FORTHCOMING BOOKS FROM THE POET'S PRESS/ YOGH & THORN:
Dante Alighieri. Purgatorio. Translated by Jacob Rabinowitz.
Two Russian Exiles: The Fiction of Artsybashev and Andreyev.
Brett Rutherford. The Pumpkined Heart: Pennsylvania Poems..
An Egyptian Reader.
The Diplodocus: A Poet's Press Sampler and Catalog.
Group 74: The New York Poets Cooperative Anthology.
John Burnett Payne. Emily and Walt, Walt and Emily.(Expanded Edition)
BARBARA A. HOLLAND'S
OUT OF AVERNUS: THE EXILED SORCERESS AND THE FALLEN PRIESTESS.
Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) was called “the Sybil of Greenwich Village,” not only for her sometimes eerie presence and her incantatory readings, but also because she wrote a number of powerful poems on mythological women. In 1976, the poet went off to the Macdowell Colony in New Hampshire with a working manuscript collecting her unique “impressions and impersonations” of famed or unknown women who, “in conflict with the gods or the mores and customs of their cultures, are alienated.”
The manuscript she brought back to her Greenwich Village home yielded some powerful poems that she read for the rest of her life, inhabiting the spirits of the classical Cassandra, Sybil, and Eurydice; the Biblical Lilith, Hagar, and the Witch of Endor; the medieval snake-woman Melusine and Wagner’s Grail-temptress Kundrie; two 12th-century Hindu saints, and even a Revolutionary War-era witch who spied for General George Washington at Valley Forge.
Seen in the context of the feminist poetry being written in New York in the 1970s, Holland’s work can be seen as a recasting and re-voicing of women’s magical attributes, both for good and evil.
This is the 257th publication of The Poet's Press. Published October 2019. 6x9 inches, 80 pp. Print edition available for $12.95 at Amazon (see link below).
Emilie Glen (1906-1995) was a staggeringly prolific New York City-based poet, whose published work spans five decades with thousands of little magazine and newspaper credits worldwide. This new chapbook supplements the four-volume set available from The Poet’s Press, containing newly-discovered poems and prose from published magazines and from manuscripts. Since the cache of published poems included the first publication of one of Glen’s best-known poems, “Late to the Kitchen,” that poem is also included here, along with a link to an audio of Emilie Glen reading the poem.
First recognized by H.L. Mencken and published in his American Mercury, she started as a fiction writer and then gravitated to narrative poetry, writing and publishing thousands of poems in magazines around the world. Glen’s poems are an ongoing narrative saga of New York high and low, as well as a poignant saga of family sorrows. The best of them are intimate character portraits, short stories compressed into a dramatic, reader-friendly style, poetry the untrained reader need not fear. A strong musical thread runs through this collection as well: Glen was a child prodigy pianist and came to New York City to study at The Juilliard School before the poetry Muse asserted her primacy, so Glen's Manhattan is always a musical island. Her years of acting in children’s theater also come to the fore in this collection.
This is the 254th publication of The Poet's Press. Published October 2019. 6x9 inches, 48 pp. A PDF ebook. $2.99. Print edition available for $12.00 at Lulu.com (see button below) and also from Amazon (see link below).
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JODY AZZOUNI. HEREAFTER LANDSCAPES.
As cheerful as Timon of Athens or Anacreon, philosopher-poet Jody Azzouni unleashes this cycle of aphoristic, terse and dark visions of the world after global warming, nuclear winter, pollution, mutation and plague have come and gone. There's no "rapture" to rescue us, just the hard light of a ruined world. Back in the Cold War, Bertrand Russell noted that the smartest thinkers were the most gloomy about the prospects for humankind, and this cycle inhabits that world of intellectual worry. And yet there is beauty in desolation, and every dystopian artwork, by depicting what might and must not come to pass, may serve as a warning. Hereafter Landscapes might be the butterfly that changes history by changing the hearts of a few — or it might be locked into a time capsule as a prime specimen of post-millennial gloom. However one takes this sombre and linguistically rich little book, it comes from a serious thinker, versed in myth, science and art. In keeping with the book's theme, we chose to decorate it with the paintings and engravings of the artist most associated with the terror of the Sublime: John Martin. Martin's vast murals terrified crowds in London, and his engravings of Paradise Lost and Biblical cataclysms gave nightmares to generations of Victorian schoolchildren.
Selected as one of the six best chapbooks of 2010 by Presa magazine: "The most ambitious production in this round-up, complete with beautifully printed cover art and illustrations from the paintings and engravings of John Martin . . . The poetry has a prophetic quality that reminds us of the apocalyptic writings of William Blake. Azzouni also deals with the big themes, unafraid of directly engaging the spectre of potential environmental & nuclear disaster. His work is didactic, but not in a bad way, since the issues raised are the very issues of human meaning and survival. "
New second edition October, 2019. This is the 256th publication of The Poet's Press.
56 pp., 8-1/2 x 7 inches, full color, $12.95 paperback.
BRETT RUTHERFORD. WHIPPOORWILL ROAD: THE SUPERNATURAL POEMS (Expanded and Revised 6th Edition, 2019).
is the expanded sixth edition of Brett Rutherford's landmark poetry
collection, Whippoorwill Road: The Supernatural Poetry. This
extraordinary 418-page paperback contains all the poet's supernatural
poems, including major new poems added since the last edition. Praised by
Robert Bloch and Ray Bradbury, these may be the best supernatural poems
of our time. The writing ranks from the seriously Gothic
through the downright hilarious, including Gorgons, Egyptian
mummies, Golems, Lovecraftian horrors, vampires, werewolves, possessed sex toys
and stuffed animals, and the personal recollections of Fritz, the
hunchback assistant of Dr. Frankenstein. All of Rutherford's Lovecraft-related poems are collected in this volume -- more than 100 pages of Lovecratian items including all the poems written for the annual ceremonies at HPL's gravesite in Providence. Other major new items in this collection include the long narrative poem “Mrs. Friedman’s Golem,” and accounts of Pittsburgh’s radioactive grave-walking specter, the most alarming bed-and-breakfast stay of all time, a secret mental ward full of Lovecraft fans, and a young girl’s lessons in witchcraft in ancient Corinth.
This is the 255th publication of The Poet’s Press, under its Grim Reaper Books imprint.
Sixth edition, revised and expanded 2019. 414 pp., 6x9. ISBN 9781701296275 . $19.95.
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THE BECKONING EYE.
Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) was called “the Sybil of Greenwich Village.” Her poems of Greenwich Village’s Bohemia in its last decades are sharp and surreal takes from an outsider who fled a Wall Street job and chose to live among the writers and artists, a “full-time poet” when such a choice of profession was a guarantee of neglect and poverty. She is the flaneur of streets and harbors, of coffeehouses and lofts, always “alone in my voice” but eager to share her sharp and biting images and visions.
