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The Bitter Oleander: A Journal of Contemporary International Poetry and Short Fiction ISSN # 1087-8483.
Please click here to order any of the books below by snail mail.
Parabola Dreams by Alan Britt & Silvia ScheibliParabola Dreams by Alan Britt & Silvia Scheibli ($16.00)
ISBN # 978-0-9786335-9-2

Alan Britt's interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem (http://www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html#alan-britt) aired on Pacifica Radio in January 2013. His interview with Minnesota Review is up at http://minnesotareview.wordpress.com/. He read poems at the historic Maysles Cinema in Harlem/NYC, February 2013 and at the World Trade Center/Tribute WTC Visitor Center in Manhattan/NYC, April 2012. His latest books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010), Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). He is Poetry Editor for the We Are You Project International (www.weareyouproject.org) and Book Review Editor for Ragazine (http://ragazine.cc/). Alan teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formally feral cats.

Silvia Scheibli was born in Hamburg, Germany, and has lived in Ontario, Canada, as well as in Tampa, San Francisco, San Diego, the Mojave Desert, and currently resides near the US/Mexican border in Arizona. Her poems reflect her love of nature and wildlife as well as cosmopolitan habitats as felt in these lines from "Japanese Tea Ceremony - Golden Gate Park." She states, "The drinkers pour simplicity into a tiny cup/and are transformed/by a swallow's flight at their fingertips."
Silvia Scheibli's poems are translated internationally and included in numerous anthologies. She is a participant in the We Are You Project International (www.weareyouproject.org) and a January contributor to the online magazine, Truck. Her latest books are Under The Loquat Tree by Vida Publishing Inc., Maryland, 2002 and Parabola Dreams: Poems by Silvia Scheibli and Alan Britt published by The Bitter Oleander Press, New York, 2013.
According to the distinguished poet, Lilvia Soto, Silvia Scheibli writes with "an erotic brush" and some of her "word watercolors are true surrealist visions representing sensitive portraits of Mexican culture with a Zen aliveness and a lightning knowing." For example, in her poem "In the time of the Jaguar and the Sky Island Alliance," Ms. Scheibli states, "He watched jagged fruit bats/ slide out of the moon's silver sleeves/flutter to chrome-sapphire blossoms."
She is a regular contributor to the award-winning The Bitter Oleander, whose publisher and editor, Paul B. Roth, published her first book of poems, The Moon Rises in the Rattlesnake's Mouth in the early 1970's after she graduated from Tampa University, Tampa, Florida.

Both Alan Britt and Silvia Scheibli have, on their own, established their durability as poets for decades. The idea to put the two together, not just because they are good friends and poets of a similar aesthetic, is genius. Even though each's work shows greater differences than similarities to the other's, it is just this contrast which shows the pure individual way one can nurture the same perception by way of a uniquely different set of experiences. Both intrigue and delight; neither is whimsical unless on purpose. Both are concerned with the deterioration of the environment inclusive especially of the lack of civility among human beings on the planet. Reading either poet snaps you back from the brink of this non-reality we've all been brainwashed to believe is the only true reality. Experience is everything and both Britt and Scheibli's words develop it beautifully.

by Alan Britt &
Silvia Scheibli

Of Flies
and Monkeys
Of Flies and Monkeys (De singes et de mouches) Including also Les Mères (Mothers) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree) by Jacques Dupin Of Flies and Monkeys (De singes et de mouches) Including also Les Mères (Mothers) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree) by Jacques Dupin ($24.00)


A bilingual edition
Introduced and translated from the French by John Taylor

ISBN # 0-9786335-4-7


JACQUES DUPIN was born in 1927 in southern France (in the small town of Privas) and raised in northern France (in Saint-Quentin) as well, until he settled in Paris in 1944 where he continues to live. His first book, Cendrier du voyage (1950), was prefaced by René Char. By 1952, he had begun working for the magazine Cahiers d'Art. Soon the poet came into contact with numerous artists, including Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, Victor Brauner, Wilfredo Lam, Alexander Calder, Jean Hélion, Georges Braque, Nicolas De Staël, Joan Miró, and Alberto Giacometti. From the 1950s to the present day, Dupin has been a major figure not only in French poetry but also in the contemporary art world, as a critic, expert (notably of Miró's painting), catalogue editor, exhibition organizer, and publisher (at the Éditions de la Galerie Maeght). Along with André du Bouchet, Yves Bonnefoy, Michel Leiris, Gaëtan Picon, Louis-René des Forêts, and Paul Celan, Dupin founded and edited the important review L'Éphémère, beginning in 1966. His poetic oeuvre is one of the most profound and challenging in contemporary French literature. Besides recent volumes published by the Éditions P.O.L., such as Écart (2000) and especially Coudrier (2006), which is translated here, two comprehensive Gallimard paperback collections, Le Corps clairvoyant (1999) and Ballast (2009), gather much of his earlier work. He was awarded the French National Poetry Prize in 1988, and the Grand Prix de Poésie (attributed by the French Academy) in 2010.

Jacques Dupin

The First Decade:
The First Decade: 1968-1978 by Duane LockeThe First Decade: 1968-1978 by Duane Locke ($25.00)
ISBN # 0-9786335-7-1

DUANE LOCKE was born in 1921 on a farm near Vienna, Georgia. His undergraduate work at the University of Florida led to his Masters studies on John Keats and set the foundation for his Doctoral thesis on the poetry of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. He received a Ph.D. in English Renaissance Literature in 1958 and was Professor of English and Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over twenty years. At the University of Tampa, he edited three critically acclaimed journals of poetry, Poetry Review (1964-1971), UT Review (1972-1982), and Abatis (1983-1986). He taught courses on every period of poetry ranging from Old English to contemporary, with a concentration in contemporary European and Latin American poetry.

Locke's poems have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Literary Review, Kansas Quarterly, Black Moon, Ann Arbor Review and The Bitter Oleander to name but a few. At present count he has had over 6,000 poems published in both print and more currently e-zine formats. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry. In addition to those included in this collection, they are: Poems of Duane Locke (1986), Whoever Raises the Question of Representation in Our Time (1992), Watching Wisteria (1995), and Yang Chu's Poems (2009). He also has three e-books all published in 2002: The Squid's Dark Ink (Ze Books), From a Tiny Room (Otos Books, Spain), and The Death of Daphne (4*9*1). He has also been anthologized in Southern Writing in the Sixties (1968), The Living Underground (1969), This Generation (1970), I Am Talking About Revolution (1973), The Immanentist Anthology, Art of the Superconscious (1973), Mantras (1973), Contemporary Southern Poetry (1978) and Ghost Dance Anthology (1994). His honors include the Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize for best sonnet written in that year, the Charles Agnoff Award for best poem in a literary review, and the Walt Whitman Award bestowed upon him by the Poetry Society of America.

Duane Locke

1001 Winters
1001 Winters by Kristiina Ehin1001 Winters by Kristiina Ehin ($21.00)
A bilingual edition translated from the Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere
ISBN # 978-0-9786335-8-5


Kristiina Ehin is one of Estonia's leading poets and is known throughout Europe for her poetry and short stories. She has an MA in Comparative and Estonian Folklore from the University of Tartu, and folklore plays a significant role in her work. In her native Estonian she has to date published six volumes of poetry, three books of short stories and a retelling of South-Estonian fairy tales. She has also written two theatrical productions as well as poetic, imaginative radio broadcasts, one of which has also been released as a CD. She has won Estonia's most prestigious poetry prize for Kaitseala (Huma, 2005), a book of poems and journal entries written during a year spent as a nature reserve warden on an otherwise uninhabited island off Estonia's north coast.

Currently "short-listed" for the 2013 Corneliu M Popescu Prize for the best in European translation.

These works by Kristiina Ehin arose from a richness in the earth. An earth composted with the ever-changing and often stagnant regimes overseeing Estonia's long, proud and storied past. But an earth that also brought forth the very basic of song into words that tell and retell the geography, the history and the culture from Estonia's bottomless oral tradition. These pieces not only come from this tradition but create for the young people in a new Estonia, a proud sense of wonder, opportunity and above all, freedom. It is especially refreshing to read work that is so universal and never speaks over any one of us in its own very unique and compassionate way. One need not be Estonian to appreciate the wisdom these poems exude. One need only begin and be unable to stop.

Kristiina Ehin

Empire in the Shade
of a Grass Blade
Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade by Rob CookEmpire in the Shade of a Grass Blade by Rob Cook ($18.00)
ISBN # 978-0-9883525-0-6

Rob Cook lives in Manhattan's East Village. He is the author of five previous books, including Songs for the Extinction of Winter (Rain Mountain Press, 2007), Diary of Tadpole the Dirtbag (Rain Mountain Press, 2009), and Blackout Country (BlazeVox books, 2009). His work has appeared in, among others, Fence, Harvard Review, Sugar House Review, Aufgabe, Pleiades, The Bitter Oleander, Mudfish, Massachusetts Review, Mayday Magazine, Osiris, Ur Vox, Colorado Review, Salamander, Many Mountains Moving, and Parthenon West Review.

