Beacon Press: It's Not Magic
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It's Not Magic

Author: Jon Sands

Snapshots of youth, displayed with verve and sparkling clarity, in a new collection of poems that “dazzles with its linguistic sleight of hand” (Richard Blanco).

From jaunts through New York subways, to a Cincinnati Waffle House, to a chance encounter with one’s future life partner, Sands writes in turns autobiographically and imaginatively, drawing on voices from his private world and the public sphere to create an urgent portrait of youth that is almost rebellious in its sheer, persistent joy. Nostalgic and vivid, this collection of poems is written reverie. Selected by Richard Blanco, Jon Sands is the winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series.

About the Series

Established in 1978, the National Poetry Series is a literary awards program which sponsors the publication of five books of poetry each year. The manuscripts, solicited through an annual Open Competition, are selected by poets of national stature and published by a distinguished group of trade, university, and small presses.
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It’s Not Magic is, in fact, a magical experience, a book that dazzles with its linguistic sleight of hand, blurs the poetic line between illusion and reality, and made me disappear into another dimension of language where honesty is as beautiful as it is brutal.”
—Richard Blanco, How to Love a Country

“Could a sentence be a life, or, at least, a version of one? A thing we read this way and that way, unpinnable? Everywhere here is the discipline of trying—to sense, read, be, get free. I mean: this book is a series of astonishments. And the way it is made of Sands’s everything—dreams, once-secrets, goodbyes, golds, and embarrassments—makes me know that any life is also a book of poems. Difficult, impossible, gleaming. What brilliant and generous work this is.”
—Aracelis Girmay, Kingdom Animalia

“Opening with a question, Jon Sands invites us into a personal journey that is at once comic, deadly serious, beautifully meditative, and completely within the praxis of being human. Sands’s magic lies not in the sleight of hand or the sudden disappearance of objects; it is more about walking backwards, the lifesaving text, and a life that refuses to be lived in silence. It’s Not Magic is the truth at rapid speed and a bounty of innovation.”
—Willie Perdomo, The Crazy Bunch

“Jon Sands is the raconteur we’ve been waiting for. Savoring these poems, it’s hard to believe that Jon strides the same world we do—these inventive stanzas resurrect, reconstruct, rejigger and redefine, all with that enviable Sands signature. (There’s nothing like this.) (Wow.)”
—Patricia Smith, Incendiary Art

Foreword by Richard Blanco

Love Poem
Moons over My Hammy
Origin Story: 1956
Origin Story: 1999
Here’s the Real New

If I Am All That I Have
I Know That Silence Will Greet Me . . .
Internet as a Concept Is Not Inspiring
Last Night
The Woods
To My Ohio, a Letter Home
How I Remember It
You Know How You Try to Say a Thing
Check Out
Who Here Is Not a Liar?

Before the Bloom
Living Room Monologue the Night of Winter Formal
Love Spell
When I See Andre 3000 Buying Bananas at Trader Joe’s
I Have a Beer with a Professor Who Drinks with His Students
Ode to the Rat
Ode to My Mother’s Hip

The Trick When Synching Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz
The Basement

I Should Be Writing the Story
And It Will Be a Beautiful Song
Hey Mom
New Year’s
Above Ground
The Shoreline
The Day We Chose Instead to Grow

Thank You

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It's Not Magic

ISBN: 978-080700225-4
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.