Five Oceans in a Teaspoon is an innovative, beautiful and moving collection of short visual poems written by muckraking journalist/poet Dennis J Bernstein, visualized by pioneer designer/author Warren Lehrer.
Thirty-five years after the publication of their book/play French Fries, considered a classic in visual literature and expressive typography, Bernstein and Lehrer have reunited to complete a book of visual poetry they began forty years ago. As with his journalism, Bernstein’s poems reflect the struggle of everyday people trying to survive in the face of adversity.
"This is a joyous collection, taking joy in the sun on the Rhine and in the “big red table umbrella dripping down on all sides”; in “droplets of sweat slipping to the parched ground” and in ships sailing “like sugar cubes through molasses”; in a boy in a red Alpine hat and a grandfather with a mandolin. The poems travel through the Black Forest, but they also travel through four generations—generations who, in the poems of this book, are lovingly connected." —Janet Burroway, Pulitzer Prize Nominated Novelist, author of Imaginative Writing and Raw Silk
"If you want a rich taste of travel, an excursion into the Black Forest, a cruise down the Rhine, and can’t afford the ticket or the time, let Joe Carey guide you with his beautifully observed, loving travel poems to the places you might go if you could, in his Black Forest Dreams. The poems are wise, clear, and exhilarating." —Steve Katz, author of The Exaggerations of Peter Prince, Saw and Moving Parts
The tale of Laia, the Butterfly Princess, is a body image parable for children that inspires them to embrace the uniqueness of their design. Follow Laia as she explores unknown lands and finds friends who have body differences like her own. Laia’s continuing story encourages all children to discover diverse friends in unlikely places.
"These poems are at once cerebral, naturalistic, and elegiac. Blessedly free of any dogma, they are a most welcome and refreshing read." -Chris Holbrook
"If as readers we are willing to consider Einstein s posit that the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one, then Broken Frequencies offers proof of this connection and more." -Audrey Naffziger
Broken Frequencies confronts the disconnect between the present and the past in our personal lives. Each poem is a search for meaning in an otherwise random sequence of events which lean always toward the relationships which lend significance to our lives, the connections between those we love and those we have lost, and the many possible futures each moment implies. From The Heart s Sad Music, there is no escaping the realization that We are surrounded by the ghosts of those we love.
"An unflinching reckoning with the traumas of one's life and those inherited through a history of exacted injustices "Some men find nothing, and others/ find omens everywhere," writes C. Dale Young in Prometeo, a collection whose speaker is a proverbial "child of fire." In poems that thrive off of their distinct voice, the speaker confronts generational and lived trauma and their relationship to his multi-ethnicity. We are presented with the idea of the past's burial in the body and its constellatory manifestations-both in the speaker and those around him-in disease and pain, but also in strength and a capacity for intimacy with others and nature. Grounded in precise language, Young's examination of the past and its injuries turns into a celebration of the self. In stark, exuberant relief, the speaker proclaims "...I was splendidly blended, genetically engineered/ for survival." Resilient, Young's poems find beauty in landscape, science, and meditation"
"An introspective lyric on how the opiate crisis alters families and futures. In her debut collection, Reliquary, Abigail Wender addresses losing a brother to prison and, ultimately, opiate addiction. The text also considers womanhood, motherhood, and marriage in lyric poems that confront the complicated nature of grief, the effects of illness on family, and how love-even bliss-figure into grief's equation. The collection suspends time, as the speaker weaves between flashbacks and the present, assembling fragments and vignettes of her childhood and marriage. In the book's moments of solace and interiority, such as in the poem, "Hiking," Wender contemplates how to hold on and to what. In this particular poem's reflection on forgiveness, the speaker asks "Are there words for us,/ high on an uppermost branch?," and the collection responds with a resounding yes"
An energetic exploration of the expanse of language translated and otherwise transformed
In Renditions Reginald Gibbons conducts an ensemble of poetic voices, using the works of a varied, international selection of writers as departure points for his translations and transformations. The collection poses the idea that all writing is, at least abstractly, an act of translation, whether said act “translates” observation into word or moves ideas from one language to another. Through these acts of transformation, Gibbons infuses the English language with stylistic aspects of other languages and poetic traditions. The resulting poems are imbued with a sense of homage that allows us to respectfully reimagine the borders of language and revel in the fellowship of idea sharing. In this tragicomedy of the human experience and investigation of humanity’s effects, Gibbons identifies the “shared underthoughts that we can (all) sense:” desire, love, pain, and fervor.
