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Authors: Tzveta Sofronieva
Translators: Chantal Wright
“Tzveta Sofronieva’s poetry sparkles, not in her native Bulgarian, but in German; like her compatriot Bulgarian Julia Kristeva, she changed tongues to reach a wider world. Her A Hand Full of Water is the most compelling volume in German verse since the work of Ingeborg Bachman and Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Her memories go from Homer and Dostoievski to Charlie Chaplin’s dance steps. Above all Sofrinieva is a mythological poet. Each narration is a Cavafian voyage, never completed in order to compel wonder. George Seferis wrote that a poet must find a symbolic landscape for one’s diction. She creates her visionary landscape and lexicon as she adventures through the Greek islands and the Mediterranean. The surreal is natural when she says, "She makes her bed with sheets of Pompeian red. / The sea roars in her bed." Subtly, Tzveta Sofronieva refreshes and re-jewels the German language, making it plainer and richer by her global iridescence. The lucent version by Chantal Wright captures the verve and fluid images of Sofornieva’s poetry. Though close to original song, she plays with syntax in English to convey the strength and spontaneity of the German. In the best sense her translation stands as an original book of poetry.”
A physicist and historian of science by training, Tzveta Sofronieva is the author of nine collections of poetry. She also writes short stories, essays and texts for the theater. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, she settled in Berlin in 1992 but remains a frequent traveler. Sofronieva’s first collection of poetry Chicago Blues (1992, bilingual, Bulgarian and English) was written during her travels through the US and Canada in 1989 and 1990. Among her most recent publications are a collection of short prose texts entitled Diese Stadt kann auch weiß sein (2010) and the poetry art book Touch Me (2012 ,
bilingual, English and German). Her work also encompasses literary installations, the latest of which are Borrowed Pillows (Lille, France, 2011 ) and My Cyborg Identity (Boston, USA, 2012 ), and she
has edited several anthologies, including Forbidden Words (2005) and 119 Webstreaming Poetry (2010). She has translated poetry by Chris Abani, Margaret Atwood, Michael Krüger and Yoko Tawada into Bulgarian, among others. Her own work has been translated into a number of languages, among them French, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Spanish and Uzbek. Tzveta Sofronieva attended a master class with Joseph Brodsky in 1992. In 1988 she was awarded a prize for poetry by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She has been writer-in-residence at the Academy Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (1996), at KulturKontakt in Vienna (2003), at the Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades (2005), and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (2010). In Spring 2012 , she was Max Kade Writer-in-Residence at MIT in Boston. Eine Hand voll Wasser (2008) was Tzveta Sofronieva’s first full-length collection of poetry in German. In 2009 Sofronieva was awarded the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Förderpreis, a prize given to German writers whose cultural background is not Germanic.
For more information visit www.tzveta-sofronieva.de.
Chantal Wright is Assistant Professor of German and Translation at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She grew up in Manchester, England, and studied at Girton College, Cambridge,
and the University of East Anglia, Norwich.
“Listen carefully... She has something to say.”
— Joseph Brodsky
|$16.00||128 pages (Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-37-5||2012|
Authors: Olga Orozco
Translators: Mary Berg, Melanie Nicholson
Series: Secret Weavers Series
This collection introduces English-speaking readers to the hallucinatory yet lucid world that Orozco’s young narrator, Lía, inhabits and animates with her prodigious imagination and the reality of small-town life on the Argentine plains in the 1920s. It is this landscape of her childhood home that shapes her narrative voice.
It is the landscape of her childhood home that shapes her narrative voice. In this mirage-like world of shifting dunes, shimmering horizons, crumbling buildings and vibrating fields of sunflowers, the young girl Lía—Orozco’s alter ego—watches and wonders, acts and is acted upon. Fixed in the center of the erratic exterior world is the family home, the refuge to which the child retreats for protection and solace, but which at times resembles a space of mystery and menace.
Olga Orozco (1920 – 1999) is considered to be one of the major Argentine writers of the 20th century. She won over a dozen major prizes and awards for her poetry and short stories, and has been translated into at least fifteen languages.
Mary Berg is a writer and translator. She has translated a number of books from Spanish, including I’ve Forgotten Your Name by Martha Rivera, River of Sorrows by Libertad Demitropulos, Ximena at the Crossroads by Laura Riesco, The Landscape of Castile by Antonio Machado and The Poet and the Sea by Juan Ramon Jimenez. She teaches at Harvard Extension and Brandeis University.
Melanie Nicholson is Associate Professor of Spanish at Bard College. She is the author of Evil, Madness, and the Occult in Argentine Poetry (2002). Her articles on Latin American poetry have appeared in Latin American Literary Review, Letras Femeninas, Crítica Hispánica, and Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, among others. She has published translations in Yale Review, Puerto del Sol, and Denver Quarterly.
Orozco’s stories portray, in impressionistic, and dreamy language, a childhood spent in a small town on the Argentine pampa.
“This is a gem of a collection of Olga Orozco stories, beautifully rendered into English. This wise selection of stories reveals Orozco's lyrical as well as mysterious prose. The translators provide an excellent introduction to Orozco's haunting and illuminating saga of childhood on the Argentine pampa.”
