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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 son 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…

Ravenous: New and Selected Poems

Ravenous: New & Selected Poems by Rick Mulkey provides new and returning readers an opportunity to consider recent and previously published work in a collection containing wide stylistic variety with deep unifying themes and concerns. From an 18th Century Persian village to the porches and homestead’s of the Appalachian South, these poems counterpoint the sorrowful with the joyful, exploring how “even in the soul’s grim mines, one tuned string/perfectly plucked could make us believe all would be right. Read more…

Locals: A Collection of Prose Poems

Claire Bateman’s Locals is a narrative atlas of prose poems as intimate as they are unpredictable, each a keyhole glimpse into the life of a different realm where our normal logic doesn’t apply. Are we beholding magic? No, but through observing these strangers, we’re confronted by the extraordinary paradoxes within our own hearts. Read more…

Lost Transmissions

The poems in David Memmott’s poetry collection Lost Transmissions speak to the need we have to explore the depths of our own psyches, a need so insistent that many of us would sell our souls to unearth the answers to what motivates our lives—what motivates our actions. The poems express as well the power of verse, how it can help us rise above those experiences that might otherwise be crippling—war, death, brutality, loss of love, loss of voice and creativity, the soul’s variable value, the insecure body and mind never knowing where the doors to understanding are, nor how many dimensions surround us unexplored. Read more…

Between Frames

Mark Hillinghouse’s Between Frames integrates poems previously published in many magazines with more than twenty striking black and white photographs. These black and white photographs and poems reveal the cultural geography of a vanishing America, using images of New Jersey that look back to a place in our collective memory: old state highways, greasy roadside diners, abandoned movie theaters, the vanishing Main Streets of Woolworth’s five and dimes and of post-industrial inner-cities. It is an unusual collection in that the photographer is also a poet who documents the beauty amid the desolation of rust-belt America. In both verbal and visual imagery, Hillringhouse gives us a shadowed world caught between elegy and silence and that moves us from vastness to intimacy. Between Frames weaves family history, personal guilt, feelings of loss with meditations on the strangeness of being in a world fraught with beauty and decay. Read more…

What Island

What is it like to go abroad but not for vacation? What business do we have? What right-minded, haunted search for community, for family, for social justice takes us beyond our borders, domestic rooms, and familiar walls? What responsibility is there—those of us who’ve been to the two-thirds world, met the 99%, the uninsured, the impoverished—when we arrive and hear the planet’s last message: pay attention, live on me. What W. S. Merwin has done to elevate ecology to the poetic, P. K. Harmon now takes—without bravado, without exaggeration—to the source, the sun, the tropics we’ve wanted, adorned with fantasies of leisure, then ruined. But also, despite any American devastation, what we’ve loved and longed for: “how blue / and how we turned from one / another into blue—all so blue / those old beaks cutting ahead /the flapping somehow grace too // in the flight—those two into / a deeper and deeper blue and I / drifted closer and closer // to the rough and sharp until / finally the heavy air that is / coming into a lovely silence.” What island? The ultimate answer is earth. Read more…