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The Poet's Press: The Writings of Emilie Glen II: Fiction and Prose Poems.
The Poet's Press: Brett Rutherford: The Pumpkined Heart (Pennsylvania Poems).
Grim Reaper Books: Tales of Terror: The Supernatural Poem Since 1800, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Yogh & Thorn Books: Heinrich Heine: Germania (Jakob Rabinowitz, trans.)


The Poet's Press: Beyond the Rift II (Anthology of North Jersey Poets).
The Poet's Press: The Writings of Emilie Glen III: Poems from Magazines.
The Poet's Press: The Poetry of Angela Costa.






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Terrifying Supernatural Poems and Ballads by Coleridge, Shelley, Scott, Byron, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Poe, Longfellow, Heine, Baudelaire, Hugo, Pushkin and others.

This annotated edition of 65 memorable supernatural-themed poems is a modern sequel to Matthew Gregory Lewis's famous 1801 poetry anthology, Tales of Wonder. Treasures in this volume include two translations of scenes from Goethe’s Faust by Coleridge and Shelley; supernatural verses and ballads gleaned from Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly novels; Shelley’s supernatural poems, both juvenile and mature; Longfellow sharing ghost stories from The Song of Hiawatha, and fierce legends from Norse myth and history; all of the overtly supernatural poems of Edgar Allan Poe; Robert Browning’s famed “Pied Piper of Hamelin”; Christina Rossetti’s delicious “Goblin Market”; and a feast of shuddery French, Russian, and German poems in translation from Hugo, Heine, Gautier, Baudelaire, Pushkin and Sologub. For the poetry lover, and the fan of supernatural literature, this book is a year-round Halloween treat of entertaining and alarming poems to read aloud — bedtime stories for very bad children. For the scholar of the Gothic, the volume presents an intriguing array of poems that range from overtly entertaining Gothic narratives, to works that employ the devices of the Gothic for other ends, social, political or personal. The book also includes an annotated bibliography of source materials on the supernatural and Gothic in poetry.

This series is designed to be continuous with our two-volume edition of the Monk Lewis anthology, Tales of Wonder.

314 pp., illustrated. The 213th publication of The Poet's Press/ Yogh & Thorn Books. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-80-9 $19.95. Available soon in U.S., UK and Europe from Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON




de Weever coverThis 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 HERE.



de Weever coverPoet 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. 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 HERE.



de Weever coverThis book is Brett Rutherford's farewell to his adopted city, Providence, where he lived most of the years between 1985 and 2015, with intervals aay 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 end 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 HERE.


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Second edition, revised and expanded. Reviewers’ notes from the first edition of 2000:

"In Animals in the Third Reich, Boria Sax explores an aspect of Nazi ideology and policy that, to my knowledge, no one has seriously studied until now: the Nazi relationship to animals, both as mythic figures and as actual living creatures. I had come across references to Hitler's fixation on wolves in his biographies, but the authors offered no context for this fixation and tended to treat it as yet another idiosyncratic symptom of mental illness. In Sax’s book, I learned for the first time the central role that animals, especially predatory animals played in the Nazi worldview, and how this colored their perception of Jews as ‘pigs’ and ‘dogs.’ This is an utterly fascinating work, enriched by Sax's wide-ranging erudition, and sure to intrigue ordinary readers, as well as inspiring scholars for years to come." —Barbara Ehrenreich

"Rarely does a book contribute to two fields so significantly as this one. Sax, an independent scholar and consultant to various human rights organizations, has written the first book to explore thoroughly the Nazi cult of animals. In a way, this book reads like a mystery novel, as it uncovers some of the chief paradoxes of Nazi ideology. The Nazis promoted vegetarianism and passed the most progressive anticruelty laws the world has ever known. Yet they also developed a mystical technocracy that reduced morality to the crudest version of a biological struggle for survival. They used images of animals to vilify their enemies (especially, of course, the Jews) and add to their own mystique (the SS were portrayed as predator animals). Sax is especially insightful about the subtle ways that the Nazis parodied and plundered Christian theology. This book is a must for all collections in German history and in animal rights. It is a deep and profound reflection on the complex and perplexing ways that animals can shape human culture and politics. — S. H. Webb, Wabash College, in Choice.

Sax’s book contains a great deal of food for thought, and helps us see both the banalities and the atrocities from this era in new and revealing lights. There is a great deal of material on the symbolism of blood, and some intriguing discussion of ritual animal sacrifice. Nazi regulations of how animals should and should not be slaughtered also come into focus ... Konrad Lorenz is sharply and appropriately criticized, both for his tacit endorsement of certain forms of political predation (recall that he joined the Nazi party in 1938) and his Nazi-sympathizing view that “for us, race and ethnicity are everything, the individual human being as good as nothing.” The book should be of interest to anyone seeking to understand either the larger context of the Holocaust or the history of animal protection and abuse; one can also hope that books like this will help provoke further examination of the intertwined histories of the brutalization of humans and the treatment of animals as unfeeling objects. — Robert N. Proctor, Pennsylvania State University, in Anthrozoos.

234 pp., illustrated. 6 x 9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-70-1 $16.95. Available soon in U.S., UK and Europe from Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON


Dr Jones Cover


This full-color chapbook, now in its second printing, combines two terrifying poems about “Dr. Jones,” a perhaps-imaginary, perhaps-real mad surgeon whose speciality is cutting off arms and legs from young boys in rural Pennsylvania. Rutherford here presents a disturbing sequel to an already-disturbing childhood recovered memory. In “Torrance,” the links between Doctor Jones and Western Pennsylvania's legendary, dreaded state mental hospital are revealed. Color digital art reveals Dr. Jones' vintage car, his medical kits, and images of the present-day ruins of the state hospital, where ordinary mental patients were mixed with the criminally insane.

32 pp., 8.25 x 6 inches, paperback, ISBN 0-922558-75-2. $7.98. Available soon in U.S., UK and Europe from Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.



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First published in the year 2000 in a hand-bound edition, The Plague Psalms presents a neo-Romantic vision worthy of Baudelaire and Poe: a world haunted by Moorish Spain, the Inquisition, the Black Death, Erik (the Phantom of the Opera), the music of the Oud, and other subjects penitential and pestilential. The book design incorporates wood engravings by Albrecht Durer. This new third edition recreates all the color content of the original.

Joel Allegretti is also the author of three other collections of poetry: Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems (Poets Wear Prada, 2012); Thrum (Poets Wear Prada, 2010); and Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press, 2006). Allegretti’s poems have appeared in The New York Quarterly, MARGIE, Fulcrum, Voices in Italian Americana, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Xcp Cross-Cultural Poetics and many other national journals, as well as in The Best American Poetry blog.

98 pp., with color titles and ornaments. 6 x 9 inches, paperback, ISBN 0-922558. CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW FROM AMAZON.




Jack Veasey has been a provocative voice in modern American poetry since his teens. He started giving readings and publishing his poems in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston in the early 1970s. Since then he has published ten collections of poems. He read the title poem from his best-known book, Quitting Time (Warm Spring Press) on a segment of NPR‘s “All Things Considered” originating from Southwest Missouri State University. The poem, a plain-spoken free verse monologue about the moment one quits a demeaning job, remained his signature poem and established his reputation as chronicler of urban working class life. As Jim Ruth, venerable art critic in Veasey’s adopted region of central PA, put it in the Lancaster Sunday News, “Jack Veasey’s poems pack the appeal — and sting — of universality. Veasey speaks with the clarity and directness of an Everyman. . . . a passionate poet of the people.” Mike Gunderloy, in the national small press review FactSheet Five, described his poems as “blunt, cutting narratives that make you wonder how we can possibly accept things as they are.”
Veasey has applied that same directness to chronicling the struggles of gay people. His poems and nonfiction have appeared in many major gay periodicals and  anthologies, and he served as editor of The Philadelphia Gay News and FirstHand: Experiences for Loving Men. His articles for The Philadelphia Gay News won that publication two awards from the National Lesbian and Gay Press Association. He also wrote about gay issues for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his articles about Walt Whitman’s gay life have been nationally syndicated by the Gay History Project.
This eleventh collection spotlights a lesser-known aspect of his work. In the early 1980s Veasey began to write sonnets and other poems in fixed forms. To his surprise, it proved ideal for exploring a far greater range of subjects; some that had been “too big to tackle” — or even to face. “It pulled things out of me,” he says, “Sometimes I’d articulate something in a form and then realize, ’My God, I never knew I saw it that way.’ Forms are a great way to distract your conscious mind from censoring your content.”
Shapely: Selected Formal Poems gathers the best of these revelatory poems from three decades into a powerful, vivid, insightful, and masterfully crafted  collection. The substantial section of sonnets at the book’s heart is especially impressive and varied. Some are hilarious, some dark and disturbing, some poignant and touching: all have a clarity and striking musicality not found much in contemporary poetry.  

ISBN 0-922558-73-6. Published May 2013. 6x9” paperback, 132 pages. $12.95. To order from Amazon, CLICK HERE.



David O'Connell.

Waiting CoverPublished in conjunction with The Providence Athenaeum, this is the 15th annual Philbrick Poetry Project prize winner. The Philbrick Project prize was established to help find and foster new poets in the New England states, and the annual competition is limited to poets who have not yet published a book of their work.