— Marjorie Agosin, Wellesley College
“A Talisman in the Darkness presents, for the first time in English, the spell-binding short stories of Olga Orozco (1920-1999), the Argentine surrealist poet, astrologer, and student of Gnosticism. The stories reconstruct scenes from a childhood on the pampas while drawing the reader into an intensely paradoxical universe of mysterious signs and omens, alternately enchanting and unnerving. At the core of the narratives is a girl child who, though episodes of unsought illumination, encounters for the first time aspects of both the visible and the hidden worlds.”
|$16.00||172 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-30-6||2012|
Authors: Agnieszka Kuciak
Translators: Karen Kovacik
Distant Lands is a tour de force, this faux anthology of 21 invented poets, with their poems and biographical notes, belongs in the company of world literature’s distinguished fabulists—Jorge Luis Borges, Fernando Pessoa, Franz Kafka, and Italo Calvino—in blurring the boundary between the textual and actual worlds.
Agnieszka Kuciak (b. 1970) is the author of two collections of poetry, Retardacja [Delay] (2001) and Dalekie kraje: antologia poetów nieistniejących [Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t Exist] (2005), both highly regarded by critics. Kuciak’s work has been translated into English, Russian, French, Flemish, Slovak and Slovenian.
Karen Kovacik directs the creative writing program at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Her translation of Agnieszka Kuciak’s faux anthology Distant Lands is forthcoming in March from White Pine. In 2011, she received an NEA fellowship in literary translation for her work on Kuciak. She’s currently editing an anthology of Polish women poets, Calling Out to Yeti.
“I have a shelf in my library I refer to as my sacred shelf, which contains only those books I love so much, I could reread them a hundred times and never tire of them. The shelf includes books by Rilke, Marquez, Borges, Pessoa, Michaux, Calvino, Milosz, Kafka, and others. I am forever looking for the next poet or writer who will inspire me and surprise me, not once, but again and again. Agnieszka Kuciak’s Distant Lands is my latest discovery. Mystical, mischievous, and musical, Kuciak enchants me with the scope of her imagination, her whimsical flirtations with identity, theology, and the very nature of human existence. I am delighted by her lyrical flare, her wit, and her remarkable ability to be both one and many poets, or one poet with twenty one voices.”
“A fact is a thing done, and a fiction is a thing made. In Distant Lands, Agnieszka Kuciak makes up for all the making up by transforming these fabulous fabrications into sublime art. Like water into wine, a sly stealth of miracles.”
—Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter
|$17.00||128 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-45-0||2013|
Authors: Gary Young
Gary Young is one of the most well-known practitioners of the prose poem and his unique sinuous, brief style has a flavor all its’s own. This collection includes work selected from six previously published volumes and two unpublished sequences of new work.
Gary Young is a poet and artist whose honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Vogelstein Foundation, the California Arts Council, and two fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2009 he received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has received a Pushcart Prize, and his book of poems, The Dream of a Moral Life, won the James D. Phelan Award. He is the author of several other collections of poetry including Hands, Days, Braver Deeds (which won the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize), No Other Life (winner of the William Carlos Williams Award of the Poetry Society of America), and most recently, Pleasure.
New and Selected Poems
Since the 1970s, Young has been publishing almost unbelievably intimate and precise poems, most of them in brief, untitled prose blocks, about the small details of love, marriage, parenthood, and close observation of the world at hand. This retrospective gathers many of these pieces, which, despite the small scope of each one, amount to a highly ambitious body of work taken together. What happens in these pieces is hard to summarize, so here is one, quoted in full: “My son wakes screaming. His dreams are real; he’s riding a horse, and the horse falls down. He’s so young, I don’t know how to tell him all our joy is wrung from that terror. Did you like it, I ask him. Fall down, he cries, fall down. Did you like riding the horse? And he looks at me, stops sobbing, and says, yes.” As is the case in the piece above, Young writes with a unique combination of wisdom and terror, engendering a kind of sad calm, a hard-earned acceptance of life’s difficulty and openness to its beauty: “This morning I smelled freesias in the garden and closed my eyes. Suddenly I was young again, and you were still alive.” (Apr.)
“Gary Young has honed a sinous, brief prose-poem form that carries a flavor, uniquely its own—unflinching, strigent in beauty, austerely moving.”
“I was struck by the wisdom of this work, a quiet wisdom that inheres in images so fully imagined that one can never forget them. The language has been so throughly purified that truth becomes, in the telling, austerely beautiful.”
“There’s no word for what Young does, only for what he accomplishes—the capturing of small, daily miracles.”
“Like a modern day realist’s morality tales, these poems are backed by a moral prupose as compelling and dramatic as it is instructive and wise. This is a book one must wrestle with as well as read.”
|$18.00||260 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-33-7||2012|
Editors: Robert Alexander
Series: Marie Alexander Poetry Series
Most readers assume that the writing of the American prose poem began in the 1960s but in fact there is a long tradition of the prose poem in the first half of the 20th century. Much of this work appeared in literary magazines and was never collected. The anthology collects over 60 voices including such well-known figures as Sherwood Anderson, Paul Bowles, Kay Boyle, E.E. Cummings, H.D., Robert Duncan, T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Earnest Hemingway, Amy Lowell, Kenneth Patchen, Laura Riding Jackson, Gertrude Stein, Jean Toomer, Thorton Wilder and William Carlos Williams. Margueritte Murphy's scholarly Introduction sets the stage for this collection which traces the history of American prose poetry from 1900-1950.