From the papers and notebooks of Barbara A. Holland comes The Beckoning Eye, this collection of 150 poems that appeared in little magazines, few of which have ever appeared in book form. Holland’s long-time publisher Brett Rutherford has also added 29 other poems, recovered or reconstructed from the poet’s notebooks and typed manuscripts. This is the third volume of publications from the Barbara A. Holland papers, following Medusa: The Lost First Chapbook and The Secret Agent.
Whether writing about doomed love affairs or her flirtation with the mysteries of Hindu religion; recreating the persona of a jealous witch, or an outraged Virgin Mary in grief at Calvary; playfully bouncing stars, moons, and mirror images in Magritte-inspired pre-dawn fantasies; or puzzling over her fellow residents of Gotham’s Bohemia, Holland is at turns brilliant, unnerving, and witty. Many of her poems are miniature opera arias, tightly-knotted in syntax, poetic hand-grenades disguised as walnuts. They are meant for reading and performing aloud, and unfurl their meanings on repetition.
This is the 253rd publication of The Poet's Press. Published September 2019. 6x9 inches, 212 pp. paperback. $14.95. ISBN 9781695033023. A PDF ebook will also be published.
SECRET AGENT AND OTHER POEMS FROM NOTEBOOKS AND CHAPBOOKS.
Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) was best-known for her alarming and terrifying supernatural and myth-infused poems, and for her large cycle of poems that transferred the surrealist visions of Belgian painter René Magritte to the gritty streets of Greenwich Village. The never-published manuscript titled The Secret Agent is something very different: a spiritual and psychological battleground. These are not freestanding poems such as one finds in little magazines, but a series of interlocked self-debates in which Hindu gods, un-named lovers, and a mysterious Secret Agent who may have stepped from a Magritte canvas, vie for attention, and for the poet’s soul. Like Rilke’s Duino Elegies, these strange poems, full of arresting, pin-prick images and startling lines, may defy easy interpretation.
This volume also includes the full text of another long-unavailable chapbook, Lens, Light and Sound, and a completion of Holland’s longest and most unusual unfinished work, a text for a macabre cat story in the manner of Edward Gorey, now titled Buster, or The Unclaimed Urn, the life, adventures, and sad fate of a flying housecat.
To round out the collection, Holland’s longtime publisher Brett Rutherford has added sketches and unknown poems from the poet’s notebooks and manuscripts, now available for the first time. Finally, the book concludes with a set of Holland’s supernatural “warhorses,” the most powerful incantatory poems she performed for enthralled audiences all over the Northeastern United States.
This is the 252nd publication of The Poet's Press. Published August 2019. 6x9 inches, 158 pp. paperback. $14.95. ISBN 9791689221405. A PDF ebook will also be published.
MEDUSA: THE LOST FIRST CHAPBOOK.
Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) made her entrance into the New York poetry scene around 1961 with a self-published chap-book, Medusa. The reaction to its up-front mix of witchcraft, Satanism, and Chthonic mythology among friends, family, and fellow poets must have been discouraging, for the book vanished and Holland never referred to it again. The haunting title-poem, “Medusa” was published and read aloud frequently, and, by the early 1970s, the poet was regaling her audiences with other alarming and terrifying supernatual and myth-infused poems. The Gothic vein in her writing was not to be suppressed.
The discovery of the sole remaining copy of the chapbook led to the creation of this book. To round out the collection, Holland’s long-time publisher Brett Rutherford has added sketches and unknown poems from the poet’s notebooks and manuscripts, now available for the first time. The range of work presented here shows Holland’s engagement with Greenwich Village and its eccentric people, with the inner demons of thwarted desire, and with the overarching power of nature: moon, wind, woods, and ocean.
Fasten your windows, New York: Barbara A. Holland is back!
This is the 251st publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 9781686840289, 80 pp., 6 x 9 inches. $12.95 from Amazon. The PDF ebook is $3.99.
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OF THE CAROUSEL.
Burt Rashbaum has had the rare privilege of being one of five operators at The Carousel of Happiness, a re-imagining of a 1910 carousel with animals hand-carved by Scott Harrison, a Vietnam veteran who used his decades of carving to heal himself from the horrors of war. With ridership approaching one million, Rashbaum has had the opportunity to see a wide spectrum of life, and how riders react to the beauty of the carousel. In describing his experiences, he would often say, “I see magic there,” but when asked what this magic was, his explanation never seemed to match the actual experience.
Rashbaum knew he could only relate his observations in the one genre that can explain the unexplainable, through poetry.With a fiction-writer’s eye and a poet’s sensibility, he crafted these 21 poems as one sequence to reflect the beauty and wonder of The Carousel, the healing that occurs there, the life lessons, the love and indescribable joy that, as one poem states, is “barely contained within the human form.”
Scott Harrison, the carver of the carousel animals, wrote: “For me who, during the carving process, never knew the future extent of its magic and meaning, [the poems are] a particularly extraordinary description of what goes on under the roof in ways only an observant operator who stands in the middle of the spinning creatures could know.”
Some of the poems are in the shape of the carousel, others evoke its movement, the kinetic energy of the place and the enveloping bombast of the 1913 Wurlitzer band organ that plays while the carousel spins. While the words whirl like a rider on the carousel, when they are read aloud they tell stories. Open this book and enter The Carousel of Happiness, become a rider and experience what countless thousands from the world over have shared.
This is the 250th publication of The Poet's Press. 72 pp., 6 x 9 inches, printed in full color. $14.95 from Amazon.
TWENTY MINUTES OF CALM: POEMS OF NATURE, SCENE & SEASON.
New Jersey-born poet David Messineo’s ninth collection, Twenty Minutes of Calm, is his first to focus exclusively on Nature. His selection of works on “Nature, Scene and Season” range from idealized nature as painted in China in the 17th century, to the raw discomfort of a rural American winter; from a cave in Australia to the placid shores of a lake in the Pine Barrens; from the Amazon in Brazil to the rivers and hills of northern New Jersey.
Messineo is widely known as the publisher and poetry editor of the award-winning Sensations Magazine. He is one of the nation’s longest-serving independent literary magazine publishers, and he runs one of the longest-lasting poetry reading series still active in America, the Sensations Magazine Creative Events Series. Much of his published poetry centers on American history, and as an editor he has persuaded many other poets to create narrative and lyric poems inspired by historical events and persons. In this role he has helped shape what is now informally called The Palisades Poetry Movement. His previous books are First Impressions, Suburban Gothic, A Taste of Italy, A Taste of Brazil, Restoration, Formal, The Search for the Sapphire Robe, and Historiopticon.
