Welcome to the Poemfest Bookstore
A few things you can't live without: poetry books by your new favorite poets.
Shop the Crestone Poetry Festival virtual bookstore. Browse and buy recent titles by our favorite poets.
by Peter Anderson
Heading Home begins with Peter Anderson's dharma-bum passion for the road, which leads him through the mountains and deserts of the American West, and eventually lands him in an eccentric end-of-the-road town fill of mystics, misfits, and mountain dwellers. This book is a gathering of "field notes"--observations, recollections, and stories along the way, where home is understood as a work in progress and the way is a road that never ends.
The Exact Weight of the Soul
by John Calderazzo
This is a book full of celebrations and hauntings, humor and grief, and great strength coiled inside the ephemeral. Traveling through Bhutan, Italy, the Everglades, Yellowstone, and often his Colorado backyard, Calderazzo delineates the subtle gestures and transcendent moments that animate our daily lives. These big-hearted poems testify to how often the more-than-human world acts as a vital protagonist, a conscience, and a well of compassion.
by Lawton Eddy
Between these pages we dance with open sky and grounding soil in a tango of knowing ourselves through another's eyes and through our own hearts; hearts that can fly or hearts that will burn us down.
Sink into this collection of Poems of a Life - at once unique and universal, sensual and solid.
In her first poetry collection Lawton Eddy's voice offers refreshing depth, playfulness and honesty to our perception of life's encounters which, through her lens, are at once utterly human and unknowably mystical. Provocative, sensitive and in your face, these poems invite a deep slow read. And then another.
Dancing on Edge
by Art Goodtimes
Born in the Mission District of San Francisco—where the ancients lived during the Bay Area's post-glacial Holocene—into a famly of immigrant Italians, steered toward the priesthood—he left the church and began to dance during the '67 Summer of Love—This collection of poems gathers the conversations Goodtimes has had all along with his alter echo, McRedeye—a wry, sly, uber-intelligent and ever playful coyote.
by David Anthony Martin
“David Anthony Martin is a nature poet the way Frank O’Hara was a city poet. He has paid attention, assimilated the beauty and mystery of his surroundings, and let it color his poetry in delicate ways. He says, 'everything will be alright just shut up and listen.' He draws from dreams and folktale and myth. He contemplates streams and trees and bears. And he does it in language that is beguiling, sly and as lovely as a September peach. These are poems to carry in your metaphorical pocket like small runic stones, with lines that you will want to contemplate again and again. Like this brief poem called stream of consciousness: 'The moon is not in the quick silver stream / the moon is in the still, void-dark lake.' Span is delicious reading. ”
~Corey Mesler, author of Before the Great Troubling, Notes Toward the Story and Other Stories, The Sky Needs More Work and Following Richard Brautigan
The Siren World
by Juan Morales
The Siren World is a collection at once intensely personal and seemlessly universal. The poems delve into the wonders and horrors of the world, and reveal the mind of a poet open to anything that may strike his widely ranging thoughts. Along with visits to his parents' homelands of Ecuador and Puerto Rico, this very American poet spies on King Carlos V conjuring empire, envisions the murderous mobs of present-day Ambato, and the brutal death of Pizarro. Here are great migrations and conquests. Here are…abandoned Gods…bumping shoulders with our modern world. Here is a detained prisoner of a brutal regime (…buried up to my neck in the yard …I sew my lips shut with black thread…), alongside a father gingerly but powerfully removing a barbed fishhook from the finger of his son.
The Land of Stone and River
by Claudia Putnam
Winner of the 2020 Moon City Poetry Award
The Land of Stone and River explores the wonder and terror of being human in a world both at its apex (in this period of between the earth’s various traceable ends, anyway) and tipping at the brink of another major extinction event. People are small beings in a vast, ungraspable landscape of geography, time, and disaster—at the mercy of wind, tangled in history, caught in illness that can seem as inexorable as weather, tide, or geology. We persist. And the world with us.
