Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Best Poetry Book of the Year: Amy Uyematsu's Stone Bow Prayer

Amy Uyematsu's amazing third book of poems, Stone Bow Prayer, is just out from Copper Canyon Press, and in my humble opinion it is the best book of poems this year. I used her second book Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain in my poetry classes before, and I remember her poems from literary magazines over the years. Stone Bow Prayer is a generous and hefty book, which includes some of my favorite poems of hers, "Purple Like Iris," "The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem," and "The Fold." Her first book since 1998, this one was hard to wait for but well worth the time.

She is especially important for Asian American poets and activists, I think, not only as one of our greatest poets but also as an early activist, having co-authored the influential text Roots: An Asian American Reader back during her UCLA days.

Her poems are wise, and I'm certain they border on genius---lyric, meditative and giving. It's one of those books you can read over and over again. I think of it as poetic inspiration, evening enjoyment by the pool, a future text selection I know my students will love, and as a meditative guide through the busy times of our lives. This is a gift for readers of poetry everywhere.

Visit the Academy of American Poets page on Amy's book here. Order today and enjoy.


Michael Parker said...

Thanks for this, Lee. I'll have to purchase it. The title is worth the money by itself.

Lee Herrick said...

My pleasure, Michael. It's a beautiful collection. Hope you enjoy it.