In Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy, David Lazar extends the language of prose poetry, mixing the classical and the high modern, the song and dance man, and the Odyssean. Nothing, he finds, is as far apart as we think, except for chaos and order, innocence and experience. Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy is a sequence of prose poems about the ravages of love, how we desire it, and whether we care to recover.
The voice in these prose poems is semi-autobiographical, and performative; masked yet emotionally raw. It draws on features of modernist poetry, uses an arch, cadenced sentence as its primary unit, but draws on the Iliad, Odyssey, and other classical myths as part of its internal cosmos. The book is an essay, of sorts, and a chorus of one, splintered. It takes the prose poem to a new pitch of expressive and intellectual discourse.
The speaker dreams himself in and out of movies and cities: Troy, Paris, London. On the verge of dissolution, he understands that memory is almost never a consolation, that it draws blood as a price for its music. When we are ashen, irony is the instrument that we keep checking for in our pockets. Lazar’s voice is a sacred last resort: something’s gotta give.
What would poets say about each other’s poems if they were really honest? The answer is in Wild and Whirling Words. Thirty-three of America’s best and most important poets, diverse in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geography, political disposition, and aesthetic commitments, took the challenge. Each volunteered one of her or his own poems, which the moderator then circulated anonymously among the other poets, who responded anonymously. The results tell a story about how poets read poems and how they write poems, about what poetry is, and about the state of contemporary poetry in America.
YOU. In verse that is both wild and taut with controlled fire, YOU. careens through a psychic underworld of passion and imprecation where husband and wife, father and daughter, addict and rehab, self and god, join and divide. Joseph Wood’s book-length screed haunts like a Rilkean summons: YOU. must change your life.
Zarathustra Must Die is Dorian Alexander’s first work of fiction and traverses several genres as it follows the odyssey of a graduate student grappling with Nietzsche’s concept of “eternal recurrence.” Part fictional memoir, part novel, part philosophical exposition, the work explores the nature of time and its relationship to our existence.
However, Zarathustra Must Die finds a home not only in the high art of philosophy, but also in the low art of sex and drugs. Never taking the journey too seriously, Alexander’s humor ranges from high-brow wit to pure burlesque. Zarathustra Must Die is a thought-provoking fiction experience that defies easy classification.
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.
"At Length", an online journal, has just released a chapter from To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet (forthcoming from Broadstone).