The Avalanche Path in Summer
by Susan Tichy
Like the contradictory forces convened in its title, The Avalanche Path in Summer evokes both place and time, a history and the rupture of history, in a landscape structured by word and rock, torn by drought and fire and a body's failings, where poems resemble the mountains--and the lifetime of mountain walking--they represent, and whose representation they alternately embrace and disown.
by Pamela Uschuk
In Blood Flower, passionate imagery married to music bursts from each line pushing out the boundaries of Uschuk’s earlier poems. It continues themes in Uschuk’s American Book Award winner, Crazy Love. The poems braid the startling, sometimes brutal stories of her Russian/Czech immigrant family during the McCarthy Era in a conservative Michigan farming community with stories of courageous individuals, especially women, who persevere to love, despite it all. Uschuk’s step-grandfather, father, brother, nephews, and first husband all suffered severe PTSD as combat veterans who returned home from wars that ravished not only their lives, but the lives of the women and children closest to them. This is the history not just of one family but of immigrants in this nation. These poems, although set in landscapes across the globe, commonly draw their imagery and healing from the natural world, the wild world, and the integrity of the human heart.
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Even Now pares Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s expansive work down to three lines in this collection of poems, each paired with an evocative three-line drawing by artist Jill Sabella. The image-poem pairs float on the page and evoke old ideas, bonfires burning out of control, feelings of long ago, tough hope, and the possibility of Spring.
by Orlando White
LETTERRS reminds its readers of its own physicality and binary existence as meaning-making art and physical object, just as humans work within their own body/soul dynamic. LETTERRS is a strange, complex work that breaks open our given contemporary understanding of written communication and forces its readers to reconceptualise language’s whole shebang.
Red Canyon Falling on Churches: Poemas, Mythos, Cuentos of the Southwest
by Juliana Aragon Fatula
In this High Plains Book Award winning collection of poems, a combination of nature, spirituality, myth, and ritual are combined with a no-holds-barred honesty. The poems discuss the difficulties of escaping the bonds of race and gender to prevail in an unjust world for a female Hispanic writer. Experiences are shared within that are wondrous, spirited, comic and disturbing.
The Two Worlds
by Sharon Corcoran
Sharon Corcoran's second collection, The Two Worlds, takes us through poems that straddle both worlds, the inner territory and the outer landscape . . .
The Two Worlds offers instructions, meditations, prayers, laments, ceremonies, and praise. Corcoran’s calm voice guides us, gesturing to what might otherwise fail to snag our attention. Lessons are drawn from the lives of beings that companion us here: coyotes and mountains, porcupines and stars, a packrat, a hummingbird, hawks and starlings, snowmelt and the static of the cosmos. We follow their tracks across the fields or the skies or our own imaginings, sensing in their ongoingness something of our own life’s meaning. Corcoran transmits, in her gentle way, that there is a world of dailiness to which we should attend, but that we can access, briefly, tentatively, another world within the pauses and spaces of that world. Another world which instructs us, wordlessly, but surely.
— Marjorie Stelmach, author of Night Drawings (awarded the Marianne Moore Prize) and Walking the Mist.
by Barbara Ford
In Once Familiar, Colorado poet Barbara Ford surveys the human landscape with her small binoculars. She looks in closets for the impossibly lost and the second smile. She pricks her finger with the eye of a needle, dares to seek transcendence while smoking a cigarette, fails to wash away the stain of sacrificial blood. In this collection of poetry she holds a series of conversations standing in the quicksand of the past and the ever so slippery present. Each poem finds its place in the heart of the reader who cherishes the interplay between the known and the never-to-be-known, and those who ponder the difference between understanding and acceptance, which the poet repeatedly discovers are not the same thing at all.
Cabeza de Vaca: an Epic Poem by Peter Rabbit
by Anne MacNaughton
Poet Peter Rabbit has uncovered in C. de Vaca's peripatetic adventure the kernel of the enlightened and loving philosophy that put him at odds with the 16th century rulers of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Informed by the author's personal relationship with the handful of psychedelic gurus leading the underground drug revolution of the '60s, as well as by decades of expertise as a respected peyote road man, this hybrid work presents both the factual and the imaginary, disquisition and dialogue, peroration and prayer. A lapsed Catholic and a dedicated mystic, Mr. Rabbit devoted the last years of his life to completing this poem which presents a gutsy new take on the indigenous source of conquistador Álvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's skill as a healer. Sprinkled throughout with humor and aphoristic wisdom, the tale is told in the voices of six characters, including that of the author himself.
by David Anthony Martin
A collection of small poems, haiku and micro-poetry that range between the domesticity of washing dishes and curry stains to the esoteric plumbing of the universe. As always, Martin's lines evoke the transcendent within their allusions, but nowhere is this illustrated more concisely than in these tiny poems that measure far beyond their meter.