This is the 249th publication of The Poet's Press. 56 pp., 6 x 9 inches, designed and typeset in the manner of a Roycroft Book, printed in full color. ISBN 978-0-922558-01-8. $13.95 from Amazon.
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BARBARA A. HOLLAND'S
AUTUMN NUMBERS. NEW EBOOK EDITION.
Autumn Numbers was published as a chapbook by our Grim Reaper Books imprint in 1980. We described it then as “a wry set of poems. … [with] many surreal and whimsical autumnals.” It included “End of an Era,” addressed to the goddess of Victory, fallen from the arch in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. For this new 2019 ebook edition, we have added some other Holland autumn-themed poems, including the terrifying witch-poem, “Apples of Sodom and Gomorrah,” and Holland’s most powerful single poem, “Not Now, Wanderer!”
Philadelphia-raised poet Barbara Adams Holland was the daughter of an archaeologist who specialized in Greek ruins; her mother was a Professor of Latin. She earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at University of Pennsylvania and completed work on a doctorate. She labored on the staff of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, conducted genealogical research, and worked as a stockbroker. A descendant of the Revolutionary-era Adams line, she was a rugged individualist, choosing to live off the tiny earnings of a small bundle of stocks and bonds so that she could be a full-time poet living in Manhattan. From the 1960s until her death in 1988, she did just that, publishing hundreds of poems and haunting all the poetry venues of New York. Her Gothic and surrealist poems, and her gaunt appearance, earned her the nickname of “The Sybil of Greenwich Village.” So powerful were her readings that audiences frequently wept, and many poets who heard her were inspired to emulate her or even to write poems in response to hers. She is still a legend on the New York poetry scene.
This is the 248th publication of The Poet's Press. To order the PDF ebook for $2.00, click below.
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ALTERNATE LIVES. NEW EBOOK EDITION.
Poet, novelist, and storyteller Shirley Powell is best known for ghostly tales, turning the American Midwest of her childhood, and the New York of her later years, into spine-tingling, tantalizing stories in prose or verse. Alternate Lives weaves the supernatural and transcendental with a very different strain, retelling the lives of seemingly-ordinary people — people who do not read poems — in sparkling images and words. We meet and grow to understand a shepherd, a wise farmer, a lonely African-American farm wife hidden away by a jealous white husband, a cemetery caretaker, and several urban homeless. There’s always the dark, Chthonic undercurrent, though, as she veins into the very cells of someone frozen in the snow, and another who lived and died in a tree, “leaving my satisfied skeleton wherever scavengers let fall the bits of me.” In another poem she has entered the soil, saying, “I am really gone this time.” The Woodstock Times reviewer cited the book’s “original visions of country living, strange tales unadorned with sentimentality.” The book features montage art illustrations by Mildred Barker.
This is the 247th publication of The Poet's Press. To order the PDF ebook for $2.99, click below.
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THE LUST FOR BLUEPRINTS. 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
Poets are expected to have, or imply, a philosophy in
their writing. But when a philosopher threatens to write poetry, most
readers head for the hills. This makes the debut book of
philosopher-poet Jody Azzouni all the more astonishing. It dazzles
and delights. Wry, sardonic, myth-infused, and precise as a
scalpel blade, this 1999 collection revels in dark imagery and playful
erudition. All the poems here were published in literary magazines, but
some also appeared as postcard-sized "guerilla-publishing" pieces that
found their way into New York City bookstores, sometimes even planted
like wasp larvae inside books of other authors' work. To our delight, a
cache of these books has turned up intact, surviving our many moves, as
well as several floods and mildew plagues. This volume contains
two digital art illustrations by Catherine Weaver, and concludes
with Azzouni's challenging 20-page essay, "Numbered
Paragraphs: An Essay on Esthetics."
Print edition on press now. To order the PDF ebook for $2.99, click below.
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IN THE SILENCE OF SCORPIONS.
POEMS BY RICHARD LYMAN.
A LOST 1971 POET'S PRESS CHAPBOOK.
The first edition of this book was a hand-stapled chapbook, published in 1971 as one of the earliest productions of The Poet’s Press. The text was completely re-set and minor corrections of spelling and punctuation were made. Many of the poems are intentionally ambiguous, so punctuation has only been added in a few places for clarity.
Richard Lyman (1925-2003) was the pseudonym of Richard Bush-Brown. He was active in the Greenwich Village poetry scene in the 1960s and early 1970s.
The poet was the son of Harold Bush-Brown (1888-1983), a Harvard-trained architect and author of the 1976 book, Beaux Arts to Bauhaus and Beyond: An Architect’s Perspective. His mother, Marjorie Conant Bush-Brown (1885-1978), was an artist and portrait painter, and both his paternal grandparents were artists. He was estranged from his parents, who disapproved of his youthful avowal of Communism. Only the fact of his birth is stated on web pages about his parents.
Bush-Brown attended Black Mountain College. His poetry is overshadowed by his reverence for Dylan Thomas. His poem, “The leopard came into the world” was his most memorable work, and his readings of it impressed listeners at New York poetry readings. On the strength of that poem, The Poet’s Press persuaded Bush-Brown to assemble the manuscript for this chapbook.
No other details are known about the poet, who vanished from the Manhattan poetry scene, and so far as we know, he published no other books.
He continued to live in Manhattan, was seen riding the subway to and from some Wall Street job, and died on October 18, 2003.
40 pp, 6 x 9 inches. PDF format. $2.99. Published May 2019. This is the 243rd publication of The Poet’s Press.
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POEMS BY ARTHUR ERBE.
Arthur Erbe’s Continuum illustrates the ways time affects our lives. The poems explore how each month, day, moment and memory shapes how we think about the passing of the hours. Recalling past moments links what we recall with how we think about events that happened years ago. Poems in this collection explore how certain months evoke incidents, how specific days record an event, how time passes during one day. The content of the poems follows specific forms. Some poems are long and slim; other follow a thought process in a looser pattern, and others find their own form, following the meaning of the experience recorded. In the poem “One Second,” the speaker says, “time makes no difference here/today and yesterday are the same/Yet I travel here with chosen words/arranged to recreate a place.”
The “place” is created by the poet with the words that describe a continuum from his early life to the present to memories of special places such as Yeats’ gravestone in Sligo, Ireland and the Odeon Café in Zurich, Switzerland. The journey through time evokes feelings of delight, discovery, loneliness, regret, and dream-like situations. Although most of the poems explore the real world, there are occasions when the poems contain elements of surrealism. However, reading about the journey gives a sense of a life lived, of introspective desires and how we cannot escape from time.
