American Amnesiac by Diane Raptosh
Following the manic journey of a man stripped of memory, American Amnesiac confronts the complexities of being American in an age of corruption, corporations, and global conflict.
“Straddling confession and prophesy, history and myth, intimacy and anonymity, American Amnesiac offers a riveting meditation on a distinctly American condition. We are lost and at home in its world, a world in which past and present collide and identities fold and collapse. Following the hypnotic voice of the amnesiac speaker, the stranded reader stumbles along in a landscape marked by its own odd, jarring, incoherent signposts — shreds of a past as recognizable as it is impenetrable (the relentless refrain is, after all, “My name is John Doe”) and scraps of a world reduced to a collection of headlines, names, titles, symbols, letters — familiar and cryptic at once. With her consummate craft, Diane Raptosh has given us a collection of stunning, timely, and unforgettable poems.” —Edvige Giunta, author of Writing with an Accent: Contemporary Italian American Women Authors
The self is a thousand localities
like a small nation—assembly required: borders and roads,armies, farms, small and large pieces of parchment. I stand by
all the territories I have ever been, even as I can’t
remember them. I am a locum—ear to the emperor penguin, a banner ad
blinking to the hoi polloi. Since I’ve become John Doe, I swear
I can feel most objects with sixty digits
instead of five. This makes me think
of Lisette. Makes me miss her left collar bone. Her hips’ wingtips.
A train moans from a far hummock.
Which reminds me that everyone I’ll have to live without
I must help to find a place within. Which is an act
of granite will. A strain. A ditty.
An exercise in utmost beautility.
From American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press 2013) by Diane Raptosh
2013 – National Book Award Longlist, Poetry
2014 Finalist – Housatonic Book Award for Poetry
American Fugue by Alexis Stamatis
American Fugue (Amerikaniki Fouga) is Stamatis’s first book published in America and available to U.S. readers. The book, which was translated by Etruscan author Diane Thiel and by Constantine Hadjilambrinos, follows a Greek protagonist who visits America, travels across the country, and has a strange and compelling adventure. American Fugue examines the basic themes that are persistent in all of Stamatis’s works of fiction: an all-consuming past, the flight to escape one’s personal demons, and, most importantly, the search for personal identity that is ultimately revealed only through what is unknown to the self. The treatment of these themes is also characteristic of the author’s other novels—travel narrative on the surface, mystery or thriller with an existential dimension at another level, but ultimately a quest for self-discovery and personal redemption.
“One of the most gifted writers of his generation.” —Francoise Noiville, journalist at Le Monde
“Alexis Stamatis always starts his books smoothly, seductively so, but one chapter in you find yourself rushing the pages, intrigued, amazed, surprised. . . ”—Nicholas Papandreou, author of A Crowded Heart
2007 Winner – NEA 1st International Translation Award
Body of a Dancer by Renee E. D’Aoust
In a memoir Lance Olsen calls “fascinating, horrifying, unfalteringly honest,” award-winning writer Renee E. D’Aoust draws from her experiences as a modern dancer in New York City during the nineties. Trained at the prestigious Martha Graham Center, D’Aoust intertwines accounts of her own and other dancers’ lives with essays on modern dance history. Her luminous prose spotlights this passionate, often brutal world. Scarred, strained, and tough, bearing witness to the discipline demanded by the art form, Body of a Dancer provides a powerful, acidly comic record of what it is to love, and eventually leave, a life centered on dance.
“Body of a Dancer fills a void in the dance literature that has existed for far too long. . . As D’Aoust reveals in her wonderful memoir, the ‘Body of a Dancer’ is also shaped by an entire life led both inside and outside the studio.”
“Fascinating, horrifying, unfalteringly honest, Renée E. D’Aoust’s Body of a Dancer is a remarkably clear-eyed descent into New York’s surreal world of modern dance peopled by the obsessed, dispossessed, sexy, suicidal, brutal, broke, and absurd, where piercing self-doubt and ambition give way to luminous instants of transcendence, and where the body is a site of pain and beauty and discipline and joy, a home you can never fully inhabit and never fully leave.”
—Lance Olsen, author of Head in Flames
2011 Finalist – Foreword Review Book of the Year Award
Chromatic by H. L. Hix
Chromatic bears as its epigraph the philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s assertion that “Desire is the very nature or essence of every single individual.” The three sequences of poems in Chromatic test that claim. Each borrows its title: “Remarks on Color” from Ludwig Wittgenstein, “Eighteen Maniacs” from Duke Ellington, and “The Well-Tempered Clavier” from J. S. Bach. Exploiting those predecessors, the poems in Chromatic explore the full range of effects caused by human desire, from ecstasy to despair.
“Among the new writers who interest me most at the moment. . . . Hix is cerebral, ingeniously inventive, and often scary. He is an experimental poet whose experiments usually succeed—a rare event in contemporary letters.”—Dana Gioia, Turnrow
2006 Finalist — National Book Award in Poetry
Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul by: Laurie Jean Cannady
Crave is a coming-of-age memoir that chronicles a young girl’s journey through abuse and impoverishment. The effusive narration descends into the depths of personal and sexual degradation, perpetual hunger for food, safety and survival. While moving through gritty exposés of poverty, abuse, and starvation, Crave renders a continuing search for sustenance that simply will not die.
