In this his eighth collection of poetry (and fifth with Four Way Books), Prufer’s (Poetry, MFA Writing Faculty) career-spanning talent for estranging the familiar—and also for recording the unthinkable with eerie directness—recurs, enhanced and transformed by the collection’s meta-level attention to the role of fiction in our civic lives. Prufer describes, often through personae, a near future, tracing there the political gambit of Fake News and the role of the imagination in our self-understanding (whether it’s cogent or delusional). Via both satire and direct address (to the point of reader-squeamishness), Prufer aims to understand the ugly-casual atmosphere of our often racialized, pervasive distrust. The Art of Fiction fundamentally understands that fictions are deployed to divide us, and they work: they get under our skin. Prufer powerfully explores the roles of imagination and art in how we explain ourselves to ourselves.
Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize-winning poet and nationally recognized literary critic Craig Morgan Teicher’s Welcome to Sonnetville, New Jersey is a poetry collection about entering middle age, raising a young family, sustaining a marriage, and taking care of a severely disabled child. Built around two sequences of sonnets, and interrupted by two sets of lyric poems, a set of prose poems, and a long poem about death, the book narrates a family’s move to the suburbs and their coming to terms with the ghosts of the past and with hard-to-hold hopes for the future.