Contributor Reads

Map to the Stars, the fourth poetry collection from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka, navigates the tensions between race, geography, and poverty in America during the Reagan Era. In the time of space shuttles and the Strategic Defense Initiative, outer space is the only place equality seems possible, even as the stars serve to both guide and obscure the earthly complexities of masculinity and migration. In Matejka’s poems, hope is the link between the convoluted realities of being poor and the inspiring possibilities of transcendence and escape—whether it comes from Star Trek, the dream of being one of the first black astronauts, or Sun Ra’s cosmic jazz.

Winner of the WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS AWARD in 2019.

In his most autobiographically transparent (and most comical) collection to date, Waldrep explores the intersections between body and spirit, faith and action. These are lyrics of incarnation, of method and meat-hood, of illness and the vicissitudes of love, earthly as well as heavenly, occupying the space between desire and gratification, between pain and praise.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN