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What Can Buddha Teach the Rain?

The mythical T’ang poet Han-shan, placed somewhere between the camps of Daoism and Zen Buddhism and the alleged author of some three hundred poems, probably remains a post-T’ang literary invention – and a good one, it seems, since ‘his’ poetry is being read, translated and re-translated to this very day. In the present volume, Lars Rasmussen, whose collection of short stories, Come Raw, was published by Serving House Books in 2009, takes up the 900-year old tradition of ascribing newly composed poetry to Han-shan and gives a refreshing guess at what kind of lines the mad hermit would have produced, had he ever been alive. As a further addition to the Han-shan literature, the book also contains a number of homages to the master plus a selection of haiku-like miniature poems and a number of proverbs ascribed to him. Read more…

Lurid Confessions

Steve Kowit’s Lurid Confessions, his first full-length poetry collection, had two printings with Carpenter Press in 1983 but has been out of print for years. It’s been our loss not to have access to the wit and insights of so many excellent poems. Serving House Books is proud to be the publisher of a new edition. Read more…

Out-patients

In Out-patients, Elisabeth Murawski transforms the vulnerabilities of our bodies into poetry, her precise lines evoking hospitals and cemeteries, malignancies and bomb blasts, The birth of a child prefigures its end: “this life / slated to be brief / as a poem.” These poems confront our inevitabilities. Read more…

Gone Haywire and other Old Sayings

All these poems come from a suite-in-progress called Old Sayings. They are based on English clichés, bromides, idiomatic locutions, &c. Actually, “based on” is not correct; sometimes, a phrase is the starting point for a poem (e.g. “What Do You Want for Nothing?”), but at other times, a poem begins from the usual dark source and the title comes later. Read more…

Satyr’s Wife

In these poems, Rita Signorelli-Pappas fuses classical, aesthetic, and personal history. She summons a world in which mythic time mercurially flickers into the present, and transformations erupt and intersect with Ovidian force. As the poems move from understated to extreme psychological states, they explore the thematic terrains of love, exile, travel, art-making, and death, all conveyed through a hypnotic dark-play of images and a haunting urgency of tone. Read more…

Savage Pilgrims

Susan Tekulve’s Savage Pilgrims includes five poems and five stories, most of which were first published in journals such as Beloit Fiction Journal, Denver Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Emrys, Connecticut Review, and Clackamas Literary Review. These short stories and lyric interludes roam from suburban America to the trellised landscapes of Europe, exploring the revelations of love and fear in characters thrust into fierce journeys. Read more…

Coronology

Coronology is a compendium of the crowns we bear, from the asbestos crown that insulates our thoughts to the zeitgeist crown, “a collective rather than an individual illumination,” and provides pertinent information concerning crown birth, crown anatomy, the medical treatment of crowns, and more. The jailbreak crown, the quintet crown—you—you’ll meet them all here, alphabetized for your convenience. Read more…