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Piano Music

Description Piano Music, the new poetry collection from JR Solonche, presents him at his best. The wit, the insights, the playfulness, the craft, the profundity, and yes, at times the silliness, are all here on full display to the delight of the reader, whether that reader be new to the Solonche universe or one returning for more. About the Author J.R. Solonche is the author of nin Praise J.R.Solonche’s many books of poetry, one nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, reveal a wry and vivid wit, a sharp but sympathetic eye, and a respect for the homely but significant detail, all wedded to an acute social and cultural consciousness. In his imaginative progress through city streets and country roads, the commonplace becomes the extraordinary… In lines full of mischief or romance, gaiety or grief, he is the poet of the everyday, spent on earth or in an imaginary heaven. Judith Farr, author of What Lies Beyond: Poems and The Passion of Emily Dickinson. Solonche is productive and prolific, but that doesn’t water down his poetry… He can compress a philosophical treatise into three lines… His epigrammatic tidy poems are philosophic gems. Solonche sees humor and encapsulates it; he frames a thought in perfect verse… He’s playful and profound — the more he writes, the more he seems to know. Beneath the Solonche simplicity are significant social comments, and his goodwill reinforces the best in us.” — Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books “Solonche, an accomplished poet, employs various forms in this compilation, including haiku, prose poem, and free verse. The poems often imaginatively enter into the natural or material world via anthropomorphic similes… Many works have an aphoristic quality that recall Zen koans, and they can be playfully amusing or even silly… A strong set of sympathetic but never sentimental observations.” — Kirkus Reviews “The spirit of Horace, the melancholy of time slithering away and turning all to dust, tempered with art, wit, and good grace…” — Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of Offcourse: A Literary Journal “In a style that favors brevity and pith, J.R. Solonche brings a richness of experience, observation, and wit into his poems. Here is the world! they exclaim. And here, and here, and here! Watched over by ancient lyric gods – Time, Death, and Desire — we find the quotidian here transformed.” — Christopher Nelson, editor of Green Linden Press “J.R. Read more…

The Mussolini Diaries

Description [The book is available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble (Buy Now button) in advance its September 7, 2020 release date.] Moving at surprising angles between the personal and the public world, Gary Fincke’s poems lead to discoveries that are both exhilarating and unsettling. In long sequences and precisely observed shorter poems, he explores terrorism, mass hysteria, climate change, political calamity, and the necessity of sustaining belief. He references science and history as well as myth. He grounds his poems in experience. Gary Fincke’s poems speak to the reader with an urgency driven by the elusiveness of truth. About the Author Gary Fincke’s latest collection of poems, The Infinity Room, won the Wheelbarrow Books Prize for Established Poets (Michigan State, 2019). Winner of Poetry Magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and Ohio State’s Wheeler Prize, he has published fourteen collections of poetry. His fiction and nonfiction collections have won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction and the Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose. He recently retired after founding and then directing the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University for decades. Praise Gary Fincke’s The Mussolini Diaries is a masterful collection of poems, particularly relevant for these difficult times, but like all great poetry, timeless in its own way. Fincke drills home what so many of us feel about the current state of our country with sharp insights grounded in complex imagery and spiced with wit and anger, empathy and loss. You too may find yourself nodding as you read, thinking, “yes, yes, this is how it is.” Jim Daniels With an unflinching gaze, Gary Fincke’s The Mussolini Diaries grapples with our collective failure at good stewardship—of our planet, ourselves, and each other “…as if ruin were a handsome prince.” In poems with themes as disparate as trepanning, climate change, suicide bombers, pandemics, clever forgeries, or the theft of one hundred brains from a hospital lab, our iniquities are laid bare and we are refused easy answers or hollow consolation. But Fincke adamantly eschews condemnation. In work by turns solemn and humorous, he manages to master a seemingly impossible paradox: despite the knowledge that “the world ripens without us…and we are sorely unmissed,” though “we carry the memory of comfort like a congenital hump,” there is still a chance at ultimate redemption where our “futures will have beauty and flight. Read more…

Enjoy Yourself

Description Solonche is productive and prolific, but that doesn’t water down his poetry… He can compress a philosophical treatise into three lines… His epigrammatic tidy poems are philosophic gems. Solonche sees humor and encapsulates it; he frames a thought in perfect verse… He’s playful and profound – the more he writes, the more he seems to know. Beneath the Solonche simplicity are significant social comments, and his goodwill reinforces the best in us. About the Author J.R. Solonche is the author of 17 books of poetry and coauthor of another. He lives in the Hudson Valley. Praise Abandon all bullshit ye who enter here. J. R. Solonche’s new collection is Enjoy Yourself. and he means it. Here is where the questions lead not to a comforting mystery but to the courage needed to live not with the questions but with no answers. Look into the abyss with Solonche and be amazed at all he doesn’t see. As he declares in the poem “Testimony,” “I want to prove a poet can do this without telling it slant.” Lest you are thinking, “Oh no, not another poet savoring his despair,” know that in poem after poem you will welcome a wry smile. And in the end, after all the bullshit has been has been cleared away, enters his daughter evoking his love and a father’s sigh, and the anything but slant yet nuanced assurance that “And now, when they ask me, I will answer,/with passion of my own, and with my own/audacious authority. Go out and listen to the moon./It speaks for you. Jack Ridl is the author of Saint Peter and the Goldfinch and Practicing to Walk Like a Heron, named best collection of poetry by ForeWord/Indie Press Review. According to Lord Polonius in Hamlet, “brevity is the soul of wit.” In the poetry of J. R. Solonche, brevity, soul and wit co-exist superbly. Start with any of his poems. You’ll find, unlike much of what is written these days, the wit is never far from the surface. As for the brevity, imagine an appetizer that’s as filling as a main course. And, after the meal, after the laughter, the soul will be what lingers. Read more…