Arthur Erbe has been involved with the writing and reading of poetry for most of his career, first as a high school teacher, then as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a masters and doctorate in literature and writing. At the University of Pittsburgh, he taught a poetry course in the Honors College for 15 years. His interest in writing poetry has been a life-long activity which has been expanded through workshops at Kenyon College, Gettysburg College, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Antioch College and the W. B. Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland.
For the past ten years he has directed a poetry writing workshop at the Carnegie Library in Oakmont. He has a love of classical music, painting, going to concerts and museums and enjoys playing the piano. For ten years he has been the director of the discussion group of Anton Chekhov’s stories that meets monthly. In addition, he is a member of the Swiss-American Society and an officer of the Swiss Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh.
He lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with his wife, Anne and their two cats, Fellini and Beau Jangles, who are wise and devoted.
This is the 240th publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 978-0-922558-46-9. 140 pp., 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published May 2019. $14.95.
THE DOLL WITHOUT A FACE.
NEW POEMS AND REVISIONS BY BRETT RUTHERFORD.
A faceless Iroquois doll is presented to a young boy by his grandmother, along with a wrenching tale of how Native Americans lost children, children their parents, and all, their identities, as the Mingo Indians were driven west out of Pennsylvania. The same grandmother relates a folktale full of warning to the present-day, as playing children are whisked away into the sky by mysterious forces. The boy who grows up to be a poet is charged with keeping these stories as dreams, “until the time of remembering.”
In this collection of 46 new poems and revisions, presented consecutively as they were written in 2018-2019, Brett Rutherford leaps from childhood memories of another set of desperately-poor grandparents (“Out-Home Summers”), to a Medieval Annunciation painting, to a battle of the Napoleonic war set in bombarded cemetery, to stories of the gods and heroes of Greece and Norse/Germanic mythology.
Inevitably, a troubled era intrudes on the poet’s writing, in poems that ask a complacent symphony audience, whose children have not disappeared, whom they voted for; in a hex song for thirteen witches planning a beer-infused punishment for a high-court judge; in a dream-message from frightened animals; in a ballad-style lyric about a partisan-fighter and the woman who loved him; and in a lonely mountaintop vigil, looking down on the horrors of war. One autumnal poem set at a Pennsylvania lake challenges, “Where does one take a stand for life?”
Translations are an important part of this volume, and each has a special urgency. A war narrative by Victor Hugo. A rumination about degenerate empires and their cruelty by Yevgeni Yevtushenko. A political warning by Solon the Athenian. Sad lyrics about being a poet in troubled times by Anna Akhmatova (“Who Cares to Listen to Songs?”) and Ludwig Uhland (“The Poet Who Starved”).
Love poems, supernatural fantasies, and other word-explosions in this volume show the poet still as mischievous as ever, sitting with Poe on a Manhattan pier, recounting Providence’s urban horrors, a dream of being Dante, trying to fend off love with plasma physics, reflecting on rampant fungus, eavesdropping on the Virgin Mary, and employing sorcery to fight off a persistent vampire.
This is the 241st publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 978-0-922558-96-5. 132 pp., 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published May 2019. $12.95.
BEWARE THE HOUSE.
POEMS BY SUSANNA RICH.
In Beware the House, poet Susanna Rich book-ends a wide-ranging collection of life story-poems between two Gothic, haunted houses, the first a surreal nightmare; the second, the mock-Gothic harpsichord-punctuated world of TV’s The Addams Family. Unease, discomfort, and pain belong between two haunted places (confused birth and sardonic death), and Rich shares deeply personal accounts of her Hungarian-immigrant grandmother, obsessed in old age with Franz Liszt as an imaginary lover; and a disintegrating mother in the throes of dementia. At the center of the book are poems like glass shards of modern living, a keen and concise language palette turning the everyday into the extraordinary. Like a gypsy dance, these poems careen off common experiences — the grandmother’s kitchen, the captive butterfly, a rebellion of trees, the driven car and the rubbernecked accident. And there are villains: the predatory boor repulsed, the unteachable student lesson-taught, the empty soul of the CEO laid bare, the bad president as piñata, the lecherous poetry professor, the restless Dybbuk.
Susanna Rich is a bilingual Hungarian-American, Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing, and Collegium Budapest Fellow — with roots in Transylvania and family ties to the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Báthory. She is a Distinguished Professor of English Studies at Kean University (NJ). Susanna is also an Emmy Award nominee, and the founding producer and principal performer at Wild Nights Productions, LLC. Her repertoire includes the musical, Shakespeare's *itches: The Women v. Will, and ashes, ashes: A Poet Responds to the Shoah. She is author of three earlier poetry collections, Television Daddy and The Drive Home (Finishing Line Press), both of which are also Wild Nights performances; and Surfing for Jesus (Blast Press).
This is the 239th publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 978-0-922558-34-6. 145 pp., 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published April 2019. $16.95.
TWO BOOKS BY BY THOMAS D. JONES.
Here is the second volume of poetry by Thomas D. Jones, a New Jersey-born poet now residing in Rhode Island. Lyrics and philosophical musings in the spirit of Whitman and Jeffers; narratives ranging from Madame Butterfly to Egyptian mummies. Jones’ first book of poetry, Genealogy X, was published by The Poet’s Press in 2000. His poem “Flute Girl” appeared in Language and Culture (online) in the Winter of 2008 and his poem “A Bagger’s Life” appear in an anthology called Appleseeds in Fall 2008. His poetry last appeared in Raintiger (raintiger.com), The Surface, Scrivener’s Pen and Write-Away on-line journals, and his work has been published in numerous print magazines throughout the country.
Originally from northern New Jersey, he has a BA in English and an MA in Publishing Studies from New York University, and is the former publisher and poetry editor of Wings, an online magazine. After twelve years in the publishing field in the New York/ New Jersey area, he began teaching ESL and computer skills at adult education programs in Rhode Island.
Second edition, 2019. 124 pages, 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 978-0922558988. $12.95. PDF ebook $2.99. This is the 238th publication of The Poet’s Press.
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Thomas D. Jones' first book, Genealogy X, was a hand-made, limited edition chapbook produced by The Poet's Press in Weehawken in the year 2000. We have now re-set the type for the edition and recreated in a PDF ebook, with all the original art elements and design. The PDF is available for immediate download for $2.99.
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BREAK EVERY BOND: SARAH HELEN WHITMAN IN PROVIDENCE.
Literary Essays and Selected Poems by Sarah Helen Whitman. Edited and Annotated by Brett Rutherford.