Robert Alexander is the co-editor of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series. He is the author of two books of poetry, White Pine Sucker River and What the Raven Said; and a book of creative nonfiction, Five Forks: Waterloo of the Confederacy. He previously served as an associate editor at New Rivers Press.
Margueritte S. Murphy is the Associate Provost at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She is author of A Tradition of Subversion: The Prose Poem in English from Wilde to Ashbery and Material Figures: Political Economy, Commercial Culture, and the Aesthetic Sensibility of Charles Baudelaire, and co-editor with Samir Dayal of Global Babel: Questions of Discourse and Communication in a Time of Globalization.
“I thought the last thing we needed was another anthology of prose poetry, but I was woefully wrong. Alexander’s choices of American prose poems between 1900 and 1950 prove the genre, in many different guises, was preparing itself to be honed by the masters of the 1960s. If you have any doubt the prose poem was flourishing over this fifty-year period, “Hysteria” by T.S. Eliott, “Family Portrait” by Kenneth Patchen, a number of short beauties by Fenton Johnson (among many other startling entries), suggest otherwise. If you need to be further convinced , Marguerite Murphy’s excellent introduction fills a gap in prose-poem criticism that was sorely needed. As a bonus we get Alexander’s witty afterward, tracing one’s man’s personal history writing prose poems, grappling with all the complexities of the genre. This is a book I’ll be returning to often and with pleasure, and anyone who has ever considered writing prose poetry should be familiar with it.”
“Family Portrait doesn't just rewrite the history of the prose poem in America - it sets the record straight. Robert Alexander has done a great service for everyone who loves this sinewy, quirky, delicious form. Margueritte Murphy's scholarly Introduction sets the stage for a book that traces the history of American prose poetry from 1900-1950. Simply put, this collection belongs on every poet's - and poetry lover's - bookshelf. From here forward, no one will be able to write about the prose poem without referencing Family Portrait."
“Once again, we have Robert Alexander to thank for expanding our vision of the tradition of American prose poetry. Fifteen years ago, his co-edited anthology The Party Train demonstrated a tradition that pre-dated the poetic experimentations of the1960s and the 1976 publication of Michael Benedikt’s The Prose Poem: An International Anthology, long considered the gateway to contemporary interest in the form in English.
In Family Portrait, Alexander’s vision is solidified, clearly demonstrating the roots of prose poetry taking hold in the early years of American Modernism. This volume offers an invaluable selection of prose poems by a broad array of writers born before 1925, including William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson, Kay Boyle, Laura Riding and Kenneth Patchen. As importantly, Margueritte Murphy’s introduction and Alexander’s afterword provide the aesthetic framework and historical context for the poems, together making a solid case for the importance of prose poetry to the American literary canon.
The prose poems of these Modernist writers illuminate not only the particularly supple strength of American language, but also how the form itself, “the child of two worlds” (in Alexander’s words), “serves to bring together, at long last, the sacred and mundane.””
— Holly Iglesias
“Family Portrait contains a rich variety of American voices—the well-known side by side with the completely new—speaking from their shared time and their individual sensibilities in language that ranges from the straightforward folksy talk set down by William Carlos Williams to the provocative linguistic disjunctions of Gertrude Stein and e. e. cummings. This volume provides a delightfully colorful, eye-opening, and essential addition to our library of American literature.” —Lydia Davis
|$20.00||316 pages||ISBN: 978-1-935210-35-1||2012|
Editors: Michael Farman
Translators: Michael Farman, Geoffrey Waters, Jeanne Larsen, Emily Goedde, and Grace Fong
The Jade Mirror: Women Poets of China spans twenty-five hundred years of writing by women. These are voices that were most often left out of the official anthologies and represent a hidden tradition that deserves a wider audience.
This landmark anthology contains work from the Book of Songs (c.600BCE), Midnight Songs (Zi Ye Ge) (4th Century CE), Wu Zhao (625-705), Shangguan Wan'er (c. 664-710), Xue Tao (c.768-831), Yu Xuanji (c.844-c.871), Li Qingzhao (1084 – c. 1150), Zhu Shuzhen (Song Dynasty), Ji Xian (1614-1683), Ye Xiaoluan (1616-1632), Shen Cai (b.1752), and Lü Bicheng (1883-1943).
Michael Farman is a retired Electronics Engineer. Early in his career he studied Mandarin at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, but began translating Chinese classic and ancient poetry comparatively late in life. His translations have since appeared frequently in literary and translation journals and several anthologies including the 300 Tang Poems. As an active member of ALTA, he has organized and contributed to conference panels and workshops and also published articles and book reviews in Translation Review.
Geoffrey Waters received a PhD in Classic Chinese from Indiana University and worked most of his life in international banking. He died in 2007. His other books of translation include Broken Willow: The Complete Poems of Yu Xuanji, White Crane: Love Songs of the Sixth Dalai Lama, and Three Elegies of Ch’u.