An investigation, performed through storytelling, of the constructed beliefs of society and individuals
In this his eighth collection of poetry (and fifth with Four Way Books), Prufer’s career-spanning talent for estranging the familiar—and also for recording the unthinkable with eerie directness—recurs, enhanced and transformed by the collection’s meta-level attention to the role of fiction in our civic lives. Prufer describes, often through personae, a near future, tracing there the political gambit of Fake News and the role of the imagination in our self-understanding (whether it’s cogent or delusional). Via both satire and direct address (to the point of reader-squeamishness), Prufer aims to understand the ugly-casual atmosphere of our often racialized, pervasive distrust. The Art of Fiction fundamentally understands that fictions are deployed to divide us, and they work: they get under our skin. Prufer powerfully explores the roles of imagination and art in how we explain ourselves to ourselves.
The poetry of a feminist woman of faith, The Long Grass counters the losses endemic to our broken lives—beset by climate change, childhood abuse, gender stereotype and inequity, death itself—with the reassuring persistence of the natural world and the enduring promise of human love. The collection reveals an urban landscape by way of its fecund gaps and the corresponding moments of connection between a daughter and her mother. “The long grass is mown but not yet raked,” the title poem says, invoking Whitman’s graves of cut grass, but highlighting not just the scythe to come but the chastisement we experience throughout life. Rhoades is equally adept at ecstatic odes, full of word play and joy, that deepen these complicated looks at our crowded existences. “In the bright world” of the twenty-first century, the goddess, Demeter, commutes on the Staten Island Ferry in a sequence plaited through the collection reminding us of the lively gods we are and all that we cannot be. In a voice at once calm and urgent, The Long Grass sings in the haunting psalms of our difficult days.
A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing
“What Happens Is Neither / the end nor the beginning. / Yet we’re wired to look for signs,” offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres’s latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces in and around grief—in varying proximity to it and from different vantage points. She writes both structurally formal poems that enfold the emotionality of loss and free verse that loosens the latch on memory and lets us into the sensory worlds of the speaker’s childhood and present. In poems set in two countries and homes, Torres considers what it means to leave a mark, vanish, and stay in one place. In a profound act of recollection and preservation, Torres shows us how to release part of ourselves but remain whole.
"When Wolves Become Birds" is poetry about women becoming powerful and, "making their own heavens from the pearly gates of their teeth / a smile that bites back / like a dog in the junkyard…" "When Wolves Become Birds" asks, "so what if we scratch a little, if we sting a little, if the blood reminds the spineless we are still here?" This is Olivia Gatwood’s "New American Best Friend" meets Silver RavenWolf’s "To Stir a Magick Cauldron," casting and conjuring female empowerment with the talons of a bird of prey. To those girls figuring out how to shed their insecurities and trust again in the broad expanse of their wings. To women finding themselves at a crossroads in life. This book will remind you of your strengths: Wolf Girl, Get Back Your Wings, and Dare to Fly.
At the age of twenty, Cheryl Wilder got behind the wheel when she was too drunk to drive. Her friend in the passenger seat ended up in a coma, and Wilder spent the night in jail. Anything That Happens follows Wilder's journey from a young adult consumed by shame to a woman learning to remake herself. Along the way, Wilder marries, has a son, divorces, and cares for her dying mother. Anything That Happens examines what it takes to reconcile a past grave mistake, a present role as caregiver to many, and a future that stretches into one long second chance.