Eschewing neat closures, Cook creates poems that arguably compose one long gesture, the sections open to and echo each other, all held together by the pain of an unblinking awareness as well as by a ubiquitous freshness in the writing--if Cook sees a worn linguistic or perceptual path in front of him, he always veers off in a new direction that challenges both himself and his reader. Fueled by a deep dismay, the poetry goes beyond Surrealism, for Bréton's "astonish me" is no longer sufficient; the many contemporary outrages of Cook's "always lurking, indefinable country" require instead a poetic that can register the shock of "castrated hymns" and "the statues of sharks inside our mouths." Cook's world, where even the ground is capable of falling and wind is torn to plastic, is our own but atomized and reassembled in such a way that what we see through his lens is both strange and familiar. Thus the poet's vision of berries "ripening / on a noose" encapsulates a life-and-death drama between, as the book's title suggests, the imperial and the natural, a drama that gives an urgent quality to the verse and so invigorates the poet that the end result is a buoyant energy in and of itself a significant victory. Like Whitman in another perilous national period, Cook, by imagining the unimaginable and expressing the ineffable, offers us "good health"; Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade is both an antidote for dispiritedness and a guidebook for living in the land of "commercially-harvested weeping." -- Philip Dacey

Rob Cook

Painting the
Egret's Echo
Painting the Egret's Echo by Patty Dickson PieczkaPainting the Egret's Echo
by Patty Dickson Pieczka ($16.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-2-0

FOR 2012

Raised in Evanston, Illinois as a writer's daughter, Patty Dickson Pieczka found a strong appreciation of poetry. She graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Southern Illinois University in 2006 and, while there, spent two summers as an editorial intern at Crab Orchard Review. She fell in love with the area and moved to Carbondale, where she and her husband John own and manage a small rental business. They spend their free time exploring the lakes, trails, and bluffs of southern Illinois, from which Patty draws inspiration for her writing. She also enjoys music and played cello with the SIU symphony for more than ten years.

Her first book, Lacing Through Time, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 2011, and her chapbook Word Paintings (Snark Publishing) was published in 2002. One of her poems was nominated for an Illinois Arts Council Award, and she was the recipient of the 2010 Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Additionally, her work may be found in such journals as: Apocalypse, Bellowing Ark, The Bitter Oleander, Bluestem, Blue Unicorn, Briar Cliff Review, California Quarterly, The Cape Rock, Chicagopoetry.com, Common Ground, Crab Orchard Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Halogen, Karamu, The Listening Eye, Mad Swirl, Mid America Poetry Review, Midday Moon, Moon Reader, Poetry Depth Quarterly, 96 Inc., Northern Stars Magazine, Quantum Leap and their anthology, Editor's Cut, Poet's Post, Rambunctious Review, Red Owl, Red Rock Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Seedhouse, Skidrow Penthouse, Sidewalks, Sierra Nevada College Review, Springhouse Magazine, A Summer's Reading, Talking River Review, and Willow Review


The poetry of Patty Dickson Pieczka never hesitates to introduce both a startling imagination and a sense of the natural world. Here is a poet who is no stranger to either. With fast-paced literature more and more the norm, we're more than fortunate to have a place such as this book of poems to go and settle ourselves down. Poems in Painting the Egret's Echo are sanctuaries for all those moments in life that elude us. Pieczka's poems see, hear, experience and uncover for us so many terrestrial experiences occurring unseen at all times around us. In universes we have yet to fully explore for their ingenuity and beauty, she is the perfect guide for us. Her knowledge and those precious maps of perception earned through life-changing experiences help the reader flow into their rhythm and wash out the other side a more vitalized person. Giving someone a new pair of eyes is not always easy, but if only for a few precious moments, it can make all the difference.

by Patty
Dickson Pieczka

Tobacco Dogs
Perros de tabaco
Tobacco Dogs by Ana MingaTobacco Dogs
by Ana Minga ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-1-3


translated from the Spanish
by Alexis Levitin

Ana Minga's work has appeared in many anthologies in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, as well as in two Ecuadorian anthologies published in Cuenca and Quito. One of her short stories was awarded first prize in a literary competition in Villa Pedraza, Spain. Her book A Espaldas de Dios (which provided the entire text for this volume in English) was nominated for the biennial Hispanic-American Golden Lyric competition in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her work has appeared in many journals across the US and she was the featured poet in the Autumn 2010 issue of The Bitter Oleander. In 2012, she was an honored guest at the Second International Conference of "A Woman's Cry" in Trujillo, Peru. Her poems have been published in English translation by Alexis Levitin in such journals as: Ashville Poetry Review, Blue Lyra, Boulevard, Ezra, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Metamorphosis, Per Contra, PLume, and Rosebud

Goya's Perro Semihundido, found on the cover of this book, is the most poignant depiction of the human condition I have ever encountered. The universe is reduced to mounting dark earth seemingly on the verge of engulfing a small, half-hidden creature, while the background offers nothing but a curtain of greenish-grey hopelessness. This is not just one small dog. It is each of us waiting to be swallowed by the earth, surrounded by a universe that says nothing.

Ana Minga is always on the side of the beaten, the down-trodden, the marginalized, all beings threatened by dissolution and death, whether mongrel dogs or incarcerated lunatics. Her last published book Pajaros huérfanos (Orphaned Birds) is set in an insane asylum, where she spent time doing research as both journalist and poet. Many of those painfully inventive, at times fantasmagoric poems, appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Vol.16; No. 2. But that is another book. For the moment, let us be content with this grim vision, originally titled Behind God's Back. Let us think of Hieronymus Bosch. Let us think of Francis Bacon. Let us think of Goya. These, to my mind, are her anguished compatriots.

Ana Minga

Child Sings
in the Womb
Child Sings in the Womb by Patrick LawlerChild Sings in the Womb
by Patrick Lawler ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-3-7

Patrick Lawler is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Foundation for the Arts grants, a Saltonstall Artist's grant, and the CNY Book Award for Fiction. At SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he teaches Literature of Nature and Environmental Writing courses, and at LeMoyne College he is Writer in Residence where, besides poetry and fiction, he teaches scriptwriting and playwriting. He has published five collections of poetry: A Drowning Man is Never Tall Enough (University of Georgia Press), reading a burning book (Basfal Books), Feeding the Fear of the Earth (Many Mountains Moving Press), Trade World Center (Ravenna Press), and Underground (Notes Toward an Autobiography) -- combining an interview with poetry and memoir (Many Mountains Moving Press). His novel Rescuers of Skydivers Search Among the Clouds is the winner of the Ronald Sukenick American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize--Fiction Collective 2 (University of Alabama Press). Four Way Books will be publishing a collection of short stories The Meaning of If in 2014.

This is Patrick Lawler at his usual best. Whether taking us from a universe he unscrambles through the eyes of a newborn or sharing philosophical intimacy in his letter exchange between Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, the reader can do nothing but tag along, literally willing each page to turn on this seemingly endless journey through a time only Lawler seems capable of creating and controlling so masterfully with his always open-ended creativity exploring and gently excavating the past as it unfolds into the everpresent future.

Patrick Lawler

Sheds/Hangars by José-Flore TappySheds/Hangars
by José-Flore Tappy ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-4-4


translated from the French
by John Taylor

Special thanks to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for their support in making this translation project possible

José-Flore Tappy was born in Lausanne in 1954. She is the author of six volumes of poetry, all of which are translated in this volume. She has won two prestigious Swiss literary awards: the Ramuz Prize for Errer mortelle and the Schiller Prize for Hangars and for her entire oeuvre. Tappy has also written an essay about the artist Loul Schopfer. She has translated Spanish poetry and, with Marion Graf, the poems of Anna Akhmatova. She works as an editor and scholar at the Centre de Recherches sur les Lettres Romandes at the University of Lausanne. This book represents the first appearance of her poetry in English translation.

Tappy by no means abandons the deceptively simple, vivid, arresting imagery that has always characterized her poetry: here, the front of the house that becomes a gash in the darkness, the wall of nails, the keyboard of heads, the black-petal eiderdown, and the ladder of waves. Because of the suggestiveness of such symbols and word-pictures, one senses between the lines or behind the words something much deeper than that which can be summarily designated or described: the mystery of death itself, of course, but also certain aspects of this obviously intimate yet otherwise undefined relationship, which ever remains "before" words and yet becomes palpable, imaginable because of the poems.
---John Taylor, in his introduction

José-Flore Tappy

Puppets in
the Wind
Puppets in the Wind by Karl KrolowPuppets in the Wind
by Karl Krolow ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-7-5


translated from the German
by Stuart Friebert

Karl Krolow (1915-1999) was the author of more than twenty-one volumes of poetry in his lifetime, each with a physiognomy of its own. A noted critical essayist, he always furnished an exacting commentary on four decades of international poetry. Every German prize for literature honored his name and work, yet in translation his work is barely known. Scattered over the last forty plus years, only six books of his work in translation have appeared. Michael Bullock's Foreign Bodies and Invisible Hands, two wonderful renderings, along with Herman Salinger's Poems Against Death (all in 1969), and now this third selected edition of poems, Puppets in the Wind translated by Stuart Friebert.

