the founder of the Write Now Poetry Society. The design of the book integrates the illustrations by David Lynch, Marilyn Manson and others. Coupled with strong advance reviews, this should be an arresting contribution to Poetry Month displays.

“This third book of poems from actress Tamblyn could be a large-scale media event, but it’s also a good read. Prominent since her teens in film and especially TV, Tamblyn has long been serious about poetry. Here her poetic avocation takes on the perils of her primary career: the actress has created an energetic and formally varied collection focused on ill-fated starlets, dead actresses, and child stars… Reviewers may compare Tamblyn to James Franco, who also wrote poems about his own celebrity, but the two cases aren’t really alike: Tamblyn’s work seems less slick, and it’s more playful and far more personal, with highs and lows that stick around after the cameras are off.”
— Publishers Weekly

Dark Sparkler (9780062348166) by Amber Tamblyn. $17.99 trade paper original. 4/7/15 on sale.

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