How does consciousness inhabit liminal spaces? In Jeffrey Harrison’s Between Lakes, the death of the speaker’s father places him in the ever-shifting zone between the living and the dead while also sending him back into his journey to manhood. Old arguments are reimagined: What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a participant in one’s life as well as a witness and recorder of the lives of others? The exploration of these questions leads to new discoveries, including the way time reshapes the vision of one’s life and alters relationships, remaking a shared history. Harrison refrains from explanation, instead offering detail after trustworthy detail—less to prove a case than to imagine a life true to the original. Whether observing nature with steadfast precision or sensing the presence of his absent father while doing chores, Harrison sings the songs of experience in late middle life.
Poetry. Jewish Studies. "Writing about the Holocaust can be difficult now, not that it was ever easy. It has become myth or something people use as a metaphor for something they object to; those who know, who went through it, are dying off. Those who deny what happened multiply. To make fresh powerful poems rooted in Shoah is amazing."—Marge Piercy
Enlightened Continuum, the third and final book in the Lake Parking Trilogy, is a collection of lanturne poems that when written on the page look to be in the shape of lanterns in using their 1-2-3-4-1 syllables per line structure. A trio of lanturnes are used to illuminate each of the 249 topics. The book is about youth and their search for understanding, their inquisitive nature, their desire to conquer, and sometimes being trampled upon. It draws upon the dark and light of life, taking notice of ideas both small and large. It is a way of working toward balance. These poems are food for thought, combining the yesterday and today as indicators of tomorrow's trajectory.
"Billie R. Tadros's Graft Fixation is fascinated by what comes together after a break-it's never quite the old form, but it's not fully a new one, either. The poems work around a car crash and subsequent injury in scattered, piecemeal forms, mirroring the way trauma isn't digested all at once or in a simple, understandable manner. The speaker knows they will never be who they used to be, but they seek a new agency, a fresh way to conceive of their identity in relation to and transcending the body. These poems are frantic and jagged, but they move towards an evolution." —Ruth Baumann, author of Thornwork
John Murillo’s second book is a reflective look at the legacy of institutional, accepted violence against Blacks and Latinos and the personal and societal wreckage wrought by long histories of subjugation. A sparrow trapped in a car window evokes a mother battered by a father’s fists; a workout at an iron gym recalls a long-ago mentor who pushed the speaker “to become something unbreakable.” The presence of these and poetic forbears—Gil Scott-Heron, Yusef Komunyakaa—provide a context for strength in the face of danger and anger. At the heart of the book is a sonnet crown triggered by the shooting deaths of three Brooklyn men that becomes an extended meditation on the history of racial injustice and the notion of payback as a form of justice.
Mostly Human's central character, Round Baby plump infant, tumescent teen rules these poems. Round Baby is the Gen-X offspring of the ERASERHEAD baby and Love's Baby Soft, herald of the darkly absurd late 20th century. These poems are as crafted as a spacecraft and brave enough to hip-check the charming abyss.
Sapphire Stars is a collection of poems devoted to love. Here, we uncover truth and passion when contradictions to both rush into the heart. “Illuminated,” “In the Distance,” “Unhindered,” and “Dark Blue Encore” are filled with lines passionately placed to reveal a journey of the heart. This collection is for the dreamers and the fire signs. It is for those who have loved with everything they have and lost, only to love again, because that’s what life is all about. Saxophones, Electric Guitars, Dark Blue Skies, and Sapphire Stars light up the heart in this collection. These poems are for the romantics and those who believe our lives are meant to be extraordinary and filled with a unique and grand purpose.