Poet-judge Dennis Barone, selected this manuscript, by poet and teacher David O'Connell, of North Providence, RI. Barone writes:

“A Better Way to Fall offers the reader fifteen poems full of cruel irony and beautiful precision, Greek mythology mixed with contemporary mass media, global vision and neighborhood close-up. These poems of our moment presented in an all-of-a-piece orchestration are readily understandable and profoundly meaningful. They tell a reader that an instant in the sun might be worth the fall. They warn a reader that too often innocence does not lead to experience but instead self-induced ignorance ends in cliché: events, as well as sounds, repeat. Falling may be necessary, these poems say, if we plan — someday — to rise or, at least, ‘navigate escape.’”

Published May, 2013. Available for sale for $8 at The Providence Athenaeum or from Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.



Cover ArtHere is Brett Rutherford’s first new compendium of poems in seven years. Following on The Gods As They Are On Their Planets (2005) and Poems from Providence (1991), this book is a must for fans of this neo-Romantic American poet.
The 94 new poems and revisions in this collection range from a dark-shadowed childhood in the coal and coke region of Western Pennsylvania, to New York City and Providence, Rhode Island. The jolting sequence titled “Out Home” is a poetic memoir of broken families and childhood terrors, and the imminent threat of kidnapping and mutilation by “Doctor Jones,” a crazed surgeon who roams the countryside in a sinister roadster. The small boy of these poems is already a self-styled outsider, defining his difference from the crushing environment around him.
In “Past the Millennium” and “Ars Poetica,” the full-grown poet soars, with politically-charged poems on Solzhenitsyn, the self-immolation of Czech martyr Jan Palach, and the imagined overtaking of Bush and Cheney by “The Black Huntsman.” Rutherford walks in Poe’s footsteps on a Hudson River pier, visits ancient Rome for a chat with the lawgiving King Numa Pompilius, and puts Poe to work tracking down a cemetery spectre in 1848 Providence. Two historic verse plays give voice to the mad Carlota, Empress of Mexico, and two Austrian policemen with an unexpected prisoner on their hands.
Humor abounds in this volume, too, from the possessed sex toys in “A Night in Eddie’s Apartment,” skeptical Martians refusing to believe there’s life on Earth, nine-year-old Dante meeting Beatrice in Providence’s Federal Hill, and a surrealist adventure across Europe as a lost sock-puppet searches for its owner, meeting Sigmund Freud along the way.
A sequence of poems on Love and Eros titled “Love Spells” plumbs the depths of desire and obsession, and presents several powerful elegies, culminating with the poignant “The Loft on Fourteenth Street.” The erotic poems, some set in Ancient Greece and some in the present, are frank and often amusing, perhaps some comfort for those who think the fun ends at thirty.
Ending the book is a clump of supernatural poems, as expected from this heir of Poe and Lovecraft: a story-length poem, “Dawn,” presents the ennui of a 300-year-old vampire; the birth and education of the feared witch Keziah Mason; wind elementals attack the headquarters of Bain Capital in Boston; and Elder Gods arrive to make humans their playthings.
An Expectation of Presences is a wide-ranging and startling collection, romantic, defiant, and bracingly hopeful.

ISBN 0-922558-69-8. 364 pp. 6 x 9, paperback. Published July 2012. $19.95. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.



Cover ImageThe Boy from Under The Trees, first published in a limited-edition volume in 1982, is Don Washburn’s lyric poetry cycle — 128 poems in 16 sections — distilling the essence of childhood and youth in a town in Eastern Pennsylvania in the 1940s. The poet recalls “As a kid, I was allowed to have the run of my neighborhood. With that freedom, came the excitement of exploration and the joy of discovery. I was left with many memories, moments that still have a special power. The poems are in an eight-line rhyming verse form called the rispetto. They sum up what I still keep from these beginnings. I now realize that under the trees of my boyhood I first heard the other-worldly music that was to become a lifelong companion. ” Inevitable as comparisons to Ray Bradbury’s fictional Ohio of the same era might be, Washburn’s Pennsylvania is tougher — an ethnically mixed, blue-collar city on the Delaware river — less sentimental, yet full of poignant nature impressions and character portraits. The boy and young man of these poems would go on to college, then spend a lifetime as a teacher — yet during all this, the treeline of his exploration continued to expand, to the Berkshires where he has resided for many decades, and, spiritually to Sufism and other quests for the eternal and ineffable. Washburn’s poetry is prescient of a consciousness eager to expand, and the skill with which he employs his verse form includes an almost effortless, colloquial use of rhyme and rhythm, which sometimes includes a teasing line break in mid-word to induce a rhyme. It is a privilege to bring this delightful poem cycle into a new edition for the 21st century. Published June 2012. ISBN 0-922558-66-3,   108 pp 6 x 9, $12.95. CLICK HERE to order from Amazon.


Glen Volume 1 Cover


Published in June 2012. Emilie Glen (1906-1995) was a staggeringly prolific New York City-based poet, wh0se published work spans five decades with thousands of little magazine and newspaper credits worldwide. The long-awaited "big book" of prolific poet Emilie Glen's work has exploded into a four-volume series, thanks to the recovery of a large bundle of Glen's papers. Glen, also famed as the hostess of Manhattan's longest-running poetry salon, enjoyed almost a half-century of continuous writing and publication.

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. In this first volume, we have gathered the texts of all the chapbooks Glen published from her coffeehouse days in Greenwich Village through her last years: 77 Barrow Street, Mad Hatter, Coffee House Poems, Paint and Turpentine, Dark of Earth, Late to the Kitchen, Up to Us Chickens, Twat Shot, Glenda's Ark, Roast Swan, Hope of Amethyst, Rails Away, and Glenda and Her Guitar, Emilie and Her Piano. This includes the full text of all her Poet's Press chapbooks and books as well as early self-published leaflets and productions from several other presses.

The poems gathered here are a 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. This important series belongs in every collection of 20th century American poetry.  With cover art by American wood engraver John DePol. Paperback ISBN 0-922558-68-1. 330 pp., 6 x 9 inches $19.95.
Click here to order from AMAZON.

You can read Brett Rutherford's biographical essay HERE.



Lucile Burt.

Waiting CoverPublished in conjunction with The Providence Athenaeum, this is the 14th annual Philbrick Poetry Project prize winner. The Philbrick Project prize was established to help find and foster new poets in the New England states, and the annual competition is limited to poets who have not yet published a book of their work.

Poet-judge Lisa Starr, Rhode Island Poet Laureate, selected this manuscript, by retired high school English and creative writing teacher Lucile Burt, of Wellfleet, MA. Starr writes:

The reader should prepare for a bit of a journey led by a poet comfortable in many realms: the natural world, family, education, and work appear and re-appear in this collection, and through the poet's unique blend of sensitivity and language, these seemingly familiar themes become transformed. These are textured poems, some as ruddy as the old farmer who peoples one of them, and others as comforting as "waves"" that "break like heartbeats." Lucile Burt knows the mind and heart of surf-caster and sullen schoolgirl alike; she understands the difficulties of love, the beautiful pain of caring for an elderly patient, and the wisdom of the riverbed, and through these poems, delivers "the riotous chorus of matter" to us freshly washed and brand new."

Published May, 2012. Available for sale for $8 at The Providence Athenaeum or from Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.



Cover ImageThis is the expanded fifth edition of Brett Rutherford's landmark poetry collection, Whippoorwill Road: The Supernatural Poetry. This extraordinary 360-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, 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 vampire narrative poem "Dawn," and "Lucy: A Verse Mystery," which pits Edgar Allan Poe against "The Spectre of St. John's Churchyard."
To order the print edition for $19.95 from Amazon, CLICK HERE.
To download and READ THE PDF of the previous edition, CLICK HERE.

To order the EPUB ebook of the previous edition for instant download from iTunes for $6.99, CLICK HERE.



Tales of Wonder CoverMATTHEW GREGORY LEWIS. TALES OF WONDER, VOLUME 1. Edited and annotated by Brett Rutherford. Never reprinted in its original form since its 1805 second edition, and never before presented in full in an annotated, scholarly edition, Tales of Wonder is a landmark in Gothic literature and Romantic poetry. Here we are treated to a ghost/vampire tale first penned around 300 BCE; a Runic funeral song from the tenth century CE; a meeting between the Saxon invader of England and a Roman ghost; a Nordic warrior woman’s incantation to raise her father from the dead; Goethe’s blood-curdling multi-voiced “Erl-King” and fatal water nymphs; the monk and nun who try (unsuccessfully) to save their witch mother from the Devil; a proud painter's encounters with Satan; a doomed romance set in the horrific landscape of the War of the Spanish Succession; and the cursed forest ride of “The Wild Huntsmen.”
This edition, annotated by Brett Rutherford, traces the literary origins of the poems and the stories behind them, connecting them to the long line of eccentric antiquarian scholars who collected classical, Runic, English and Scottish manuscripts or folk material. The poems here also reveal the late-18th century British project of constructing a pagan pre-history for England, building a poetic connection to Nordic legends and bringing Wotan/Odin and the gods, monsters and fairies of the forest into competition with Biblical and Greco-Roman lore. This volume includes early poems by Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southey, as well as poems by M.G. Lewis, Goethe, Herder, Bürger, Mickle, Bunbury, and Leyden. The originals of these poems and ballads are from Greek, Latin, Icelandic, Danish and German, as well as English and Scottish supernatural ballads.
For the poetry lover, and the fan of supernatural literature, this collection offers a year-round Halloween treat of entertaining and alarming poems to read aloud ... bedtime stories for very bad children. A Yogh & Thorn Book. Published October 2010; revised, corrected version published March 2012 to coordinate with the release of Volume II (see below). Paperback ISBN 0-922558-61-2. 245 pp., 6 x 9. $16.95. CLICK HERE to order from AMAZON.


