The etymology of the word warp is constantly at play in Laura Bylenok's new collection of poems, though the word almost never appears. Warp becomes an agent of the change that is central to existence, projecting through space and laying on hands. Bylenok weaves iterations of warp s definitions through her verses like a wave, a particle, a distortion, a sigh. I want to feel a thing, to feel / myself turn over in my fingers, / turn over in my hands / of salt, my mouth of salt. Never obvious, Bylenok s imagery and sounds linger. Your signature will cover me, an x / I carry in my eyes, and on my tongue / a sip of scotch about to vaporize. Bylenok writes important poems grounded in physicality, finding the divine in the ordinary. In the church, I always saw her, / absentminded, touch her own hands / as if to touch something under the skin.
Through Opal's own initiatory feminine journey, S U R G E explores the power and vulnerability of being the creature called a "girl" in our culture and discovers ways to heal and love the girls inside of us, inside each other. Advance readers have praised S U R G E as "a tidal wave of feral feminism" and "a bold reclamation ... a wild, glorious mothering." S U R G E a reclamation of self S U R G E a revival of women's ancient songs of power S U R G E a re-wilding, a re-membering.
The organism that is girl secretes through her fluids and her secret pink language, a surge. SURGE as a tidal wave of feral feminism. SURGE as the roar that weathers inside a girl. SURGE as compassionate reclamation of the perverse urges of girls. This book is a blueprint of a volcanic wild animal snuggly tucked away in “days of the week panties,” bleeding out. –Andrea Rexilius
The original Traveler’s Vade Mecum, published in 1853, contained thousands of telegrams. Ross chose telegrams as titles for poems solicited from dozens of poets, including Bollingen Prize winner Frank Bidart and former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins to create a digital-age compendium of old-world poetics. Here are lyric poems, language poems, prose poems, found poems, haikus, pantoums, ekphrases, epistolary poems, acrostics, sonnets and mirror sonnets. Demonstrating the range of what poetry can do, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the habits and social aspects of 19th century America?and shows how we have evolved 163 years later.
“Essential reading for poetry lovers and experimenters, The Travelers’s Vade Mecum dramatically and wittily expands the notion of the literary prompt.” —Billy Collins, United States Poet Laureate
In Tremolo, Kelly Hansen Maher explores the strange grief and strained sensibility that arose from years of recurrent miscarriages. Questioning the bodily and psychological confusion of bearing one living daughter amid several lost pregnancies, Hansen Maher resists the sentimental even as her lament is inevitable. She situates her poems in wildernesses both urban and remote, with a lens that moves from the cultural to the intensely intimate. Against imagery of loons and lakes, residential gardens and city boulevards, she deflects metaphor even as she evokes it.
Told in six sections that work as an anchoring score, complete with an Overture, Tremolo guides the reader to listen for, and hear, meaning in the invisible. In the long poem “Loon Calls for Winifred,” written for a stillborn daughter, Hansen Maher uses four varying loon calls and her travels through Minnesota’s Boundary Waters as a structural sequence for grief. Her language is, in turns, musical, philosophical, patterned, and plain. Tremolo tells a cyclical story of unseen loss and private mourning.
Beneath Maher's traceries lie grief and rage: this speaker lives the life of a mother and lover at the same time she is part of a species that can never "adapt or be amphibious." Anyone who has mourned another human will recognize the irreconcilable atmospheres of Tremolo: ignition and extinguishment, calmness and panic. —Joy Katz, author of All You Do Is Perceive
“ . . . none of us/are immune to the light . . . . ” and indeed, none of us are. In Scott Whitaker’s latest collection, All My Rowdy Friends, an imaginative and often rococo reimagining of the Tiresias legend resituated in the twenty-first century, the reader is challenged not just by the overturning of whatever conventional point of view they may personally hold, but by the shattering of poetic conventions as well. Whitaker breaks the poetic fourth wall, that single-step remove from the text that situates the reader in a secure place as an (often passive) observer, and insists that the reader participate in that reimagining. Make no mistake, this is a collection that engages and sometimes repels at the same time, a series of works which will have you pouring over the poet’s copious footnotes like a freshman in search of a citation to crib for an overdue paper. Brilliant, as the brightest light is brilliant, this is a light to which no one will be immune. -- Jamie Brown Author of Sakura, 2013 Best Book of Verse, Delaware Press Association
Near Death / Near Life strikes a meaningful and tender balance between the appreciation for life's poignant moments, and the human experience of war, both as a construct and a memory.
Dennis Maulsby is a retired bank president living in Ames, Iowa with his wife, Ruth, a retired legal secretary, and his dog, Wally, a retired CIA operative. His poetry and short stories have appeared in Lyrical Iowa, The Des Moines Register, The North American Review, Spillway, Haiku Journal, The Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Briarcliff Review, and other journals.
Maulsby is a native of Iowa and a graduate of Marshalltown High School and Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. A U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, he served with the 25th infantry Division while in country. He is a past president of the Iowa Poetry Association.