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Five Fringe Poets Not to Miss in 2019

If you’re wondering what poetry to read, look no further. Here’s a shortlist of five niche offerings for this year, released and forthcoming. Light enough to throw in your bag and rich enough to spend hours on, this is the best of small and breakout poets.



The Twenty-Ninth Year – Hala Alyan

The Twenty-Ninth Year
Image via Amazon

Alyan’s book explores her life as it is now, while also wandering through the earlier years of her life with a tone of distant, soft-focus nostalgia. Spanning nations and years, this spare, lyrical, and highly personal, Twenty-Ninth Year uses highly individual stories to capture some element of the human experience and growing older.

“It takes a romantic to leave a city; I understand this now.” Hala Alyan, The Twenty-Ninth Year


If My Body Could Speak – Blythe Baird

If My Body Could Speak
Image via Amazon

Baird’s poetry is characterized by sparsity and organization, and covers girlhood, culture, and identity. It’s an exploration of the things we overlook, the things we make of ourselves, compassion, and how we forgive others and ourselves. It’s a record of healing, from the one side of suffering to the end of the tunnel.

“You do not owe your progress to anyone.” Blythe Baird, If My Body Could Speak


In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive – Clementine von Radics

In a Dream You Saw A Way To Survive
Image via Amazon

Von Radics writes with patience and with astounding feeling. Compassion, heartbreak, and survival are measured out and deployed with the most precise diction. This is the hard work after you’ve gotten through the heart of something unbearable, but triumphant. It’s not about the moment, but about all the moments after, when you’re stronger but still reaching for the light.

“No one else can decide what your tough looks like.” Clementine von Radics, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive



Life of the Party – Olivia Gatwood

Life of the party
Image via Amazon

This book is forthcoming August 20th, but you can expect Gatwood’s passion and her reverence for the mundane. She writes about youth and about looking back, about the things we overlook, about the ugly things we do that aren’t really so bad. This is a book about fear, but Gatwood never lets fear get of the best of her.

“I want to know what it means to survive something.” Olivia Gatwood, Life of the Party


Swallowtail – Brenna Twohy

Image via Amazon

This book is forthcoming October 1st, and you definitely have to pick it up. Twohy’s poetry is modern and funny and tragic and electric. It dissects the strangeness of life, of loss, of becoming someone else. It takes not just the ordinary but the boring and makes it into something worth thinking about, something that tells you more about yourself. Her topics may not initially seem like the basis for poems, but she always finds the through line of universal feeling.

“You’ve just never seen the close-up of a haunting.” Brenna Twohy, Swallowtail



Featured image via iStock

Lin Manuel Miranda

Check out Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Summer Reading List

Sharing a list of all the books he devoured while on holidays, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote ‘I read so much on vacation! This is everything I liked.’ He was quick to clarify, however, that he will not be adapting any of them into musicals. 


He offers a very diverse list! Ahead of the movie’s release next year, Miranda read Madeleine D’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ as well as the sequel ‘A Wind in the Door.’ He also read ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ in Spanish, and sections from Tolstoy’s famous tome ‘War and Peace.’ 



Oprah in A Wrinkle in Time

Oprah Winfrey in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (2018) / Image Courtesy of Den of Geek



See the full list below. 



Pick them up here: 


One Hundred Years of Solitude‘ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (in Spanish: Cien Años De Soledad)


Theft by Finding‘ by David Sedaris


Creativity, Inc.‘ by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace


A Wrinkle in Time‘ by Madeleine L’Engle


A Wind in the Door‘ by Madeleine L’Engle


Consider the Lobster‘ by David Foster Wallace


Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night‘ by Jason Zinoman


Dave Malloy’s adapted chapters of War & Peace‘ by Leo Tolstoy


Strokes of Genius‘ by L. Jon Wertheim


The Collectors: A His Dark Materials Story‘ by Philip Pullman


The Second Sex‘ by Simone de Beauvoir


Sense of Occasion‘ by Hal Prince (available for pre-order)


Fosse‘ by Sam Wasson


Vacationland‘ by John Hodgman (available for pre-order)



Featured Image Courtesy of Business 2 Community