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  • The Arsonist’s Song Has Nothing to Do with Fire, a highly compressed prose poem of a novel, explores the loneliness of three misfits as they attempt to reconnect to the modern world: Vivian, the wallflower who’s obsessed with death; Ronny, the arsonist, who’s resisting the urge to burn the whole town down, and The Doctor, who struggles to glorify his legacy with a brilliant and reckless vision: human flight.
  • The Subtle Bodies tenses between the lush descriptions of the landscapes and the violences both within those landscapes and imposed upon them. These are poems that seek to make contact with the world as it ebbs into a digitized silence. Whether drawing upon the meditative works of Joan Mitchell or finding in the gestural paintings of Cy Twomby models for his own sprawling and contracting lines, or listening to the Sung Dynasty poet Lu Yu comment on war and aging, these poems construct speculations, meditations, dialogues, monostitches, autobiographical narratives, or lyric excursions that resist the encroachments and erosions of our times. These are elemental poems, “no language but hunger . . . no choice but the traverse of light to dark.”
  • In As Much As, If Not More Than, H.L. Hix first harries poetry with thrusts and parries and, next, with a self-interview composed of questions quoted from other texts.  Hix then tests with a stunning sequence of tributes from the poet to poets—in glosas—one of poetry’s possibilities. As Much As, If Not More Than logs one explorer’s journey into the incompletely mapped region between prose and poetry, the territory—as H.L. Hix himself identifies it—“between speaking and singing, elenchus and jive.”
  • An Archaeology of Yearning explores a father’s effort to understand a family landscape altered by autism.  Ultimately, however, the book is not about autism; it is about the central role of storytelling in sustaining human connections and the power of shared desires in embracing difference.
  • Through the smoke lit pool halls, back roads, rehab centers, truckstops and diners of the still industrial lands, Sean Thomas Dougherty offers us the stories he has lived and collected of men and women barely working, just getting by, but every morning still going on, even if unsure.
  • 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

    Awards

    2013 – National Book Award Longlist, Poetry 2014 Finalist – Housatonic Book Award for Poetry
  • audiobooks_logo_badge_lgThe world in Sara Pritchard's book is a known world and yet a strange place, with a cast of homeless characters who wander in and out of the stories of the collection, all set in the same university town. The linked stories take place during the time when gender discrimination in the American workplace was blatant, and when classified ads were labeled "male" or "female" accordingly. “Sara Pritchard sees everything . . . and looks at it with such tenderness, clarity, and good humor that all of it begins to glow.” —Rebecca Barry, author of Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories. “Survival stories from the liminal edge of Americana, delivered in Pritchard’s wry, observant voice.” —Lenore Hart, author of Becky and The Raven’s Bride “Sara Pritchard can make you laugh in the same sentence that just made you cry.” —Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys and Astonished
  • Described by Kevin Prufer as "a wonderful, deeply moving collection of poems," Bruce Bond's latest work, Choir of the Wells, is a tetralogy of new books that cohere as a single exploration of the mind-body problem grounded in daily heartbreak, wonder, novelty, and compulsion. "Bruce Bond brings to this tetralogy the intellect of a philosopher and the ear of a musician. . . . This is one of the few collections of poetry I have ever read cover to cover, and to do so was one of the most transcendent reading experiences of my life. Each poem is both crafted and strange, but the ordering is symphonic. To follow one poem after another is to be swept up into the poet’s visionary expanse. . . . Bruce Bond is one of the best poets writing now, and Choir of Wells is unquestionably his best book yet." —Laura Kasischke "These philosophically charged meditations undertake with serious purpose and capacious wonder Horace’s adage that art should both delight and instruct. A reader can open to any poem in this ample score and find cause for thanksgiving, song, and praise."—Lisa Russ Spaar
  • Blending biblical characters into a deeply personal history, What We Ask of Flesh tells of women through time, their spirits borne through broken flesh, through wombs and memories. The body becomes an instrument as words explore the mystical connection between what was and is. “A tour de force and a story where nothing—no regret or rationalization can stanch the reality of what can happen to us, made of flesh. This is a surging book …”—Grace Cavalieri, The Washington Independent Review of BooksWhat We Ask of Flesh, like the flesh itself, is full of honey and fire. It’s impossible not to feel called by these poems, summoned by their rich sound and vatic voice.”—Amy Gerstler

