If there is nothing new on your bookshelf, did you even go to a literary festival?
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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.
If it can be said that Native culture is hidden behind the facade of mainstream America, there is a facet of that culture hidden even to many Native Americans. One of today's generation of outstanding Native writers, Esther Belin is an urban Indian. Raised in the city, she speaks with an entirely different voice from that of her reservation kindred as she expresses herself on subjects of urban alienation, racism, sexism, substance abuse, and cultural estrangement. In this bold new collection of poems, Belin presents a startling vision of urban California-particularly Los Angeles-contrasted with Navajo life in the Four Corners region.
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.
Exuberant dogs, deer splintering a fence, bears that slip in through the door of dreams: in Hilberry's poems, the animals surely enter, and it is this book's dream-found responsibility to see further, or rather, see better, to leave the door open to strange visits and visitations, in daylight, in the looked-over corners of our daily lives.
In these expertly crafted poems, Hilberry does not shy away from the difficult--she looks into loneliness, a friend's suicide, the death of a parent. But the alchemy of poetry is that it transforms darkness into song. As experience arises in all its wild and ungovernable forms, the book ultimately offers an invitation: "You could be part of this."
A book of inquiry, Mark Irwin's Shimmer queries how the worlds of poverty, terrorism, ecology, species extinction, mortality and race interface and affect one another through electronic reproduction and transmission. Not as spectacles but as events that often seem too familiar, many are featured on YouTube: a horse still alive, dragged to be slaughtered; a homeless mother with an infant; a terrorist disguising a bomb, a Vietnam veteran attempting to commit suicide, a mother, unable to speak, who communicates by drawing different colors.
Kate Kingston writes about intimate environments, especially the terrain of Spain and Mexico and the wilderness in the Southwestern U.S., to reveal the complexities, strengths, and resilience of the female spirit. The poems in Shaping the Kaleidoscope resonate with the theme of landscape as integral to the self, how our outer landscapes shape and reveal our inner landscapes.
In this first major collection in nearly a decade from a revered American poet, William Pitt Root concerns himself with those extremes—spiritual, physical, or both—at which social and cultural forms disintegrate, leaving the individual as an unshielded witness to transitioning miracles that induce a state of awe that cannot be diminished, diverted, or ignored. In poem after poem, Root compels the reader to discover that these key moments require the heart to open and the mind to still in order to fully accept whatever results, whether it is to suffer inconsolably or to discover new facets of wisdom. With an imagery that is by turns beautiful, tender, provocative, and terrifying, this collection signals the triumphant return of a poet of national renown.
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.
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.
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.
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 Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is unprecedented. It showcases the breadth, depth, and diversity of Diné creative artists and their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. This wide-ranging anthology brings together writers who offer perspectives that span generations and perspectives on life and Diné history. The collected works display a rich variety of and creativity in themes: home and history; contemporary concerns about identity, historical trauma, and loss of language; and economic and environmental inequalities.
In the Days of Our Unrest: June - August 2020 is the second book in a series that documents the odyssey of the poet and singer-songwriter, Nathan Brown, as he explores the new world of "no more live gigs." As his travel and performing career took a painful dive in the wake of the coronavirus, he put out the request for anyone who might want to commission a personalized poem for a donation of any size. Not thinking much of it at the time, the project has now grown into a full-time job that is close to actually paying the bills. This book is the culmination of the project's second "season" - the heated season of the summer, when temperatures and social turbulence led to historic wildfires, relentless hurricanes, and an unbroken chain of protests against incessant injustice that resounded through the streets of most American cities, and around the world.
In these visceral lyrics and muscular narratives, Julie Cummings has one foot in the erotic and another in the political. The result is electric. Her poems both slap and caress, both comfort and arouse. She's a keen observer of the natural world, of human nature, of her own elations and disappointments. Brave and beautiful, these are poems to shout from a roof top or to whisper in candlelight.
"If this is the book of the body, its lineaments are those of not only erotic but spiritual desire. Here friends and lovers, mothers and children, intermingle as in the morning light and shadow of a forgotten room, and the source of that light is Hilberry's very distinctive lyric voice, constantly surprising us with its subdued wit and deep understanding of what it means to be human."
In The World As Is Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchison gives voice to pain and passion, sorrow and joy, longing and exaltation. His poems seem to result from a wrestling with angels--the angels of transformation we all must confront to survive what Robert Penn Warren called this century, and moment, of mania. This poetry, dark as it can be, is also filled with compassion for the wounded psyche, the torn family, the persistence of nature, the gift of deep love, and the healing power of art. These poems sing with a sensuousness born of experience, insisting that there is more to everything than meets the eye. As Paul Èluard put it, There is another world, but it is in this one. The world as is.
Two Spaniards whose names mean ‘Human’ and ‘Beauty’ move like shape-shifting ghosts through strata of time in Kate Kingston’s powerful opening sequence. And from there her meditations scout the cultural riches and refuse of the American West. Here grey is a mutable medium of being, of history, of our story. Our guide is smart, unsentimental, fiercely aware that, as Faulkner said, ‘The past is not dead. It is not even past.’ What a fine book! — David Mason, author of Ludlow
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.
William Pitt Root's White Boots: New and Selected Poems of West [are] poems of tender awe and Rilkean praise erasing completely the divisions between man and beast, poems that invite the reader upon their back and carry him across buttes and vistas, arroyos and sheer cliff shimmy holes, poems whose music is wound so tight that the stitches and sinews disappear and all that remains is the pure imagination made manifest and majestic, the reader alone on the plain riding their shine. --Keith Flynn, Asheville Poetry Review
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.
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.
With lyric and narrative language Occoquan maps the lives of nineteenth century slaves and of women who championed the twentieth century struggle for the right to vote. The protagonists include incarcerated, hunger-striking suffragists, a sadistic workhouse warden, a bohemian journalists reporting on women of the Russian revolution, an anarchist who may become a saint, the brilliant suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Occoquan's compass enables us to journey through all these and back to the river's indomitable wilderness.
"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
In this long-anticipated collection, Belin daringly maps the poetics of womanhood, the body, institution, family, and love. Depicting the personal and the political, Of Cartography is an exploration of identity through language. With poems ranging from prose to typographic and linguistic illustrations, this distinctive collection pushes the boundaries of traditional poetic form. Marking territory and position according to the Dine cardinal points, Of Cartography demands much from the reader, gives meaning to abstraction, and demonstrates the challenges of identity politics.
In the Days of Our Seclusion: March – May 2020 is the first book in a series that documents the odyssey of the poet and singer-songwriter, Nathan Brown, as he explores the new world of “no more live gigs.” As his travel and performing career took a painful dive in the wake of the coronavirus, he put out the request for anyone who might want to commission a personalized poem for a donation of any size. Not thinking much of it at the time, the project has now grown into a full-time job that is close to actually paying the bills. This book is the culmination of the project’s opening season.
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.
What this wonderful little book does is to set in parallel some of the poems of father and daughter--poems which were not written to be read in tandem, but which for that reason are all the more subtle and powerful in their conversing. The poems give upon each other in certain inescapable ways: one sees from different vantages the constellation of a family. Arranged by quiet turns in this slim and generous book, the poems make public the private: the late afternoon inquiries, the depth of pleasure, the relentlessness of memory.
The mission of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry is to provide a home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads. We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry adventures by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, horse, or any other non-motorized means.
Our print editions are sized to be portable and easily packable and made to be durable and visually intriguing. Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry is printed on beautiful Speckletone paper that is 100% recycled and acid-free.
Our 2020 issue is available for order now and should arrive at your home within ten days, ready to join you on your next adventure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.