Tales of Wonder 2 coverMATTHEW GREGORY LEWIS. TALES OF WONDER, VOLUME 2. Edited and annotated by Brett Rutherford. This second volume continues the mayhem with Ben Jonson's song for 13 witches, a clutch of famous Scottish ghost ballads, a journey to an Irish cave that opens into Purgatory, a Russian prince's date with Death after 300 years of bliss in the Land of Felicity, the dangers of lingering at Tam Lin's well, the mysterious death of King Arthur, and the most terrifying horseback ride in all literature, Bürger's "Lenora." Information about the poets, source texts and alternative versions enrich the reader's experience of these thrilling Gothic narratives in verse. Poets include Robert Burns ("Tam O'Shanter" with 187 annotations!), Ben Jonson, Richard Glover, David Mallet, Thomas Parnell, John Dryden, Thomas Lisle, Thomas Gray, Thomas Percy, Robert Southey, M.G. Lewis, Robert Lambe, and William Taylor of Norwich. The book includes more than 500 informative annotations, maps, illustrations, and an extensive bibliography. No other edition of Tales of Wonder contains these additional materials. A Poet's Press/ Yogh & Thorn Book. Published March 2012. Paperback ISBN 0-922558-62-0. 294 pp., 6 x 9, $16.95. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.



Poems from Providence, a huge compendium of all the poems Rutherford created during his first years in Providence, Rhode Island (1985-88), was published in 1991. This great blossoming of neo-Romantic work was inspired by a change of locale to New England, by H.P. Lovecraft, and a deep immersion in the classical world, yielding the long "Ganymede" cycle, a prequel to The Iliad. Other memorable works in this paperback are "The Outsider," an elegy for Barbara A. Holland, Treblinka's "Ivan the Terrible," "The God's Eye: A Summer Diary" tracing a return to native haunts in Pennsylvania, the cat memorial poems to Thunderpuss, and the first appearance of the now-famous poem, "At Lovecraft's Grave." Illustrated with line-drawings by Pieter Vanderbeck.
To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this volume, the poet has revised a number of the poems, and added six poems that are centered in or around Providence, including new Lovecraft poems and the Poe Providence mystery narrative poem, "Lucy."

This book is issued simultaneously in three formats: print, a 6x9 ebook in PDF format, and in the Poets Press's new XVIxIX format: a PDF ebook designed for wide 16x9 monitors: i.e., wide monitors on a desktop computer, or 16x9 ratio screens on recent laptops and notebooks. This handsome new layout presents the book in two-page spreads in classic type faces, with maximum legibility. Illustrations and side-notes are included.

This is a prototype of a new ebook layout, so we would appreciate reader feedback!


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND READ THE 6x9 EBOOK PDF (readable on newer Kindles, iPads, etc. as well as on your computer.

Published July 31, 2011. 260 pp., 6x9 inches, paperback. ISBN 0-922558-58-2. $16.95. CLICK HERE to order the print edition from Amazon.

Back cover


The 2011 Philbrick Poetry Project Chapbook

Raven coverWORKERS' RITES, by Ellen LaFleche. Poet LaFleche delighted the assembled audience at The Providence Athenaeum this spring with her prize-winning chapbook. Judge Dana Gioia selected the winner, and he described the book thus: “Reviving the lyrical realist tradition of Sherwood Anderson, Edgar Lee Masters, and Edwin Arlington Robinson, Ellen LaFleche’s collection,Workers’ Rites, creates a gallery of alternately evocative and disturbing portraits. LaFleche introduces each character by profession — midwife, undertaker, parish housekeeper, librarian — suggesting the quotidian quality of what might seem to be ordinary lives. But the real point of Workers’ Rites is to reveal the dark secrets of people we might normally take for granted. No life, the poet insists, is ordinary. To be alive is to be charged with invisible inner forces — consumed by longing, radiant with love, or transformed by imagination — even if we all must put on disguises to earn our daily bread.” The book is designed around WPA-era art from the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Published April 2011 by The Poet's Press for The Providence Athenaeum. Paperback, $8.00. Or download the PDF ebook for $4.99. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM OUR ONLINE BOOKSTORE.


Raven coverHYDROGEN SLEEP AND SPEED. A Verse Tale of Rommel, Egypt, Angry Gods, Dr. Caligari and Amphetamines by Th. METZGER. From the author of the startling novel Shock Totem, and underground classic poems like "Devil in a Dead Man's Underwear" comes what promises to be the weirdest book ever published by The Poet's Press (excepting perhaps Hakim Bey's landmark chapbook Chaos). This riveting poem cycle mines little-known aspects of World War II history into a melange of African invasions, angry Egyptian gods, rampant Mormon warriors, and the lord of sleepwalkers, Dr. Caligari, presiding over the Nazi obsession with not sleeping, ever, until the ultimate triumph (hence, the advent of mass-produced amphetamines). Brett Rutherford has illustrated this book with digital-art montages from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Mormon histories, silent film stills and other historical sources (even Zeppelins bombing American truck stops). Published April 2011. ISBN 0-922558-57-4. 6 x 9, paperback, $16.95. Or download the PDF ebook for $4.99.





Now in its fourth edition and vastly expanded, Anniversarius: The Book of Autumn is Brett Rutherford’s 40-poem epic cycle of autumn-themed poems. Although there is plenty of Shelley, Poe, and Bradbury here in the celebration of “autumn’s being,” this cycle encompasses works that are mythic, metaphysical, political, satirical and, of course, supernatural.
Autumn becomes the landscape for Jan Palach’s suicide in Soviet-invaded Czechoslovakia in 1969; for translations of Pushkin and Hugo; and for rhapsodic and moody invocations of fall in Western Pennsylvania (the poet’s birthplace) and haunted New England (his adopted home). Greek myth comes in by way of a hymn to Rhea, the Oak Tree Goddess, an encounter with three oak nymphs, and a dinner party in Hades.
Rutherford walks in the footsteps of Poe in New York City, and sets two other powerful poems in Manhattan: one a panorama of historic Madison Square Park, and a troubled visit in the aftermath of 9/11.
Influenced by Poe, Shelley, Whitman, Jeffers, Hugo, Bradbury, and Greek classics, these poems present a cosmos tinged with autumnal sadness, yet they are brave with the delight in a life fully relished down to the last falling leaf. Although solitude and loss stalk through these pages, there are also poems expressing a defiant, transcendent spirit. Each of the two “Rings” of the work ends with powerful affirmation. The locales of the latest poems include New York, Providence, rural Pennsylvania, the planets Mars and Pluto, and Ming Dynasty China.
This book is meant to be relished slowly, to be read aloud and savored for music as well as meaning. Each poem stands alone as an “anniversary,” yet the cycle as a whole is Romantic in sweep, its structure like that of two successive long symphonies.
This landmark of autumnal poetry is available for free download in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download the Free PDF ebook of Anniversarius: The Book of Autumn.
Please note: this new edition supersedes the Anniversarius text presented in HTML format on this website.
ISBN 0-922558-59-0   4th edition, revised and expanded, October 31 2011.    170 pp., $16.95. CLICK HERE to order the print edition from Amazon.

ISBN 0-922558-71-X   4th edition, revised and expanded, February 2013.    170 pp., $24.95. Deluxe color edition: same as the standard edition above, but with all photos and illustrations in full color. CLICK HERE to order the print edition from Amazon.



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Bailis portraitA TRANSCONTINENTAL PERSPECTIVE ... Poet Moira Bailis (b. 1921) began writing poetry before the age of twenty in her native Ireland. Like many poets who write for the love of the art, she did not begin publishing her work extensively until later in life. Since the 1980s, she has had over 200 poetry publication credits, both in the United States and Ireland, and has authored one poetry chapbook, poems (2003). The brink of her tenth decade of life sees her still engaged in her art.
Bailis has lived in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, New York City, and finally, in Fort Lee, New Jersey (her home since 1966). Her poems encompass her life’s journey as well as her broad literary interests, social awareness, and activism. A lover and advocate of poetry, she has taught workshops, and lectured live and on radio about poetry, poets, and writers.
David Messineo, Bailis’s friend and long-time publisher, in cooperation with the poet and her family, has assembled 450 of her collected poems into two volumes. Ireland figures large in both — a home place many times revisited over a long life, its landmarks, Celtic history, and political troubles recalled.
This first volume, The Antidote to Prejudice, is arranged geographically, reflecting the places Bailis lived in or visited (or imagined, in the case of South America, Africa and Antarctica). Ireland and New Jersey bookend this varied collection of 190 poems. The section, “To Ireland in the Fading Times,” could stand as the poet’s missive to the land of her birth. In the editor’s words, these poems “are dually interesting from the standpoints of poetic craft and the capturing of history.”
Many other poems in Volume I center on nature and landscape — those especially gleaned from her long walks and hikes exploring Northern New Jersey — and they mark her as a keen word-water-colorist of bird, tree and season.
The second volume, It Has To Do With Seeing, has 260 poems, including some variant texts (edited by Melanie A. Pimont), and more than 80 poems concerning the poet's Irish childhood, family and friends. Poems touching on the literary life, and on writers such as Austen, Emily Brontë, Sandburg, Thoreau, Brodsky, Merrill, Williams, Frost and Dickinson are all here. Poems of nature, season, and landscape abound as well. “Closing Remarks,” a fine cluster of reflective pieces, is in the tradition of Whitman's ever-extended “Next-to-Last Thoughts.”
This intriguing poet, with a transcontinental perspective on the tumults of modern life and the consolations of the solitary commune with nature, bequeaths us more than eight decades of her life and thought in this two-volume set. Her many poetic friends, and readers on both sides of the Atlantic pond, can delight in this restrained and thoughtful production.

