It is my pleasure and privilege to present these new poems by a group of poets whose work has wooed and rattled and inspired and awakened me in all the best of ways: Kyle Booten, Tina Chang, Cynthia Cruz, Terrance Hayes, David Semanki, Sean Singer, and Aaron Smith.
Of course they are stylistically diverse. And of course their beliefs and obsessions span a rather broad spectrum.
But what hovers at the center of this selection, like a magnet toward which metal filings quiver and rush, is an intensity of gaze and a fearlessness of imagination put to work upon the realms that occupy a large space in the middle of our lives: history, loss, desire, modernity, art, and politics.
What follow are poems you must read. The kind of fiercely gorgeous poems that will save you from drowning, only to admit that they were the ones to push you overboard in the first place. Bon voyage. —Tracy K. Smith