Labyrinth

Description These poems consider everything from the most transformative moments of childhood to the intense hold that mythological and literary history have on the poetic imagination. They examine the enduring complexity of our relationship with nature and suggest that a deep engagement with the life of the senses and the force of memory can create a kind of contentment. About the Author Rita Signorelli-Pappas’ poems have been widely published in such journals as Poetry, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review, Poet Lore, The Women’s Review of Books, and Southern Poetry Review, and also in such online publications as Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Her first poetry collection,Satyr’s Wife, was published in 2010 by Serving House Books. It was favorably reviewed in Italian Americana. Her fiction has appeared in Helicon Nine, Crosscurrents, Italian Americana, Farmer’s Market, and VIA. One of her short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and another received the fiction award in Italian Americana. Her other poetry activities include her having been a regular poetry reviewer for World Literature Today and having given a number of poetry readings at places like the (now defunct) Cornelia Street Café in New York City; Queensborough Community College in New York; Arcadia University, Valparaiso University; The Michigan City Public Library in Michigan City, Indiana; Barnes and Noble in Princeton, New Jersey; and The Writer’s Room in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She has also been a featured reader in the Poetry Night series at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey. Praise In Rita Signorelli-Pappas’s latest poems, a man walks the streets of a distant city with holy salt in his pocket; an observer of a waterfall frozen in place bequeaths a craving for touch; Orpheus walks a familiar yet freshly seen path; tulips lean out sinuously in open space; and, amidst lyrics of insight and lament flies “the circling bee of thought.” These well-wrought poems come from an attentive traveler who knows darkness and yet perseveres towards light and song. Intimate with the difficult world, its ruptures and its raptures, her moving lyrics, in their negotiations with history, myth, and quotidian imagery, never lose their impulse to embrace. Michael Morse, author of Void and Compensation A “weightless radiance,” ancient and lovely, air-lifts the poems through the maze that is experience in Rita Signorelli-Pappas’ Labyrinth. The poems are quietly gorgeous. Read more…

Plutonium & Platinum Blonde

Description Las Vegas, NV— Gurlesque collides with The New York School of poetry in Angela M. Brommel’s debut chapbook, Plutonium & Platinum Blonde. Layered between works of desert love, Brommel‘s poems engage with an array of larger-than-life pop culture icons, including the reimagined 1950’s beauty queen, Miss Atomic. About the Author Angela M. Brommel, is a Nevada writer with Iowa roots. Her poetry has been featured in The Best American Poetry Blog, the North American Review, The Literary Review—TLR Share, and Sweet: A Literary Confection, among many other journals, anthologies, and art exhibitions. Angela is the Director of Arts & Culture and Advancement, as well as a part-time Humanities faculty member, at Nevada State College. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Citron Review. Praise “Brommel’s poems about Las Vegas are wonderful—she takes the glitz of the place and reduces the scale to human proportions. With a wicked, understated humor and a keen eye for detail, she creates a wildly entertaining original voice that’s more than up to the challenge of its subject matter.” —Jim Daniels, author of Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press) “Brommel’s work has humor in it—wondrous juxtaposition of images, a certain flair for authenticity of voice, and a great ability to spot the absurd. She takes advantage of pop culture icons as well as film history, while at the same time locking into something very direct: ‘you heart thief’.” —Carol W. Read more…

Paterson Light and Shadow

Description Paterson Light and Shadow tells the stories in poetry and photography of Paterson, New Jersey, from one of the most gifted poets, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, and fine art photographer Mark Hillringhouse, who together have spent a lifetime living, growing up and working in and around one of America’s most important historic industrial cities. In her signature style, Gillan combines sublime moments with gritty detail when she writes about growing up as a working class Italian immigrant as in the lines from the poem In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950: “The rough feel of a washcloth / and Lifebuoy soap against my face, / the stiff, starched feel of my blouse, / the streets of Paterson, old and cracked, / the houses leaning together / like crooked teeth…” Hillringhouse’s award-winning black and white Paterson photographs accompany each poem and resonate with the mood and feeling of Gillan’s writing in crushed velvety blacks and grayscale tones that evoke the moods of this city’s past and its urban decay. This collection contains over thirty poems and thirty photographs that together explore the hallowed precincts of this once great industrial city, envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as the birthplace of manufacturing in a new nation, a city now home to countless immigrants who still struggle to work and to build lives and survive. About the Authors Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). She is the founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY. Read more…