Read the article about the book launch from The Fort Lee Patch.

Moira Bailis. The Antidote to Prejudice: The Collected Poems of Moira Bailis, Volume 1. 6x9 inches, 272 pages. Paperback ISBN 0-922558-52-3, $17.95. Hardcover ISBN 0-922558-53-1 $28.95. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

Moira Bailis. It Has To Do With Seeing: The Collected Poems of Moira Bailis, Volume 2. 6x9 inches, 328 pages. Paperback ISBN 0-922558-54-X, $18.95. Hardcover ISBN 0-922558-55-8 $29.95. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.



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DEATH AND THE DOWNS: THE POETRY OF CHARLES HAMILTON SORLEY. 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 portrait
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. ISBN 0-922558-38-8. Published Sept 27, 2010. 6 x 9 paperback, 180 pp., $14.95. PDF download $5.00. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.



Raven coverDESPISED AND REJECTED, by A.T. Fitzroy (pseud. Rose Allatini). This novel, a landmark in gay and lesbian literature, and in the literature of pacifism, was unavailable to readers for more than half of the 20th century. The British government seized the unsold copies in 1918 and arrested and prosecuted author Rose Allatini and publisher C.W. Daniel under the Defence of the Realm Act.
This was a dangerous book on several counts. Although the author, writing under the pseudonym of A.T. Fitzroy, was prosecuted for the political content of the book as detrimental to war morale, the trial judge also took pains to denounce the book’s advocacy of homosexual rights. Just two decades after the Oscar Wilde trial, gay men and lesbians were still not allowed to plead equality. In her Wellsian peroration near the end of the book, reminiscent of that author’s The Food of the Gods, and certainly influenced too by Edward Carpenter’s Towards Democracy, Allatini stakes a claim for a gay and lesbian consciousness as part of humankind’s evolution, demanding not only tolerance, but acceptance.
Allatini equates the gentleness and empathy of gay men and women with an inherent antipathy toward the destructive stupidity of war. The British penal system seems to have agreed with her in part, declaring pacifists and homosexual persons as criminal bodies, to be isolated and punished. It seems no coincidence that the sentences meted out to men who would not fight was the same as that accorded to convicted homosexuals: imprisonment, hard labor, and abuse by jailers. Every pacifist was an Oscar Wilde.
Writing before women had the right to vote in Great Britain, Allatini offers a free-spirited lesbian heroine who suffers a painful self-acceptance. She depicts brave women who, because there are fewer other choices available to them, become helpers and companions to pacifists; on the other side, she skewers the conventional women who are complicit in the war fever that sent their sons to meaningless deaths in the trenches. Closer to Dickens than to Virginia Woolf in method, Allatini nonetheless has the ability to dissect the patriotism-crazed society around her. She works her plot to convey in strong terms that, for the middle-class English mother, the price of unthinking patriotism was the dreaded telegraph from the front, or the return of the amputated soldier.
When Allatini enters the narration in the guise of Dennis Blackwood, she conveys his torment, and his much more tortured self-acceptance, in a convincing way. The all-too-British reticence, evasions, panic, and finally, self-awareness make us see that whoever “made her understand,” was an extraordinary confidante. This book might have saved lives, had it been available in the pre-Stonewall decades.
Despised and Rejected was reprinted in 1975 as part of the series Homosexuality: Lesbians and Gay Men in Society, History and Literature, under the editorship of Jonathan Ned Katz. After one more reprint in the 1980s, the book seems to have dropped from sight again.

This is the first book produced under our new scholarly imprint, Yogh & Thorn Books, and the first novel ever published by The Poet's Press. The text has been completely reset by our intern Tim Terhaar, and Brett Rutherford has added numerous footnotes to clarify names and allusions that may be unfamiliar to today's readers. The cover depicts Richmond Castle, in whose keep Conscientious Objectors were imprisoned. The book also includes several World War I recruitment posters.

Published Sept. 1, 2010. 6 x 9, paperback. 300 pp. $18.95 ISBN 0-922558-48-5. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE PAPERBACK EDITION FROM AMAZON. Hardcover edition $25.95 ISBN 0-922558-49-3, available only from the Poet's Press Online Bookstore. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Now available as an epub e-book for your iPad on the iTunes iBookstore! CLICK HERE TO ORDER.


Raven coverBORIA SAX. THE RAVEN AND THE SUN. Boria Sax, steeped in animal studies in myth and literature, is not only a teacher and scholar, but also one of our finest lyric poets. This collection of poems and tales, centered around the mysterious world of crows and ravens that exists around us almost unnoticed, demonstrates the universality of the narratives in which animal wisdom plays, as he retells Eastern European and Native American crow/raven tales. The book is also interspersed with Sax's sensitive lyrics on other topics. Includes two "crow wheel" illustrations by Tom Fitzpatrick.

ISBN 0-922558-43-4. Published July, 2010. 6 x 9, paperback. 82 pp. $13.95. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

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CLICK HERE to read a recent review of this book.


Rift coverBEYOND THE RIFT: POETS OF THE PALISADES. Paul Nash, senior editor. A decade of poets featured at the North Jersey Literary Series, the liveliest poetry venue on the wrong side of the Hudson. Shows the remarkable variety and quality of work being done outside the Manhattan poetry hive. Emerging from the Gothic-oriented literary and arts magazine, The Rift, founded by Alda Xavier, the series has introduced new poets, while also providing a venue for established poets to reach new audiences. These poets have broken free from the self-absorption of prior decades and reflect a commitment to narrative, to communication, and to the power of language as a well-aimed arrow. The work in this anthology helps make the case that the Muse has indeed flown to the provinces.

Nash with books

This anthology was edited by Paul Nash (shown above), Denise LaNeve, David Messineo, Susanna Rich, and John J. Trause. All poets in the volume were featured readers at the North Jersey Literary Series during the last decade. Poets included in the anthology are Dorothy Alexander, Joel Allegretti, Raphael Badagliacca, Caterina Belvedere, John Chorazy, Cathy Cimillo Cavallone, K. Elizabeth Costa, Aza Derman, Estrella Gabrie-Garcia, Davidson Garrett, Jonathan Hall, Patrick Hammer, Jr., George Harvilla, Josh Humphrey, Peter Jawarowski, Thomas D. Jones, Denise LaNeve, Richard Loranger, Roy Lucianna, Brant Lyon, David Messineo, Gene Myers, Paul Nash, Marianne Poloskey, S. Gili Post, Daniel Quinn, Jamie McNeely Quirk, Susanna Rich, Eddie Rivera, Denise Rue, C.D. Russell, Brett Rutherford, John Salacan, Joseph Andrew Sapia, S. Thomas Summers, John J. Trause, Doris Umbers, Galen Warden, and Donald Zirilli. Artwork was contributed by Roy Lucianna, Tom Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Pierson, and Galen Warden.

Published May 2010. 168 pp., 6x9" Paperback edition ISBN 0-922558-44-2 $16.95; hardcover edition ISBN 0-922558-45-0 $24.95. Download of PDF $5. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON. To read a free PDF sampler of the anthology, CLICK HERE.

To see photos from the May 8 2010 book launch with portaits and information about the poets, CLICK HERE. Twenty-two of the 39 poets in the anthology were in attendance and read from their work.

Below: more photos from the May 8 book launch:

Above: John Trause, Don Zirilli, Galen Warden.
Nash-LaNeve readiing
Above: Denise LaNeve and Paul Nash reading "Mullican Pines".

Visit the North Jersey Literary Society's Facebook page for more information about this poets' group. CLICK HERE.



THE WAITING ROOM. Kathleen M. Kelley.

Waiting CoverPublished in conjunction with The Providence Athenaeum, this is the 12th annual Philbrick Poetry Prize winner. The Philbrick Prize was established to help find and foster new poets in the New England states, and the annual competition is limited to poets who have not yet published a book of their work. Poet-judge Marge Piercy selected this manuscript, whose poems center around memories of a mother struggling against mental illness. Growing up in the era when electroshock treatment was administered almost casually, Kelley writes vividly of "The Waiting Room," where "my mother's memory of her life/ was being shocked from her/ shaken like cereal from a box." There are lyrical turns and surprises here, when Death appears as a stranger offering a ride, or the unexpectedly voluptuous lyric about childbirth, "The night that you were born, / breathless sugar maples,/ unattended, undid/ slip knots in their veins/ and sweet sap flowed for you."

Marge Piercy wrote of Kelley: "This poet has empathy and imagination. The poems explore pain and loss without self pity, without the persona who speaks demanding we see her as a victim. This is not a strident voice but a quiet one, strong and disciplined. The love poetry is subtle, quiet and lyrical."

Published May, 2010. Available for sale for $8 at The Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street, Providence RI 02903.



Hereafter coverAs 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. " Visit Presa magazine at www.presapress.com

Published March, 2010.
ISBN 0-922558-42-6. 56 pp., 9 x 7, full color, $19.95 paperback.
CLICK HERE to order the print edition of the book. To read the book in PDF format, CLICK HERE.


