American poetry is having a renaissance — or something like it: Whatever you call the moment we’re in, poetry feels newly invigorated by a potent diversity of voices, rendered with extreme stylistic range on the page. The following, in order of their release, are some of the books I was thankful to have as company — some of the books I needed to read — in 2018. There are others, of course, but each of these remarkable books offers a respite as this long, strange year comes to a close. Each invites us to slow down, to linger on thoughts that unfurl against an expressive white space, and each is a quiet protest against easy truths and alternative facts. These are poets, in other words, who have made silence speak. They have written beautiful books, yes; but also powerful books — of resistance, of voices finally unleashed, of loss, of possibility.
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