"It's not often you see a whole life that's gone into a book, but here we have just that. Janice Northerns lives this life intensely, and lives intensely in language. At the core of this book are the raw elements of birth, love, and death; while surrounding them are sophisticated yet impassioned readings of the violence of history, class, and social codes. These are poems to be read both largely and closely, for the stories they tell, and for their turns of poetic craft. You don't just read this book, you enter it." —William Wenthe
Ryan Meyer departs from the horror themes of 2018's Haunt in his new collection of poems, Tempest. He explores fear, hope, and self-identity through striking fictional vignettes and surreal personal accounts. Tempest is thus a marriage between the dichotomies of musical, rhythmic poetic dialogue, and the deeper, innate anxieties that accompany change. Discover your truest self and brave the Tempest.
The Keeping is a heartfelt collection that explores growing up in rural Oklahoma, engaging with the natural world, and paying tribute to women. From the very first poem entitled "Our Mothers Would Not Let Us Watch," Linda Neal Reising casts the reader into the landscape of her childhood, a rural part of Oklahoma, where the lead and zinc mines played out years before, leaving "those gaping mouths that never swallowed." She goes on to people the landscape with characters--a father who went to school with Mickey Mantle in "No. 7 and Other Heroes," a cousin convinced he is being hunted by the "F.B.I., C.I.A., Russians," and teenagers attempting to navigate adolescence during wartime, concerned with being "faroutgroovyheavyman." Intertwined in this section is the author's Native American roots.
Cynthia Linkas isn’t afraid to express the kind of happiness that would stun most of us into silence. At a daughter's wedding, she’s “remembering how many times we’ve tumbled oh, how we’ve tumbled / into a net so strong, /so tightly woven.”
Her love is deeply serious. Barn owls mate for life, and “when one mate dies, the other spins his head / around over his back and stops hunting.” And to her husband, she describes, “one skin stretched over two beings.” In her family life, and her music teaching, her religion of praise is grounded in the body: She sees the tall winter trees that surround her yard as “muscular, towering angels“ and an infant daughter as “soon to turn” a “strong yell/ into fiery song.” Linkas has music flowing in her veins, and reading these poems will make you braver about acknowledging the depth of your own joy. —Alan Feldman, winner of the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry; Author of Immortality and The Golden Coin
“What Happens is Neither/ the end nor the beginning. /Yet we’re wired to look for signs,” offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres’ latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces in and around grief—in varying proximity to it and from different vantage points. She writes both structurally formal poems that enfold the emotionality of loss and free verse that loosens the latch on memory and lets us into the sensory worlds of the speaker’s childhood and present. In poems set in two countries and homes, Torres considers what it means to leave a mark, vanish, and stay in one place. In a profound act of recollection and preservation, Torres shows us how to release part of ourselves but remain whole.
SAVAGERY joins Mehta's oeuvre as a reflection of what it means to be indigenous in today's increasingly hostile, post-colonial America. Reflecting on self, place, and space and with strong confessional leanings, SAVAGERY joins the ranks of other much-needed indigenous poetry of the era to provide a lens (and mirror) into indigenous issues and disparities while also providing a constant offering of hope. These poems are raw and very, very necessary.
“This Selected group of poems illuminates some harsh realities regarding identity. There are poems that smack a consciousness sideways. The poems have a real grit to them. For the reader, each poem will be an eye-opening experience.” –Poet/Professor Stanley E. Banks, Blue Beat Syncopation (Bookmark Press)
“With sharp and incisive language, each piece provides an immersive moment, inviting the reader into the experience of growing up half Cherokee, of self-harm and losing friends, of teaching and aging and loving and living in the Pacific Northwest. Nothing is veiled, nothing is alluded to, and their humor is ever-present, wry and witty. Any writer who begins a poem with My psychologist says (don’t you love when poets start like this?) has levels of self-awareness and genre savvy that speak to years of dedication to identity and craft.” –Brenna Crotty, Editor, Selected Poems
As you delve into this poetic and photographic masterpiece, you are in for an inspiring double journey into the mysteries of Love and life. Outwardly you will travel through New England via the visual images of the mountain vistas, the riverbanks, and the coastlines. This stunning visual imagery captures all four seasons in New England as well as the whole diurnal and nocturnal span.