The Handyman's Guide to End Times
by Juan Morales
First Place Winner of the 2019 International Latino Book Award for Poetry, One Author, in English
In Morales's newest collection, an imagined zombie apocalypse intertwines with personal narrative. From zombie dating to the sin of popcorn ceilings, these poems investigate the nature of impermanence while celebrating the complexities of life.
by Danny Rosen
Primate Poems exemplifies the nature of a very young species coming into awareness of itself. Many of the story-like poems are moments of ‘something going on’ in the midst of ‘normal’ life, walking up the stairs, leaning on the counter, watching the ballgame... Immersed in geological and astronomical thought, these poems ruminate on punctuated equilibrium, the empathy of distance, interactions between dolphin-human-dog-beaver, Japanese tourism, and the possibility that the savior of the trilobites has indeed returned.
by Jesse Tsinajinnie Maloney
Health Carefully is no virtual reality ride. It's the real thing. And, it burns with an exuberant, irreverent fire. Set on the Navajo Reservation where Jesse Maloney teaches, the book opens with a left hook, "Winter's God," a surprise from line one, its imagery at once brutal and unrelenting, ironic, and tender. It paves the way for poems that experiment, tease, snake dangerously across the page, poems that make us laugh, cry, poems that take us from Tuba City to Hawaii to Prague and back. This energetic work bursts comfortable human cages.
by Wendy Videlock
Nevertheless is the acclaimed first full-length poetry collection from American poet, Wendy Videlock. These are highly original poems written in Videlock's unique style and inimitable voice. They cover the gamut from fun, quirky, witty, to wise, in the backdrop of the slopes of the American West, through the gradients of human experience.
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Hush, winner of the Halcyon Prize for a collection of poems about human ecology, is a book-long love song to humanity and the natural world. It’s driven by curiosity and a willingness to dance in the unknown. The poems celebrate the broken, the lowly, the humble, the parched, the lost. In the same way Trommer discovers basketfuls of chanterelles in the forest, this collection fills our baskets with hope, each poem an invitation to let the world astonish us and make us new.
by Orlando White
Orlando White explores language from a Diné (Navajo) perspective. One idea that interests him, inspires him to think and write, is the idea of the English language as a forgotten language.
Imagine if we as a people, all people in the United States, are speaking an Indigenous language rather than English; that the English language exists merely as a language of the colonial past. White explores and experiments with this particular colonizing language, because that language remains a kind of cultural/intellectual/social threat to Indigenous thought, as English was imposed to dehumanize Indigenous peoples from their culture, language, and consciousness.
White's Diné perspective poetically reveals audience notion of linguistic dehumanization within the Bone Light volume. Non-Natives, throughout American history, have documented the Indigenous Americas using the dominant written word of English. Thus, as an artist, White writes what he writes to document as well, but also to create something a bit more beautiful (intriguing) than harmful (erasing). White is not attempting critique of the English language; he is working with it to gain a better understanding of viewpoints, veritably creating a relationship by way of exploring language.
Crazy Chicana in Catholic City
by Juliana Aragon Fatula
"Juliana Aragón Fatula writes histories so terrifying they feel as if they were written with a knife. She writes with craft and courage about what most folks are too ashamed to even think about, let alone talk about. Her fearlessness is inspirational. This is the kind of poetry I want to read; this the kind I want to write. She makes me feel like writing poetry!" -Sandra Cisneros
Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations
edited by CMarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader
In this groundbreaking anthology of Indigenous poetry and prose, Native poems, stories, and essays are informed with a knowledge of both what has been lost and what is being restored. It presents a diverse collection of stories told by Indigenous writers about themselves, their histories, and their present. It is a celebration of culture and the possibilities of language, in conversation with those poets and storytellers who have paved the way. A truly synergetic collection of contemporary and early Native voices.
Ride the Pink Horse
by Kyle Laws
Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line / Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Previous collections include Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press). With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France. Granted residencies in poetry from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, she is one of eight members of the Boiler House Poets who perform and study at the museum. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.