Jeanne Larsen’s latest book is Why We Make Gardens (& Other Poems). She has also published two books of translated poems by Chinese women, most recently Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon, and three Buddhist novels set in an imagined historical China. She directs the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University, and has received grants from the NEA, JUSFC, and others.
"A delectable selection of poems by China's greatest women poets in translations of exquisite beauty. A rare achievement! “
"Jade Mirror’s particular strength comes from the fact that all five of its fine translators bring to the work not just different styles of translation, but different senses of where poetry is to be found in the originals as well. Mike Farman and Jeanne Larsen, each working alone, and coming together to edit excellent but unfinished work by the late Geoffrey Waters, present some of the finest poetic translation of the last twenty years. Relative newcomers Grace Fong and Emily Goedde certainly hold up their ends of the bargain as well, bringing new insights and rigorous senses of both what makes a poem worth translating and what sort of translation each different work requires. Every poem here offers a wonderful sense of the world of Chinese women in general, and Chinese women poets in particular."
|$17.00||240 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-49-8||2013|
Authors: Edith Shiffert John Einarsen
A breathtaking visit to the magic of Kyoto
This Kyoto dwelling
Reveals as many seasons
The Forest in the Gate is a sensitive responses to one of the world's most beautiful cities — Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The heart of the book is a dialogue between the poems of Edith Shiffert and the monochrome photographs of John Einarsen.
Duotone photographs of temples, landscapes, gardens, and people represent an essential vocabulary of Kyoto that has evolved over centurites through the interplay of culture, climate, and topography.
Enriched by essays from garden designer Marc Keane, aesthete Takeda Yoshifumi, and author Diane Durston.
John Einarsen is originally from Colorado. He fell in love with Kyoto on his first trip here and settled down here in the early 1980s. He is the author of Zen and Kyoto and the founder editor of Kyoto Journal which he began with other poets and writers in 1986. He teaches Graphic Design at Kyoto University.
Edith Shiffert has lived in Kyoto, Japan since 1963 and was a professor there until her retirement. She is the author of twelve collections of poetry including: Pathways, The Kyoto Years, When on the Edge, and In the Ninth Decade. She has also co-tranlated several volumes of poetry including Haiku Master Buson, and An Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry.
“Kyoto – the ancient muse that continues to plumb the romantic and spiritual depths of its residents. “The Forest within the Gate” resonates with the sublime and perceptive visions of this city by its very talented contributors. With a few delft strokes of a pen and a meditative use of the camera lens, they capture the heartbeat of the allusive moment nestled within.
Like a swirl of fallen leaves, Einarsen has assembled a work of poetry and prose and photography, each special and unique.”
—Judith Clancy - Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capital
"I’ve long admired John Einarsen’s photographs and Edith Shiffert’s poetry, two artists who’ve kept to the path of such forebears as Basho and Buson, while revitalizing that path with exacting originality. Precise eye, penchant for unusual detail, remarkably distilled imagery—such are
the trademarks of these two contemporary masters who’ve perfected their craft through decades of living in the Old Capital."
|$20.00||144 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-48-1||2013|
Translators: Ian Haight T’ae-yŏng Hŏ
Series: Korean Voices Series
“Reading poems from another language, culture, and century, I often feel like a foreigner excluded from the original’s greatest subtleties. Not so in Hyesim’s miraculous time-traveling poems, which might have been written yesterday or tomorrow, and anywhere. There’s not a single opaque word in the book. The poems are Buddhist, yes, and Zen (Sŏn) in particular, but they’re written for anyone interested in human consciousness: what it is, how it perceives the world, how it can be transformed, and what pure perceptual clarity and joy result from the realization of its ultimate transparency. Through eight hundred years Hyesim’s voice delivers the gift of his wisdom, modesty, humor, and profound understanding of the human mind. These are important poems.”
— Chase Twichell
Ian Haight was the co-organizer and translator for the UN's global poetry readings held annually in Pusan, Korea from 2002-4. He has been awarded translation grants from the Daesan Foundation, Korea Literary Translation Institute, and Baroboin Buddhist Foundation; Ian is also the editor of Garden Chrysanthemums and First Mountain Snow: Zen Questions and Answers from Korea. For more information, please visit ianhaight.com.
T'ae-yong Ho has been awarded several translation grants from the Daesan Foundation and Korea Literary Translation Institute. With Ian Haight, he is the co-translator of Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Ho Kyun. Working from the original classical Chinese, Tae-young’s translations of Korean poetry have appeared in Runes, New Orleans Review, and Atlanta Review.
“Korea’s first Zen Master-poet wrote simple yet elegant poetry of the world he inhabited, both physically and spiritually, and of daily insights—a pause along the way for a deep clear breath, a moon-viewing moment, a seasonal note or a farewell poem to a departing monk. His poems speak softly and clearly, like hearing a temple bell that was struck a thousand years ago.”
