Etruscan Press
  • 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
  • Toucans in the Arctic is an inspired truant from any number of poetical schools. In this lyric case study of tumult and tranquility, the poet, tour pamphlet in hand, wanders through the national park of the psyche, noting surfeits of beauty and ruin as he scrambles across the eerie landscapes of identity and marriage. “In this long-awaited first collection, Toucans in the Arctic, Scott Coffel writes, ‘When I see a woman at the Cottage Bakery/immersed in Ulysses or The Brothers Karamzov/my desires align themselves in neat rows/for the march into liberated Paris…’ Of wide reference and deep thought, of language taut and somehow new, these are 21st Century poems of joy, rage, erudition, wry humor, monumental tenderness. You will remember the day you discovered this book.—Suzanne Cleary

    Awards

    [icon color="#dbbb5c" size="14" type="icon-star" unit="px" ]2010 —Poetry Society  The Norma Farber First Book Award
  • In dialogue between poetry and visual art, The Other Sky probes the depths of the psyche: childhood roots, reveries, tensions. We find visual art and poems that respond, not as mere descriptions, but as speculative and emotional explorations, incantations, forces of resistance even, driven by strengths unique to poems. This book is unique by virtue of the power, virtuosity, and refinement of its images and the ways the poems work closely with them to create a symbiosis that is larger than either medium alone. Both artist and poet have a large following, so this book represents the coming together of two communities, the worlds of poetry and visual art, to expand the range of what is possible in each.

    Award

    2016 Finalist — Texas Institute of Letters Helen Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry
  • 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
  • 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.

    Awards

    2015 Finalist – The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award 2015 Finalist – Longlist PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

  • 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.

    Award

    [icon color="#dbb95c" size="14" type="icon-star" unit="px" ]2004 Finalist — National Book Award
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.

    Awards

    2015 Finalist – Foreword Review Book of the Year Award
  • 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
  • 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
  • Will Dowd takes us on a whimsical journey through one year of New England weather in this engaging collection of essays. As unpredictable as its subject, Areas of Fog combines wit and poetry with humor and erudition. A fun, breezy, and discursive read, it is an intellectual game that exposes the artificiality of genres.

    Award

    2017 — Mass Book Award
  • 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

    Award

    [icon color="#dbb95c" size="16" type="icon-star" unit="px" ] 2007 Winner – NEA 1st International Translation Award
  • 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

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