Sarah Helen Whitman (1803-1878), poet and critic, is best known for her brief engagement to Edgar Allan Poe in 1848, and for her role as Poe’s posthumous defender in her 1860 book, Edgar Poe and His Critics. She is seldom treated as more than an incidental person in Poe biography, and no books of her own poetry were reprinted after 1916. As critic, she was a ground-breaking American defender of Poe, Shelley, Byron, Goethe, Alcott, and Emerson, yet none of her literary essays other than her defense of Poe have ever appeared in book form. She and her friend Margaret Fuller are credited with being the first American women literary critics.
This volume presents Whitman’s literary essays with more than 500 annotations and notes, tracing her literary sources and allusions, and revealing the remarkable breadth of her readings in literature, philosophy, history, and science. Brett Rutherford’s biographical essay is rich in revelations about Whitman’s time and place, her family history, and her muted career as poet, essayist, and den mother to artists and writers. Exploding the standard view of her as the secluded “literary widow,” we can now perceive her as a literary radical pushing against a conservative milieu; a suffragist and abolitionist who dabbled in séances; and a devotee of the New England Transcendentalists and the German Idealists who inspired them.
The complete text of Edgar Poe and His Critics presented here, includes the opposing texts by Rufus Griswold, whose libels provoked her landmark defense of Poe’s writing and character. This annotated version identifies all the contemporary press reviews and books Whitman read and critiqued, making it indispensible for students of Edgar Allan Poe.
The selected poems in this volume include the hyper-Romantic traversal of rival mythologies in “Hours of Life,” her most ambitious work; her poems to and about Edgar Allan Poe; sensitive and atmospheric nature portrayals; a defense of the then-reviled art of the drama; a love poem from Proserpine to Pluto; an occasional poem about Rhode Island penned in the after-shadow of the Dorr Rebellion; and translations from French and German poets, most notably the most famous of all European ghost ballads, Bürger’s “Leonora.” Whitman’s allusions and unattributed quotations from other poets are all annotated, making this book a must for scholars and students.
This is the 237th publication of The Poet's Press / Yogh & Thorn Books. ISBN 978-0-922558-00-1. 302 pp., 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published February 2019. $18.95.
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JACQUELINE DE WEEVER. RICE-WINE GHOSTS.
Jacqueline de Weever’s second poetry collection, Rice-Wine Ghosts, is haunted by the flora and fauna of the Western hemisphere, “the world’s garden, /where poisons hide in glitter,/ soar and dip of bright wings.” These are poems personal rather than political or polemical, tracing brilliant moments of encounter with a voluptuous world — the British Guyana of her childhood, the Caribbean, the Andes, the Amazon, and far, far off, the Pleiades and the moon. A lemon tree in a Moroccan courtyard, sunflowers outside Florence, a dash of Japanese rice wine, the indigo blue of Canton china, a chest full of Ivory Coast batiks. Yet there is also loss: the survivor of earthquake and tsunami, “desolation stamped in her slow/ stride, humped shoulders, drooped head,” a search for a remembered star constellation that refuses to show itself, a state of coma as “death’s high priest … behind the closed door of your eyelids.” This book is a treasure-trove of voluptuous imagery and moonlit recollections of beauty, memory, and yearning. The author’s catalog of tropical flora and fruit makes up her armory: “I hoard/ jungle flowers/ to warp the hunger/ of the crocodile/ slowly approaching my shore.”
74 pp., illustrated. The 231st publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published December 2017. ISBN 0-922558-90-6 $12.95.
BRETT RUTHERFORD. CRACKERS AT MIDNIGHT: NEW POEMS AND REVISIONS 2015-2017.
This book’s title-poem — a small recollection of a hungry boy meeting his grandmother for a secret feast of saltine crackers and butter — is a metaphor for the book itself: a feast of poetic narratives and visions that the reader can savor, indulging in “just one more” until the last page is turned. Two story-poems come from the Pennsylvania landscape: the tale of Pittsburgh’s radioactive millionaire who haunts Allegheny Cemetery, and the childhood memory of a visiting Rabbi who makes a Golem-monster in rural Scottdale. The feast, however, also spans continents and era, as the poet takes us to the grave of Leonardo da Vinci in France, the exhumation of Goethe’s body in Weimar, a flamingo sacrifice by the Emperor Nero, ancient Alexandrian gossip about ibises, and a shattering visit to the home of Emily Dickinson in Amherst. Sometimes the poems inhabit a strange, visionary world, overhearing a prayer on Cyprus from a hunted archbishop, visioning Eldorado rising from a glacial lake, or penetrating the psychology of the Egyptian Pharaoh Snofru. A cluster of nature poems from Edinboro Lake in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and some melancholy contemplations on “The Loved Dead,” round out this collection of 40 poems.
126 pp., illustrated. The 236th publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published March 2018. ISBN 0-922558-95-7 $12.95.
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NEW SECOND, REVISED EDITION, PRINT AND EBOOK.
THE GODS AS THEY ARE, ON THEIR PLANETS. Brett Rutherford. Revised second edition, 2018.
Poetry is dangerous, and few poets are more hazardous to complacency than Brett Rutherford. Who would have guessed that poetry — America’s most-avoided art — could come roaring back in a big, wide-ranging book of provocative, understandable, beautiful poems? This book may change how you think about poetry. Praised by Robert Bloch and Ray Bradbury for his dark and supernatural poetry — of which there is a good chunk in this book — this poet is also much more than a master of the macabre. His autumn poems, and other writings centered on nature, astronomy, and the human place in the cosmos, are heir to the grand tradition of such diverse masters as Shelley, Whitman, Hugo and Jeffers. Although the poems are mostly free in form, they are striking in language and Romantic in spirit. Whether writing about Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto in 1930, or speaking in the voice of a linden tree in Soviet-invaded Prague, these are poems that tell stories and tell them clearly. And when he turns to the hard, real world, in poems about the World Trade Center disaster, or the ages-old invasion of Korea by Japanese warlords, Rutherford writes as a humanist who sees individuals always able to choose between good and evil. This book, containing poems written or revised between 1991 and 2004 in New York City and in Providence, RI, first appeared in 2005, released simultaneously in print and as a free PDF download. More than 15,000 copies were distributed to a world-wide audience. In this new, second edition, the poet has revised a number of the poems, and split the book into two parts (Prometheus on Fifth Avenue is the second half). Take up this book, take a deep breath, and plunge in.
Second Edition: ISBN 0-922558-93-0. Published February, 2018. 6 x 9 paperback, 218 pp., $13.95. PDF download $2.99.
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BRETT RUTHERFORD. PROMETHEUS ON FIFTH AVENUE (NEW SECOND, REVISED EDITION).
PRINT AND EBOOK.
PROMETHEUS ON FIFTH AVENUE. Brett Rutherford. Revised second edition, 2018.