The Mountain: An Anthology of Mountain Poems
edited by David Anthony Martin
by Aaron M. Moe
Aaron M. Moe's amazingly kinetic collection, exhalations, gleaned from moments and trail runs over the last decade, resonates both in a timely and eternal manner. The forms of his poems are a nod to the flowing of all things; time, form and formlessness, murmurations, as everything in the eternal flux of transformation moves "towards the eons" as the reader and the subjects of his poetry "stand at the edge of the blue-black lake." Here, before our eyes, in moments between moments, the beauty of deep time takes elements (carbon, oxygen, soil nutriment, pre-dawn lavender clouds, icicles, songbirds, snakeskin, coyote fur, red pollen, meadowlarks, lichen) and transforms them into the sensory beauty of the world we live in and love. Aging, the cycles of family, parenting, society and history are nestled in lines about trees transforming elements of gasses and nutriment into a sweet, vanilla scents to us, and reminding us the beauty comes of all things. A beauty whose demise is mourned as we see the forms disappearing in this anthropocene age of extinction, destruction and degradation. But the knowledge that we have time, that our voices speak to the beauty and fragility of the transformations, and that "our exhalations cling", cling to an earth we see slowly becoming not the earth we had hoped to cradle, but nonetheless, one where "This soil is still good/ if there are worms in it"
—David Anthony Martin
by Claudia Putnam
Winner of the 2021 Nonfiction/Hybrid Chapbook Contest
Double Negative examines the grammatical logic that two negatives make a positive, that an impossibility can ever be resolved by word rearrangement or by rearrangements of the physical body. The impossibility in Double Negative is the death of an infant, the author’s son Jacob, from an immutable heart defect that medicine, nonetheless, asserts there are options to treat. When is the right time to die, especially if someone is just beginning life? Three decades after her decision regarding Jacob’s fate, Claudia Putnam employs poetry, physics, calculus, scientific research into a hallucinogen, and the structure of the English language to interrogate her experience with grief. She asks whether there might be a difference between not dying and living, exploring personhood, and wondering at how the living do, somehow, manage to orbit so close to the event horizon of a child’s death.
North|Rock|Edge: Shetland 2017/2019
by Susan Tichy
A warning serves as bedrock ethic for Susan Tichy's North Rock Edge: "Beware a thought / untaught by walking." Perhaps it is a poem's unique power to warn us against its own nature-the language can make of itself a world that supersedes the fact of the real one. Tichy will have none of it. Hers is a poetry that learns to think only by what the world offers as thinkable, the mineral fact of rock, the infinite force of ocean, and the contemplative strife of those potencies colliding. Any thought not engendered by such encounter isn't to be trusted-a thing the mind can do merely by itself. But what experience gives us is its own epistemology, a perception not of landscape, but landscape as perception. -Dan Beachy-Quick, author of Variations on Dawn and Dusk
by Pamela Uschuk
Through bold and innovative language, a strong female narrative explores the world and provides a voice for those who have been silenced in this empowering and inspirational collection of poetry. Examining a wide range of topics—love, spirituality, nature, and family—the poems give particular focus to politics, discussing how the actions of the government affect individuals on a daily basis. Filled with natural imagery and speckled with traces of the author’s Russian, Swedish, and American heritage, this fresh compilation dares to take risks and ultimately offers hope and inspiration to people from all walks of life.
Slingshots and Love Plums
by Wendy Videlock
Slingshots and Love Plums, Wendy Videlock's third full-length collection, sometimes evokes the lightheartedness of The Dark Gnu and Other Poems previous to it, sometimes enchants with the frolics and insights of her Nevertheless debut. It especially shines with the brilliance of its wit, its spirituality--as in Videlock's fiat lux invocation for her Dear Reader resembling the first, or the last word. Harnessing proverbs, myths, paeans, execrations, riddles, and pithy odes to the natural world and the people around her, Videlock delivers an inspired collection that rollicks, startles and uplifts.
Naked for Tea
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Naked for Tea, a finalist in the Able Muse Book Award, is a uniquely uplifting and inspirational collection. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer's poems are at times humorously surreal, at times touchingly real, as they explore the ways in which our own brokenness can open us to new possibilities in a beautifully imperfect world. Naked for Tea proves that poems that are disarmingly witty on the surface can have surprising depths of wisdom. This is a collection not to be missed.