Etruscan Press
  • 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.
  • 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.’”
  • 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.
  • A Heaven Wrought of Iron: Poems from the Odyssey offers a fresh approach to — and a collaboration with — the Odyssey by weaving together translated fragments from the Greek text with a sequence of poems drawn from an imaginative engagement with the Odyssey. D. M. Spitzer’s collection unfolds within the framework of the ancient epic: 24 books and a well-known and complex narrative architecture. The poems contained in A Heaven Wrought of Iron inhabit a range of voices drawn from both the world of Homer’s Odyssey and from that of the poet-as-reader.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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

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