Karl Krolow was a giant of twentieth century German letters, and made his mark early and often with poems, translations from Spanish, French and English, and criticism. Later, he added prose to his staggering output, which includes a number of volumes of Selected Poems (decade by decade), each with a life and mind of its own. Reminding of Virginia Woolf's dictum that a writer must be able to distinguish one day's light from another's, Krolow famously said he didn't write just for readers, but also for "so-called dead objects, landscapes, cities, gardens, streetcorners, animals, the air itself, for stones and their pores, for sadness, and bodily pain." Ranging across many subjects and themes, in a plethora of voices at once abstract and detached, Krolow's language is so concentrated that what is observed becomes intimate, even voyeuristic at times, illuminating basic human wants, needs, and values. Fond of quoting Flaubert, Krolow was intent on eventually "writing a book about nothing," which at the same time would be about everything.

Karl Krolow

The Cave by Tom HolmesThe Cave
by Tom Holmes ($12.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-6-8

FOR 2013

Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics. He is also author of Poems for an Empty Church (Palettes & Quills Press, 2011), The Oldest Stone in the World (Amsterdam Press, 2011), Henri, Sophie, & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex (BlazeVOX Books, 2009), Pre-Dew Poems (FootHills Publishing, 2008), Negative Time (Pudding House, 2007), After Malagueña (FootHills Publishing, 2005), and Poetry Assignments: The Book (Sage Hill Press, forthcoming). He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize seven times, and his work has appeared a number of times on Verse Daily, as well as numerous journals. His current prose writing efforts about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: http://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/.

Hand art on Paleolithic cave walls is the artery, but observations like cut gemstones are woven into Tom Holmes' exciting tapestry of The Cave with its hunger for mystery to balance you along the edge: "When the wall opens, / I am lightning in the antelope's antlers / and the stripe along its jaw." These poems wrestle with the concept of time. They want to capture time, yet realize that time is elusive. So, they attempt to understand time through concrete experience, which poses its own dilemma. Even "The Needle," a vehicle which hopes to stitch the fabric designed to apprehend time, is ephemeral: "Let me tell you about the needle. / It is and it is not. It points / to what will be, and what it isn't..." Undeterred, the poet continues his quest. Enjoy this exciting journey through the primordial future.

--Alan Britt, judge for the 2013 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award.

Tom Holmes

Movement Through
the End
Movement Through the End by Philippe RahmyMovement Through the End
by Philippe Rahmy ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-5-1


translated from the French
by Rosemary Lloyd

Philippe Rahmy (1965) is a Franco-Egyptian writer based in Switzerland. He studied the History of Arts and Egyptology at the École du Louvre in Paris, and graduated from the University of Lausanne in Literature and Philosophy. He is a founding member of the prominent French literary site remue.net, which is focused on promoting contemporary literature over the Internet and through live events. He is a published author in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and China as well as an accomplished photographer and director of independent short films. An active member of several handicap related associations, Rahmy is also writing songs for the rock band 'Gasoline'.

His published books include: Mouvement par la fin, Un portrait de la douleur, postface by Jacques Dupin, Prix des Charmettes - Jean-Jacques Rousseau 2006, Cheyne Editeur (2005), Demeure le corps, chant d'exécration, Cheyne Editeur (2007), SMS de la cloison, publie.net (2008), Architecture nuit, texte expérimental, publie.net (2008), Movimento dalla fine, a cura di Monica Pavani, Mobydick (2009), Cellules souches, avec Stéphane Dussel, Mots tessons (2009), Cheyne, 30 ans, 30 voix, Livres hors collection, Cheyne (2010), Néant saccage, avec Mathieu Brosseau, Hors-Sol (2011). His forthcoming books include: Shanghai pour horizon, journal du coin des rues, peintures Bobi & Bobi, préface Jean-Christophe Rufin, publie.net/HachetteLivre (2012), Corps au miroir, peintures Sabine Oppliger, Encre et lumière (2012), La ville en soi, publie.net/HachetteLivre (2013).

He was awarded the Prix Charmettes-Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 2006, the prize Lettre frontière 2008 and a Pro Helvetia literary grant in 2010. In 2011 he was a writer-in-residence at the Shanghai Writers Association in Shanghai. He was awarded the Prix Wepler 2013 Mention spéciale du jury and the Prix Pittard de l'Andelyn 2014. Currently he's writing a novel about the topic of migration and migrants, and a new book of poetry in prose about identity and amnesia.

* * * * * *

How best to approach this short book, a book that burns and freezes, and whose title is abruptly completed, as if torn apart, beaten to a pulp, by the words: "a portrait of pain"? From that point, beyond that point, here, pain is a gaze. A gaze that recognizes itself, growing deeper and lighter when the words that traverse it scrape on the paper. The first word, the point of origin, leaps up from the instant of death and fades away in torpor.

Notes from an anachronistic diary, splinters torn from the suffering body, sparks scattered in the air. Far removed from any narcissistic complaisance, this portrait of pain is a constant transcribed day after day from what the body and the mind endure in the ordeal. The realistic notation, impeccably close and precise, opens to the outer world, exalts in the contemplation of the sea or the night, a tree, a cloud, the flight of a sparrow hawk above the walls. The linked chain of crises, of testing treatment, of injections constantly renewed as they project a dim light, provoking the exorable climb toward the light. A decantation that suddenly crystalizes and loosens the oppression. The tortured body reinvents, in order to stay alert, the escape route through an open window and the reconciliation with space.

--Jacques Dupin from his preface L'Epure / The Diagram

Philippe Rahmy

Ripened Wheat:
by Hai Zi
Ripened Wheat by Hai ZiRipened Wheat
by Hai Zi ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-986204906


translated from the Chinese
by Ye Chun

Short-listed for the 2016 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Award presented annually by ALTA (American Literary Translators Association)

For over two decades, March 26th has marked the day when college students across China hold vigils for the poet Hai Zi, reciting his poetry and sharing their own poems dedicated to him. Newspapers and magazines publish memorial articles and the latest critical essays on his work. People travel from far and near to visit his tomb in the otherwise forgotten village of Chawan. It was on this day in 1989 that Hai Zi laid his body down on a rail track near Beijing Shanhaiguan and ended his life at the age of twenty five.
In modern Chinese history, few poets have been revered to the extent that Hai Zi has. Not only is he one of the most read contemporary poets, but also one of the most imitated--his folkloric simplicity, imagistic clarity, his motifs of wheat, wheat field, village, and grassland have found their way into many Chinese poems written today. Mostly unknown during his lifetime, he has been posthumously crowned with such titles as "the genius poet", "the purest poet," "the poet martyr," and "the poet who has changed a whole generation's writing of poetry."
Ye Chun is the author of two books of poetry, Lantern Puzzle (Tupelo Press, 2015) and Travel Over Water (Bitter Oleander Press, 2005), and a novel in Chinese, Peach Tree in the Sea, People's Literature Publishing House, 2011). A recipient of the NEA Fellowship, she is the former poetry editor of The Missouri Review, having received her PhD from University of Missouri, and currently teaches at Providence College.

translated by
Ye Chun

by Salvador Novo
Confetti-Ash by Salvador NovoConfetti-Ash
by Salvador Novo ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-1-3


Anthony Seidman &
David Shook (tr.)

“I feel that poetry,” Salvador Novo confesses in a poem from Espejo (1933), appropriately titled Poetry, "hasn’t come forth from me." That will prove to be a recurring theme in the intense and brief work of this sui generis poet, a member of that distinguished "group lacking a group," as the Contemporáneos playfully referred to themselves. Among that constellation of solitary souls there belonged some of the best Mexican poets and Spanish speaking poets of the 20th century: José Gorostiza, Xavier Villaurrutia, and Carlos Pellicer, to mention the more widely known among them. The Contemporáneos was the first generation of truly modern writers in Mexico, and in their eponymous journal they published the first Spanish translations of T.S. Eliot, just to give a quick example of their cosmopolitanism. Moreover, they also published D.H. Lawrence, Saint-John Perse, Langston Hughes, Jules Supervielle and Paul Valéry. All of those influences can be spotted in the youthful poetry of Novo. Moreover, as in the brief quote which opens this paragraph, there appears another distinct trait in his poetry: confession.

For the young Novo, passionately avant-garde, poetry was not only everything that tradition seemed to bypass, such as the unsacred, the free association of ideas, the prosaic, the unedited spaces of Spanish from the vast cities, fragmentation, irony, the uninhibited along with an acrid sense of humor, but also a poetry not detached from his lifestyle, which captured with an opulence in language, as well as a frankness, making one think of Oscar Wilde (one with whom Novo shares not only an emotive and aesthetic quality, but also a sexual orientation which he openly practiced in a society that was vehemently scandalized). The translations which Anthony Seidman and David Shook have done—-taken from two fundamental books by Novo, XX Poemas (1925) and Espejo (1933)—-offer an excellent way in which to appreciate the work of this radically unorthodox poet.
—Alberto Blanco

Salvador Novo López (30 July 1904--13 January 1974) was a Mexican writer, poet, playwright, translator, television presenter, entrepreneur, and the official chronicler of Mexico City. As a noted intellectual, he influenced popular perceptions of politics, media, the arts, and Mexican society in general. He was a member of Los Contemporáneos, a group of Mexican writers, as well as of the Mexican Academy of the Language. He was well known for his wit. When a party, where young soldiers had been invited by gay scholar friends of his, had degenerated into a fight and a scandal, Salvador Novo brushed off the whole matter with a factual: "This is what happens when members of the intellectual elite try to enter military circles". In accordance with tradition, the street on which he lived was renamed after him when he assumed the role of Mexico City's official chronicler, a post held for life.