Laurie Jean Cannady is most recognizable through her voice. Lyrical and august, yet strangely intimate, her lucid memory for the texture of daily existence weaves the reader into the fabric of the story. We discover that the most slender threads bind the strongest.
It is no surprise this memoir is a narrative about a victim who becomes a survivor. Cannady is assertive, motivational, and unafraid to reach her target audience: women, African-Americans, high-school students, college students, survivors of physical and sexual abuse, veterans, people raised by single parents, and folks who are living in or have lived through impoverishment.
2015 Finalist – Foreword Review Book of the Year Award
Fast Animal by Tim Seibles
The newest collection from one of America’s foremost African-American poets threads the journey from youthful innocence to the whittled-hard awareness of adulthood. Along the way it immerses the reader in palpable moments —the importance of remembering, the complexity of race, and the meaning of true wakefulness
“Crisply comic, disarmingly frank, and aurally bold …”
2014 — Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize
2013 — PEN Oakland Literary Award Winner
2012 — National Book Award Finalist
Nahoonkara by Peter Grandbois
Set simultaneously in the farm country of Wisconsin and a small mining town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado during the nineteenth century, the new novel by Peter Grandbois follows the lives of three brothers as each strives to re-create himself despite the forces that work to determine his identity. Though told from the point-of-view of many characters, the novel revolves around Killian, the oldest of the three, as he attempts to recapture a childhood as ephemeral as a dream. While Killian’s brother Henry strives to make the town prosperous and his brother Eli prays to maintain the town’s spiritual center, it becomes clear as the novel progresses that the center will not hold. Violence, lust, and greed tear at the fabric of the town until the only possibility for healing arrives in the form of a snowfall that lasts for three months, burying the town. It is here events take a surreal turn as individual identity collapses.
Nahoonkara, an Ute Indian word that means, “land of the rising blue,” offers a place outside our preconceived notions of reality and identity, a place where we are free to re-imagine ourselves.
“The amazing and masterful thing [in Nahoonkara] is the way that Grandbois ties this very personal, family story to the larger narrative of American expansion; it’s not overt, but we see clearly how individual pain leads to national empire.”—Kel Munger, Colorado Springs Independent Newspaper
2011 Finalist – Foreword Review Book of the Year Award
Shoah Train by William Heyen
Over the decades Heyen has most often thought, studied, and written about the Holocaust. His ground-breaking collection The Swastika Poems (Vanguard Press, 1977) was revised and expanded to Erika (1984). Thirteen more of these poems appear in Falling from Heaven (Time Being Books, 1991). Shoah Train collects more than seventy poems written over the last dozen years, lyrics of “discipline and honesty and courage and restraint,” as Archibald MacLeish described The Swastika Poems. Experiencing the new poems in Shoah Train, readers will find themselves in the voice-presence of one of our most important poets.
2004 Finalist — National Book Award
Surrendering Oz: A Life in Essays by Bonnie Friedman
Surrendering Oz is a memoir in essays that charts the emotional awakening of a bookish Bronx girl. From her early job as a proofreader at The Guinness Book of World Records through a series of dominating and liberating friendships and secret connections, the author takes charge of her life as a Texas professor, writer and wise student of her own soul.
Reader’s Digest says reading Surrendering Oz “is like having a conversation with a bracingly honest but fundamentally kind friend. In 15 pitch-perfect essays, she chronicles her hard-earned rejection of the cultural fairytales of womanhood as she comes fully into possession of her life.” Surrendering Oz was recently longlisted for the 2015 PEN/Diamondstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
2015 Finalist – The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award
2015 Finalist – Longlist PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down by Meg Pokrass
The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down is a collection of flash fiction that conveys entire worlds that are haunting, sad, funny, touching, and strange in the most enlivening, beautiful ways. This collection of tiny, intimate truffles is as powerful as soul-chocolate infused with caffeine. Each story contains bite-sized glimpses into the lives of everyday people, leaving readers with the long and lasting effects of a full-length novel. Each chapter dives into relevant life events that require further contemplation. These 50 stories reveal the dark truth and reality of the world.
Direct, brave, funny, achingly personal, darkly humorous and sad, these stories linger and pull, begging to be reread many times. Pokrass is a trickster, a shape-shifter, a writer who chronicles the maladies of the modern world, and makes us laugh.
Named a finalist for the 2017 Saboteur Awards
Bearing Imagination – Outreach
Enjoy our latest video "Bearing Imagination - Outreach" which describes Etruscan's mission and continued literary efforts, funded by grants and donations, including the Ohio Arts Council.
Laurie Jean Cannady – A Reading from Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul
Visit “At Length” to Read About Their Latest Feature
"At Length", an on-line journal, has just released a chapter from To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet (forthcoming from Broadstone).
Etruscan Co-Founder Receives Governor’s Award
Out of Our Minds with H. L. Hix
WVIA Interview With Tim Seibles
Listen to the podcast here »
WVIA Interview with Phil Brady
Listen to the podcast here »