Reaching Beyond the Saguaros

Description In Reaching Beyond the Saguaros, a book titled for its beginning roots in the Southwest, contributors write themselves around the globe, connecting pieces of their individual hometowns. Inspired by the seventeenth-century haibun’s concision, imagistic tendencies, and subtle interplay between poetry and prose, this contemporary travelogue features writing by Renée Ashley, Carol Fragale Brill, Letisia Cruz, Walter Cummins, Nina Foxx, R. G. Evans, Racquel Henry, H. L. Hix, Thomas E. Kennedy, Minna Zallman Proctor, and others. Excerpts “‘You were such a sweet little one,’ she says, clearly not remembering everything. I say nothing, as I’d rather remember this moment, not that one. It moves as you move. A new world map hangs on the wall. The winter sun is bright. Son stands up, takes his own first steps.” — Mariya Gusev (St. Petersburg, Russia) “In snow, our rooftop (daughter dressing like mother) mimics the mountains.” — H.L. Hix (Laramie, Wyoming) “Being from Northern Utah: On a quick drive westward from Utah’s capitol, through beige desert ranges, we stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats on the way to a little gambling town. (Possibly for my last time in a long time.) When the wind picked up, we could taste a desert sea blowing through the peaks, and almost see where the earth curves amongst rippling refractions off asphalt and salt. Images to imprint.” — Ginger Lee Thomason (Layton, Utah) “Have you seen red leaves spin rising from the concrete? Bodies for our ghosts.” — Tim Lindner (Woodbridge, New Jersey) “You could never figure out what the obsession was with a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts on the same corner, the same way you could never figure out the obsession with the ocean. It’s too big, too deep, too unknowable. It reminds you too much of yourself.” — Amanda Ramirez (Massapequa, New York) About the Editor This year Heather Lang was voted Las Vegas’ Best Local Writer or Poet by the readers of KNPR’s Desert Companion. Heather serves as a World Literature Editor with The Literary Review, and she was recently awarded a Nevada Arts Council artist grant to curate Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women. Heather holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Literary Translation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and her poetry and prose have been published by or are forthcoming with The Normal School, Pleiades, and Whiskey Island, among others. Read more…

Sorrow Bread

Description In this collection, poems selected from a distinguished thirty-year career converse with each other across books and across time. Soulful, artful and yet accessible, these poems explore essential connections–one’s relationship to poetic tradition, the reader, the natural world, other lives, language itself. Cox renews strategies that have served poets across centuries and international borders: voice, rhythm, image, vision, myth, humor, shrewd architectonics whether “free” or not, a willingness to bring the reader decisively into the transaction. The poems often generate dense, shifting constellations of metaphor, and Cox’s voice carries a dreamlike power, yet he stays close to daily existence, mines it, giving especially clairvoyant attention to the difficult, beautiful life of families and the challenges of our mortality. In doing so, he reminds us of what’s important, of the emotional and psychological inscapes that sustain us. About the Author Mark Cox has previously published four volumes of poetry: Barbells of the Gods (Ampersand Press), Smoulder (David R. Godine), Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone, and Natural Causes (both in the Pitt Poetry Series). Readiness, a new book of prose poems, is slated for publication in 2018. Cox has a 30-year publication history in prominent magazines and has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, and numerous fellowships for that work. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at University of North Carolina Wilmington and in the Vermont College MFA Program. Praise Cox essays a huge terrain of subject and feeling, from layered fury to astringent violence to lamentation, from guarded hopefulness to quiet, intensely stirring affirmation. A lesser poet might see all this fly apart; Cox establishes supple coherence through richly consistent artistic command and scrupulous honesty of vision and voice. Tony Hoagland has said Mark Cox is “a veteran of the deep water; there’s no one like him,” and Thomas Lux identified him as “one of the finest poets of his generation.” No one speaks more effectively of the vital and enduring syntaxes of common, even communal, life. —Richard Simpson In Sorrow Bread, Mark Cox is subtle—but never so much as to turn obscure; he is outspoken—but never so much as to turn didactic. His keen intellect shines all through the volume; but more important by my lights is the great heart that nourishes its every poem. Read more…

Hyacinths from the Wreckage

Madeleine Beckman’s Hyacinths from the Wreckage, her third book of poetry, is a glittering collection that embraces body and place, and the constantly changing geography of an emotional landscape. The language of these poems wrenches, arouses recognition and empathy, and, finally, sings a persuasive song with the promise of renewal. This is a book of sensual revelation, a journey through intersecting emotions of desire, strife, sorrow, and laughter. Beckman’s poems are fierce, vividly alive, and filled with passionate energy. She writes about love and loss in an original and startling way. Read more…

Like a Soprano

After the death of James Gandolfini in the summer of 2013, David Starkey decided to pay poetic homage to The Sopranos TV series and its star. Like a Soprano features one poem for each episode, with the poem sharing the episode’s title. Like the series itself, the poems are by turns violent and sexual, comic and absurd. Never before has an entire television program received such close attention from a serious poet: this is a landmark in the crossover between poetic and popular culture. Read more…