Anthony Seidman, a Los Angeles native, is a poet and translator. His work has been included in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, The Black Herald Review, Huizache, World Literature Today, Nimrod, etc.,as well as in the anthology Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press). His second collection of poetry, Where Thirsts Intersect is still available from The Bitter Oleander Press, and a new collection, Cosmic Weather & Other Climates, is forthcoming from Eyewear.

David Shook is a poet and translator living in Los Angeles, where he founded Phoneme Media. His most recent translations include Tedi López Mills' Death on Rua Augusta, Víctor Terán's The Spines of Love, and Mario Bellatin's The Large Glass. His collection Our Obsidian Tongues, which was long-listed for the 2013 International Dylan Thomas Prize, is now available in paperback.

Anthony Seidman &
David Shook (tr.)

Territory of Dawn
by Eunice Odio
Territory of Dawn by Eunice OdioTerritory of Dawn
by Eunice Odio($20.00)


ISBN # 978-0-9862049-3-7


Keith Ekiss with Sonia P. Ticas & Mauricio Espinoza translators

Travelers to Costa Rica often depart the capital of San José as soon as they arrive, heading out for the cloud forest of Monteverde, the volcano at Arenal, or the waves at Playa Tamarindo, leaving behind the smell of diesel fumes and the city's concrete architecture. But if you visit the National Theater, a civic treasure modeled on the Paris Opera, you will find a bronze statue guarding the building, the bust of a woman with a fierce, penetrating gaze, and hair of Medusa-like serpents: the mother of Costa Rican verse and the country’s most significant international literary presence, Nuestra Eunice, as she’s been called, the poet Eunice Odio.
Eunice Odio's poetry has thus remained almost wholly unknown to readers outside Latin America, obscured on the margins of the region's avant-garde and proletarian-poet traditions. A woman poet who lived a secluded life, Odio was born in a country with, at the time, an antipathy to artists and writers, who often relocated to Mexico City if they wanted to establish themselves as contributors to the vanguard. Odio herself was aware of her marginalized, self-exiled position. Octavio Paz once told her that she was "of that line of poets who invent their own mythology, like Blake, like St. John Perse, like Ezra Pound; and they are rubbed out, because no one understands them until years or even centuries after their death."

——Keith Ekiss, from his introduction

Eunice Odio (1919-1974) is considered the leading Costa Rican poet of the twentieth century. She traveled and lived throughout Central America and the United States before settling for much of her life in Mexico City. Her principal works include Los elementos terrestres (Earthly Elements, 1948), Zona en territorio del alba (Zone in the Territory of Dawn, 1953), El tránsito de fuego (The Fire’s Journey, 1957), and Territorio del alba y otros poemas (Territory of Dawn and Other Poems, 1974). In addition to her poetry, she was the author of short stories and numerous political and cultural essays. Her complete works were published by the University of Costa Rica in 1996.

Keith Ekiss is a former Wallace Stegner fellow and Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and the author of Pima Road Notebook (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010). The past recipient of scholarships and residencies from the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Petrified Forest National Park, he received the Witter Bynner Translators Residency from the Santa Fe Art Institute for his work on Eunice Odio.

Sonia P. Ticas is Associate Professor of Language and Latin American Literature at Linfield College, Oregon. She is currently at work on a book about the development of feminism in Central America.

Mauricio Espinoza is a poet, scholar and journalist from Costa Rica. He is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Cincinnati.

Ekiss, Ticas &

The Hunchbacks' Bus
by Nora Iuga
The Hunchbacks' Bus by Nora IugaThe Hunchbacks' Bus
by Nora Iuga ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-4-4


Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole, translators

"i'm sam," begins the first poem of Nora Iuga's The Hunchbacks' Bus (Autobuzul cu cocoșați). The book is a sort of family chronicle centered on the imaginary character sam and his life, much of which is in his head, his not very faithful wife minodora, his brother istovitu (the name means exhausted, worn-out). Itțs comic, though not often in a laugh-out-loud kind of way; surreal or fantastic at not a few moments, at others ribald, eccentric; perhaps even a little hard to cozy up to, since Iuga keeps everything at an ironic distance. Her style is rarely lyrical in a traditional sense. The syntax is direct but the imagery teases and surprises; the poetic voice is energetic, even audacious, with a delightful quirkiness.

In the first of five authorial interludes, short monologues in prose, Iuga addresses the reader, "you might find it hard to believe, but sam actually exists" (notwithstanding the fact that he's sometimes presented as a dog); and Iuga notes otherwise in "sam is an angel":

i'm still determined to find out who
sam is and what he does with his little stick…
i'm the most helpless text
in this city

Iuga's world may at times be one of loss, worry, proverbially a dog's life, but it spins away with exhilarating dreamlike absurdity.

——Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole, from their introduction

Adam J. Sorkin, the translator of more than fifty books of contemporary Romanian poetry, has won the 2005 Poetry Society (U.K.) Prize for European Poetry Translation as well as the International Quarterly Crossing Boundaries Award, the Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize, the Ioan Flora Prize for Poetry Translation, and the Poesis Translation Prize, among others. His work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, The Academy of American Poets, The Witter Bynner Foundation, the Arts Council of England and the Romanian Cultural Institute. Sorkin's recent publications include A Sharp Double-Edged Luxury Object by Rodica Draghincescu (translated with Antuza Genescu), Červená Barva Press, 2014; Gold and Ivy/Aur și iederă by George Vulturescu (translated with Olimpia Iacob), Eikon, 2014; The Starry Womb by Mihail Gălățanu (translated with Petru Iamandi and Gălățanu), Diálogos Books, 2014; and The Book of Anger by Marta Petreu (translated with Christina Zarifopol-Illias and Liviu Bleoca), also Diálogos Books, 2014. B & W by Diana Manole (co-translated with the author) came out from Tracus Arte in Bucharest, 2015. Forthcoming are Syllables of Flesh by Floarea Țuțuianu (translated with Irma Giannetti) from Plamen Press, and the book-length poem Eclogue by Ioana Ieronim (co-translated with Ieronim) from Červená Barva. Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English, Penn State Brandywine.

Diana Manole was born in Romania and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. A writer, translator, freelance journalist and scholar, she made her editorial debut with Men and Women: 29 in Alphabetical Order (Phoenix, 1996), followed by five more collections, including Evening Habits (Eminescu, 1998 – Bucharest Writers’ Union Award) and (Landed) Immigrant Angel (Brumar, 2011), as well as four award-winning plays, among them The Child Who Didn't Want to Be Born (Cartea Românească, 1999 – Romanian Writers' Best Debut in Drama). Her poetry (translated from Romanian with Adam J. Sorkin or written in English) has appeared in The Nashwaak Review, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Untethered, Event and Grain in Canada; Poem in the U.K.; Prufrock in South Africa; and The Lunch Ticket, Third Wednesday, Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation, Cutthroat and The Chattahoochee Review (nominated for a Pushcart Prize) in the U.S. Manole has published widely in Romanian literary magazines. In September 2016, one of her poems from B & W was featured on the Parliament of Canada's website as Poem of the Month.

Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole (tr.)
Call Me When You Get to Rosie's

by Austin LaGrone)

To Each Unfolding Leaf
by Pierre Voélin
To Each Unfolding Leaf by Pierre VoélinTo Each Unfolding Leaf
by Pierre Voélin ($25.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-6-8


John Taylor, translator

This book offers a representative selection of Pierre Voélin's poetry, ranging from his early books Sur la mort brève (On Brief Death, 1984) and Les Bois calmés (The Calmed Woods, 1987) to recent works such as Y. (Y., 2015) and Des voix dans l'autre langue (Voices in the Other Language, 2015). In other words, since La Nuit osseuse (The Bony Night) section of On Brief Death was written during the years 1976-1980, this Selected Poems spans four decades and reveals the Swiss poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer's role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution. Up to now, Voélin has remained very little known in English-speaking countries.

Yet he is one of the most important figures in contemporary Swiss francophone poetry. Born in 1949 in the village of Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland, Voélin is a key poet in a generation that also comprises Frédéric Wanderlère (b. 1949), François Debluë (b. 1950), José-Flore Tappy (b. 1954), and Sylviane Dupuis (b. 1956). It is a generation that has sometimes chosen thematic directions differing from those taken by their Swiss mentors, namely Anne Perrier (b. 1922), Philippe Jaccottet (b. 1925) and Pierre Chappuis (b. 1930), and that has conceived new poetics to continue to question man's place in the cosmos.

——John Taylor, from his introduction

Pierre Voélin (b. 1949) was born in Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland. He is one of the most important figures in contemporary French and francophone poetry and his work is featured, notably, in Philippe Jaccottet's highly selective bilingual anthology, Die Lyrik der Romandie (Nagel & Kimche, 2008). He has written twelve volumes of poetry and two collections of essays. In 2016, he won the Prix Louise-Labé for his most recent poetry collection, Des voix dans l’autre langue (La Dogana, 2015), which is entirely translated here.
This first English-language translation of his work offers a vast representative selection of his poetry, ranging from his early volumes On Brief Death and The Calmed Woods to recent books such as Y. and the aforementioned Voices in the Other Language. These four decades of creativity reveal the poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer’s role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution.

