From its first poem onward and inward, Relative Hearts invites (dares?) me to join in a degree of patient, sustained, intimate attention that is sometimes uncomfortable and always revelatory. The exquisitely-wrought poems know how we—how I—sometimes want to look away. As Ron Mohring’s speaker observes: “my god the whole thing’s hard to watch.” But also: “I’m here to look, to touch more things I can’t / afford, to dream of having space to care for them all.” The dreaming makes a kind of space. And of course, the attention—the looking and touching that’s deeply empathetic and ultimately transformative—is its own kind of care.
—Liz Ahl, author of A Case for Solace
Poetry by Ron Mohring
Try to imagine what it is to have one’s daughter —barely out of her teens — stolen by “thieves of the spirit.” In gripping short narratives, Faye Snider captures a mother’s voice, telling the story of a young woman who forsakes family and her religion to follow a preacher “anointed by God.” What happened to the “curious child” who asked, “Where do frogs go in winter?” Where is the girl who once sang “A Boy Like That” and “I Feel Pretty?” She’s suddenly “folded tight/as a blossom in frost. ” Skillfully paced and painstakingly crafted, these timely poems embody the battle between one who — greedy for power — claims and convinces many that he owns the Truth, and those who must rescue a beloved who’s been deceived. This truly is an unforgettable story of seeking — for God; for meaning; for love; the lost; and, ultimately, for the self.
–-Meg Kearney, author of Home by Now & All Morning the Crows
Poetry by Faye Snider
The Observable Universe arrives like a meteor singing the poetic landscape. In this exquisite collection, Hannah Larrabee transforms the everyday into explorations of earthly things. How memory opens the cracks in everything, of which the poet seeks to repair. From volcanos to Smokey Bear’s dating profile, to the songs of full-throated frogs and the brightness of the night sky, these poems show how the “delicate assembly of love” reveals and shapes our 21st century lives. Nothing is quite as it seems. Lustrous in its language, Larrabee illuminates the nature of human expression with every word. As she writes, “The clouds are so low here; I want to know /when they will touch me.”
—January Gill O’Neil, Author of Glitter Road
The Observable Universe
Poetry by Hannah Larrabee
Plea$e Steal Me for 100 Plus Dollar-zz is a headlong road trip into what’s left of of the daylight, an urgent romance conducted in cryptic messages punctuated by brave little heartbeats (barely audible beneath the lexical clamour) and sad, funny candy colored supplications (please me) (eat me) (be mine) (you choose).
It’s like riffling through a catalogue of dazzling Ed Ruscha paintings, or fast forwarding a 1980s Cronenberg movie on Betamax, or playing Clustertruck with a reluctant teen. This modest chapbook somehow manages to contain the whole world, but the whole world shattered, the fragments painstakingly reassembled. The most marvellous, terrible place. –David Collard
Plea$e Steal Me for 100 Plus Dollar-zz a plea in twenty-ONE panels
Poetry by Kirsten Mosher
Olympus Heights is not your typical gated community (just ask the gate itself, whose voice welcomes you in the poem “The Gate Speaks”). This is the home to the gods, demigods, and heroes of antiquity as seen through the lens of a contemporary homeowners association. Here, you’ll find Zeus posting to Instagram, Hera shopping at Whole Foods, and Persephone kvetching like a typical college frosh. Carey and Michaels have crafted a comic yet poignant and, dare I say, human portrait of the ancient pantheon in which packages are delivered by Amazon women (rimshot!) and both Achilles and Heracles have gone to seed, dreaming of their halcyon days. Welcome to Olympus Heights, but a word to the wise: avoid the wine tasting at Dionysus’s pad.— R.G. Evans author of Imagine Sisyphus Happy
Poetry by Kevin Carey & Colleen Michaels
Equally resonant as visual chants or textual mandalas, these 18 poems emerge from the international lineage of concrete poetry. Written during the pandemic in response to prolonged isolation and the perils of a world on tilt, The Palace Of Unbearable Feeling’s verbal-aural-visual compositions present a variety of opportunities for contemplation.
The Palace of Unbearable Feeling
Visual Poetry by Anne Riesenberg
In Fieldnotes, Tommy Archuleta is witnessing the contemporary, but believing in more. It’s a belief always at crisis, and all the more powerful for that, as those we the earthbound “’Withdraw step/ by step yes/ But to what.” It’s a realm of dual planes, whereby one consciousness records fieldnotes from the universal terrain of Loss, while another, given wholly to transformative continuance, presents a travel diary out to map a landscape where one never encounters “the same ghost twice.” These notes present unavoidable, necessary evidence, and I’m most thankful for their arrival.