This is the companion volume to The Gods As They Are, On Their Planets, containing the remainder of that 2005 book's poems, many revised and expanded for this new edition, and newly typeset and illustrated. A set of poems from the poet’s childhood and young years in Pennsylvania, provokes the reader to re-think “imaginary playmates,” to re-live the anguish of doomed obsessions, and to revel in tree, forest, lake, and graveyard in his “first-found home.” Another sequence of love poems are sad, astronomical, haunted, and transcendental, culminating in the challenging poem “Triptych.” This book, containing poems written or revised between 1991 and 2004 in New York City and in Providence, RI, first appeared in 2005, released simultaneously in print and as a free PDF download. More than 15,000 copies were distributed to a world-wide audience.
Second Edition: ISBN 0-922558-94-9. Published February, 2018. 6 x 9 paperback, 262 pp., $13.95. PDF download $2.99.
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NEW SECOND EDITION AVAILABLE
DEATH AND THE DOWNS: THE POETRY OF CHARLES HAMILTON SORLEY. Revised second edition, 2017,edited and annotated by Brett Rutherford. Robert Graves called Sorley one of the three best poets killed in World War I. Shot by a German sniper in the Battle of Loos, Charles Sorley died at age 20, leaving behind enough poems for a slender volume published by his father in 1915: Marlborough and Other Poems. Several of Sorley's poems have been featured in countless war anthologies, but the poet's complete work was kept in print only until 1932. There was a reprint sometime in the 1970s and then Sorley seems to have been forgotten again.
Sorley's nature poems, inspired by English naturalist Richard Jefferies (the British Thoreau), depict the haunted landscape of the Wiltshire Downs, from the days of Roman-occupied Britain to Sorley's own time. As a student at Cambridge, young Sorley was steeped in the classics; he then traveled to Germany to study and was in school there when the War broke out. He was arrested and sent home by the German government, and within days of returning to England, Sorley enlisted. The last set of his poems, written in the battlefield, contain both stark soundings of death, but also a kernel of wisdom and tolerance, as when he addresses a poem to the Germans he cannot bring himself to hate. Perhaps the most poignant poem is one he sent home retelling a key scene from Homer's Odyssey and then assuring his friend that he, too, ten years hence, would be telling his own war stories by the fire. Three months later, Sorley was dead. His last poem, a blistering war sonnet, was sent home to his father in his kit. Sorley's body was never found.
This volume includes passages from letters, selected by Sorley's father as illustrative of the themes of the poems in the book. To make this volume more accessible to today's readers (and to students), Brett Rutherford has annotated both the poems and the letters, making clear the numerous classical and Biblical allusion that would have been well-known to Sorley's contemporaries. Some 1903 photos of the Wiltshire landscape have also been added, taken from an edition of Jefferies nature writing. The book was completely re-typeset from the 1932 edition, using typefaces from the World War I era. The book also includes an annotated checklist of the critical reception of Sorley's work from 1915 through 1973, by Larry Uffelman; a biographical sketch of the poet written by his mother for the 1919 Letters of Charles Sorley; additional letters; and juvenilia.
A Yogh & Thorn Book.
Second Edition: ISBN 0-922558-89-2. Published Oct 5, 2017. 6 x 9 paperback, 184 pp., $14.95. PDF download $5.00.
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PIETER VANDERBECK. COFFEE BREAK: A RADIO DRAMA IN TWELVE EPISODES.
It’s easy to treat the “little people” who do the world’s unmemorable jobs as comical characters, like the bus drivers and sewer workers in televison’s The Honeymooners, or to veer to the other extreme in tragic portrayals like Death of a Salesman. Now artist and poet Pieter Vanderbeck dons the cap of Nikolai Gogol and lifts the lid off a microcosm of American working life amid a humble cast of characters: security guards, desk clerks, maintenance men, and janitors laboring at the bottom rung of an unspecified company.
Coffee Break spins from America’s caffeine obsession and the relentless, aggressive advertising that once dominated the radio airwaves, and focuses on a crew of working men and women who seldom leave the corridors, offices and infrastructures of a single building, for whom the coffee break is a brief respite of humanity and a glimmer of camraderie. Atop them is a supervisor, and atop him, an arrogant anthill of bosses with schemes, theories, controls and disciplines.
Coffee Break is comedy, rife with satire on the limited — and self-limiting — perspectives of workers who know little else other than work, but it goes deeper, showing how those at every level of a company enact the inept cruelties of their bosses upon those below them, so that even a janitors’ workroom, or a restroom stall, becomes a place of surveillance.
144 pp., illustrated. The 232nd publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. Published December 2017. ISBN 0-922558-91-4 $12.95. Or download the PDF ebook for $4.00.
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BRETT RUTHERFORD. THINGS SEEN IN GRAVEYARDS.
Brett Rutherford has given new life to the genre of the “graveyard poem.” In this bracing collection of 31 works, what started as a mere poetic journal of odd “things seen” grew into a broad collection of descriptive and narrative poems about tombs, burials, exhumations, and the gatherings of admirers at the graves of famous writers and artists. Read the Macbeth-like saga of a Japanese warlord who buried the ears of 100,000 Korean victims; the uneasy burials and re-burials of Goethe and Leonardo da Vinci; sightings of cemetery sleep-walkers and mausoleum robbers; the oak tree that consumed the bones of a witch-trial judge in Salem; and the story of Pittsburgh’s radioactive millionaire, sealed in a lead-lined coffin in Allegheny Cemetery. In a “verse mystery,” the poet reveals the confrontation between Edgar Allan Poe and The Spectre of St. John’s Churchyard in 1848 Providence. Although Pennsylvania graveyards give rise to some of the most atmospheric works in this volume, Things Seen in Graveyards also includes visits to Hart Island (the Potter’s Field of New York City), Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, Lovecraft’s grave in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, the cursed ground of Aceldema in Israel, a burial shrine in Kyoto, and the loneliest cemetery in the world in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Spectral, satirical, romantic, supernatural and transcendental, these poems will make your skeleton dance and sing. This is an expanded second edition of this work, with many of the original poems revised or expanded, and eight new poems added.
116 pp., illustrated. The 229th publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-88-4 $12.95. Or download the PDF ebook for $2.00.
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THE WRITINGS OF EMILIE GLEN 4: POEMS FROM MANUSCRIPTS.
This fourth and final volume collects all the unpublished manuscripts left by New York poet Emilie Glen. These 180 poems, lyric and narrative, far from being the "bottom drawer" of the poet's work, contain the same urban savor as her longer works. Some of these poems were read by the poet repeatedly at the poetry salon she ran in Greenwich Village, and prior to that, at the salon she ran at her high-rise apartment on the Lower East Side in the 1960s and 1970s. As always, her most engaging poems are miniature short stories, all set against a noir Manhattan that includes both shocking murders as well as moments of unexpected beauty among fire escapes, trash cans, alley cats, and the migratory birds in Central Park. The book includes several surprisingly experimental works and a true account of a horrifying psychopath who ran a Greenwich Village coffee house. Published March 2017.