    Award

    2014 Finalist – Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry
  • An American expatriate hopes to quell his grief for a long lost son in the stillness of his photographs of the Dodecanese Islands. But soon friendship and then love for a woman wounded in her own family-born grief propel him toward life again, where stillness is set into motion and identity might be recovered, against odds, in a foreign place. “. . . Oderman has a knack for keeping things moving and bringing the vibrant colors of the island to life.”—Publishers Weekly “In language as clear and beautiful as the Aegean Sea itself, Oderman seamlessly weaves the tales of three Americans, each fleeing to a remote Greek island to escape the past that haunts them. White Vespa takes the reader on a journey of the senses: the smells and tastes of the Greek isles; the thrumming heat; the languid stroll of life; the sometimes painful stabs of memory when all you want to do is forget.”—Jeff Talarigo, author of The Pearl Diver
  • No Hurry is a book of poems for the aging in body but youthful in spirit, for those interested in continuing to ask most meaningful questions as they head “downhill”: What does it mean to be alive? What shall we make of this journey from birth to death? How can we find meaning and joy amid our mortality and suffering? “The finest collection of poetry I’ve read in a very long time.”—Ron Hansen “What a terrific book this is! . . . [Blumenthal] thinks out loud for all of us, affirms and denies with wit, charm, and best of all, with what feels like hard-won accuracy.”—Stephen Dunn “Michael Blumenthal’s poetry never sits heavy on the reader yet is substantial, civilized, and capable of articulating the human condition, including its pains and losses, without melodrama, high sentence, or self-pity. No Hurry is a gorgeous book: the world of flesh, mind, and heart spoken through air and silk.”George Szirtes “Blumenthal goes straight to the heart in these poems. Gorgeously wrought, surprising, true, wise, elegiac, they leave me with a sense of having listened to Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus. Who could ask for more?”Lynn Freed
  • The Football Corporations explores romantic conceptions of contemporary sports, powering its way into a post-catastrophe setting of dirty bombs in stadiums, tortured athletes, corporate domination, and cynicism on a global level. "In 60-plus poems, Heyen tackles the violence in sports, robotic athletes and coaches, steroids, teams controlling every message and the scourge of corporate takeover. He wonders where the romance went, when cheering for Willie, Mickey and Duke as a kid growing up on Long Island seemed so pure. Grab a beer, a seat in the stands, and prepare to cry."—Roth, Sports columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester)
  • 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.
  • 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.” —Ballet-Dance Magazine "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

    Award

    2011 Finalist – Foreword Review Book of the Year Award
  • pen_oakland_award_smallThe 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 …” —Publishers Weekly

    Awards

    2014 — Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize 2013 — PEN Oakland Literary Award Winner 2012 — National Book Award Finalist
  • Lines of Inquiry offers verse essays, interviews, letters, and other exploration into matters as minute as a freckle in the ear of a stranger on the Shanghai subway and as vast as the equal standing of all humans before the truth. Hix’s lines of inquiry yield surprising answers to pressing questions.
  • 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

    Award

    [icon color="#dbb95c" size="16" type="icon-star" unit="px" ]2006 Finalist — National Book Award in Poetry
  • H. L. Hix’s poetry collections have not been merely collections. Each fulfills a vision that creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts: each poem contributes to a sequence, each sequence talks to another. For readers already acquainted with Hix’s ambitions, then, the subtitle “Obsessionals” (instead of “Selected Poems”) will need no explanation: from collections that don’t just collect, what sense would it make for a selection just to select? Hix’s poems were already at work rewriting and recontextualizing the language of others, language from sources as various as fragments of Pythagoras, apocryphal gospels, and speeches of George W. Bush. In First Fire, Then Birds, Hix keeps at the task, recontextualizing his own poems, creating a revision (seeing anew) and recomposition (putting together afresh) of an already distinctive body of work. "[H. L. Hix is] one of our most daring poets, his oeuvre a rebuke to timidity, apathy, and retreat in any of its manifestations."—Anis Shivani, The Huffington Post