WC2010 CoverTHE RHODE ISLAND WRITERS' CIRCLE 2010 ANTHOLOGY. Here is the Writers' Circle's fourth anthology, a new selection of works by emerging and established Rhode Island authors. Drama by Robert Levinson; fiction by Susan Bergeron, Dorothy S. Clark, Charles R. Greaves, David Howard, Ashley O'Brien, Sally Sanford, Marcia Taylor, Charles P. Whitin; nonfiction by Nellie Fagan, Robert Mariana, James E. Marlow, Celest Martin, Patricia Pierannunzi; poetry by Carol Anderheggen, Nancy Brown, Tom Chandler, Lisa Christine, Jack Coulehan, Diane Dolphin, Lawrence J. Krips, Silent Lotus, Michael Mack, Robert Mariani, Brett Rutherford, Michael Sheff, Lisa Starr, Christopher Stewart,and Heather Sullivan. 184 pp., paperback. $21.50. Also available as a PDF download for $4.99. To order from our online bookstore, CLICK HERE.


IN THE SHADOWS. Barbara A. Holland.

Here is a facsimile in PDF form of a hard-to-find 1984 oversize chapbook from our "high-tech medieval" period. Barbara A. Holland selected 14 ghost poems and elegiac poems with a decided New York City flavor for this collection. This collection includes the haunting "Elegy for Alexis," about a suspicious wind that pulls guests out of an artist's loft in the Flatiron Building, and "St. John's Church in the Bouwerie: Offertorium," about the appearance of a spectre in the Lower East Side's most famous church. The little book was printed with digital fonts that we designed for high legibility and Gothic import, on acid-free paper and hand-bound. Copies are not to be had anywhere, but you can possess and share the PDF simply by CLICKING HERE.



Hawk CoverLove after 70? How about love, betrayal and the transcendent pursuit of yet another "Dark Lady" in literature? Washburn's sonnets, composed with amazing grace and fluency as a diary during his doomed romance, combines utterly modern language and a wry self-awareness with a classical ease. The reader is propelled into this taut narrative, nearly forgetting the formal rules and boundaries of the sonnet.
The poet's engagement with Sufi mysticism adds a special grace to the denouement of loss and abandonment. We are proud to publish this new landmark in the genre of the sonnet-cycle.
Published July, 2009.
ISBN 0-922558-40-X. 80 pp., $8.95 paperback. CLICK HERE to order from Amazon.com.
CLICK HERE to download the PDF for $5.00 from Lulu.com.

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For a sampler of Don Washburn's poetry, visit his Featured Poet page.



Twilight CoverTwilight of the Dictators, first published in 1992, gathered together poems written by Rutherford and Vanderbeck (unknown to one another) from the late 1960s through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Both poets felt a deep kinship with their fellow artists behind the Iron Curtain and had written about the invasion of Czechoslovakia; the Stalin terror and its effects on artists like Shostakovich; the dreariness and paranoia of life in East Germany; and the jubilation both poets felt as Communism collapsed upon itself in 1989. The book's shamelessly libertarian tone made it the most shunned book ever published by The Poet's Press. Events since then have prompted the poets to add more poems about bad behavior, East and West. As Rutherford writes in the afterword to the book:

This book was not "politically correct" when it was published in 1992 ... This new edition, published in the wake of the Balkan wars, 9/11, and the ascent of American fascism under Cheney and Bush, is again “politically incorrect.” Our newer poems take on the Taliban, Serbian incendiary bombing of Bosnian libraries, and  the Cheney/Bush war machine. It was also an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as the Atom Bomb generation, and to debate whether, with global warming, we have finally reached a crisis that we cannot fix. In balance, this longer book is an equal opportunity offender of orthodoxy.

In this 136-page volume, illustrated with Vanderbeck's fiendishly sinister line drawings, the poets cover a vast landscape of political horrors, sometimes with an appropriate sense of outrage or despair, other times with satire or a withering, Gogolian irony. Events related here include Stalin's oppression of composer Dmitri Shostakovich; the suicide of Czech student Jan Palach; the arrest of the Treblinka prison guard named "Ivan the Terrible"; the beating of Romanian writers by athletes; daring escapes across the Berlin Wall; governmental grave robbing in Weimar; Communist bosses on the run; the fate of all those Stalin and Lenin statues; the Serbian destruction of the state library in Bosnia; the Taliban's dynamiting of Buddhas; and "wartime" impressions of the Cheney/Bush era.

Published May, 2009. 136 pp., oversize paperback, $14.95. ISBN 0-922558-39-6. Also available as a PDF e-book for $5.00. CLICK HERE to order from AMAZON.

This book is now available for $6.99 for instant download from iTunes as an EPUB ebook. CLICK HERE to order.

CLICK HERE to open HTML version of this book (free preview).



Chamber Music CoverChamber Music, first published in September 2001, is re-issued here in Spring 2009 with new material: the poet's last, posthumous poems (Memorial to the Moon) and a memoir by poet Mary Ferrari. This 152-page book brings together the poet's best mature work, plus her own selections of the best poems from her earlier books, Rapunzel (1971), One-Armed Flyer (1976), Journeys Around One Point (1980), The Crossing (1984), Calendar House (1990), and Enemy on the Way to School (1994). Annette believed that Chamber Music in 2001 would be her last book, but the final group of poems added for this edition demonstrate that she was still in peak form. This finely-etched, spare poetry, influenced greatly by the example of her early teacher, Kenneth Koch, intersperses the everyday with the surrealistic, walks bravely among her worlds: childhood in Nazi Germany, boarding school in England, family life and the discovery of poetry writing in America, and her final years overshadowed by 9/11 and her own confrontation with mortality. ISBN 0-922558-37-X, paperback, 152 pp., $14,95.
Now also available as an ebook at the iBookstore!
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Other Rooms cover


Shirley Powell is one of a small circle of poets who astonished New York and other poetry centers in the 1970s and 1980s with a new romanticism that shed modernism with all its cynical baggage. Lyrical, supernatural, narrative, and deft in portrayal of characters, Powell's poems startled many with their freshness, and their sense of being narrated by a timeless voice.

She is a prairie twister of a poet. Her people and animals occupy a remembered world of small town and rural America, but they are real--they breathe, dream, bleed and die. Her ghosts and demons spring not from myth, but from your grandmother's rocking chair. This book selects 80 poems from the very best of Powell's passionate, spooky, romantic, and haunting poems. Other Rooms, first published as a hand-bound book in 1997, has been unavailable for some time, and we are delighted to bring it back into print. A Poet's Press Grim Reaper Book, $13.95. 6 x 9 paperback, 112 pp. ISBN 978-0-922558-36-0. This is the 179th publication of The Poet's Press.
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Published in J200 Anthology Coverune 2008. This anthology of new short stories, memoirs, essays, poetry and drama features Rhode Island authors involved in 2007-2008 workshops run by The Writers’ Circle, the Ocean State’s longest-running authors’ group. Both established and emerging authors are featured in this 260-page collection, with three complete one-act plays, nine short stories, seven memoirs and essays, and 27 poems. There’s nothing provincial about the wide range of topics and locales in this collection: the Mexico of Empress Carlota, violence-plagued Northern Ireland, war-torn Vukovar in Yugoslavia,  relentless born-again missionaries in Oklahoma, Amazon excursions, Vietnam War memories, demonstrate that the writers among us do not have stay-at-home minds. Rhode Island authors in the anthology include:

Kim Baker
Maureen Collins Baker
Katherine Besser
Joanne Carnevale
Catherine C. Cryan
Helen D’Ordine
Louise Giguere
Lynnie Gobeille
David Howard
R. G. Hynes
Jan Keough
Mary Ellen King
Nancy Kirsch
Jan Molinari
Mary Mueller
Bob Muir
Noël Patoine

Rose Pearson
Michael Persson
Patricia Pierannunzi
Wanda A. Rickerby
James B. Rosenberg
Brett Rutherford
Toni Salisbury
Barbara Schweitzer
Michael Sheff
Kerry Sheridan
Andrew Shlapak
Julia Meylor-Simpson
Heather Sullivan
Ellen Taylor
Grace Tryon
Wendy Warlick
Chris Waters

This 6x9" volume is available in paperback and hardcover.

Paperback: ISBN 0-922558-32-9, 260 pp., $21.50. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM OUR ON-LINE BOOKSTORE.

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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." We're delighted to offer the ink-on-paper paperback again for direct orders for $12.95 each, plus $3.50 per order for packing and shipping. ISBN 0-922558-07-8. 96 pp., paperback.
To read a sampler of poems from this book in PDF, CLICK HERE.



Last Flowers CoverWith an essay by Brett Rutherford. Second edition, expanded and revised, 2003/2005, first paperback edition 2008. Fourth Edition, Expanded and Revised, December 2011, with additional annotations and illustrations.
This is the definitive book on Edgar Allan Poe's doomed romance with Providence poet Sarah Helen Whitman, and the first time her poetry has been available in print since 1916. This book contains the poems both poets wrote about one another, and the best work they might have read to one another during their courtship. The essay traces Poe's 28 days in Providence in detail, as well as the genealogy and family history of Mrs. Whitman. Additionally, an appreciation of Sarah Helen Whitman's highly romantic poetry helps to place her in the pantheon of American women poets where she belongs.

