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  • 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.
  • Following her big hit, American Amnesiac, Raptosh's Human Directional zigzags across consciousness, searing through old patterns of thought and offering new directions for the mind, heart, and world. Raptosh points the way to what Montaigne called “unlearning how to be a slave.” With the deadly precision of the fey, Human Directional reveals the heartbreak and absurdity of our world by exploring— and often exploding—its most sacred memes.
  • For this book collection, the author has selected about 150 poems from eight previous books, and concludes with a new collection of 46 poems. In the face of such obscenity that stains our 20th century, how is it possible that we might stay sane, might honor the innocent victims of unspeakable horror, might remember, and might even dare to attempt to compose poetry despite Theodor Adorno’s injunction that after Auschwitz only a barbarian would write it. The author comments about this collection: “I suppose that The Candle is the record of my attempt to come to grips with Elie Wiesel’s reminder: ‘If you have not grasped it until now, it is time you did: Auschwitz signifies death — total, absolute death — of man and of mankind, of reason and of the heart, of language and of the senses. Auschwitz is the death of time, the end of creation; its mystery is doomed to stay whole, inviolate.’”
  • One Turn Around The Sun is a panorama of poems that attempt to define the twilight during which a person becomes caretaker of parents and begins to grind against that old saying, “Life is too short.”  The book also studies the intricacies of being a self, a particular personality shaped by forces seen and unseen, both knowable and not.  At times, the various voices might be considered characters that agree and sustain one perspective.  In other cases, contending sensibilities imply an underlying argument.  This is especially true of the book within the book, which is entitled “The Hilt.” Several questions drive this collection, the most central being how can a person stay sane when so often socio-political circumstances mock all efforts to create a livable world.  This is a book intended to bolster an ongoing engagement with life at a time when running away is a great temptation.
  • In these wild, intense, and fiercely crafted sonnets and other poems, Myrna Stone takes us on a journey through time and the psyche that is both novelistic and deeply lyrical. The range of voices—from Martin Luther’s to Mae West’s—explores both mortality and what might lie just beyond it.
  • H. L. Hix’s Rain Inscription gives vivid testimony to the paradox that human making is both lasting and fleeting. Each of its three sections (a sonnet-sequence Q&A with contemporary cultural studies, a renewal of the sayings of Herakleitos and Jesus, and a group of dialogues with contemporary artists) extends an already capacious dialogue beyond its prior limits.
  • It is late 1948 and days before his wife is to give birth for the first time, Ghassan is approached by two talking jackals threatening that, if he doesn’t paint the signs of the newly named villages and towns, his wife will give birth to a goat. Thus begins the exile to Gaza of Ghassan and his goat. In the mode of Borges, Calvino and Coetzee, In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees presents linked mytho-poetic tales delving beneath the long Palestinian diaspora; the history of Gaza is told as never before: through the eyes of a night guardian of a talking goat; a carrier pigeon that befriends a young boy who sells photos of martyrs; a refugee who eats books and then recites them word for word; a Palestinian father who sneaks animals into Gaza through a labyrinth of tunnels; a talking sheep who is caged in the Gaza Zoo. These mystical voices echo in the mind of an American stranger as he witnesses the beauty and horror of this ancient, suffering land. In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees is a disquieting allegory of the clash between the powerful and the silenced.

