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Summer Reads for 2019

You can't rely on the weather but you can rely on these glorious selections, picked for you by our librarians, to see you through the summer months.

Casting Deep Shade / C.D. Wright
Port Townsend, WA : Copper Canyon Press, 2019

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As soon as it arrived from America, we were mewing admiringly over Carolyn Doris Wright’s final volume, completed before her unexpected death in 2016. A love letter to beech trees and humanity, it blends field guide, memoir and atmospheric photographs with poetic prose, and wraps it all in a cover lined with the imprint of wood grain. From the roots of patient research and meditation rise ideas about how trees intertwine with our lives, and what they can teach us about language, rootedness and overcoming ecological crises. 

A tree is a resilient fighter. Likewise poets, single mothers, and teachers.
C.D. Wright

Sharks in the Rivers [ebook] / Ada Limón
Minneapolis, Minnesota : Milkweed Editions, 2010

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We first got excited about Ada Limón when we read her poem ‘Wife’ in Candlestick Press’s Ten Poems About Husbands and Wives published earlier this year. It seems that our borrowers have got excited about Ada Limón too as we’ve had several requests for her latest collection The Carrying (Milkweed, 2018), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in the US. We’re now making sure we have her back catalogue in stock and have added two of them to our eloans collection. Like The Carrying, Limon’s 2010 collection Sharks in the Rivers engages with the precariousness of the natural world, while tackling contemporary concerns of family, creativity and womanhood: “Tumbled in with all these sharks / swimming in the bathtub, I can’t hear you anymore.” Limón, a US poet of Mexican descent, really feels like a nature poet for these uncertain times.

Rhinoceros Tap / lyrics and drawings by Sandra Boynton ; music by Michael Ford & Sandra Boynton
New York : Workman Publishing, ©2004

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If you’re missing Rug Rhymes during our summer break then get your fix of ‘Tickle Time’ with this book and CD. We rap ‘Tickle Time’ but this is the musical version, performed by Adam Bryant, and musical notation is also included in the second half of the book so you can play along. We’re big fans of Sandra Boynton’s playful poems and illustrations and there’s lots of fun to be had with these 16 songs, including ‘Bad Babies’ for older siblings everywhere (“Bad babies, they yell and they cry. / Bad, bad babies - you never know why.”) and ‘O, Lonely Peas’, for anyone struggling to eat their greens (“I can’t leave my place till the peas are all gone. / At the rate I’m going, I’ll be ninety-one.”). Rug Rhymes, our weekly session of poems and songs for under-5s will finish on Fri 19 Jul and return on Fri 13 Sep.

Moonstruck! : poems about our moon / edited by Roger Stevens ; illustrated by Ed Boxall
Burley Gate, Herefordshire : Otter-Barry Books, 2019

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Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon, Roger Stevens has gathered together classic moon poems from the likes of Emily Brontë, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Amy Lowell and W. B. Yeats, alongside poems by children’s poets writing today including Valerie Bloom (‘The Moon is a Starfish’), James Carter (‘The Moon Speaks!’) and Rachel Rooney (‘Moontime’). There are longer factual poems and short poems to ponder over, plus some useful space facts to help explain the inspiration for some of the poems. Ed Boxall makes wonderful use of photographs of the moon in his illustration, creating a dreamlike mix of realism and magic. Leave your curtains open and curl up with this book on a summer night.

Click to see all the adult collections and anthologies added to the National Poetry Library in May and June on our catalogue. Use the Sort function to list alphabetically by author or title.

Click to see all the children collections and anthologies added in May and June.