Etruscan Press
  • 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
  • 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."
  • Poems and Their Making is a collection of original poems and essays by a diverse cast of inter-connected contemporary American poets, delving into the origin and development of poetic thought, line, and structure. Each poem is followed by an essay by the poet illustrative of some particular issue in craft and theory raised during the poem’s making. While exploring the mysterious process of making poems, Poems and Their Making offers a ground’s eye view of the variety of current poetic practices, and nurtures a dialogue between poetry and critical prose.
  • 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.
  • Tim Seibles’ Voodoo Libretto: New and Selected Poems is in many ways a book of memories, a chronicle of both the personal and the political. Driven by a restless and wide ranging imagination, the poems are sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious, sometimes erotic, sometimes mystical, and occasionally all of these things at once.
  • In the third Tribus by Etruscan Press, we present work by poets of three generations: William Heyen, H. L. Hix, and Dante Di Stefano. It was Di Stefano’s new book, Lullaby with Incendiary Device, which inspired this tribute to three generations. Lullaby is deeply immersed in a soon-to-be-realized future, in which Di Stefano’s daughter faces an array of 21st century challenges. For the last half-century, Heyen’s poetry has explored world history, from Nature, to Native Americans, to the Holocaust and the atom bomb, the Iraq Wars, to the British Royals. In this book, Heyen presents another entry into his Holocaust opus, The Nazi Patrol. H. L. Hix’s work is also inextricably involved with the world as seen in a recent collection, American Anger, which explores the psychology of rage underneath recent political turmoil, yet it also turns inward, creating new forms to join the world and the inner life. This theme is most prominent here, in How It Is That We.
  • Trio: three books of poetry—Planet Parable, by Karen Donovan; Run, by Diane Raptosh; Endless Body by Daneen Wardrop—bound together in one accommodating volume; three distinct and fully realized, absorbing universes that stand on their own but, here, not apart. Inevitably, serendipitously, the intelligences, preoccupations, prosodic signatures begin to reverberate and ricochet, not just for readers but for the poets themselves, who together, in an afterward, comment on the project and create an intriguing cento of combined lines. Individually, Karen Donovan’s poems unspool lyric macrocosms and microcosms with equal and precise astonishment; Diane Raptosh’s poems unveil and reclaim with intimacy the spiritual, sexual and political history of Victoria Woodhull, an American feminist purged from the annals; and the poems of Daneen Wardrop, with close and darting attention, create an intricate, syncopated network. Each of these three poets, with daring and mastery, compels on her own; together in Trio, their synergy is riveting. — Carol Moldaw, Beauty Refracted
  • More than an expressive book of poems, American Anger is an evidentiary reflection of civility and self-correction. Just as a documentary assembles documents, American Anger assembles evidences: found poems, testimonies, narratives, statistics, translations of short topical excerpts from classical literature, all of which bring American anger to light. Born from the poet’s own philosophical research, these poems present current sociocultural circumstances and employ arguments of dissonance between the statements and actions of the United States government, creating an engaging social and cultural movement focused on how anger is part of everyday American life. American Anger stimulates discussion important to any concerned citizen. Within the work, a fully developed author biography is present in its own right, affording the reader a chance to learn more about the poet through philosophy and lyricism. The interior of the book has a unique design, which is expertly typeset to create essentially a manuscript within a manuscript. A ribbon of text runs in boustrophedon, an ancient Greek writing form, like a watermark behind the poetry.
  • 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.
  • The poems in Synergos smack of Whitman and Martí, two of Roberto Manzano’s most important influences; they outsoar anything pedestrian, even in celebrating the here and now and the close-to-hand. Translated by Steven Reese, the collection covers Manzano’s poetry from his earliest to his most recent work, which won the 2005 Nicolás Guillén Prize, one of Cuba’s highest awards. The text includes a substantial amount of interview material that clarifies Manzano’s poetics and places it within the traditions of recent Cuban poetry. Manzano’s writing offers a window into contemporary Cuban life in its attention to the local landscape and environment, an attention that won Manzano the 2007 Samuel Feijóo Prize for Poetry and the Environment. But its greatest achievement lies in making, from the local and everyday, a poetry that is unmistakably universal. “Manzano’s poems go beyond the traditionally circumscribed lyric, beyond the often humble and household range of so many contemporary poems. Translating those poems, and talking with Manzano about his work, was to experience that energy and ambition at close range, too close indeed to avoid being affected by it permanently Manzano offers one of the great gifts of translation—to be changed oneself in the process of that other, impossible change: moving a poem out of one language into another.”—Steven Reese, translator of Synergos
  • Aurally rich, structurally varied and inventive, sensually textured, these are poems at once passionate and analytical, descriptive and meditative, lyrical and complex—poems that keep one eye on the moon while leveling their gaze at the self and its immediate world. With an alert nuanced intelligence, a sinuous flexible line, Moldaw’s poems turn swiftly and sharply, surprising us in their range and ease, their visionary core. While, in the quoted words of the painter Agnes Martin, “the mind knows what the eye has not seen,” Moldaw’s exact and sometimes challenging language bring eye and mind together, with revelatory transparency. A wild fire brings into focus her daughter’s unknown birth mother; a columbary outside the hospital window becomes a columbarium as she comes to terms with a friend’s dying of AIDS; tossing the I Ching coins affords the occasion for a long meditative sequence built on distilled moments; overheard piano music catalyzes a reverie of longing; Walter de Maria’s sculpture Lightning Field inspires a layered, penetrating rumination on art and life’s “multi-angled interrelationships.” Out of acutely observed, deeply felt particulars, Moldaw constructs poetry of imaginative daring that illuminates and transforms the life within us all, repeatedly achieving, to quote from The New Yorker, “lyric junctures of shivering beauty.”
