In the tumult of our contemporary moment, poetry has emerged as an inviting, consoling outlet with a unique power to move and connect us, to inspire fury, tears, joy, laughter, and surprise. This generous anthology pairs fifty illuminating poems with poet and podcast host Pádraig Ó Tuama’s appealing, unhurried reflections. With keen insight and warm personal anecdotes, Ó Tuama considers each poem’s artistry and explores how its meaning can reach into our own lives.
Focusing mainly on poets writing today, Ó Tuama engages with a diverse array of voices that includes Ada Limón, Ilya Kaminsky, Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Layli Long Soldier, and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Natasha Trethewey meditates on miscegenation and Mississippi; Raymond Antrobus makes poetry out of the questions shot at him by an immigration officer; Martín Espada mourns his father; Marie Howe remembers and blesses her mother’s body; Aimee Nezhukumatathil offers comfort to her child-self. Through these wide-ranging poems, Ó Tuama guides us on an inspiring journey to reckon with self-acceptance, history, independence, parenthood, identity, joy, and resilience.
For anyone who has wanted to try their hand at a conversation with poetry but doesn’t know where to start, Poetry Unbound presents a window through which to celebrate the art of being alive.