"Hyesim's poems: transformative as walking high granite mountains by moonlight, with fragrant herbs underfoot and a thermos of clear tea in the backpack. Their bedrock is thusness, their images' beauty is pellucid and new, their view without limit. The shelf of essential Zen poets for American readers grows larger with this immediately indispensable collection."
|$16.00||112 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-43-6||2013|
Authors: Christopher Merrill
Necessities by Christopher Merrill. Necessities is a meditation on the deepest promptings of the spirit that could be discovered through language. Influenced by his reading of Kafka, Calvino, Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz, Charles Simic, James Tate, and other explorers of the marvelous, these poems are parables, which, with any luck, deepen with each reading.
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water and Watch Fire, more than a dozen edited volumes and books of translations; and five works of nonfiction. His writings have been translated into twenty-five languages. He is the director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
“Christopher Merrill is one of the few genuine men of letters left on our literary scene. He excels at everything – history, memoir, translation, poetry, and now Necessities. What are Necessities? A sequence of prose poems, we’ll say. Sometimes they read like Jack London re-written by Rimbaud and Baudelaire working together. There’s something as well of a quest theme or journal of exploration within a kind of dissolving dystopian narrative. And it’s all a kind of theater. A poetics perhaps deriving from post-war east European poetry is an important part of the mix, along with some habits of old-fashioned surrealism. The repeating motifs sometimes suggest a huge prose sestina. And what Auden called Paysage Moralisé. In one of the later poems we read: “Canonize those who make pilgrimages into the marvelous archives of chance.” This poet is hardly asking for canonization, but all praise should be forthcoming for this marvelous work.”
“Christopher Merrill is one of the most gifted, audacious, and accomplished poets of an extraordinary rich generation. His range of sympathy, subject, and tone has always been prodigious. His grasp of form is sure and in service of clear attention. This collection shows a complex talent developing and extending its original high promise.”
—W S Merwin
|$16.00||78 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-46-7||2013|
Series: White Pine Press Poetry Prize
Notes from the Journey Westward is a book that interrogates the idea of America—especially our westering, both historical and contemporary, our rough, rocky journeys through the vast interiors of the continent and of our own hearts. In this wild, wide-open, god-forgotten country blind grandmothers take us by the hand, and lost fathers hide in every prairie shadow, and old devils hunch and watch from craggy peaks. We are orphaned here, all of us, and so must reckon with the very foundations of us, with the myths and stories that make and remake us as people and as a nation.
“Blink and cry but this earth is all/you’ll ever see,” writes Joe Wilkins, and he is a poet who pays attention to this earth, one who looks, looks again and comes back still again to look more deeply. Like the voice in “Mission School,” Wilkins’ poems make and remember in the wide scope of human and non-human experience: “Whatever it is,/she says to me, lost again in story,/you must love it.” One way to define love is fidelity to experience, and if this is so, then Wilkins demonstrates such love over and over in his ruthless, entirely unsentimental efforts to imagine and understand the world he inhabits—and the one that inhabits him. He can say, on the one hand, “There’s nothing to be done/about hope,” and then deliver this:
“now I am telling you I am a small bird,
dun-colored, nervous, rising
again, slamming again
my face against the glass. See there—
blue sky. A hard world away.”
Exactly. And nothing will do but that blue sky.
Wilkins has a fine ear, but he uses it, rather than displays it. For all their toughness, these are wonderfully lyrical pieces. Vowels seem to bounce off one another like stones in a creek bed, but they are ordered, deliberate; subtle sound repetitions chime throughout, like bellwethers.
Wilkins slips from chore boots to house slippers to dress shoes without effort. He has range and staying power. These are the sorts of poems one keeps close by when they’re most needed, when one can feel most lost.”
Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers (Counterpoint 2012), and a previous collection of poems, Killing the Murnion Dogs (Black Lawrence Press 2011). His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, Harvard Review, Ecotone, the Sun, Orion, and Slate, among other magazines and literary journals. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in north Iowa, where he teaches writing at Waldorf College. You can find him online at http://joewilkins.org/.
“Moving through this book is, truly, a wondrous journey: across rugged landscapes and the vast unsettled past that WAS the west. "A hard world away." With a ferociously steely eye and equally ferociously tender heart, Wilkins surprises us at every juncture. Echoes of ancestral voices crisscross. Quiet intimate moments intersect with large socio-political issues. Spare poems, long poems, prose poems—I so admire the depth and breadth of work here, in how much Wilkins manages to pack in and carry along in our ever-onwarding little wagon.”
—Nance Van Winckel
“Joe Wilkins’ poems are savage and beautiful, full of hard-won lives and a godawful tenderness. In one poem the speaker says they need a myth to tell them “Be alive”, but Wilkins has written that myth, and it is called Notes from a Journey Westward. In this book Manifest Destiny is more than political rhetoric—it’s a call to find the limits of survival. The edge of America has more than an ocean. It has dust-stunned men, hardscrabble women, and a patient devil, sharpening his teeth. We’re in this world whether it belongs to God or not—alive and bearing it.”
