Peter Kimani’s Dance of the Jakaranda burst onto the literary scene just over a week ago, and already the book has become a force to be reckoned with. In a glowing review in the New York Times Book Review on February 19, Fiammetta Rocco praises the novel: “Kimani has done a game job managing the carpentry of this ambitious novel, bringing great skill to the task of deploying multiple story lines, huge leaps back and forth in time and the withholding and distribution of information. . . . I grew up in Kenya, and I have never read a novel about my own country that’s so funny, so perceptive, so subversive and so sly.” Dance of the Jakaranda has been chosen as an Editors' Choice in the New York Times Book Review for the week of February 26.
With the invention of viral platforms from YouTube to BuzzFeed, more and more readers are being introduced to punchy, short-form, culturally-relevant works and coming to the conclusion that poetry is cool. With hundreds upon hundreds of poetry titles published each year, though, how do eager readers know where to start? On February 8, poet Craig Morgan Teicher (author of the upcoming The Trembling Answers) published an article on NPR Books showcasing the best of the best poetry collections coming out in 2017. The article, entitled “Poetry to Pay Attention To,” highlighted Chen Chen’s When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, Alex Dimitrov’s Together and By Ourselves, and Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied. BuzzFeed beat NPR to the punch on recommending Chen Chen’s collection: on December 22, editor Saeed Jones, himself a Coffee House poet, included a poem from When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities on a list of “22 Poems That Got You Through 2016.”
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