152 pp., illustrated. The 228th publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-87-6 $14.95. Or, purchase the PDF ebook for $2.00.
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THE POETS OF THE PALISADES ARE BACK.
META-LAND: POETS OF THE PALISADES II.
Edited by Paul Nash, Denise La Neve, David Messineo, Susanna Rich, and John J. Trause. Viewed on a geological time scale, poetry is a very recent phenomenon. Paul Nash’s foreword explains the emergence of this exciting new anthology from one of earth’s oldest igneous outcroppings. “After five millennia of recorded history, toward the end of the 20th Century, writers begin to gather together, to coalesce in cafés, libraries and other literary watering holes upon or near the ancient basaltic fastness of the New Jersey Palisades. This post-geological phenomenon has been collectively named 'The Palisades Poetry Movement.' The first anthology by the Poets of the Palisades, Beyond the Rift, was published in 2010, and featured the work of 39 poets from the tri-state area. This new volume, Meta-Land, assembles 121 works by 58 poets, arranged in 11 themed sections. All of the pieces that appear in the anthology are by authors who were featured in the on-going North Jersey Literary Series held at the Classic Quiche Café in Teaneck, New Jersey, between 2010 and 2015. This collection delves deeply into our ‘metaperceptions:’ how we see ourselves, the universe, and what we question, feel or think. Diverse voices that represent a modern world of both natural beauty and cosmopolitan sophistication explore the fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason and mind. We find ourselves in a ‘Meta-Land,’ where symbols of symbols are nested like matryoshkas, and meaning's reach extends past all horizons.” Published July 2016.
250 pp., illustrated. The 226th publication of The Poet's Press. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-85-X $19.95. CLICK BELOW TO ORDER FROM AMAZON
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Enemy On The Way to School. New second printing for 2016. Poems of
a German Jewish childhood in the 1930s. Set against the background
of the rising Nazi menace, these poems leave an indelible impression
of a lost world, and the eternal alienation felt by those who
left it behind. With an introduction by poet Mary Ferrari. ISBN 0-922558-21-3. Paperback $9.95. CLICK BELOW TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.
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PRAYER BEADS:A POEM CYCLE.
Don Washburn, born in Easton, Pennsylvania, went on to Yale and Denver University, and a career in college teaching embracing English literature, semantics, speech, and metaphysics. He first taught at Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania, and later during his many years in North Adams in the Berkshire Mountains, teaching at what is now the Massachusets College of Liberal Arts, he explored Sufism, composed music, enlightened generations of curious students, and published two books of poetry, The Boy From Under the Trees and In the Eye of the Red-Tailed Hawk. His Sufi studies began in 1980 at the Sufi Order of the West at the Abode of the Message at new Lebanon, New York, where he became an initiate and a cherag, trained to preside at Universal Worship Services. Now in his 80s, Washburn has circled back to the Christian fold, and this book is his culminating synthesis of his spiritual quest. The poems deliver as much challenge as comfort, and they do not pull back from indicting destructive elements in today’s politics and mass culture.
In his notes about the poems, Washburn writes: “These poems are a kind of testimony. When younger, I sought spiritual knowledge in books. Later, the Sufis taught me it resides in the human heart. But most importantly, throughout my life, I was blessed with intimations that could turn into poems. A prayer bead is a reminder. A prayer bead has the power to summon an inspiration, but makes no pretense to comprising it. Poems that approach the ineffable can also serve as pointers. Nothing to quarrel over, just a finger in the moon’s direction. In the case of God, the finger must point everywhere.
“I am a little astonished that the exacting ten-line form these poems have taken could be so accommodating. They are all round, like prayer beads, the refrain making a perfect circle. How I managed to close the circle so many times, can only be explained as God’s will. In time when so few people are capable of faith, I like to think I have been commandeered for a necessary service.
“ … Sufism has been my mystical education, laid out in the writings of Rumi and Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Sufis teach that all religions point to the same divine Truth. So I also enjoyed an absolute religious freedom. And in my eighties I was able to reprise the Christian church of my boyhood.
“On my death bed, I will take pleasure in the thought these poems can go on talking to people in my absence.”
The 224th publication of The Poet’s Press. Published March 2016. 196 pp.,6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-83-3. $16.95.
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THE WRITINGS OF EMILIE GLEN 3: POEMS FROM MAGAZINES 1955-1990.
For more than four decades, New York City poet Emilie Glen produced a torrent of poetry, widely published in little magazines all over the world, and in a series of books and chapbooks that went through numerous reprints. Yet when the poet died in 1995, all that remained of her papers were several shopping bags full of manuscripts, chapbooks and tear sheets of already-published works. From this legacy, Brett Rutherford has assembled all the presently-available poems of this prolific New York poet. This third volume presents the 193 recovered poems that appeared in magazines and newspapers, but were not included in Glen’s many chapbooks. None of these poems exist in manuscript.
Because the works are here in the order discovered, the book's randomness invites at-random reading. Open anywhere, and the Emilie we know from the first volume is still here in spades: poet, actress, pianist, bird-watcher, cat-lover, nature rhapsodist, the woman of Manhattan with a piercing eye for character and image. She is the city, the street, the windows, the bridges and tunnels, the parks and fountains, the desperate dreamers on the doorsteps.
The journals that originally published these poems include The Prairie Schooner, Southwest Review, Chat Noir Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Quartet, Snowy Egret, Coe Review, The Georgia Review, Midwest Quarterly, Coffee House Review, Green's Magazine, Poetry Venture, Lynx, Encore, Cats Magazine, Imprints, Etchings, Limbo, Manifold, Loon, Free Lance, Lake Superior Review, Massachussets Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Poet Lore. Other poems in the book are from tear-sheets from unidentified publications.
The editor located eleven poems originally published in ETC: A Review of General Semantics, and they are published here as a group since there is a thematic connection to some of the key ideas in semantics. These poems play on the paradoxes and ironies of how things come to be named, how we are manipuated by names such as "Acme" and "Atlas" and suggestions of royalty, and how journalism molds its own reality of what is "news" and what is not.
This volume also includes the full text of an out-of-print chapbook from 1963 titled Laughing Lute and Other Poems. This complements the chapbook-based text from Volume 1 of this series.
The 223rd publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 0-922558-82-5. 6 x 9 inches, 224 pages. $16.95. To order this book from Amazon, CLICK BELOW. Or, purchase the PDF ebook for $2.00.
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THE WRITINGS OF EMILIE GLEN 2: FICTION AND PROSE POEMS.
