Third Year Catalogue 2012-2013
In Todd Melicker's remarkable debut collection, RENDEZVOUS, the reader finds lines that join, converse, and split apart so completely that at times they literally flip, becoming distorted reflections of their own initial utterance. These are poems troubled by adoration and desire, evolution, and the spiraling of the mind immersed in measurement and inquiry. In quick succession we move from the differences between "more sun" and "same sun" to the abundance of the "floodworld/worried" and the strict limitations of "these daily tasks." Melicker writes—of love, of meeting, of the sun's slow revolution, and of return—in ways that keep these poems circling through the reader's mind. "i'm coming aware of the whole, what" he discloses, and "that all parts/ belong."
The New CensusEdited by Kevin A. González and Lauren Shapiro
Edited by Kevin A. González and Lauren Shapiro, with a foreword by Dara Wier. THE NEW CENSUS captures the kaleidoscopic range of contemporary poetry, spanning a complex array of aesthetic, formal, and social concerns. It includes over one hundred poems from forty poets: Carrie Olivia Adams, Eric Baus, John Beer, Nicky Beer, Ciaran Berry, Jericho Brown, Suzanne Buffam, Heather Christle, Eduardo C. Corral, Kyle Dargan, Darcie Dennigan, Sandra Doller, Timothy Donnelly, Joshua Edwards, Emily Kendal Frey, Dobby Gibson, Yona Harvey, Steve Healey, Tyehimba Jess, Keetje Kuipers, Nick Lantz, Dorothea Lasky, Dora Malech, Sarah Manguso, Randall Mann, Sabrina Orah Mark, Chris Martin, J. Michael Martinez, Adrian Matejka, John Murillo, Sawako Nakayasu, Kathleen Ossip, Kiki Petrosino, Zach Savich, Robyn Schiff, James Shea, Nick Twemlow, Sarah Vap, Jerry Williams, and Jon Woodward. Alongside the work of these forty bright stars, THE NEW CENSUS features twenty census polls of its poets as well as dynamic illustrations by artist Lauren Haldeman.
Last WordJonathan Blum
LAST WORD, a novella, tells the story of Kip Langer, a successful orthognathic surgeon, who is trying to raise three children, including Eric, a bright but socially awkward thirteen-year-old from his first marriage. As Eric gets into more and more trouble at his Conservative Jewish Day School, Kip tries to understand Eric and guide him toward making better choices. The story, set in a Southern suburban community, examines patterns of love, anger, intimacy, inheritance, and disconnection within one modern blended family.
Penny, n.Madeline McDonnell
A definition: 1) A one-cent coin equal to one hundredth of a dollar; 2) A blue-skirted, soon-to-be thirty-year-old, champagne-swilling, high-rise-dwelling lounge singer; 3) A hopeful and lonely woman in love; 4) The object of a depressive and manic lexicographer's angst and affection; 5) A trivial amount; 6) A slave or servant; 7) An Itty-Bitty-Kitty-Keeper, a Yuppy-puppy, a Munchkin or Muffin; 8) Bridey's maid-of-honor; 9) A mother's pretty wonder; 10) A love-sick story of worth and worry.
Second Year Catalogue 2011-2012
Whale in the Woods,Blueberry Morningsnow
Inhabited by spirits, shadows, and ghosts harmonizing from the bleak and muddy bottoms of The Lake—the One and Only Lake—Blueberry Elizabeth Morningsnow's debut collection of poems, WHALE IN THE WOODS, is a landscape of wild-hearted voices calling to us through passions so profound only Whitman has ever evoked them. Resolved, at first, to a ruined and dissolving world, these poems expand and reawaken the sounds of a mythmaking chorus. "A lake is born," we learn, "composed entirely of warm human eyes" and "a child / is born with eyes that only see when he closes him / A dark lake writes a poem / about lakes. It's different than / any other poem about lakes." WHALE IN THE WOODS is brazen, sorrowful, ecstatic, and astonished, and Morningsnow a voice like no other in contemporary poetry. Winner of Rescue Press's 2011 Black Box Poetry Prize, selected by Sabrina Orah Mark.
Of Embodies,Philip Sorenson
Like an army of flowering stones, Philip Sorenson’s OF EMBODIES evolves fixed positions into organic movement and marches straight into your open heart. These poems are the body and the text; the temple and a subject of discovery—their urgency manifesting itself in vanishing memory, actively decomposing letters, and what kind of material might survive you. These poems are interested in evidence, exact specimens, and wild living inquiry. Here there are indications of the inner workings of the earth, upsets, burials, blood, membranes, mouths, and “tongues learning to penetrate a word with the body to lean in and whisper but meaning is a fleeing.” OF EMBODIES was the Editor’s Choice pick for Rescue Press’ 2011 Black Box Poetry Prize.