“For Joe Wilkins, the American West is no theme park or romantic diorama. Notes from the Journey Westward offers an earnest glimpse into past and present landscapes that are real and imagined, mourned and celebrated and witnessed—for these, to borrow the words of Nazim Hikmet, are human landscapes. Wilkins isn’t the kind of poet to offer answers or satisfy himself with quaint definitions of self or place. He’s the kind of poet whose writing is as ambitious as it is beautiful, as honest as it is lyrical. The unflinching poems in this collection are a delight.”
|$16.00||96 pages (Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-36-8||2012|
Authors: Julie Marie Wade
Series: Marie Alexander Poetry Series
Postage Due is a sometimes-ekphrastic, often-epistolary scrapbook of poetic artifacts documenting an odd girl's coming of age. Within, we find aubades, fugues, and nocturnes, rapturous ambivalence and apologies without regret. Also, epiphanies: "Home is a fault line that/strikes the earth differently/ now, ruptures the pen's/smooth line like a polygraph." Interspersed with postcards to a lost past, fan letters to childhood heroes, and inhabited voices as varied as Hester Prynne, Mr. Clean, and Vanna White, this unconventional debut collection pulses with the kitsch and candor of a bold, postmodern kunstlerroman.
Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2004, she has received the Chicago Literary Award in Poetry, the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize, the Oscar Wilde Poetry Prize, the Literal Latte Nonfiction Prize, the AWP Intro Journals Award, the American Literary Review Nonfiction Prize, the Arts & Letters Nonfiction Prize, and 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. Julie is the author of 2 collections of lyric nonfiction, Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010) and Small Fires (Sarabande Books, 2011), as well as a poetry chapbook, Without (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.
“Julie Marie Wade’s Postage Due is a dazzling series of necessary utterances. Those addressed in these intriguingly immediate poems sometimes get what’s coming to them; other times, they are given their due, and this poet pays up. Wade uses the language of Christianity to section her book, fraught with joy and pain, to explore what we owe and to whom. She employs postcards, letters, and literary and pop culture heroines—most notably Oz’s Dorothy—to tell and retell of the dreamlike past. Come out, come out, wherever you are. In Postage Due, you will meet the (post-confessional) young lady who fell from a star.”
“Poised somewhere between the good girl’s nostalgia and the bad girl’s vengeance, the speaker in Postage Due recounts a personal history shaped by familial, religious, and societal proprieties. Wounded and rapturous at once, the letters that comprise this collection talk back to the heroes and villains of that harrowing history: girlfriends and parents, Mary Tyler Moore and The Stafford Shirt Man. The real addressee of these letters is, of course, the speaker’s younger self, whose vulnerability and fierceness the poems achingly recover. This book is as ardent as it is bitter, as painful as it is transfiguring.”
“ Julie Marie Wade’s Postage Due is a fierce homage to the past using a pocket knife. Her poems leave me breathless in their rough cutting into the experience of gender, sex, violence, regret, and revenge. This is a poetry that screams into what can sometimes be a hollow existence with a brave language that holds us unforgivingly in its grip."
—Dawn Lundy Martin
“The poet's job is to name the invisible and unnameable, to give voice to the unspeaking and unspeakable past—‘All of it a dream from which you suddenly wake up.’ Julie Marie Wade's poems do just that, in a formally dexterous volume of poems that fit individual memories of a repressive childhood against the art of Magritte, the icon Mary Richards, and the protagonist of a Carson McCullers’ novel. This marriage of high and low is made holy by the searing lyricism of the poems themselves. Brave, defiant, and thrilling, Postage Due dares to speak from ‘the trenches of language that divide us’—to sing back from those divides a suturing song.”
—James Allen Hall
|$16.00||128 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-44-3||2013|
Authors: Jane Lunin Perel
RED RADIO HEART’S central persona is Carnelia. The poems are narrated in the third person, a strategy which allows the poet to deeply explore Carnelia’s longing, irony, the great joy Carnelia experiences in living and the loss she encounters as she survives. These are poems of physical and emotional fracture, of intense love, of aging, and a simultaneous joy in the world and interrogation of its cruelty. The imagery is visceral. Carnelia’s heart is a ‘red radio’ broadcasting terror and the rhapsodic.
Jane Lunin Perel has published four books of verse poetry: The Lone Ranger and the Neo American Church,1975, The Fishes: A Graphic/ Poetic Essay with artist/ photographer James Baker, Providence College Press,1977, Blowing Kisses to the Sharks, Copper Beech Press, 1978, and The Sea Is Not Full, Le’ dory Press, 1990.
She is a professor of English and Women’s Studies at Providence College where her courses include Creative Writing in Poetry, Gender and Genocide: A Study of Holocaust Literature, Women in Literature, Race, Class, and Gender in American Writing, and Searching for Venus: Exploring Ideals of Female Beauty and Love in History, Psychology and Literature. She is a grant recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and has had a residency at the MacDowell Colony. She lives in Warwick, R.I. with her husband, Dr. Morton Perel.
“The Muse for Jane Lunin Perel’s new book of poems is Artemis of Ephesus, mother and goddess of fertility living in exile in the scorched 21st century. The Muse comes through the voice of a woman, Carnelia, who speaks both of the corporeal, the metaphysical, and the personal as she interrogates the age. The voice is generous and lavish, funny and piercing. The book’s power comes from its exquisite pains and aching pleasures. Not only is the book a great sensory spectacle of rose gold and purple, but also it’s a book informed of heart and a skeptical, wind-ranging, blazing mind.”