John Taylor (b. 1952) has translated several French and Francophone poets into English, including Philippe Jaccottet, Jacques Dupin, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Pierre Chappuis, José-Flore Tappy, and Georges Perros. His translation of the work of the Italian poet Lorenzo Calogero, An Orchid Shining in the Hand, won the Raiziss-de Palchi Translation Fellowship from the Academy American Poets in 2013. He is the author of the three-volume essay collection Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Transaction, 2004, 2007, 2011) and of two books devoted to European poets, Into the Heart of European Poetry (Transaction, 2008) and A Little Tour through European Poetry (Transaction, 2014). His most recent collection of short prose is If Night is Falling (Bitter Oleander Press, 2011) and Xenos Books has just published his volume of poems The Dark Brightness (2017). Born in Des Moines, IA, he has long lived in France.

John Taylor (tr.)
Shatter the Bell in My Ear
by Christine Lavant
Shatter the Bell in My Ear by Christine LavantShatter the Bell in My Ear
by Christine Lavant ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-8-2


David Chorlton, translator

Born in 1915 on July the fourth, Christine Thonhauser (Lavant) was the ninth child of a miner, Georg, and his wife, Anna, and grew up in poverty. While the poetry she was later to write contained the language of spirituality, the pain she described in it came from actual conditions which she suffered: scrofula and tuberculosis of the lungs. Being disadvantaged in health also meant she could not complete her education as intended. Unable to do hard physical work, she earned a living with knitting and weaving until she gained a reputation as a writer. Along with these health problems, she had depression to endure. Poor hearing or blindness in her poetry were not conjured metaphors for a general condition. For example, the first stanza of a poem from Spindel im Mond:

Shatter the bell in my ear,
slash the knot in my throat,
warm my strangled heart
and ripen my eyeballs.

Writing sometimes in rhyme, sometimes in free verse, Lavant employed directness in her language. I have chosen more of the free verse poems to translate and when there is rhyme I find it preferable to hold on to tone and meaning than attempting to replicate the echoing sounds. The use of sun and moon and stars would easily become a cliché were it not for the unusual slant in the work. So strong was Lavant's connection to the commonplace elements that moon and stars become symbols illuminating her particular, troubled road to Heaven. Even glancing at first lines in several of the poems here displays this tendency: The moon's halo was never so large . . . I hear the heavy moon approaching . . . Ever closer to the Milky Way's edge . . . The moon's signal light

——David Chorlton, from his introduction

Born in Austria in 1948, David Chorlton grew up in Manchester, close to rain and the northern English industrial zone. In his early 20s he went to live in Vienna and stayed for seven years before moving to Phoenix with his wife, Roberta, in 1978. Much of his poetry has come to reflect his growing concern for the natural world. In 2008, he won the Ronald Wardall Award from Rain Mountain Press for his chapbook The Lost River, and in 2009 the Slipstream Chapbook Competition for From the Age of Miracles. Other poetry collections include A Normal Day Amazes Us (Kings Estate Press), The Porous Desert (FutureCycle Press) and Waiting for the QuetzalI> (March Street Press). The Devil’s Sonata (FutureCycle Press) appeared in 2012, and in 2014 the same press published David Chorlton: Selected Poems. He is represented in Fever Dreams (an anthology of Arizona poets from U. of Arizona Press), New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press), and has a poem in BIRDS, an anthology from the British Museum. His A Field Guide to Fire was part of the Fires of Change exhibition, a collaboration of artists and scientists addressing the role of fire in forest management in the age of climate change. His single work of fiction, The Taste of Fog (Rain Mountain Press) is based on a murder which occurred near Vienna in 1961.He has also worked on translations from the work of the Austrian writer Hans Raimund.

David Chorlton (tr.)
the Alphabet
Wondering the Alphabet by Roderick MartinezWondering the Alphabet
by Roderick Martinez ($30.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-9-9

Typography/Graphic Design/Poetry

Like every alphabet, the origin of ours is vast and complex. It has grown from a determination of grunts and yelps of joyous wonder, through hollow reed pens pressed onto delicate papyrus, rubbed in ink across wood block carvings, shuffled around moveable type, all the way up to how our current hand-held devices and their design applications deliver us a constant barrage of typefaces, fonts and spatial designs. This book was written with that in mind as well as from a perspective of those writers, readers and designers who have spent their whole lives, in one way or another, focused on all the alphabet provides. Not only is there a chronology of our alphabet tracing graphically its changes over time, but this text also includes and combines tanka poems by twenty-six credited poets, each facing a visually translated composition of their work graphically rendered in full color by Roderick Martinez. In addition to these texts and graphics, every poet included has written his or her subjective thoughts about a specific letter assigned to them totally by chance. The beauty of these visual translations face to face with each poem, creates a most unique and heretofore unseen correspondence between both art forms. Each enhances the other, becomes a part of the other, allows for all ends to open up and flow between the two. Possibilities become infinite and Martinez’s vision along with these twenty-six gracious poets, is both a sight to see and read!

Roderick Martinez has a MFA in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied under R. Roger Remington. He has worked as a corporate graphic designer and creative director/designer for agencies in New York, before starting his own visual communications firm in 1998. His designs have won regional, national, and international awards. He has taught graphic design, advertising design, and psychology of advertising at Cazenovia College and is the current program coordinator and tenured associate professor of communications design at Syracuse University. He has served as faculty advisor of the Syracuse University AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) student chapter. He has lectured on a range of design topics both regionally and nationally. Martinez has been awarded several Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship. These awards recognize that his classes exemplify the highest ideal of sustained, quality engagement at Syracuse University. Roderick is a wonderer.

by Roderick
the Bee
Kissing the Bee by Lara GularteKissing the Bee
by Lara Gularte ($14.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-7-5

Kissing the Bee is Lara Gularte's first and long overdue collection of poetry to be published in a standard edition. To gain access to the significance of her poetry requires an understanding of the poet's cultural heritage out of whose true diaspora of Portuguese and Lusophone speaking people molded her perception as a poet. Born in 1947 in San Jose, California where she grew up, her family came from the Azore Islands to look for gold in California during the 1800s and 1900s. Failing to find gold and "strike it rich," her family turned to ranching to make a living. Her great, grandmother Maria Cabral-Neves, came to Fort Jones, California as a mail-order bride during this period, and today her homestead, remains a local landmark. Lara has memories as a young girl of her great grandmother telling her stories about the old country. As an adult she became curious about her heritage and explored family history. In so doing, she used the writing of poetry as a means to express what she learned about her family and culture.

Lara is a member of a Facebook discussion group called Presence/Presença. Named by Frank X. Gaspar, the group formed in June 2011 at the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal, in response to the relative absence of Luso-American voices in contemporary letters. Presence/Presença provides a community for North American writers of the Portuguese and Lusophone diaspora. This diaspora includes those with roots in Lusophone countries such as Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau, and Galicia, as well other regions where Portuguese have migrated. Lara's poetic work depicting her Azorean heritage is included in a book of essays called Imaginários Luso-Americanos e Açorianos by Vamberto Freitas. Her work can be found in The Gávea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry. She was a resident poet at Footpaths to Creativity Writer's Residency and Retreat on the island of Flores in the Azores, where her maternal grandfather was born.

Lara earned an MFA degree from San Jose State University where she was a poetry editor for Reed Magazine, received the Anne Lillis Award for Creative Writing, and several Phelan Awards. She was a second prize poetry contest winner for Empirical Magazine's 2012 contest, and nominated by Bitter Oleander Press to Best New Poets 2010. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, California Quarterly, The Clackamas Review, Evansville Review, The Monserrat Review, Permafrost, The Water-Stone Review, The Fourth River, The Santa Clara Review, and she has been published by many national and regional anthologies. She is currently an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.

Lara Gularte
Night Farming
in Bosnia
Night Farming in BosniaNight Farming in Bosnia
by Ray Keifetz ($12.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-0-6

Winner of the 2017 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award (BOPLOPA)

Night Farming in Bosnia is Ray Keifetz's first published collection of poetry. The competition's judge, Silvia Scheibli, had this to say: Ray Keifetz obviously has a great passion for language, image and depth perception. His ability to maintain intense feelings throughout his poems and yet bring some restraint to his language in order not to give in to the all encompassing terror he could have written is amazing. He uses nature to make his suffering bearable, yet it is just this insight into nature which makes his language so poignant. In fact, every poem starts with a light observation of some daily occurrence yet this immediately falls under his spell. His mature use of language is evident in every line. Everything around him bends to his vision. Incredible talent. I am impressed with his strength of words that invoke his suffering, yet not make it his goal. The poems stand above his suffering.

