Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems
By Major Jackson
“Rhythm? Where is
“In any event, we flaunt
“The stuff of old
“& modern hipness
“As if it were a claim
Opening with more than three dozen new poems, Major Jackson’s latest collection also compiles five of his previous books: “Leaving Saturn” (2002), “Hoops” (2006), “Holding Company” (2010), “Roll Deep” (2015) and “The Absurd Man” (2020). “Crossing Over,” excerpted above, was written in homage to a performance by the jazz musician Sun Ra (1914-93) and his Arkestra at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, in 1970. Published by W.W. Norton, Sept. 5.
The Vaster Wilds
A novel by Lauren Groff
“By the time she could not see very far ahead, she had found nothing to cover her, and she had begun to worry.
“And this was when she saw a little black space carved out of the rock wall of a ridge that rose to the height of a roof’s peak into the sky beside her. She came close and the dark mouth of the cave exhaled a strange and musty warmth that drew her near.”
A young servant, brought against her will from England to a rapidly collapsing New World colony, flees the starvation and disease of her Puritan settlement after committing a crime of passion. As she makes her way through a wilderness that is equally awe-inspiring and dangerous, she wrestles with the difference between surviving and living a worthwhile life. Published by Riverhead Books on Sept. 12.
A novel by Ayana Mathis
“I can’t settle. I keep looking out the window even if isn’t nothing there but the early sun oranging the leaves of the chinaberry tree. The most beautiful place in the world, is Bonaparte.”
When Ava Carson and her 10-year-old son reconcile with his estranged father in 1980s Philadelphia, they become swept up in his violent, radical commune. At the same time, in rural Alabama, Ava’s mother, Dutchess, struggles to prevent the erasure of her own community, once a thriving Black enclave, at the hands of white developers. To be published by Alfred A. Knopf on Sept. 26.
A novel by Justin Torres
“The Committee for the Study of Sex Variants was founded in the spring of 1935. [redacted lines taking up most of the paragraph] touching [more redacted lines] embracing [more redacted lines] concerning [more redacted lines].”
In an unnamed desert town, a dying man, Juan, is visited by a much younger acquaintance he’d known only briefly many years before, when the two were patients at the same psychiatric hospital. Night after night, they trade stories from their lives, and Juan charges his new confidant with finishing a project that has long preoccupied him: solving the mysteries behind his copy of a long-forgotten study of homosexuality in which the majority of the lines have been blacked out. To be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on Oct. 10.
About the artist: With a practice that includes oil painting, marionette making and installation, mosie romney, 29, melds the figurative with the fantastical and the abstract. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Jamaica, Queens, they now live and work between Queens and the Catskills. Their art is in the permanent collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Yuz Museum and Pond Society, both in Shanghai, among other institutions. Their solo show “Rhizome St./Fugue Avenue” opened this month at P·P·O·W gallery in Manhattan.