    Award

    Named by The Huffington Post as one of "The 17 Most Important Poetry Books of 2010."
  • Joyce Carol Oates once called William Heyen a “remarkable poet,” noting that he “writes with the wild, radiant audacity of the visionary.” W.S. Merwin praised “the urgency and authenticity” and the “plain directness” of Heyen’s voice. The same voice rings true again in this collection, Heyen’s eighteenth volume of poetry.
  • These eleven quintessentially American stories fully demonstrate our unstinting capacity for love and loss. As The Atlantic Monthly's C. Michael Curtis describes it, “Tom Bailey’s characters live in a world of deceptive simplicity. They move from job to job and in and out of prison, struggle to…understand loving attachment, make crucial misjudgments, defend…what they believe are manly virtues, and absorb deep…disappointments. They hunt, shoot, drink, and fight, while cultivating an appetite for moral ambiguity that elevates these…stories and wins our respect for their author.” “An impressive gathering—richly imagined and sensitively crafted stories of loss, mystery, hurt, and unexpected redemption.”—Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Disappearance of Seth tells the interlocking stories of five New Yorkers, stumbling through their lives in the aftermath of the events of September 11 and connected by the paths of two figures—Seth, an alienated young man struggling to come to terms with his own penchant for violence, and Layla, an Iraqi artist who fled the violence of the first Gulf War and made a new home for herself in New York City. Written by an American Muslim, The Disappearance of Seth features characters both Muslim and non-Muslim, American and non-American, in an arresting portrait of life in America at the beginning of the millennium. “In this lyrical novel, Kazim Ali holds a vast register of human experience in his embrace: fragmentation and connection, braveness and secrecy, the present and the past that lies in ashes. Although recent history is the backdrop, the book’s heart lies in the human landscape of his characters, their sorrows and their navigation of each other.—Courtney Brkic “By turns poetic, elliptical and strikingly cinematic, this exquisitely written novel illuminates the strange tightrope we are all walking in the radically altered landscape of post-9/11… This is a novel of both deep intimacy and worldly sweep, heartfelt, wise, and studded with a sharp, wicked wit. Kazim Ali is a remarkable writer.—Dan Chaon
  • A poet of international acclaim, Milton Kessler published five books of poetry during his lifetime. Kessler received numerous awards and distinctions, including a Robert Frost Fellowship, an Edward MacDowell Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment Program Grant. Several years ago, one of his poems, “Thanks Forever,” was chosen to appear in London subway cars to be seen by as many as two million riders a day as part of the “Poems on the Underground” project. Milton Kessler died in April 2000, leaving behind a manuscript of new work. Free Concert: New and Selected Poems celebrates the life and work of a gifted poet of original voice, collecting work from each of his books together with his new poems. “A lyricist capable of lovely and musical effects.”—Elizabeth Bishop “Kessler’s sharp phrases catch the motion, textures, and strange, beautiful voices of a physical world we live in but never fully know.”—Camille Paglia
  • The Fugitive Self: New and Selected Poems by John Wheatcroft is a tribute to a distinguished career spanning fifty years in American letters. At once meditative, whimsical, and hard-hitting, it illuminates the spiritual cost of American expansion. ". . . With 'more shapes than water' and 'more selves than the Trinity,' these poems explore the music of love and the weight of grief, while always being mindful of 'history in the making—brutal, bloody, bootless.' Here is a lifetime of poetry, a treasure house of what art can aspire to. With consummate skill, Wheatcroft probes the world for what won’t be sentimentalized, falsified, and is willing to embrace nothing, if that’s the final truth—but 'nothing' has never been so alive, moving, passionate, and compelling.”—Betsy Sholl
  • In his latest novel, Matthews returns to the 1850s, the time of his novel, Sassafras (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983). In The Gambler’s Nephew, the reader will enter a world of slavery, abolitionist passion, murder, hypocrisy, grave-robbery, chicanery, holiness, memory, guilt and plain old-fashioned cussedness. It’s a politically incorrect world of unrepentant capital punishment, when there were plenty of scoundrels just asking to be hanged by the neck until dead, thus coming as close as they could ever get to being civilized. In contrast, however, the reader will come upon the beauty and grandeur of the old steamboats plying the Ohio River, along with people troubled by such grand irrelevancies as love and tenderness. In short, The Gambler’s Nephew brings us a world as richly confused as our own—familiar yet different . . . and as alive as living can get.