Starting in the Northeast, Ray Keifetz has crisscrossed the country multiple times and currently resides in Northern California. Along the way he attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, lived in Italy for a year, took up furniture building, and fell in love with words. His poems and stories have appeared in The Ashland Creek Press, Bitter Oleander, Briar Cliff Review, Kestrel, The Louisville Review, Other Voices and more and have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets. Night Farming In Bosnia, his first poetry collection, grew out of the calamitous ending of the 20th century and the equally dark beginning of the 21st.

by Ray
of Water
Remembrance of Water by John TaylorRemembrance of Water
by John Taylor ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-1-3

>In collaboration with paintings by Caroline François-Rubino

John Taylor, born in 1952, is an American writer, critic, and translator who has lived in France since 1977. His most recent books of poetry and short prose are If Night is Falling (Bitter Oleander Press), The Dark Brightness (Xenos Books), and Grassy Stairways (The MadHat Press). As a translator, he has won grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sonia Raiziss Charitable Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. In 2015, his translation of José-Flore Tappy’s poetry (Sheds, Bitter Oleander Press) was a finalist for the National Translation Award of the American Literary Translators Association. For the Bitter Oleander Press, he has also translated generous selections of the poetry of Jacques Dupin (Of Flies and Monkeys, 2011) and Pierre Voélin (To Each Unfolding Leaf, 2017). His other recent translations include books by Philippe Jaccottet, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Pierre Chappuis, Catherine Colomb, Georges Perros, Alfredo de Palchi, and Lorenzo Calogero.

The poetic sequences in this book have all stemmed from collaborative projects with the French artist Caroline François-Rubino. As with our earlier books, sometimes a sequence of poems has stimulated a series of drawings; at other times, it is a series of paintings that has provoked poetic responses.

Moreover, some of our joint efforts originally appear in unusual handmade forms. A few poems in this book were first used, alongside an ink drawing or a watercolor painting by the artist, as "livres pauvres," an international project conceived by Daniel Leuwers and associated with a special collection at the Pierre de Ronsard House near Tours. As to the sequence Remembrance of Water, it was conceived as a "livre unique," in other words a single book consisting of both poems and original drawings. In some cases, we have initially agreed upon a general theme: "trees," for instance, with the result that, in this book, the poems are often (but not always) linked to my American childhood memories, whereas the drawings take their inspiration from the artist's own emotions about trees intimately related to her life in France. Trees, like some of the other subject matter dealt with here—water (and memory), the haunting word "ever," or a "last" element of nature: to wit, another tree—provoke thoughts and feelings which may differ in their sources but which ultimately enter into dialogue.

Whatever the impetus of the collaboration, our goal is indeed dialogue, not illustration. Whence the underlying wish that these poems and images be appreciated on their own terms as well as in their interrelation.

by John
The Stella
The Stella Poems by Duane LockeThe Stella Poems by Duane Locke($14.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-3-7

Duane Locke was born in 1921 on a farm near Vienna, Georgia. His undergraduate work at the University of Florida led to his Masters studies on John Keats and set the foundation for his Doctoral thesis on the poetry of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. He received a PhD in English Renaissance Literature in 1958 and was Professor of English and Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over twenty years. At the University of Tampa, he edited three critically acclaimed journals of poetry, Poetry Review (1964-1971), UT Review (1972-1982), and Abatis (1983-1986). He taught courses on every period of poetry ranging from Old English to contemporary, with a concentration in contemporary European and Latin American poetry. Locke's poems have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Literary Review, Kansas Quarterly, Black Moon, Ann Arbor Review, and The Bitter Oleander to name but a few. He has published over 7,000 different poems, 36 poetry collections, and appeared in many anthologies. He is listed in the Marquis Who's Who in America. He won four poetic awards in one year: The Edna St. Vincent Millay award for the best sonnet of the year, the Charles Agnoff award for the best poem in Literary Review, Walt Whitman award issued by Poetry Society for best poem on Walt Whitman, and was awarded by a Swiss university for the best poem on Europe. He has served on the Board of Directors of COSMEP; was elected by nation-wide vote of poets to serve on CCLM Grants Committee. He is also a Nature Photographer and a visual artist. His work in is the permanent collections of museums, has been in hundreds of exhibitions and over 300 magazines as well as many book covers.

Still writing well beyond his 96th year, Duane Locke's most recent collection, The Stella Poems, invites the reader to accompany him through a thoughtful though sad journey across the landscape of our current trends and the reactions these trends have on our relationships not only with other human beings but with the wide-open natural world as well. As always, there is an impeccable imagery as Locke guides us through this natural world and see for the first time what was right in front of us had we only opened our eyes. Which is also why we can always expect to be amazed. Though a twist on Sir Philip Sydney's Astrophel & Stella, Locke's ability to make contemporary the kind of love it takes to exist in this world is, as usual, exceptional.

by Duane
Forty-One Objects by Carsten René NielsenForty-One Objects
by Carsten René Nielsen ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-4-4

Translated from the Danish by David Keplinger

Carsten René Nielsen, born 1966, is a Danish poet and author of ten books of poetry and one book of flash fiction. His first book published in 1989 was awarded the Michael Strunge Poetry Prize. The prose poems Cirkler (Circles, 1998) won him critical acclaim throughout his native Denmark. Recent collections include the prose poems Enogfyrre dyr (Forty-One Animals, 2005), Husundersøgelser (House Inspections, 2008) and Enogfyrre ting (Forty-One Objects, 2017). He has won several fellowships from the Danish State Foundation for the Arts. In the United States two of his books in translation have been published: his selected prose poems, The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors by New Issues in 2007, as well as the prose poems House Inspections, by BOA Editions in 2011, both books translated by David Keplinger. In 2014 a selection of Nielsen's poems was published by EDB Edizioni in Italy under the title 8 animali e 14 morti. He lives in Aarhus, the second largest city of Denmark.

In his introduction, translator David Keplinger states that..."it should be of little surprise to us that Nielsen's strangeness has been embraced—perhaps more than in Denmark—in the United States. His books have found a following here where a cerebral, Pythonesque silliness stands a chance to draw a crowd. Nielsen's archeological excavations, with its grown men in baby carriages, spider theaters, and sneezing trumpets, serve as antidote where politics have sickened us: the delusion of self-importance is momentarily washed away, and a clown sings from inside his barrel, rolling down a dark and lonely street."

by Carsten René
Ancient Maps and
a Tarot Pack
Ancient Maps and a Tarot Pack by Serena FusekAncient Maps and a Tarot Packby Serena Fusek ($15.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-5-1

Winner of the 2018 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award (BOPLOPA)

Serena Fusek was born in New Jersey. When she was a child her family moved frequently, which gave her a sense of wanderlust. Her travels have taken her to Europe and across the United States and Canada. Some of the miles were traveled on the back seat of a motorcycle. She has been part of the small press scene since the 1980’s, publishing in such magazines as Poetry Motel, Impetus, Poet Lore, Semi Dwarf Quarterly, Chiron Review, The Bitter Oleander, Star-Line and Mythic Delirium among others. Twice she was nominated for a Rhysling, awarded by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Slipstream Press published her chapbook The Color of Poison and her first full length collection of poems, Alphabet of Foxes, was published by San Francisco Bay Press). In addition she has had several chapbooks from Skiffs Creek Press, including Miles Melt Like Winter and The Bike Let Loose about her motorcycle adventures. She served on the editor's side of the desk with both Orphic Lute and Proof Rock. For Proof Rock she also wrote reviews of poetry publications. Today she co-hosts a poetry workshop and teaches a continuing education class in poetry. She is an amateur photographer. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, John, two cats and shelves crammed with too many books.

Alan Britt who judged the Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award (BOPLOPA) for 2018 commented: Creative minds experience resistance and encounter turmoil when trapped inside the confines of a utilitarian culture. Universal harmony suffers. So, what do some imaginations do? They write poems. Commenting on her poems in this book Serena Fusek confesses "a sense that there is something—perhaps something important—right next to me that I cannot see." She adds that her poems "rise as obsessions with ravens and angels," plus "how the light falls and stains the world with shadows." In short, Fusek, disenchanted with the status quo, rejects the mundane: "the sick snake of traffic / crawling slow as a clogged drain" and "in the attic, / chained to the rafters, / the angel screams / without sound" in favor of harmony with nature: "Here is my bed / with its rose quilt / and headboard woven of thorns. / I wander the deer trail." Her diction is sensitive when she says "eyes blue / as arctic snow at twilight" and "we sat by the window / watched petals brown / and curl / like burning paper." Along the way she wows with penetrating imagery: "shocks of light / sizzle down air / that stinks of incense / and iron." Fusek's language is an electric current flowing beyond the profane and into the sacred. How apropos she ends her poem, "Prayer for Raven's return," with "I listen / for Raven's call / hoarse as the rasp / of an old man / spilling a lifetime's secrets / summoning me / to the blood feast / of poetry." Ancient Maps and a Tarot Pack is a sensitive and image rich journey through a private but shared universe. What a wonderful ride it is!
~ Alan Britt

by Serena
At an Hour's Sleep
from Here
At an Hour's Sleep from Here by Franca MancinelliAt an Hour's Sleep from Hereby Franca Mancinelli ($28.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-6-8

translated from the Italian by John Taylor

Following upon the success of Franca Mancinelli's The Little Book of Passage, whose "quest," as Mark Glanville qualified it in The Times Literary Supplement, "goes beyond simple philosophical questioning; it is an existential struggle," The Bitter Oleander Press is proud to publish At an Hour’s Sleep from Here: Poems 2007-2019. Alongside new verse, this major volume collects the Italian poet's first two books, Mala kruna (2007) and Pasta madre (2013), which established her as a captivating and particularly mature new voice to which one listens attentively. In Mancinelli is ever a drive to get down to the core, the crux, the heart, the bone, the fossil. "Poetry is our imprint," she has stated, "the fossil trace of our passage on earth." Drawing on concrete experience—be it hers or humanity’s—Mancinelli's poetry opens onto cosmic and spiritual perspectives encompassing the archaic and the contemporary, the origin that is within the present moment.

