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Mailbox Monday #617

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Diary of a Pug: Pug’s Got Talent by Kyla May, purchased for my daughter as an award for being a Super Virtual Husky student.

Bub’s human, Bella, is putting on a pet talent show! Bub can’t wait to wow the audience with his skateboarding stunts, not to mention his snazzy costume. But when dress rehearsal doesn’t go as planned, Bub finds that it’s up to him — and his archenemy Duchess the cat — to make things right. Can he and Duchess work together to make sure the show goes on?

In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché for review.

Over four decades, Carolyn Forché’s visionary work has reinvigorated poetry’s power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to each other.

Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The poems call to the reader from the end of the world where they are sifting through the aftermath of history. Forché envisions a place where “you could see everything at once … every moment you have lived or place you have been.” The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and “there is nothing that cannot be seen.” In the Lateness of the World is a revelation from one of the finest poets writing today.

The Lamps of History by Michael Sandler for a TLC Book Tour.

The Lamps of History wrestles with the ambiguities–and choices–between connection/alienation, renewal/decay, and faith/doubt. Its poems explore dimming family histories and our stance toward them, the frayed bonds with our grandparents’ traditions and beliefs, and distances in our current relationships.

There are also poems on our civic estrangements: an ode to a papaya that spills into America’s tribal conflict; elegies to the environment (one on disappearing phytoplankton, another on forests ravaged by pine beetles); a ghazal to a semi-automatic weapon; and a failed recipe for noodle pudding.

Michael Sandler’s writing marshals wit and wordplay in a deft handling of language and form. The poetry navigates the crosscurrents of tradition and post-modernism, steering somewhat closer to the former.

Poet and editor George Bishop concludes: “This language is addictive. A stunning sense of place and story. To be read and read again.”

What did you receive?