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from The Book of the Red King

Marly Youmans‘ chronicle of a fool in search of his king is a rollicking tour through the traditions of English literature and the pleasures of the language itself. Introducing her hero she writes, “He shakes his rattle at the dark/And fills his antic hat with leaves.”

Where His Lines Run

Starting from a six-sentence obituary that ran in 1855, Adam Tavel crafts a riveting sequence of letters and monologues invoking suicide, infidelity, race, and the “bent trumpet of grief” that echoes over generations.

Six Poems from Five Poets

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet, Jimmmy Santiago Baca, Erica Dawson, Patrick Donnelly, and Thom Satterlee cover parenthood, addiction, sex, love, and more in At Length‘s first-ever poetry issue.

Bay

“Easement to/estuaries,” begins Michael D. Snediker, searching for persuasive images of relief in river clay and stoneware, bottles, stars and Cygnus, who “Found/no body//but felt—//again and/again—//the body’s warmth.”

from Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels

Kevin Young recreates the letters and speeches of the Amistad rebels, probing their relationship to a white culture that both enslaved and liberated them. An excerpt from Young’s brilliant new book, which was 20 years in the making.

Atomic Clock

“We fail and fail and grow desirous of believing we’re all vehicle, every wet atom of us.” Kerri Webster‘s prose poem draws on place and prayer, fit and ache, showing how the world “lends the appearance of appearing like something else.”

A Lover’s Recourse

In this breathtaking sequence of ghazals, Jee Leong Koh explores the infinite variety of love: “Take heart and sing of love’s recourse: the river/is running from the river and still is the river.”

Three Poems

“The end of love will be what we become” writes Rachel Hadas, reflecting on the pending loss of a husband and her need to speak as dementia begins to silence him.

Black Sun Crown

Brian Teare enacts the haunted logic of dreams in an inventive and arresting new sequence, tracing a state in which it’s possible to “lie down in/the river where my mind meets the sea.”

from None Other

In the first section of a vital new book, Allan Peterson writes of the natural world: “There is no other/To explain where it came from is speculation like reading/water from a faucet. Beyond what we think/in our dreams or ideas it is still there/even the island of walruses.”