To read Brett Rutherford's Introductory Essay, CLICK HERE.

To read the poems, CLICK HERE.

Published December 2011. ISBN 0-922558-60-4. 164 pp. 6x9", paperback. $13.95.



Writers Circle 2007


Published in January 2007. This 224-page anthology of new short stories, memoirs, essays, poetry and drama features Rhode Island authors involved in 2006 workshops run by The Writers’ Circle, the Ocean State’s longest-running authors’ group. Writings here range from those of well-known local writers, to newcomers for whom this is a first print appearance. The text includes three short plays, one of them Rose Pearson’s collage-collaboration with twelve poets, He/She. Rhode Island authors in the anthology include:

Grace Tryon
Gayle Hanrahan
Rose Pearson
Brenda Aspelund
Tom Chandler
Dave Church
Jack Coulehan
Sylvia D. Feldman
Jerry Fogel
Ingrid Wild Kleckner
Patricia Weathers-Parry
Philip R. Pearson, Jr.
Ara Sadaniantz
Richard Travisano
Carole A. DiFabio
Gigi Edwards
Christina Gombar
David Howard
Ellen Kuster
Charles J. Read
Nicki Toler
Nick Zaller

Gary E. Blais
Helen D’Ordine
Christopher Drummy
Ana Flores
Leith C. MacArthur
John Petell
Charles P. Whitin
Bill Carpenter
Jack Coulehan
Jessie Dutra
Louise Giguere
Matthew Goldman
R.G. Hynes
Mary Mueller
Noel Patoine
Victoria Pearson
Richard B. Proctor
Brett Rutherford
Barbara Schweitzer
Julia Meylor Simpson

ISBN 0-922558-22-1. 224 pp., 6x9". Paperback $16.95. ISBN 0-922558-23X PDF download for $7.94. CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM OUR ONLINE BOOKSTORE AT LULU.

This book is now available as an EPUB ebook for $8.90 for instant download from iTunes. CLICK HERE to order.


Things Seen Cover 1


Revised and gathered together here in one compact, oblong book are all 15 of Brett Rutherford's multi-faceted graveyard poems. Terrifying, sardonic, satirical, romantic, erotic, these neo-Romantic works are set in New England graveyards at Mt. Auburn, Providence, Salem, and rural Rhode Island, with side trips to New York City's Potter's Field (Hart Island), a haunted monument in Kyoto, and the legendary Aceldama in the Holy Land. Accounts of strange exhumations, grave robberies, graveyard trysts interrupted by lonely ghosts, and a delicious transcript of a meeting of cemetery security guards. There is much to savor in this handsome book, illustrated with black-and-white photos and pen-and-ink digital art. 80 pp. $11.99. ISBN 0-922558-27-2

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The Companion "Images" Volume is now available. 48 pages of full color digital photographs and digital art by Brett Rutherford. Views of historic cemeteries in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and other locales, mixed with evocative close-ups of foliage, flowers, exotic fungi, and the haunted architecture of Providence and Marblehead. ISBN 0-922558-28-0. 48 pp., $17.00

CLICK HERE  to order either/both titles from our on-line bookstore.



Authors competed for prizes and publication in this edition marking The Writers' Circle tenth anniversary. Twenty-four authors were selected by judges. First, second, and third prizes won cash awards and publication. This anthology features original works of fiction, nonfiction, plays, and poetry. The cover art, "The Rose," was contributed by artist Richard Little Bear St. Denis.

Authors for this volume include Jannie K. Alpert, Lynore G. Banchoff, Bill Carpenter, Robert Cataldo, James Celenza, Debra Rogers Coleman, Brenda Corwin, Stephen S. Hale, Lois B. Heaton, Don Kunz, Richard Laliberte, Marguerite Lum, T.G. Maguire, Celesta Marsella, Alyson Marszalowski, Janet Parkinson, June Smith, Fredi Solod, Joseph Szpila, Sarah Tahir, Shirley Utterback, Chris Waters, Patricia Weathers-Parry, and Ingrid Wild-Kleckner. ISBN #0-922558-26-4 Paperback. $16.95.



Annette Hayn assembled this cycle of poems around her childhood memories of Nazi Germany, followed by her escape to Britain, and, later, to America. Constructed of hauntingly understated poems, tinged with surrealism, this memorable book is a personal and artistic testimony. Hayn recounts her childhood fascination with Schiller's plays, opera, and other aspects of high German culture and describes how, in the brief interlude of the Kulturbund, German Jews were permitted artistic expression, only to be prohibited from presenting anything by "real" Germans. Other poems center on her schooldays, parents and family, with premonitions about the oncoming troubles. We are proud to bring these finely-wrought poems into a second edition for new readers. ISBN 0-922558-21-3. Paperback $9.95, hardcover $19.95. Also available as an ebook download for $3.99. Order from Lulu by clicking HERE.

This book is also available as an EPUB ebook for $3.99 for instant download from the iTunes store. CLICK HERE to order.




Now available for free download, here is a facsimile of Brett Rutherford's 1973 chapbook, The Pumpkined Heart, his first outpouring of neo-Romantic lyric poems, inspired by the natural surroundings of a village in Northwest Pennsylvania where the poet attended college intermittently. This collection, with intense black-and-white photography by David Murphy, captures the history and pre-history of a glacial lake, its Indian dwellers, and its pioneer settlers. The poet's long cycle of autumn poems, Anniversarium, commences here, and the two "Water Music" poems convey a sense of union with the elements and raw, inhuman nature, a subsuming of the human into the cosmos. While most of these poems have been revised, or are being revised for the forthcoming book, The Pumpkined Heart: Pennsylvania Poems, this chapbook has its own integrity and marks this writer's first mature poems. The first edition was limited to 500 copies, printed by the author at The Poet's Press loft in Manhattan. Scarce copies are offered for outrageous prices by dealers on the Internet, so here is the book for those who want to see it and read it, free. CLICK HERE to download the PDF.

Here's yet another way to see this book — read it instantly as an ISSUU Flip-Book, shown below:

Get your own - Open publication



30th ANNHolland Cover ArtIVERSARY EDITION. The complete poetic cycle, Crises of Rejuvenation, originally published in two volumes in 1973 to 1975, is now expanded and annotated by Brett Rutherford. Most of the works in this collection are inspired by paintings of the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, and the notes explain the precise connections between the writings and the paintings. Those who heard Holland read in New York still remember some of the haunting works here, including "An Abominable Breakfast, " "My Old Friend, the Sorcerer," "High On Three Cups of Tea," and "The Inevitable Knife." Also here are the Wagnerian yearning of "Not Now, Wanderer," and the Ray Bradbury tribute, "Autumn Wizard."
The print edition of this significant poetic cycle from the 1970s is available now. ISBN 0-922558-20-5, 106 pp., paperback. $14.95. Also available as a PDF ebook download for $3.99-- CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

To order the EPUB ebook version for $4.99 for instant download from iTunes, CLICK HERE.

(To learn more about Barbara Holland and her poetry, CLICK HERE.


Autumn Numbers CoverBARBARA A. HOLLAND.

THE POET'S PRESS has also issued a new facsimile edition of Barbara Holland's long-out-of-print 1980 chapbook, Autumn Numbers.
CLICK HERE to read or download this free Adobe Acrobat (PDF) e-book.






Holland Collected CoverThis new e-book is an exact facsimile of one of the rarest of all Poet's Press books, the intended first volume of the collected poems of Barbara A. Holland. Less than 200 copies were circulated, and all we had left was a photocopy, from which this PDF has been extracted. This volume collects early Holland poems from magazines; the complete text of the rare chapbooks A Game of Scraps, Penny Arcana, Melusine Discovered, On This High Hill, and You Could Die Laughing; and the text of two unpublished chapbook manuscripts, East From Here, and Lens, Sight & Sound. These poems paint the Bohemia of New York City in the 1960s , while plumbing the depth of a self already defined as eternal outsider: "I am the wanderer with dirty feet/ who wipes worlds from existence." Also here are the poet's masterful "Medusa," "St. Mark's Church in the Bouwerie: Offertorium," "The Argo," "Eurydice," "The Sybil of Cumae" and "Melusine Discovered," among the finest poems on classical themes of our time.
Right now this book is available for free download: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND READ.


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One of the early books from our press in New York City was D.H. Melhem's wonderful Notes on 94th Street, a powerful portrait of the vibrant but gritty Upper West Side of Manhattan by a long-time resident and community activist. D.H. was then embarking on her brilliant academic and creative writing career, which has included poetry, novels, and plays. Notes on 94th Street was published by The Poet's Press in 1972, and the sequel volume, Children of the House Afire/ More Notes on 94th Street, was published by Dovetail Press in 1979. We are thrilled that Syracuse University Press has issued this 184-page paperback edition combining both volumes into one, titled New York Poems.

D.H. writes about the two decades portrayed in her book: "[E]ach year and decade has shaken with its own turbulence. The 1970s ... were not halcyon days for the City. ...[W]e resided in a White, middle-class enclave on the Upper West Side, surrounded by poor Puerto Rican, Black and White neighbors. Some of them were crowded into SROs (Single Room Occupancy, city-supported hotels). We also lived with whores, pimps and crazies who were being dumped out of overcrowded mental institutions into the streets, along with angry, sometimes neglected children who occasionally preyed on others for money." The poems from Notes on 94th Street include unforgettable character portraits from the troubled years when urban renewal, gentrification, and racial and ethnic tensions played out over a rapidly-changing urban landscape. So why did New York not go the way of Detroit and Los Angeles and many other cities where black and white, rich and poor wound up in segregated, warring enclaves? Perhaps it is because people like D.H. watched, listened, and responded to their neighbors, including rather than excluding, and resisting the faceless forces that would have pushed aside a diverse population to make room only for the wealthy. They did not succeed in this, for the Upper West Side remains as diverse as ever. As the author notes, "While these poems witness another era, they celebrate the dynamics of urban change, the raucous vitality of this great City." She dedicates her book to "The City of New York, embattled, gallant, enduring."