  • 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
  • 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.’”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A triptych typically depicts a scene, a single picture, in three panels. A trio is one song or one movement played by three musicians. But if this rich new book, Triptych, represents something singular, it is to show a small part of the singular diversity and range of contemporary American poetry. From Peter Grandbois’ intimate, disarming lyricism, to James McCorkle’s chewy, sustained meditations on time and the nature of decay, to Robert Miltner’s classical dramas where the Orphic myth can take us from creekside to the underworld of Vegas, each of this book’s books is as distinct as each poet’s style and manner—splayed or compressed, in lines or in prose, in wonder, in amusement, or in alarm. Over them all hovers the bedeviling circumstance of Time—enabler, nemesis, and charm. It imperils the lovers, fractures the landscapes, and confounds the sense of every self. —David Baker, Swift: New and Selected Poems
  • In this book of voices, speakers resurrected from the deeper past and the dead chafe against the circumstances of love, sex, loss, and longing. The Casanova Chronicles & Other Poems includes forty sonnets, each written in a relaxed meter. Each sonnet is a persona poem, told from the point-of-view of a real-life character. In The Ballard Sonnets those characters include Alba Ballard, her husband, her son, and two of her pet parrots, all of them dealing with the effects of her death. "In this wild, sexy, exuberantly off-the-wall collection, parrots, puppets, and the great Casanova take turns force-feeding Viagra to the stuffy old sonnet. But it's Myrna Stone's Rabelaisian gift for language that really steals the show. My head's still spinning."—George Bilgere
  • Through a variety of questions both overt and embedded, the poetry and prose poems in this collection explore the inexplicable too-muchness/not-enoughness of imaginative experience: Is this the neighborhood we signed up for? What in our universe can be trusted, what holds things together and apart, and what was time contemplating as it sprang into existence?
  • Food doesn’t get any more local, cosmic, primitive, tasty, or disturbing than in this book-length, lyrical-meditative poem. At stake are no less than the origins and mysteries of flesh and touch. “Thorpe Moeckel’s Venison is civilized and wild, like a life lived well, a barbaric yawp of pain and joy and true wonder at the brilliant ordinariness of a life lived close to the earth and close to the bone. Moeckel’s fine poetic is whetted on the visceral and cannily transcendental. Read it.”—Christopher Camuto “This wonderfully layered poem shows us ‘how to come to know the woods such that you dream them through the eyes of the deer. This is the praise song of the hunter and the world he hunts.”—Michael Chitwood
  • 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 A Poetics of Hiroshima, William Heyen has broken through to face full square what has been working its way to surface through several of his highly-praised earlier books including Erika: Poems of the Holocaust and Shoah Train (Etruscan, 2003): the interfusions, in art and in our desire for art, of beauty and atrocity. Heyen’s lines claw their ways into an aesthetics of formful but obscene sound that may now be our century’s only viable, or possible, home. “A remarkable poet in whom the ‘visionary’ and the unblinkingly ‘historical’ are dramatically meshed. He writes with the wild, radiant audacity of the visionary; yet his eye and ear are sharp, unsparing.”—Joyce Carol Oates “William Heyen’s music and meditations continue to amaze. I’ve now read and absorbed all the poems of A Poetics of Hiroshima. I am not ready to write anything about them, except to express my awe.”—Cynthia Ozick
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Also Dark is fresh from the pen of Angelique Palmer, a Black Woman Queer Mama forced to forge her own armor and create her own path. Bigotry, ageism, sexism, colorism, homophobia, and ableism are given voice and a voracious opponent in her poems.
  • 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
  • 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.”
  • In five spellbinding lyric sequences that record a lover’s dreams and a dreamer’s loves, I’m Here to Learn to Dream in Your Language extends H. L. Hix’s ongoing poetic inquiry into spiritual and sexual ecstasy, that condition in which one becomes most oneself precisely by being transported out of oneself. “In Hix’s beautiful poems, language and thought become physical as well as abstract realities, where one dream can split off into a thousand dreamers…” — Paisley Rekdal, author of Animal Eye “To read I’m Here to Learn to Dream in Your Language is to realize that we have among us a visionary devoted to revelation.” — Dan Beachy-Quick, author of Circle’s Apprentice
  • Arcadia Road is three long poems – narrative, lyrical, meditative – each as audacious as down-to-earth, each as strange as intimate. Moeckel’s trilogy is as rich, lush, and organic as the soil of his Virgina Blue Ridge homestead. In a mode both contemporary and as old as Hesiod, Moeckel sustains a cosmic and earthbound incursion into essential techniques and textures of life. These poems are organic and intimate, revolving around the time, work, grace and struggle of bringing food from field to table.
  • 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.

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