Franca Mancinelli (b. 1981) is widely considered to be one of the most compelling new poetic voices in Italian poetry. Her first two collections of verse poetry, Mala kruna (2007) and Pasta madre (2013), now entirely translated in this book along with a selection of new poems, were awarded several prizes in Italy and later republished together as A un'ora di sonno da qui (2018). In 2018 also appeared her collection of prose poems, available in English from The Bitter Oleander Press as The Little Book of Passage.

John Taylor is an American writer, critic, and translator who lives in France. Among his many translations of French and Italian poetry are books by Philippe Jaccottet, Jacques Dupin, José-Flore Tappy, Pierre Voélin, Pierre Chappuis, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Lorenzo Calogero, and Alfredo de Palchi. He is the author of several volumes of short prose and poetry, including, for The Bitter Oleander Press, If Night is Falling and Remembrance of Water & Twenty-Five Trees.

by Franca
Not All Saints
Not All Saints by Sean Thomas DoughertyNot All Saints
by Sean Thomas Dougherty($16.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9993279-7-5

Winner of the 2019 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award (BOPLOPA)

Sean Thomas Dougherty was born in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn, Ohio, and New Hampshire. He is the author or editor of eighteen books including Not All Saints, winner of the 2019 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry Award; Alongside We Travel: Contemporary Poets on Autism (NYQ Books 2019) and All You Ask for is Longing: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions 2014). His book The Second O of Sorrow (BOA Editions 2018) received both the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Housatonic Book Award from Western Connecticut State University. His awards include the Twin Cities College Association Poet in Residence, a US Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans, two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and an appearance in Best American Poetry. He has worked in a newspaper plant, as an untenured college lecturer, and in a pool hall. He now works as a care giver and Med Tech for various disabled populations and lives with the poet Lisa M. Dougherty and their two daughters in Erie, Pennsylvania. More information on Sean can be found at seanthomasdoughertypoet.com

Sean Thomas Dougherty's Not All Saints leads us through grit-strewn passageways to a realm of insight. These strong and beautiful poems are unafraid to open their interiors to explore secret depths of emotion and reach into the darkest recesses of grief, love or the musings of a stillborn child. The reader will visit the “Ghost Roads” to see the lynched, the Indian graves, chicken bones and spent bullet casings and will delve into the unexplored and sometimes breathtaking terrain of "invisible scars" where the poet searches for more than "all this suffering, the long stroll to become nothing." This collection seeks to find salvation and to balance the divine with the damaged until "a wafer of moon dissolves into the mouth of the dark."
~ Patty Dickson Pieczka (Judge for 2019 BOPLOPA)

by Sean Thomas
Blue Swan, Black Swan
Blue Swan, Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries by Stephanie DickinsonBlue Swan, Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries
by Stephanie Dickinson($18.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-1-9

Stephanie Dickinson raised on an Iowa farm now lives in New York City with the poet Rob Cook and their senior citizen feline, Vallejo. Her novels Half Girl and Lust Series are published by Spuyten Duyvil, as is her feminist noir Love Highway. Other books include Heat: An Interview with Jean Seberg (New Michigan Press), Flashlight Girls Run (New Meridian Arts Press), The Emily Fables (ELJ Press), and Big-Headed Anna Imagines Herself (Alien Buddha). She has published poetry and prose in literary journals including Cherry Tree, The Bitter Oleander, Mudfish, Another Chicago Magazine, Lit, The Chattahoochee Review, The Columbia Review, Orca, and Gargoyle, among others. Her stories have been reprinted in New Stories from the South, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. She received distinguished story citations in Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays and numerous Pushcart anthology citations. At present she's finishing a work of creative nonfiction entitled In the Razor Wire Wilderness based on her longtime correspondence with inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, New Jersey. To support the holy flow, she has long labored as a word processor for a Fifth Avenue accounting firm. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, she has worked remotely from the sanctity of her 5th floor walk-up red room. Along with Rob Cook, she edits Rain Mountain Press.

War, mental illness, narcotics, sickness, incest and a deep passion for poetry were all a part of the Austrian poet Georg Trakl’s short and tragic life (1887-1914). Biographical accounts have been few, vague and speculative. So little is clearly known about the man that much in this regard has been supplanted by what can be only assumed from the poet’s substantial volume of work. The great German poet, Else-Lasker Schüler, who was a friend of the poet, wrote in her two line elegy: "Georg Trakl died by his own hand in the war. / That was how lonely he was in the world. I loved him." In Blue Swan, Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries, Stephanie Dickinson opens a new door, but not one into Trakl's psyche, rather from out of his psyche as if it were him relaying the incidents as they occurred in each particular moment and which these poems more than aptly provide. All is as if it originates from his mouth, from his dictation onto the pages of what is meant to be read as his unwritten diary. So powerful and precise is Dickinson’s language that at times you cannot distinguish between what she says and what you imagine Trakl would have said. The intensity level is that analagous. Dickinson's intimacy with such a tragic poet's life acts to offer us Trakl himself speaking about something we never knew in such detail and which we the reader have only her to thank for sharing with us.

— Paul B. Roth, The Bitter Oleander Press

Stephanie Dickinson
Consecration of the Wolves
Consecration of the Wolves by Salgado MaranhãoConsecration of the Wolves
by Salgado Maranhão($21.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-0-2

Salgado Maranhão was born in the tiny village of Canabrava dos Moças, in the municipality of Caxias in the interior of Maranhão. His mother was a "camponesa," a sharecropper. His father was a wealthy land owner. His mother insisted on raising him alone, though the father (and his established family) wanted to raise this only male child themselves. He worked the fields till 15, in a region with no hospital, no school, no church, no police, no judge, no social mediation whatsoever. He was illiterate, like everyone else in his village. At 15 he moved to Teresina and learned to read and write, spending much time at the local library, where he discovered Camoes, Pessoa, Walt Whitman, Dostoevsky, Mayakovski, and the whole world of western literature. He had always loved hearing the repentistas, who came through on their northeastern peregrinations, singing or reciting their highly rhymed, highly rhythmic verse. After four years in Teresina, he was able to combine the rhythms of his infancy with the literary poetics he had learned at the library and so he went off to Rio to be a poet.
In addition to his 14 books of poetry, he has written lyrics for over 500 popular songs, of which at least fifty have been recorded, including "Caminhos do Sol," which became the theme song for a famous telenovela. Winner of all of Brazil's major poetry awards, Maranhão has toured the United States five times, presenting his work at over one hundred universities. Four collections of his work have appeared in English: Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Tiger Fur (White Pine Press, 2015), Palávora (Dialogos Books, 2019) and Mapping the Tribe (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020). Salgado was awarded an honoris causa doctorate for his cultural contributions by the Federal University of Piaui in 2017.

by Salgado
Tango Below a Narrow Ceiling
Tango Below a Narrow Ceiling by Riad Saleh HusseinTango Below a Narrow Ceiling
by Riad Saleh Hussein($21.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-2-6

Riad Saleh Hussein (1954-1982) was a Syrian poet from the Aleppo province. He was mute, worked in Cinema Life Magazine in Damascus, and later for the Tishreen Daily until his death after a brief arrest for unspecified reasons. He published three collections of poetry; the fourth appeared after his death. A complete edition of his works was published in Baghdad, edited by Emad Najjar. He was considered a pioneer of prose poetry in which you can detect elements from Yves Bonnefoy and Jacques Prevert. He is a symbol of the Beat Generation who continued to revolutionize prose poetry in Arabic in the post-Adonis era.
In terms of his poetics, Riad did not trust a modernity without traditions. Instead, he preferred a modernity that was able to digest many tones and styles while still staying aware of its sources. Riad combined contemporary themes with hybrid, experimental forms, often in the same poem; his language (even in translation) encompasses, in frequently startlingly surreal imagery, an impressively expansive range of themes from the lexicons of art and nature, military conflict and sensual intimacies, and the stuff of his highly imaginative and sensitive interior dream world. In the manner of a Vallejo or a Neruda, his rhythm often breaks through its form, yet at the same time one senses the immediacy of his intense passion combined with his deeply attuned sense of compassion: “I want to build a room/Enough for a thousand friends..../I want to place a river/in the prison/I want to steal the jail cells/And throw them into the sea” (“Wishes”). During the period of the Arab “Beat Generation,” Hussein’s popularity thrived. His handsome appearance, complicated attitude with women, Dylan Thomas-like affection for alcohol, and his expansive, Whitman-like openness, made him a veritable poetry star.
And so, it’s no surprise that he was detained by the authorities and tortured. Because of his popularity among the younger generation and his good relations with important representatives in the media and among Syrian cultural figures, he was fortunate: he was granted release in less than a week. But the psychological scars penetrated deeper: he was ill, without access to meet expenses for his treatment, and he died only months after his release at the age of 28.

by Riad
Saleh Hussein
Weightless Earth by Paul B. RothWeightless Earth
by Paul B. Roth($21.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-3-3

Paul B. Roth has been published widely in the United States and his work has been translated and appeared in journals from Japan, Peru, Israel, France, Bolivia, Italy, Ecuador, India, China, Mexico, Italy, Syria, Romania, Estonia and the UK. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in both 2018 and 2020 and is the author of seven collections of poetry of which his most current are Cadenzas by Needlelight (Cypress Books, 2009), Words the Interrupted Speak (March Street Press, 2011), Long Way Back to the End (Rain Mountain Press, 2014), and Owasco: Passage of Lake Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2018).