Emilie Glen (1906-1995) was best known as a poet, but she started her writing career in fiction, first published in H.L. Mencken’s The American Mercury, The Prairie Schooner, and other magazines. In these nineteen short stories, Glen presents a portrait of mid-20th century America, using penetrating character portraits to show a world already nearly-gone, its customs and manners as odd to some of us as those of an Amazonian people.
A keen observer of manners and of the human drama, Emilie Glen centers sometimes on family: a high-stakes croquet game among heirs, the prize a Bermuda resort hotel; a mother and daughter competing for the same man; an Irish mother and daughter trapped in poverty in Hell's Kitchen, each wanting “the best”; and a wealthy matron in the Hamptons desperate to stop her son from marrying a Latina girl.
From a time when religion ruled the heartland, Glen writes about a town struggling with the worst preacher ever; a minister fired for his liberal values during the McCarthy era; and a woman forced to choose between becoming a minister’s wife, or being ordained herself to take over her father’s church.
Other stories are wonderful character portraits: a country woman whose life is changed when she comes into possession of the Encyclopaedia Britannica; a bored office worker with a secret hobby of purse-snatching; a businessman who would rather be a street beggar; the man determined to be top of the pecking order among the Central Park bird-watchers; a young girl who will do anything to get her first ballet shoes; a dancer locked in a fierce rivalry and obsession over a Siamese cat; a husband and wife living off the earnings of a child model; an industrialist whose entire existence is defined by ladies’ feet; and a sad-sack song-writer knocking on the doors of music publishers.
This volume also includes “From This Window,” Glen’s experiment in prose poetry, which appared in New Directions in 1953. One story, "Cup of Gold," was edited and completed from a first-draft manuscript. Only two of the nineteen stories existed in manuscript.
The 222nd publication of The Poet's Press. ISBN 0-922558-82-5. 6 x 9 inches, 196 pages. $16.95. To order this book from Amazon, CLICK BELOW. Or, purchase the PDF ebook for $2.00.
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JACQUELINE de WEEVER. TRAILING THE SUN'S SWEAT.
This book is a retracing of landscape, heritage and culture, spanning continents and time. Interspersed with quotations from Columbus's journal, de Weever recounts and visits her native British Guiana as seen by its conquerors and ravishers, and by its survivors. Rich with the flora and fauna of island and Amazon, the book poses native against the encounter with the native. The eyes of the caiman look out from the waters, while the visiting European artist paints delicate watercolors of butterflies and lush tropical plants. Some of the poems inhabit the oppressed within our northern borders, such as Tituba, accused witch of Salem, or the lynched Native American Jacqueline Peters. In retracing her own heritage and origins, de Weever invites us to confront the beauty, and violence, of the hemisphere we share.
Jacqueline de Weever, born in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) was educated there and in New York, earning a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. She is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where she taught English Medieval Literature for 29 years.
ISBN 0-922558-77-9. The 210th publication of The Poet's Press. 6x9” paperback, 80 pages. $12.95. To order from Amazon, CLICK BELOW.
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VINCENT SPINA. DIALOGUE.
Poet Vincent Spina has lived most of his life between two continents: North and South America. As one would suspect, therefore, there is a degree of “Spanglish” not only in the language of these poems but in the allusions to South American poets: namely, Cesar Vallejo and Pablo Neruda, but mostly Vallejo, much of whose poetry borders the line of what is possible to express in words and the inexpressible that waits just beyond. Juan Ramón Jiménez, a Spanish poet, asked in his poetry for the name of things (el nombre exacto de las cosas). And this exact name, the one we may never pronounce, is what Spina alludes to in these poems: the long name of things, the name that is born with us at our birth and grows as we grow and dies with us when we die. This is the name that defines us or indentifies us at our essence — if there is an essence. There is another continent involved in these poems, too: Italy, the country of the poet’s grandparents, which he visited while working on this book. As Spina elaborates: “I grew up with ways of thinking that were not ‘wholly’ American but rather had leaked into my consciousness — perhaps my conscience — through other sources. The last part of the book deals with other sources and their meanings. For instance, the tarantella is not the folksy stereotypical dance with which an Italian American wedding ends. Its rhythm is hypnotic. Its purpose is to put the dancers into a trance in which rituals of life and death are reenacted: moments of love, of passion, of honor. Its name refers to a tarantula — really a large spider — because within the trance the dancers thrash around their arms and legs like those of a frenzied spider. Thus, my aim was to “de-stereotype” the dance and “reveal” its original “mystery”. Heidegger writes that for the Greeks, truth was revelation. Thus I wished in these poems to unveil certain truths about my people and about myself."
Vincent Spina was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Ph.D. from New York University in Latin American and Brazilian Literature, and is a Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages and Cultures at Clarion University, PA. His poems have appeared in various magazines over the years, and his first book of poetry, Outer Borough, was published in 2008. He is also the author of El Modo Epico en José María Arguedas, a study of the Peruvian author’s novels and their basis in the cosmology of the Andean people of Peru. His articles on Latin American writers have appeared in various magazines and anthologies.
ISBN 0-922558-79-5. The 212th publication of The Poet's Press. 6x9” paperback, 90 pages. $12.95. To order from Amazon, CLICK BELOW.
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BRETT RUTHERFORD. TRILOBITE LOVE SONG.
This book is Brett Rutherford's farewell to his adopted city, Providence, where he lived most of the years between 1985 and 2015, with intervals away at Boston, New York, and Northern New Jersey. It is also his farewell to H.P.Lovecraft fandom, with two biting poems, "The Special Ward at Butler Hospital" and "On the Island of Pohnpei," the latter about a sinister hookah bar in the South Pacific that becomes the center of Lovecraft tourism. This small but lethal book also contains two powerful narrative poems about women at two ends of the power spectrum: a schoolgirl in colonial New England falls prey to a vicious schoolmaster in "Hoxie House," while "Young Girl's Prayer to Eos, At Corinth" is a whole new twist on the power some women have for magic and revenge, if they choose to use it. "What She Was Like" is a Hitchcockian mother portrait from Pennsylvania that could just as well have come from Salem. Translations and adaptations in this slender volume include four poems adapted from the Chinese poet Li Yu, doomed last Emperor of Southern Tang, and an adaptation of Pushkin's supernatural poem, "The Demons." The title poem is an attempt to enter into the psyche and society of those extinct masters of the world, the Trilobites. These new poems and revisions are from 2013-2014.
ISBN 0-922558-76-0. The 209th publication of The Poet's Press. 6x9” paperback, 56 pages. $8.95. To order from Amazon, CLICK BELOW. Or, purchase the ebook for $2.00.
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Version 21.2 Updated November 1, 2019