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Sunday, December 23, 2018

9 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

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Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books.

In 1997, the poet Adrienne Rich was selected to receive the National Medal for the Arts. She refused it. “There is no simple formula for the relationship of art to justice,” she wrote to the head of the National Endowment for the Arts in a letter explaining her reasons. “But I do know that art — in my own case the art of poetry — means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power that holds it hostage.”

The relationship of art to justice, and of art to political power, is very much at the center of poetry these days, as Tracy K. Smith (the United States poet laureate) noted in a recent issue of the Book Review dedicated to the subject. Books from that issue dominate this week’s recommended titles, from poets new and established, considering everything from class politics to colonialism to queer identity. Our staff critics round things out with a radio host’s book about running and a legal scholar’s argument that corporations have grown too powerful: proof that poets aren’t the only ones thinking about the role of politics in our lives.

Source: New York Time