FORTHCOMING BOOKS FROM THE POET'S PRESS/ YOGH & THORN:
Dante Alighieri. Purgatorio. Translated by Jacob Rabinowitz.
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: THE SHIPPING
ON THE RIVER STYX.
Barbara A. Holland (1925-1988) was called “the Sybil of Greenwich Village,” for her sometimes eerie presence and her incantatory readings. By 1970, she had published her work in over 700 magazines, and had read her work everywhere a poet could read. After seeing several small chapbooks published, Holland decided it was time to tackle the big New York publishers. The Shipping on the Styx, recently rediscovered in the poet’s papers, was rejected by all the publishing houses by the end of 1972. What would have been her “breakthrough” book is finally presented here. Its three parts include a solitary observer’s impressions of bustling New York harbor; a medley of her Manhattan-based poems that she read in coffeehouses; and her blistering and unforgettable Gothic poem, “Black Sabbath.”
Rounding out this volume is Songs of Light and Darkness, a manuscript that probably dates to 1951, the end-point of Holland’s graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. These poems show the poet embarking on her career as a devotee of the work of T. S. Eliot and, perhaps, of Thomas Hardy. Pre-dating her “New York style,” this never-before-seen glimpse at the early Holland is a revelation.
This is the 259th publication of The Poet’s Press. Published December 2019. 110 pages, 6 x 9 inches. ISBN 9781679125287. $12.95 from Amazon. PDF Ebook to be published at a later date.
TWO RUSSIAN EXILES: SELECTED
FICTION OF MIKHAIL ARTSYBASHEV AND LEONID ANDREYEV.
Mikhail Artsybashev (1878-1927) and Leonid Andreyev (1871 -1919) both spent their last years in exile from Soviet Russia, and saw their works banned in their native land. Each had gained notoriety for shocking the reading public and alarming the authorities. Artsybashev was a realist and an anarchist. Describing one Artsybashev story, an American critic wrote, “Twenty-three pages are sufficient for the author to produce a finished work that begins in laughter, and ends in horror so awful that no one should read it whose nerves are not under control.” Andreyev took the world as he found it, and wove an obsessive web of war, sexuality, and death, so much so that he has been called the Russian Edgar Allan Poe.
These ten stories, edited/adapted and introduced by Brett Rutherford, are as fresh as today’s headlines. With a journalist’s sharp focus, they deal with sexual predators, murderers, political fanatics, mass shooters, corrupt officials, the traumas visited upon soldiers in battle, and the dehumanization of a people as they are pulled into a civil war against their fellow citizens. These two authors lived in times that tested and distorted the very idea of what it is to be human, and their stories are an unflinching warning. As an outsider and anarchist, Artsybashev seems not to have an answer to the dilemmas he portrays, but he is there to show us that all these things are human; they are what people do. Andreyev has more soul and humanity, and his retreat into the Finnish countryside, to look at Russia from outside rather than be killed within in, shows him as a principled man who still had hope for his people, even if it seemed that humanistic values were no longer an assured progression.
A Yogh & Thorn Book. This is the 258th publication of The Poet's Press. Published December 2019. 6x9 inches, 266 pp. ISBN 9781676891512. $16.95 from Amazon. PDF ebook version to come.
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).
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
RETURN TO TOP
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
RETURN TO TOP
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
RETURN TO TOP
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
RETURN TO TOP
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
RETURN TO TOP
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
Buy PDF Ebook Now
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.
RETURN TO TOP
Version 21.3 Updated December 22, 2019