The Lily Will,Melissa Dickey
Oblique, intelligent, and sad, The Lily Will introduces readers to a voice beautifully sustained through compressed lyrics and long, meticulous sequences. The geography of this book is one of thistles and ice, love flashed with fear, and frail bodies seeking safety in heavy weather.In its warped miniatures (here an eye, there a red leaf, seen distended through iced glass) there is a commitment to smallness, vulnerability marked by precision, and intimations, too, of the eternal:
“What is earthly? An impulse to paradise.”
The Institute For Species Systemization: An Experimental Archive,Danielle Rosen / Patricia Rose
This groundbreaking work of research, investigative scientific studies, never-before collected data, and interpreted evidence from the Institute for Species Systemization is concerned with the psychological, literal, and linguistic spaces between animals and humans. The archive cites theories of proxemics and zoosemiotics--as well as the infamous psychological studies of Skinner and Harlow--as both precedent and provocation.
In the absence of Predators,Vinnie Wilhelm
Shot through with dark humor, desolate landscapes, and seemingly impossible plot turns, In the Absence of Predators is a striking collection that haunts long after the stories have reached their outlandish conclusions. Here we discover the most captivating of human forms: dreamers, liars, thieves, murderers, and lovers--characters provoked to search, and those abandoned by their own fates and identities. Wilhelm’s narrative crescendos disclose the most terrifying corners of this world; there are wrecks, blizzards, asylums, agents, road trips, and an army of ghosts. In the Absence of Predators is a masterful debut of five cracked and astonishing stories.
First Year Catalogue: 2010-2011
The Smaller Half,Marc Rahe
Marc Rahe’s concern with the body--in motion, trauma, sickness, health, intoxication, joy, wonder, and waiting--fascinates and compels one to heartbreak, desire, and resignation. These poems are silly and strange, adaptive, fiery, and fiercely observant—as well as bent on the notion that one might attend to even the smallest of extraordinary detail.
In Canaan,Shane McCrae
In Shane McCrae’s astonishing second chapbook, In Canaan, he inhabits the personae of the escaped slave Margaret Garner, who, in the mid-1800s, murdered one of her daughters in order to keep her from returning to slavery. “I couldn’t stop, Hurting her because it hurt,” writes McCrae in the voice of Garner, “Before that night I never had the chance to love, Anyone, she was the first person I loved.” McCrae composes in broken forms and shattered fragments, retelling a harrowing historical story through the imagined first-person point of view of its tortured and terrified heroine.
There is something inside, it wants to get out,Madeline McDonnell
The brief and stunning debut by fiction writer Madeline McDonnell. In these technically surprising and lyrically astounding stories, the reader meets three haunted, singular, and unsettled protagonists—Wednesday, Mary, and Lucy—who are up to and up against all sorts of horrendous and hilarious trouble. The reader will discover in this trinity a deeply intelligent, comic, and chaotic view of consciousness, pleasure, and shame along with a panic-inducing proposal, cancer-basketball, and a series of passionate car crashes. Perhaps more importantly, the reader will fall for McDonnell’s poetic touch and her absolute attention to the magic of the sentence.
Events Film Cannot Withstand,Zach Savich
“I want to write you a beautiful book of prose, against not least the before-too-long loss of tongue and sense and all sun-defiant hues on the river bend, and none of us able to say or touch or see, soon enough, soon enough, aground, to give you this my voice today nevertheless, withstanding, nevertheless, given everything, for you, a clear note from a complicated bell,” begins Zach Savich in his first book of prose. He goes on to compose a powerful, precise, and playfully chaotic book-length lyric memoir on art, process, friendship, place, and imagination.
To Be Human is To Be a Conversation,Andrea Rexilius
Andrea Rexilius’ first book, To Be Human Is To Be A Conversation, combines memoir, essay, performance, research, poetry, and lyric meditation to entwine, twist, and twin the physical and spiritual consequences of sisterhood. Through a series of investigations and experiments, the text transforms initial factual fragments into the bodily material of the (heard and unheard) language of intimates.
“Our crime is she began to grow in my skin,” writes Rexilius, “A con artist. A mammal. A flower at the back of my skull.”
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