  • H. L. Hix’s Incident Light explores a life that became “instantly mythical” after a startling revelation. The artist Petra Soesemann learned at age forty-nine that the dad who had raised her from birth was not her biological father. Her dad had died some years before; her father was still alive. Her dad, like her mother, was a blue-eyed German blond; her father was Turkish, with dark eyes and dark hair like Petra’s own. Incident Light is a biography: not an ordered account of the facts of a life, but an invitation into the dad’s devotion, the mother’s passion, the father’s honor, and especially into the daughter’s own embracing of her experience, newly understood. Incident Light testifies to the many lives that converge on one life to lend it beauty and mystery. “Hix’s eighth collection is a fine addition to this protean poet’s fast-growing (and critically lauded) body of work. Like C.D. Wright, Hix works both with highly wrought descriptive passages and with verse that sounds like regular speech cutting swiftly between them.”Publishers Weekly, starred review “Any new book by this inventive poet is cause for excitement.”—The Kansas City Star
  • “Hix has written the most important poetic sequences published by an American poet during the last several decades. He is the most interesting American poet writing today, the least predictable and the most challenging.”—David Caplan, Pleiades Legible Heavens explores what the most intimate forms of experience reveal about our most cosmic concerns, and vice versa. Its four sequences act like compass points to orient a human landscape. On one axis, “Star Chart for the Rainy Season” laments love lost, appealing to the biblical assertion that “love is stronger than death, and passion more cruel,” in contrast to “Material Implication,” which celebrates love found, in sonnets of desire insistently “glowing against the dusk.” On the other axis, “All the One-Eyed Boys in Town” treats love as perdition, the speaker imagining his life as “a match scratched down your wingbones,” in contrast to “Synopsis,” which treats love as salvation, reinscribing the biblical gospels (canonical and apocryphal alike) to “solicit a miracle I must not expect.”
  • “In this strong debut novel, Schwartz takes a hard look at the dark secrets hiding within a marriage. Depressed over the death of her mother six months before, Jane Rosen, a stay-at-home mom of three girls and longtime wife to busy, self-absorbed rabbi Saul, finally flies down to her mother’s long-empty Florida house to put her affairs in order. There, Jane finds evidence of a mother she never knew, while Saul contends with the girls—in particular unhappy, fragile 16-year-old Malkah—and a dying congregant’s bombshell confession, that he had an affair with Jane 10 years before. Shocked and wounded, Saul tells Jane not to come home, leaving her to pursue her mother’s secret life. Soon, Jane’s caught up with a gardener who traps her in a spider web of drugs, sex and secrets. At home, Malkah’s descent into depression and Saul’s compounding fury push the family toward tragedy. Though readers may feel the couple is let too easily off the hook, Schwartz pursues both threads of the story unflinchingly to the end.”Publishers Weekly
  • 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

    Award

    [icon color="#dbb95c" size="16" type="icon-star" unit="px" ]Winner of the Gold Medal for Best Literary Fiction of the Year (ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards)
  • Michael Lind’s poems rather stand apart from most of what’s published these days, one reason being that his range of experience goes beyond the purely academic or literary into the realm of domestic and foreign policy. His reading, furthermore, puts him in a congenial relationship with Latin and Greek literature, witness his brilliant use of alcaic meters in the poem "Maragheh and Alamut." Everywhere in this singularly distilled book you will find instances of special astuteness with respect to content, form, and imagery."
  • In Bruce Bond’s seventh book, we see a sustained exploration of mortality and its embodiment in the consolations of beauty, most notably in music. “The poems in Bruce Bond’s collection Peal probe music’s deepest sources. These beautifully crafted lyrics lead us down into intricate and sonorous paths where we meet out own uncertain songs, at once ghostly, elegiac, and ecstatic. This is a work of exquisite complexity by one of our best poets writing today.”—Molly Bendall “The speculative drive of these poems pushes the reader to the very limits of reflection.”—Daniel Tiffany

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