Evie Shockley's suggestions:
1) Just in time for the giving season, Doug Kearney's The Black Automaton will be released next month (Dec.) by Fence Books. If you (or your gift recipient) like(s) poems that do not sit in well-behaved rows of uniform font on the left margin, there will be plenty in this book to please you.
2) I just got my hands on Will Alexander's newest book, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions). You know you want to know what (Will Alexander will say) a loxodrome is. There's only one way to find out.
3) Not quite in time for the holidays, but right on time for belated holiday gift-giving, in January Duke Press will release Fred Moten's new collection, B Jenkins. Theory-heads: get ready -- you will love everything about this book, beginning with the table of contents. Everyone else: if you read poetry out loud, then you will also find a sweet spot in this volume.
4) Another January release to get pumped for is Camille T. Dungy's Suck on the Marrow, which is coming out of Red Hen Press. She will get all elegantly gritty on you and make you homesick for Virginia, even if you've never been there. I thought you knew.
5) This one is probably going to be far too late for the holidays altogether, nonetheless I am excited to note that Barbara Jane Reyes' next book, Diwata, will be coming out of BOA Editions in 2010. Reyes is known for speaking in tongues -- my way of referencing her unabashed multilingualism *and* her (in my opinion) divinely inspired truth-telling. Give yourself Christmas in July (or thereabouts) by making a note in your 2010 calendar now to buy her book as soon as it spins off the presses.
* * *
Evie Shockley is the author of a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006) and 31 words * prose poems (Belladonna* Books, 2007). She co-edits jubilat and teaches African American literature and creative writing at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.