In his debut collection, Kelvin Parker documents the pendulum swing from loss to love, trauma to triumph, and oppression to opportunity, the repetitious movement that has come to define Black life in America. Offering reflections on history, scholarship, criminal justice, childhood psychology, and more, Parker gives a lesson on Black identity that all readers can access. His lesson is taught through insightful works of poetry that capture the resilience, survival, and humanity of Black experiences. More than just a book of poetry, Me in America is a call to action. It shines a scrutinizing light on the complex realities of this country, a nation founded on the pain, creativity, and excellence of Black people. It inspires readers to take a stand and advocate for lasting social change. No matter who you are or what you look like, Me in America will leave you with a thorough understanding of racial identity in America.
"These poems are of a seer - unwrapping time, being, the Change we are igniting. The considerations are hard won — who we are, what is coming upon us in this age, the passage we are entering and the exit - the seer knows it. There are no exhortations, no longings for forecasts,only the seeing and the forthcoming Being that envelopes us more and more "until all that is left of us". We need this wisdom book, clear elixirs from the Source. True mind-beauty, caved with humanity - beam, everyone must touch this volume in order to traverse the present age, Bravissimo!"—Juan Herrera, 21st Poet Laureate of the United States
In Eleanor Kedney's BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY, a brother's heroin addiction is at the center of a family where love is difficult to accept from one another, yet it is the thing that delivers understanding and forgiveness to a sister who bravely carries the family legacy.
"Grief, as we all know, is a country without borders, without laws. In her stunning first collection, Eleanor Kedney speaks to it in a language of metaphor, of love and loss, a language of 'howl, full throttle, singing the way children sing / before they learn not to.' These brave, forthright poems deal with a lost, addicted brother, an absent father, a mother making do with a fate as 'thin and papery as moth wings.' Her true subject is pain and the solace of poetry in dealing with it. Indeed, 'the wind is a dangerous thing, ' as is the courage it takes to observe and take note of the beautiful colors of 'a cold and long white sky.' There is magic in these poems, the magic of the imagination used to make remedy and comfort out of the pain of loss. A bravo performance, in so many important ways." —Philip Schultz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
In Karen Kevorkian's third poetry book, the title, Quivira, is a metaphor for a place of unimaginable riches, never to be found, which lured early explorers across the arid southwest. The intensity of such longing is not unknown by those making contemporary quests. The force of such feeling, in sharp contrast to the spare, particular beauties of the High Desert, speaks not only of desire but also to the rough accommodations made for desire unsatisfied. The book is personal but the personal is never detached from events of culture and history.
From the rural South Texas of the nineteen fifties to a desert mesa in New Mexico many years later, Anyone’s Son illuminates the moments of a life animated by the author’s yearning, at its root sexual, for the company of another man. In five sections, each one corresponding to a stage in the life delineated here, the author offers scenes from his childhood on a small farm, as well as moments of conflicted adolescence. He explores unmitigated sexual pleasure, sometimes fraught with anguish and shame. He remembers scenes from marriage and fatherhood, from the wreckage and rebuilding that came at midlife. And finally, glimpses from a second marriage, this time unconflicted, to a man, to the right man. At its heart, Anyone’s Son poses an implicit question: What is identity?
An extended poetic sequence by Leslie Ullman. Ms. Ullman is author of four poetry collections, most recently Progress on the Subject of Immensity (University of New Mexico Press, 2013. Her first collection, Natural Histories, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and Slow Work Through Sand won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She has published a hybrid book of craft essays and writing exercises, Library of Small Happiness (3: A Taos Press, 2017). She is Professor Emerita at University of Texas-El Paso and teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. Now a resident of Taos, New Mexico, she teaches skiing in the winters at Taos Ski Valley.