Yusef Komunyakaa's Magic City
is what I always come back to. I've been reading and rereading this book of poetry since it was published in 1992. Childhood is the magic city referred to in the title, and I've never come across anything that captures the beauty and power of a child's imagination, or the terror and confusion of being a small person confronted with adult troubles, in the same way. These poems are stunning; this book never stops teaching me about the sound and rhythm of language.
, author of Oprah's Book Club 2.0's second selection The Twelve Tribes of Hattie