-- Bruce Smith, author of Songs for Two Voices, University of Chicago Press
... ( but whereas)in Jane Lunin Perel’s verse poetry she corrals and shapes emotion through careful use of line breaks, in Red Radio Heart she cuts lose. I am reminded of Baudelaire’s dream of a poetic prose “supple and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the jibes of conscience.” What a perfect description of Red Radio Heart.
-- Peter Johnson, author of Rants and Raves: Selected and New Prose Poems, White Pine Press
“In Red Radio Heart, Jane Lunin Perel has given us a brilliant collection of prose poems. Whether celebrating the mundane, recounting the estrangement between mother and daughter, contemplating sex and religion, or grieving the loss of a loved one, poem after poem is imbued with nerve, wit, grace - and heart. We need more poetry like this, poetry that is as profound and poignant as it is bold and lyrical. Quite simply, Red Radio Heart is a gift.”
-- Mary A. Koncel, author of You Can Tell the Horse Anything, Tupelo Press
|$16.00||96 pages (Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-34-4||2012|
Authors: John Brandi
The World, The World, John Brandi’s new book of poems, is his first major collection in six years. In these poems he takes his cues from the works of Chinese painters, the travels of Basho, and the plain speech of his “shack-simple” contemporaries. Brandi’s collection reflects his keen ear, offbeat humor, spiritual insight and love for all that illuminates the mind and heart. In The World, the world, his longer poems are accompanied by suites of haiku and haibun, which distill the essence of his travels through the American high desert, the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent and the streets of old Kyoto. Brandi’s poems transform our idea of the world and our sense of place in it. “A Taoist sensibility,” according to Joanne Kyger, “poems of rare precision, charm and truth.” To which the late Janine Pommy Vega adds: “Brandi makes us long for the road back in—or out—to wherever it is we find ourselves.”
John Brandi, a native Californian, grew up hiking California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Big Sur coast and the Mojave Desert. He graduated from Cal State Northridge as an art and anthropology major in 1965, joined the Peace Corps and worked with Andean farmers in their struggle for land rights. After residencies in Alaska, Mexico and the California Sierras, he moved to New Mexico, built a cabin, raised two children, traveled the outback with Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki and began teaching as a poet in the schools. That Back Road In, poems from his Southwest excursions, was published by Wingbow Press, 1985.
San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman has said of Brandi: “He has been an open roader for much of his life and like his two great forbearers, Whitman and Neruda, has named the minute particulars, the details of his sojournings, infusing them with a whole gamut of feelings—compassionate, mischievous, loving and righteous. It’s what’s made his poetry one of the solid bodies of work that’s emerged from the North American West since the ‘60s.”
John Brandi’s work is informed by his deep sense of home life and by his far-reaching travels. His books include poetry, travel essays, modern American haiku, haibun, and poem broadsides issued in hand-colored letterpress editions. As a painter his mixed-media work is bright with expressionist colors, while his more subtle haiga paintings draw on Asian influences.
John Brandi lives with his wife, poet Renée Gregorio, in El Rito, New Mexico where he continues to write, paint and nurture a few melons in the garden. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, the White Pine World of Voices Poetry Award, and teaching grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. He gave the keynote address for the Haiku North America Conference in Ottawa, Canada, 2009; and for the Punjabi Haiku Conference, Punjab University, India, 2010. His papers are in the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
"John Brand's poems are simple enough, made out of whatever's at hand, they aren't highfalutin and won't make you rich, but they'll make you happier than you were before you read them. This new book reminds me how long and cold the winters are where he lives, not much to do but chop wood, write poems, and reach for someone you love. You could do a lot worse."
—Bill Porter/Red Pine
"A subtly-crafted compendium of geophysical/metaphysical perception shifts and non-static reflections by a world-poet, journeying yet always profoundly at home in this multi-layered Trickster world..."
—Ken Rodgers - Kyoto Journal
|$16.00||128 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-50-4||2013|
Authors: Ko Un
Translators: Clare You,Richard Silberg
Series: Korean Voices Series
This Side of Time is a new volume of translations of Ko Un’ short poems drawn from several of his collections in Korean and is a companion to The Three Way Tavern: Selected Poems also translated by Clare You and Richard Silberg. Ko Un is one of the most respected poets in Korea and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He is a prolific author with over 100 volumes of poetry as well as many volumes of fiction and non-fiction in his native Korean. His work had been widely translated into many languages and he has a number of books in English translation including: Beyond Self, Ten Thousand Lives, Songs for Tomorrow, and Little Pilgrim. He was imprisoned several times and lived for a decade as a Zen Monk before returning the secular world. He has recently been a professor at Seoul National University.
Ko Un is one of the best-known poets in Korea and abroad, and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is a prolific author with over 100 volumes of poetry as well as many volumes of fiction and non-fiction in his native Korean. His work has been widely translated into many languages, including a number of works in English translation such as The Three Way Tavern, Beyond Self, Ten Thousand Lives, Songs for Tomorrow, and Little Pilgrim. Ko Un was imprisoned several times during the military government in Korea and lived for a decade as a Zen Monk before returning the secular world. He is currently a professor at Seoul National University.