To order D.H. Melhem's New York Poems, via Amazon.com, CLICK HERE. To read a sampler of poems by D.H. Melhem, CLICK HERE.


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Here is one of the most startling books of poetry since Baudelaire. Joel Allegretti, author of The Plague Psalms, has been up to no good since his first book, and this new book goes darker and deeper still, delving into such delicate topics as The Juggernaut, Mother Julian of Norwich, Eurydice as Greta Garbo, Nico, spiders, the Gallows Tree, the horrors of 9/11, and "Billy the Whore: An Encomium in 9 Infections." This 72-page paperback book is now for sale for $8.95 from AMAZON. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Also available as an EPUB ebook for $6.99 from iTunes. CLICK HERE for purchase and instant download.

Father Silicon was picked by The Kansas City Star as one of the ten most notable poetry books of 2006.



We have issued the 30th Anniversary Edition of May Eve: A Festival of Supernatural Poetry as a Microsoft Reader E-Book (LIT format). This landmark little collection features Barbara Holland's two Gothic masterpieces, "Apples of Sodom and Gomorrah," and "Black Sabbath," as well as poems by Shirley Powell, Claudia Dobkins-Dikinis and Brett Rutherford.
To read the book on the site in HTML, CLICK HERE.
To download and read the Microsoft Reader E-Book (LIT format), CLICK HERE.



Here is the expanded second edition of Brett Rutherford'Night Gaunts Covers biographical play, Night Gaunts: An Entertainment Based on the Life and Writings of H.P. Lovecraft. The drama portrays Lovecraft alone during his final days, with flashbacks to his childhood, the insanity of his parents, his "Horror Honeymooners" marriage in Brooklyn, and his triumphant solo return to Providence where he established his reputation as the greatest horror writer since Poe. The book also includes a number of "ceremonial" poems written to be read at H.P. Lovecraft's grave in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. The play has been performed twice at The Providence Athenaeum; was adapted by Hal Hamilton as a radio play by New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Mass.; and was performed in 2006 at The University of Heidelberg by the theater company Expresis Verbis.

ISBN 0-922558-16-7. 94 pages. 6 x 9. $9.95.
To get the EPUB ebook edition for $3.99 from iTunes, CLICK HERE


John Payne Cover


John Burnett Payne (1919-1986) was a well-known New York poet, active in the Manhattan poetry scene in the 1970s and 1980s. His sometimes gritty, sometimes wistful portraits of New York range from a fantasy about Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman passing one another on crosstown buses (one hurtling to a poetry reading, the other fleeing it), to a stark depiction of the run-down movie theaters where the film Taxi Driver was shot. This book includes the full text of Payne's long-unavailable chapbooks, Ghosts Scare Tito Rosa; Tell Me That You Love Me, Con Edison; and At the Corner of Third Avenue and 14th Street. The volume has a foreword by Dennis Barone and an afterword and some annotations by Brett Rutherford.

The 104-page paper print edition is now available. ISBN 0-922558-19-1. 104 pp., 5.5 x 8.5" $14.95, and the PDF download is available for $4.99. To order from Lulu, CLICK HERE.



Here is a huge 208-page new collection of Brett Rutherford's work. The Providence-based poet has included in this book nearly all the poems he has written and revised since his last big collection, Poems from Providence. The poems are grouped somewhat thematically, following the pattern set in the earlier work, so that each section is almost a chapbook unto itself. Groupings include 11 new autumn poems, additions to the "Things Seen in Graveyards" cycle, five new Lovecraft-related works, 31 poems from childhood and youth from Pennsylvania (many revisions of the early Pumpkined Heart cycle), musings on "The Literary Life," a group of perplexed love poems called "Not a Love Song, No, Never That!", and some timely poems grouped as "Here At the Millennium." Poems on classical themes are here, too, including "Athena and Medusa" and the iconoclastic "Prometheus Chained." Topics range from Clyde Tombaugh's 1930 discovery of Pluto, to the medieval invasion of Korea by Japanese warlords, to the World Trade Center disaster. A hard-core neo-Romantic, Rutherford hurls down the gauntlet here against tired, alienated, narcissist Modernism. ISBN 0-922558-14. Paperback, 208 pp, oversize "comic book" size, third printing 2012. $13.95.

The Gods As They Are, On Their Planets can be ordered from AMAZON (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

CLICK HERE to order the EPUB ebook version for $8.99 for instant download from iTunes.


THANKS to the more than 15,000 readers who have downloaded the free PDF of The Gods As They Are, On Their Planets. If you enjoyed this book, please consider purchasing an ink-on-paper copy for your non-digiterati friends or as a gift to your local library.


WHISPERING WORLDS. This exciting compilation of supernatural and science-fiction-themed poetry was compiled by David Bain in 1994 for what was planned as special issue of Riverrun magazine, a respected poetry journal. When his college administration balked at publishing "that kind" of content, Bain finally resolved, in 1998, to post the text he had edited (at least for those poets willing to enter cyberspace) on the Internet. The online anthology immortalized Bain's vision of the mythic-bardic-Gothic-interplanetary Muse, and, prompted him to release an ebook version of the anthology in 2001. Bain arranged the anthology into six sections: These Ghosts contains 24 poems about the world of haunts and the haunted; Whispering Worlds has 25 poems exploring the aberrant and abhorrent; The Inevitability of Light offers 21 poems from the more brightly-lit realms of fantasy; How the Blind Become the Dead includes 21 poems from the darker side of the fantastic; Escape Velocity features 23 narrative science fiction-themed poems; Chimes on the Quantum Wind has 22 poems emphasizing the science aspect of science fiction. We are delighted to help keep this important 1990s anthology in view. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND READ..




Cavafy: 166 Poems. Translated by Alan Boegehold. We heard Alan Boegehold, emeritus classics professor at Brown University, read from this new book recently, and Cavafy's crisp, restrained, unornamented poems have never seemed to us quite so elegant, terse and powerful. Cavafy encompassed the classic epigrammatic pose of the writers from the Greek Anthology, and yet also offers precise slices of his own life as a retiring man in love with other (usually unobtainable) men. The casual encounter gets its due, but all are told in such elegant ways as to make them as eternal as Catullus's love plaints, or the comic-balloon exclamations painted on certain Greek vases (such as "Beautiful!" or "Keep still!"). Boegehold's special expertise in the speech and gesture of modern-day Greece adds a special authority to this 240-page compendium of all the Cavafy official canon of 156 poems, plus ten others the translator chose from the poet's uncollected works. Even if you have other Cavafy editions on hand, you will want this, too. If you have never read Cavafy, buy this book, if only for gems like "Footsteps" (a sleepless Nero listens for the Furies), "Waiting for the Barbarians," and "Ithaca."


Victor Hugo. Selected Poems. A Bilingual Edition. Brett Rutherford comments: I regard this as the most important book of Continental poetry in translation of the last decade. Victor Hugo was the Shelley, Byron, and Whitman of 19th century France, but his poetry has been all but unknown in America. Hugo's hyper-romantic work was scorned by modern French writers. Andre Gide sneered, "The greatest poet in the French language is, alas! Victor Hugo." Hugo's reputation in English was also spoiled by stuffy Victorian translations that did not do him justice. These poems were justifiably the most famous verses in France in their time, and they have not lost their power.

The Blackmores' bilingual book, with facing pages of forthright English and Hugo's searing French, will have you walking around, grabbing people, and exclaiming, "Listen to this! Listen to this!" When was the last time you did that? This book is a must for every poetry library. Do not hesitate. Buy it.


Anna Akhmatova. Complete Poems. BR writes: "I cannot say enough about Anna Akhmatova, so I will say only a little. This brave lyric poet, who endured Stalin's Russia and wrote stoically yet passionately of love, loss and desolation, is my favorite poet of the 20th century. This is what poetry can be and should be." 948 pages. In addition to the introductory essay by Roberta Reeder, this book includes a memoir by Isaiah Berlin, a chronology of Akhmatova's life and works, photographs and extensive notes. More than 800 poems and 125 photos.


World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity To Our Time. Katherine Washburn and John S. Major, eds. This is our all-time favorite anthology, with outstanding translations of poems ranging from Ancient Sumeria through the end of the 20th century. Although there's plenty of poetry here written in English, this 1338-page collection attempts to be world-wide in its coverage, and it succeeds, using powerful and urgent translations. If you could send only one book to Mars to convince aliens that we had great poetry, this book would do it. Indispensable, with more than 1,600 poems spanning 4,000 years.


Twentieth Century Russian Poetry. This massive anthology, edited by Yemeni Yetis, is the indispensable collection of modern Russian poetry in translation.




