We hadn’t expected it; the sky had been clear.” Bright Before Us (Tin House Books, May 2011) by Katie Arnold-Ratliff. First book, novel. Agent: Sarah Burnes. Editor: Meg Storey. Publicist: Nanci McCloskey.
“When I was young, life / was instrumental and / through experience (in life) / (through which I poured myself) / I passed through various / Containers of / pre-dawn excellence.” I Heart Your Fate (Wave Books, April 2011) by Anthony McCann. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Matthew Zapruder. Publicist: Heidi Broadhead.
“The world was exactly as it should be.” On Black Sisters Street (Random House, May 2011) by Chika Unigwe. Fourth book, second novel. Agent: David Godwin. Editor: Lindsey Schwoeri. Publicist: Maria Braeckel.
“The letter was unexpected.” You Are Free (Riverhead Books, May 2011) by Danzy Senna. Fourth book, first story collection. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Rebecca Saletan. Publicist: Leslie Schwartz.
“As my daughter Sulfia was explaining that she was pregnant but that she didn’t know by whom, I paid extra attention to my posture.” The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine (Europa Editions, May 2011) by Alina Bronsky. Second book, novel. Translator: Tim Mohr. Agent: Markus Hoffman. Editor: Michael Reynolds. Publicist: Julia Haav.
“Because I mistrust my head & hands, because I know salt / tinctures my songs, I tried hard not to touch you / even as I pulled you into my arms.” The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2011) by Yusef Komunyakaa. Nineteenth book, eighteenth poetry collection. Agent: Peter Sawyer. Editor: Jonathan Galassi. Publicist: Angie Venezia.
“There we were, my mother and I, caught in a bittersweet maze of feelings that only mothers and daughters are capable of getting caught in.” Black Milk (Viking, May 2011) by Elif Shafak. Sixth book, first memoir. Translator: Hande Zapsu. Agent: Mary Rusoff. Editor: Paul Slovak. Publicist: Holly Watson.
“In ancient Greece, a man could withdraw into the desert / to praise his gods in solitude— // he’d live out his days by himself in a cave of sand.” Figures in a Landscape (University of Chicago Press, April 2011) by Gail Mazur. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Randi Petilos. Publicist: Levi Stahl.
“By the time Vince arrives at the Philippines Airlines departures terminal, it is already bustling with restless souls who, with their balikbayan boxes, have transformed the terminal into a warehouse, as if they’re returning to the motherland on a cargo ship rather than Asia’s first airline carrier.” Leche (Coffee House Press, May 2011) by R. Zamora Linmark. Fourth book, second novel. Agent: Kirby Kim. Editor: Anitra Budd. Publicist: Tricia O’Reilly.
“The automated town is purchasing / a compass of afternoons.” Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA Editions, May 2011) by John Gallaher and G. C. Waldrep. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Peter Conners. Publicist: Albert Abonado.
“The previous November, a row of wooden beach huts, their paintwork lifted and flaked by the hard east wind, had burnt to the ground.” Pulse (Knopf, May 2011) by Julian Barnes. Seventeenth book, third story collection. Agent: Helen Brann. Editor: Gary Fisketjon. Publicist: Kathy Zuckerman.
“Is God being or pure force?” Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, May 2011) by Tracy K. Smith. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeffrey Shotts. Publicist: Erin Kottke.