Three New Pittsburgh Poetry Collections You May Have Missed | Literary arts | Pittsburgh

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The general chaos of 2020 made it easy to miss the release of new books, movies and other works. This is especially due to the fact that all promotional events, such as in-person reads or premieres, were canceled or just got lost in the rework.

To compensate, Pittsburgh City Paper highlights three new (ish) collections of local poets, all released in 2020.

The story of our wanderings, Jason Irwin (Main Street Rag)
Jason Irwin delivers his third collection of deeply personal and evocative poetry with The story of our wanderings. Released on July 24, 2020, the book demonstrates Irwin’s incredible range and voice, the various selections teeming with imagery, dialogue and patterns conveying the desire to escape, the eerie drama of small town life. and the author’s own struggles with his health and body.

Irwin skillfully creates a sense of place, time and tone, often with pop culture references and desperate Bruce Springsteen-style romanticism (the poem “Someone Set My Cousin’s Car on Fire” shows with lines like “On the limit of seventeen that summer – denim jacket, hairstyle Motley Crue with a pain of being anywhere but where she was – my cousin told her parents she was moving out.” “) The story of our wanderings is now available for purchase from the Main Street Rag website.

Mainly human, Sheila Squillante (BrickHouse Books)
Poet and essayist Sheila Squillante, a veteran of the Pittsburgh literary scene, has published her latest book Mainly human in October 2020. She admits to having the impression that the book “has disappeared in the pandemic”. While it may have escaped readers (at least, according to Squillante), Mainly human certainly didn’t escape BrickHouse Books, a small Maryland press that awarded the manuscript its 2020 Wicked Woman Award, an honor that included a book release.

Beginning with a dedication that reads “For All Generation X Girls Who Longed To Escape”, the poems follow a character named Round Baby “through childhood and adolescence as she discovers desire and death and the limits of one’s physical and emotional being amid television shows and pop music and global catastrophe, “according to a description on the Squillante website. Expect a catchy, absurd, and sadly energetic collection feminist. Mainly human is now available for purchase at the White Whale Bookstore.

My daily actions or meteorites, S. Brook Corfman (Fordham University Press)
My daily actions or meteorites Pittsburgh-based poet S. Brook Corfman’s latest has garnered attention since its release in August 2020. My daily actions is the sequel to Corfman’s first collection, Luxury, Blue Lace (which won the 2018 Rising Writer Prize from the Pittsburgh-based Autumn House), and was cited by the New York Times as part of the Best Poems of 2020.

“In these poems, a combination of terror (for something approaching) and anxiety (for what might approach but is not yet known) has undone a sense of the present separate from climate change, global racial capitalism, whiteness and gender discrimination. violence, especially since I wrote while trying to find out how my own gender fits into the world, ”one reads a description by Corfman on the Fordham University website.

The structure of Corfman’s poems shines here, as many of the selections in My daily actions come in neat and tidy blocks of text as if literally trying to contain and contain the mess and confusion the author grapples with. My daily actions or meteorites is available for purchase from the Fordham University Press website.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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