Dana Gioia. Disappearing Ink. Booklist says: Like his 1992 collection Can Poetry Matter? Gioia's book is named after the first piece in it. And it is no less affirmative about poetry than Gioia's answer to its predecessor's query. If print culture is vanishing, Gioia says in Disappearing Ink, poetry isn't going with it. Gioia's heartfelt reappraisal of Longfellow is also notable. RETURN TO TOP

Dana Gioia. Can Poetry Matter? Brett Rutherford notes: I've been urging this book on friends ever since it came out in 1992. In part it's an on-target critique of the awful open reading world, and of the corrupt "poe-biz" world. This book is still a zinger, and its j'accuse attitude is even more pertinent today. I believe every student of poetry, and every struggling poet should read this, as should folks who run poetry competitions, small presses and other poetry events. Somewhere, between the unpublished hermits and the howling proles at the open mikes, real poetry is still alive. Probably 98% of all books about poetry can be safely consigned to the rubbish heap. This one is to keep."



For building a basic library of American poetry, we recommend the Library of America hardcover editions wholeheartedly. They have legible type, archival paper, good binding, and authoritative texts and notes. These books are meant to be the definitive texts for readers and libraries, and the whole series has been lavished with praise from scholars and readers. And the price is right for books that will still be readable when most of us are in the ground. Below, our recommendations from this series, interspersed other individual books and anthologies of great merit.

On the Wing: American Poems of Air and Space Flight. Edited by Karen Yelena Olsen. This exciting new anthology from University of Iowa Press was praised by Laurence Goldstein in the Michigan Quarterly Review as "the only anthology that aspires to represent the entirety of the tradition of poems by American poets about the 20th-century history of air flight and space flight. ... gathering fugitive poems of genuine beauty, accessibility, and insight in order to define more clearly the most significant qualities of living in an air age." This thrilling anthology includes poems by Hart Crane, Philip Levine, Carl Sandburg, Amelia Earhart, Thom Gunn, Louis Untermeyer, Sherman Alexie, Yvor Winters, John Updike, Howard Nemerov, Rita Dove, W.S. Merwin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, our own Brett Rutherford, and numerous other fine poets. RETURN TO TOP

Walt Whitman. Poetry and Prose. Library of America Edition. BR writes: I have owned and worn out perhaps five different editions of Whitman's poetry over the years. This 1382-page edition, edited with notes by Justin Kaplan, Whitman's most authoritative and passionate biographer, replaces them all. I will miss the Rockwell Kent wood engravings I had come to love, and Whitman's poetry cries for art, but if the text is the thing, here it all is. It includes the original 1855 version of Leaves of Grass, followed by all the poems Whitman finally gathered together in six successive editions, the great ball of twine, the huge organic whole of Walt's poetry. All of Whitman's prose is here, too. If you had to choose only one American poet, it would have to be Whitman, and this would be the desert-island choice of editions. RETURN TO TOP

Robert Frost. Collected Poems, Prose and Plays. Library of America Edition. 1040 pages, hardcover. "[T]he first authoritative and comprehensive collection" of Robert Frost's poems, prose and plays. This includes the 1949 Complete Poems, and Frost's final collection of 1962, In the Clearing. Plus uncollected poems and a fascinating range of prose. The following gives an idea of the delights: "I was looking up potatoes in in the Columbia Encyclopedia — I don't know whether you know the great book — ... and I stumbled onto "poetry." You know I write verse? I had never read about poetry before, and so I stopped and read about it. And this is what I read. (The same high-brow stuff. I wonder who wrote it. I should like to catch him before I cool off. He put it like this as if to embarrass me in particular.) He said: 'Poetry is largely a matter of rhythm and diction; meaning is not essential, and by many is considered detrimental.' " RETURN TO TOP

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Poetry. Library of America Edition. There's more to Longfellow than meets the eye (or the memory), and even Hiawatha is better than you remember it to be. Seeing the full range of his poetry shows the astonishing variety of his reading and studies. This may be "silver" rather than "gold," but when Longfellow finds a suitable subject, such as the planet Mars, or the old Jewish cemetery in Newport, his poems are worthy and noble. Hiawatha is a sincere attempt to capture Native American lore using the meter and manner of the Icelandic sagas. RETURN TO TOP

Wallace Stevens. Poetry. Library of America Edition. BR: If Frost wrote the poetry that farmers might like if they liked poetry, Wallace Stevens was the thinking person's poet. Intellect, craftsmanship, and determination are there in equal parts in Stevens, and we are still challenged today by its opaque and dense charms. Chills and catharses seldom come from these works. I have never known whether I can or even should love Stevens' work, but it stands as the high mark of intellectually beautiful verse. One thinks of later poets like James Merrill, whose rich works also must be picked away at with a chisel to reveal incidental miracles. So it was with Stevens. And perhaps that is the answer: the magic of unraveling a Stevens poems and figuring out what he is getting at is a different kind of reading experience. Your brain is slightly larger after you've done it. RETURN TO TOP

Ralph Waldo Emerson. Collected Poems and Translations. Did you know that Emerson translated Dante and Hafiz into English? Or that more than two-thirds of his poetry was left in manuscript and hence was not included in the early editions of his poems? Emerson, whom we think we know as the kindly uncle of American literature, the relaxed philosopher and reluctant iconoclast, friend of Thoreau and Whitman, surprises us in this majestic collection. This volume replaces all previous editions of Emerson's poetry, and the notes by Harold Bloom and Paul Kane guarantee that it will not be supplanted any time soon. 644 pages, hardcover. RETURN TO TOP

20th Century American Poets, Vol 1. Library of America Edition. Henry Adams to Dorothy Parker. RETURN TO TOP

D. H. Melhem. New York Poems. This new 184-page volume is a portrait of Manhattan's Upper West Side during the turbulent 1970s and 1980s. The Poet's Press published part of this volume in 1972 as Notes on 94th Street. We're thrilled to see it combined with its 1979 sequel, Children of the House Afire, in this new paperback edition from Syracuse University Press. Melhem's poems on the Aftermath of 9/11, Requiescant 9/11, are also included. This is both a chronicle and a unique poetic legacy to New York City. RETURN TO TOP

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D. H. Melhem. Art and Politics, Politics and Art. High explosives warning: this slender new volume of poems is poetical and political dynamite. Manhattan poet Melhem thought she would set out with a very classical purpose, to present poems that were inspired by, or narrate the stories of, works of visual art — an urge that arose from her own childhood engagement with painting, drawing, and sculpture. But her own life as a child of Lebanese immigrants, and the war-torn half century we have passed through, dictated otherwise. Although many of the poems here center around works of art, Melhem's poems hone in on the life-and-death issues that confront us as citizens and as a nation. This is not so far from the classical model, it turns out, since the model of ekphrasis, in The Iliad, is a description of the shield of Achilles. The shadow of war hangs over art, visual or poetic.
"Lincoln's Summer Home" is a masterpiece. Risky as it is to write of Lincoln in the shadow of Vachel Lindsay, Melhem succeeds in terse lines to tell us how Lincoln did not, and could not, evade reminders of his war in progress. The President did not play golf in some gated compound: his house overlooked Rock Creek National Cemetery, and from his windows he saw the daily interment of dead soldiers. She ends her poem eye to eye with Lincoln's portrait, "the monumental grief carved into it." If only Congressmen and Senators were obliged to watch the coffins of the military dead pass through their chambers. To read the rest of this book review, please go to the D.H. Melhem featured poet page (see links at right).
2010. University of Syracuse Press.



American Poetry of the 19th Century. Library of America Edition . Volume 1 — Freneau to Whitman. 1100 pages, hardcover. Generous selections of Poe, Emerson, Bryant, Longfellow and Whittier, plus hundreds of poems by lesser-known Americans of the era. Poet John Hollander made the selections, and he included popular ballads, recitations and songs, so that this book contains not only "high art," but verses that 19th century Americans would have known by heart. The book includes biographical sketches and notes. RETURN TO TOP


THE COLLECTED STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY. If there is any 20th century writer more definitively American, I don't know who it might be. If you do not own any Bradbury books yet, do not even consider shuffling off the mortal coil until you have bought this book and spent some long summer afternoons, autumn evenings, and winter Sundays reading and lingering over Bradbury's best stories. If you think of Bradbury only as the science-fiction writer of The Martian Chronicles or the horror writer of Something Wicked This Way Comes, you're in for a big surprise. Long before "magic realism" intermingled the real and the fantastic, Bradbury was there, doing it to the American landscape. A born poet, Ray Bradbury concealed hundreds of brilliant poems in his tales.RETURN TO TOP

RAY BRADBURY. DANDELION WINE. This may be the single most poetic short novel written by an American. Woven together from some of Bradbury's most poignant short stories, this is a paean to a bygone Midwest, but at the same time, a startling glimpse into the dark side. RETURN TO TOP

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER: COLLECTED STORIES. My other favorite short-story writer is Isaac Singer, whose tales, translated into English, have accumulated into a mountain of fiction. I don't know of any other writer who has so encompassed the terror, tragedy, laughter and love that fills our tiny span of human life. He ranks with DeMaupassant, O'Henry, Poe and a handful of others as a born storyteller. RETURN TO TOP

When Mark Twain wrote LETTERS FROM THE EARTH, he predicted that the book would never be published, and it wasn't, until around 1960. This selection of essays and sketches includes the title work, a series of hilarious letters from Satan to God, describing the stupidity and vanity of the human race. This book is still, today, racy and audacious, and if you think you know Mark Twain from reading Tom Sawyer, think again! RETURN TO TOP

Version 13.1 Updated May 11, 2015