This is an essential book in Paul B. Roth’s oeuvre. Bringing together qualities present from the onset in his writing, ranging from attentiveness to the living creatures and meditations on both humankind’s and our planet’s place in the cosmos, to a sharp scrutiny of our failure to protect and preserve the contemporary world, Weightless Earth impresses with its intricate language and remarkable imagery. One prose poem near the beginning of the book includes this characteristic observation: “Perhaps if we keep listening, we’ll be able to hear the momentary landing that a turquoise damselfly on a thin blade of floating lake grass touches down.” This is only one instance of countless other acute perceptions, which seem to unfold into ever-new perspectives or are inserted into tantalizing concatenations of still other images. And the very title of one piece, “Everything gets your attention,” sums up Roth’s willingness to turn outward from the self, to sharpen all his senses (and not just his eyesight), and examine the particulars of the world, especially natural and cosmological phenomena.

---excerpted from John Taylor's introduction

Paul B. Roth
Tracing the
Tracing the Distance by Andrea MoorheadTracing the Distance
by Andrea Moorhead($18.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-5-7

Winner of the 2021 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry Award, Andrea Moorhead, born in Buffalo, New York, lived there until 1962 when the family moved to the New York metropolitan area. She studied philosophy and French at Chatham University and continued her study of the piano. She moved to upstate New York with her husband Robert, where, in 1972, they founded the international poetry journal Osiris, one of the first journals in the United States to publish poems in foreign languages. Moorhead then taught French and Latin at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, retiring in 2014. Her early personal geography included the beaches of Lake Erie, the Muskoka Region north of Toronto, and, above all, the Niagara River, the beauty of its shores and the impact of petro-chemical installations on the environment. At an early age, Moorhead developed a keen sense of place, which would later play a significant role in her writing. She writes both in English and in French. Her most recent collections are The Carver’s Dream (Red Dragonfly Press, Minnesota) and À l’ombre de ta voix (Le Noroît, Montréal). Her translations of Francophone poetry include the work of Madeleine Gagnon, Élise Turcotte, Hélène Dorion, and Marie- Christine Masset. Visual poetry is a special love; her photos appear in the publications of Edizioni Anterem in Italy and in numerous international literary journals, including Ce qui reste (France), Possibles (Québec), and The January Review (Philippines).

This book may be defined as "Slow, not cautious, a heartbeat away from the landscape. New England, Québec, Ontario. The nostalgia of memory; it’s not childhood that haunts, but the landscapes of the heart, Niagara, Harpswell, Deerfield, Connecticut. The cold waters of Couchiching. Walking the land we love, with those we love. Following the American tradition of place, contradictory and jarring, transcendent, elusive, haunting, raw, Andrea Moorhead writes the spirit in its many bodies, in its many seasons and voices. Our common mortality, our desire to love, to cherish, to remember. An old apple tree is threatened, someone dies, an animal perishes. An immense love of the Earth shines through these writings. Tracing the distance between the heart and reality, between the continual movements and changes that impact our lives. A delicate palette knife applying textures and colors, the lens of dream camera capturing fleeting forms, a soft voice inviting us to walk the landscape together."

by Andrea
The Butterfly
The Butterfly Cemetery by Franca MancinelliThe Butterfly Cemetery
by Franca Mancinelli($25.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-4-0

Franca Mancinelli (b. 1981), known for her acutely crafted and existentially incisive poems and poetic prose, is considered to be one of the most original poets to have emerged in Italy during the past fifteen years. The Bitter Oleander Press has published her prose poems in The Little Book of Passage (2018) and her verse poetry in At an Hour’s Sleep from Here (2019). The Butterfly Cemetery gathers her most important autobiographical stories, personal essays, writings about poetics and landscape.

“This precious and intricately structured book gathers the most important prose narratives and personal essays that Franca Mancinelli has written alongside her verse poetry and prose poetry during the years 2008-2021. It is also a unique volume, for English readers, in that the author has not yet collected the original texts into a book: several of the pieces are unpublished in Italian, whereas the others have appeared in journals, in anthologies, and on websites. Several narratives are autobiographical and thereby disclose some of the personal sources of her writing, as she focuses on key events during her childhood and her passage into adolescence, while other texts raise questions about the self and its role in her poetics, notably the place of “the other” and the possibilities of an “open identity” that goes “beyond human contours.”

----from John Taylor’s postface “Franca Mancinelli: Facing the Invisible”

John Taylor (b. 1952) has translated many key French, Italian, and Modern Greek poets, including, for The Bitter Oleander Press, books by Jacques Dupin, José-Flore Tappy, and Pierre Voélin. He is the author of several volumes of short prose and poetry, including If Night is Falling and Remembrance of Water & Twenty-Five Trees, as well as a “double book” co-authored with the Swiss poet Pierre Chappuis, A Notebook of Clouds & A Notebook of Ridges.

by Franca

Come Closer
Come Closer by Laurie BlaunerCome Closer
by Laurie Blauner($20.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-6-4

Winner of the 2022 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry Award, Laurie Blauner is the author of five novels, eight books of poetry, and a creative nonfiction book published in 2022. She won PANK’s 2020 Creative Nonfiction Contest with her book I Was One of My Memories. Her essays have appeared in December, Sycamore Review, Superstition Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Connotation Review, and Your Impossible Voice among other places. Laurie Blauner’s fifth novel, Out of Which Came Nothing, was published in 2021 by Spuyten Duyvil Press. Her fourth novel, called The Solace of Monsters, won the 2015 Leapfrog Fiction Contest, was listed in Book Riot’s A Great Big Guide to Wonderful Books of 2016 from Indie Presses, and was a 2017 Washington State Book Award finalist in Fiction. She is the author of three previous novels from Black Heron Press. Her latest book of poetry, called A Theory for What Just Happened, is available from FutureCycle Press. She has received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship as well as Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, 4Culture, and Artist Trust grants and awards. She was a resident at Centrum in Washington State and was in the Jack Straw Writers Program in 2007. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Field, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review, The Collagist, The Best Small Fictions 2016, and many other magazines She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Come Closer, Laurie Blauner’s new collection of delicately wrought fables invites the reader into a delirium where unfamiliar and familiar realities combine. You can call these succinct yet lyrically sophisticated tales where it rains without raining, where birds open themselves like books, and your own heart can bite you meditations, auguries, revelations, or morality plays. Possessing an unrivaled imagination, Laurie Blauner transports us to cities that you recognize vaguely as if retrieved from that sinuous space between waking and sleeping. We are told in the opening lines There’s something wrong with the city: the streets I need for an appointment have changed; the florist shop leaps to the top of a tall building. The commonplace is altered to reveal its true nature; the apartment becomes not a place of refuge but the setting for speculative transformations. Blauner, the 21st century alchemist, takes the unpromising base metals of our everyday and spins them into literary gold. No one has expressed the unnatural so naturally as the poet in Come Closer, her vision is cerebral and visceral and somewhere on a continuum between pleasure and horror. Reptiles poured away, flowers were devastated, and the woman grew full and empty with her own painful truths. She is our storytelling Mary Shelley on Lake Geneva in the year of no summer.

--Stephanie Dickinson, author of Blue Swan Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries

Laurie Blauner
Book of
Book of Lamentations by Red HawkBook of Lamentations
by Red Hawk($21.00)

ISBN # 978-1-7346535-8-8

Winner of the 2023 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry Award, Red Hawk (aka Robert Moore) is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He is the author of 11 books of poetry and two books on spiritual practice. He is a student and devotee of the Spiritual Teacher Lee Lozowick and of Lozowick’s Master, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, the Godchild of Tiruvanamali, India. He is also a long-time student of the Spiritual Teacher George Gurdjieff. His root-Guru was Osho Rajneesh. He is the winner of numerous national honors, among which are the 1992 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, the 1992 Cleveland State University poetry book prize, the 2008 Bright Hill Press poetry book award, one winner of the xlvi Pushcart Prize, and the 2023 Bitter Oleander Library of Poetry book prize—all using his Earth name Red Hawk. All of these book prizes were awarded in blind competitions, meaning the author’s name was not known until the winner was selected.

Red Hawk (aka Robert Moore) is not an Indian name, nor was it ever intended to be one or pretend to be one; it is an Earth name, given by Mother Earth many years ago after a 4-day water fast at the Buffalo River in an effort to save my life in one of the darkest periods of my life. It was given as answered prayer. It indicates a deep love & reverence for the Earth which named me, and how it has shaped my life. I stand by it. Love of the Earth is my Spiritual path. It honors Her power to direct the course of our lives. I am Her legitimate son. As the illegitimate son of unknown parents, Robert Moore is my adopted name given to me by two people who died of alcoholism; I honor them by the way I live my life.

Red Hawk



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