    Award

    2018 Finalist – Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award
  • Karen Donovan’s Aard-vark to Axolotl, an eclectic series of tiny stories and prose poems, is based on a set of illustrations from the pages of her grandfather’s 1925 Webster’s New International Dictionary. The author collected pictures of plants and animals, diagrams and devices, and dozens of other charmingly quirky objects and created a new narrative context for each one. Sometimes sneaky mysterious, sometimes downright weird, these small poetic stories work on the reader like alternative definitions for items drawn from a cabinet of curiosities. View all books from Etruscan Press by Karen Donovan
  • Using the schema of Dante’s Purgatorio, Romer is a poem of thirty-three Cantos in three-line stanzas, illuminating the experience of a modern man at every stage of his life. Just as the Purgatorio explores the psyche in terms of its earthly existence, Romer follows the journey of one man who needs to know who he is, where he is, and what he is trying to do. This need is universal, so in that sense, Romer is every man.
  • Silk Road is a collection of poems written in the persona of Donata Badoer, the wife of Marco Polo, who observes a newly connected world while attending to her everyday activities. In unbidden moments, she turns to perceive the economics and erotics of contact between the people of Europe and China, recognizing both tensions and camaraderie in their links across the globe.
  • The world of Wattle & daub is inhabited by mysterious and peculiar creatures. A woman who fears the living thing in her apartment walls. An office-based streaker with an axe to grind. Automatons that finally recognize their creator. A terminally ill man resorting to hypnotism to quit smoking. The couple who conceive an alarm clock. A dying brain unspooling receding memories of a funfair… With ear-dizzying force, the stories in this debut collection meld and stretch into truly new directions. Every page is mined with humor, sympathy, and blistering language that mark Brian Coughlan as a unique fabricator of short tales.

    Award

    [icon color="#dbb95c" size="16" type="icon-star" unit="px" ]2018 Finalist – Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Award
  • What if music could bring about a revolution? What power might reside in such a musical work, and to what madness would its listeners be driven? A haunting tale of love, loss and obsession, Sixteen can also be read as a fascinating literary thriller revolving around the mystery of music. View all books from Etruscan Press by Auguste Corteau
  • Ill Angels explores the breakdowns and joys, the rhythms and reveries, the cul-de-sacs and jubilees, of early midlife. In poems that are at once formally assured and daringly inventive, Dante Di Stefano invokes the lives of artists, musicians, and writers he admires as his poems ruminate on love, death, music, language, and notions of national belonging.
  • Against the busy background of the “information age” and the “anthropocene,” where’s poetry? It might seem invisible, irrelevant, but Demonstrategy proves it as salient as ever, and more urgent. In paired essays about poetry in the world and the world in poetry, Demonstrategy finds poetry’s pulse steady and strong.
  • In Clay and Star, Romanian poet Liliana Maria Ursu captures with breathtaking precision the convergence of the sacred with the mundane. Whether anchored in Sibiu, Visby, Skala, or San Francisco, her poems both honor and transcend place and time as they search obsessively for essence, truths, self-knowledge, and the divine within.
  • 50 Miles is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.
  • Dear Z collects verse-letters to a newly fertilized zygote— not quite a person, nor even an embryo, but rather, the great human maybe. Th e speaker delivers to the “Z” a taste of what this might mean in poems whose topical range traipses from AutoFill to Idaho, New Zealand rivers to the zombie apocalypse.
  • A book of provocative ideas, about art and artists, Variations In The Key of K is an artfully constructed collection of stories. Franz Kafka, Pablo Picasso, and William Blake are among the many artist lives reconceived here. A book of cautionary histories, on one hand. An irreverent celebration of the graces of the creative life, on the other.
  • In her first collection, The Book of Orgasms, Nin Andrews introduced the orgasm as an ethereal presence, a character, a muse who begins a dialogue with her human counterparts. In The Last Orgasm, the author imagines a conclusion to the dialogue.
  • What does it mean to want to become a mother as children around the world die of treatable diseases, are killed by bomb or bullet, are held in cages? In Bestiality of the Involved, Spring Ulmer lives this question out loud, refusing any easy answer.
  • In the midst of Idi Amin’s dictatorship, Fordham and her family moved to Uganda as Seventh-day Adventist missionaries. In lush and observant prose, Fordham describes the country she loves, the dangers her family faces, her parents’ conflict, and the insular, peculiar faith that shaped her. 2021 Sarton Book Award Finalist Honorable Mention for General Nonfiction from the 2021 Los Angeles Book Festival

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