Clare You, is the Chair of the Center for Korean Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and received the Korean National Silver Medal of Culture in 2003 for her work in the advancement of Korean culture. She is author of two language textbooks including College Korean.
Richard Silberg is the associate editor of Poetry Flash, is author of five books of poetry including The Fields, and Doubleness and the book of essays Reading the Sphere.
“Ko Un’s poems evoke the open creativity and fluidity of nature, and funny turns and twists of Mind. Mind is sometimes registered in Buddhist terms — Buddhist practice being part of Ko Un’s background. Ko Un writes spare, short-line lyrics direct to the point, but often intricate in both wit and meaning. Ko Un has now traveled worldwide and is not only a major spokesman for all Korean culture, but a voice for Planet Earth Watershed as well.”
“Ko Un is a crucial poet for the twenty-first century, and this is an enormously fresh and vivid translation.”
“No one has done more for what is coming gradually but ever more clearly to be recognized as Korea’s literature of the twenty-first century.”
—David McCann, Director of the Korean Studies Institute at Harvard University
|$16.00||128 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-32-0||2012|
Authors: Carolyn Moore
Series: White Pine Press Poetry Prize
Moore’s lyrics, meditations and elegies use language from geology, botany and yes mathematics to explore the human condition.
“Carolyn Moore is a poet whose lyrics, meditations and elegies use language from geology, botany and yes mathematics to explore the human condition. What Euclid’s Third Axiom Neglects To Mention about Circles invites the reader to explore a mature writer’s interests. She uses the conventions of contemporary poetry with confidence, but much of the lyricism comes from a vocabulary that is not often used from the scientific categories previously listed. However, these poems share a deep faith in the power of poetry to connect a life in science, the complexities of family, recognition of desire and suffering to a passion for words. That connection propels this collection and reminds us that there are always new words to learn and use like “vugs”.”
—Patricia Spears Jones
Carolyn Moore’s poetry has garnered many awards and honors, including The New Millennium
Writing Award, the Foley Poetry Prize, the H.G. Roberts Foundation’s Poetry Prize, and the C.
Hamilton Bailey Fellowship from Literary Arts, Inc. Her four chapbooks won their respective competitions: Against a Second Fall (2005), The Great Uncluttering (2009), The Flavors of Quarks and Blame (2009), and The Seven Deadlies (2012). Moore taught at Humboldt State University (Arcata, California) until able to eke out a living as a freelance writer. She now works from the last vestige of the family farm in Tigard, Oregon.
“With the precision of a mathematician and the compassion of a poet, Carolyn Moore reminds us how we are bound to our loved ones by the things they leave behind. In these exquisitely wrought poems, she ‘turns to geology, resolute and refining’ and to ‘salvation by botany’ to ease the burden of memory. Moore’s poems welcome us into the solace of ‘the circle’s elegance: to the line returning to itself.”
|$16.00||96 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-47-4||2013|
Authors: Mario Benedetti
Translators: Louise Popkin
Witness is the first collection of Benedetti’s poetry in English translation to draw on thirty of his published collections from 1948 - 2009 thereby presenting the full range of his poetic voice. Benedetti (1920 - 2009) regarded as one of Latin America’s most important writers of the 20th century, equally at home in fiction as well as poetry, is not well known in the English speaking world.
Mario Benedetti (1920 - 2009) regarded as one of Latin America’s most important writers of the 20th century and one of Uruguay's most prolific writers. He excelled in all literary genres: novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, political articles, and polemical songs. Benedetti's seemingly inexhaustible creative power parallels his constant activity to improve the sociopolitical situation of his country.
Louise B. Popkin resides in the Boston area, where she teaches Spanish at Harvard's Division of Continuing Education. She also spends several months each year in Montevideo, Uruguay, and her translations of Latin American poetry, theater and fiction have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Among the writers whose work she has translated are Mauricio Rosencof, Mario Benedetti, Idea Vilariño, Eduardo Del Llano, Claribel Alegría, Eduardo Galeano, Leo Masliah, Mempo Giardinelli, Amanda Berenguer, Hugo Achugar, Hiber Conteris, and Teresa Porzcekanski.
“Louise Popkin, who spends long periods in Uruguay, knew the poet, heard him read, consulted with him, and has studied his work and entorno, gives us the first really satisfying, accurate, and deeply-felt English translations that capture Mario’s poetic voice throughout all its periods and range. She pays attention to local usage and brilliantly recreates the spoken quality of these poems. Popkin’s is a true labor of love, but it is much more than that. I believe Mario, at long last, would be thrilled. I am.”
“It gives me great pleasure to see the work of Mario Benedetti, one of the great poets of our language, made available to US readers in Louise Popkin's wonderful translations.
Louise's carefully crafted adaptations of Mario's poems convey all the wisdom, nostalgia and irony that inform his verses in language that retains their musicality. Anyone who has translated poetry will appreciate what an accomplishment that represents.”
|$20.00||383 pages (Original Trade Paperback)||ISBN: 978-1-935210-31-3||2012|