Johan Gallaher, author of My Life in Brutalist Architecture
Poetry by Tommy Archuleta
“The poems in Jennifer Jean’s new collection VOZ are a wonderful amalgamation of intelligent and historically aware formal pressures intertwined with an irrepressible joie de vivre animating the language and imagery (even when their subjects are difficult). The work here has such a living pulse, such clarity and warmth and ease in its expression, that I hungered for more by the end. A really wonderful book that all lovers of contemporary poetry will be happy to have in their collections.”
—Erin Belieu, author of Come-hither Honeycomb
Poetry by Jennifer Jean
“I have admired Robbie Gamble’s work for many years as it appeared in print and online journals. However, in reading these poems all at once, in one stellar collection, I feel the top of my head taken off. The collage of forms: memo, logbook, persona poem, and prose poems all serve to insure that the reader cannot look away from people coming with “unanticipated speed, in waves, on leaky rafts, [ ] or blistered feet/ on their last/ drips of adrenaline.” Weeks after encountering this work, the images of a Hello Kitty Backpack, a can of pinto beans, and the marked location of the scapula still rise unbidden in my mind. These are necessary poems; poems that will change you.”
–Susan Rich, Gallery of Poems and Maps: New and Selected Poems
A Can of Pinto Beans
Poetry by Robbie Gamble Includes 2 dollars for shipping
“With precise language and deep self-awareness Margot Wizansky writes her way through the aftermath of a near-fatal medical emergency that left her in a week-long coma and months of gradual rehabilitation. Her poems thoughtfully consider her family’s stunned love in crisis…the careful dance of redefining intimacy with her husband as her body and mind return to her…” Robbie Gamble
Wild for Life
Poetry by Margot Wizansky Includes 2 dollars for shipping
These poems surprise and delight! Mary Buchinger hasn’t just written about clouds; she’s harnessed the experience of cloud watching. The variety of visual forms coupled with fanciful titles and the use of words like “salamanderly” make me feel as though I’m cloud watching with a playful friend, yet the poet’s extensive vocabulary and explorations of desire and faith turn this into a more mature experience than the childhood pastime I thought I knew.
~ Katie Manning, author of Tasty Other and editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review
Poetry by Mary Buchinger Includes 2 dollars for shipping
“In a landscape springing from the long-term sequelae of Alzheimer’s, Eric Hyett is the rain. His mother, poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett, is the pavement. No, is that right? As seasons in Aporia unravel, Eric’s mother is suddenly the rain, and he is “completely alone / in the village of unsolicited advice.” With brilliant vulnerability, these poems illustrate transformations of identity in the context of disease – the blurrings of mother and son, patient and caregiver, poet and poet, the rain and the moon. “You’re responsible for all / of this, as she takes my wrist. // Unfortunately, that’s true, I tell her. // My mom says: Well I hate it. // I would hate it too.” This collection is critical for any family confronted by Alzheimer’s diagnosis – indeed, any family that’s human.”
~ Robert Carr, Author of The Unbuttoned Eye
Poetry by Eric E Hyett Includes 2 dollars for shipping
Cry Sweat Bleed Write
Cry Sweat Bleed Write by Kay Bell. Find out what it means to be “sponsored by aching… to plant grief in a garden… visit periodically.”
Elizabeth Dorsey Mercurio’s chapbook, DOLL brings us “closer to dawn” and “the envy of winter trees.”
Legs All Shining Down
Poetry by Mary Lou Maloney
Mary Lou Maloney’s poetry “pays attention/to a sky with a wild/streak of chartreuse” dying to amuse us.
Sister of the Heath
Chapbook by Chell Navarro
Chapbook by Jennifer Jean Includes 2 dollars for shipping
Object Lesson ( Companion Guide to Writing Poetry)
Companion guide to used to by students, or workshop leaders, particularly those leading workshops of human trafficking survivors
All Small Planes
“We’ve lost more Americans to the opioid crisis than to the Vietnam War. Eric Roy begins this extraordinary chapbook by asking that you conceptualize this number….These poems are for the ever-shrinking number of people that don’t yet know someone taken or affected by this crisis. Now you know someone. Here is a face, a life, you can recognize when you hear of the ever-increasing numbers. All Small Planes takes an abstract idea, a number, and makes it personal. It paints with gorgeous spiraling language to frame a context. It’s a frank and honest portrayal of addiction and the people left behind. ”
~ Keegan Lester
All Small Planes
Chapbook by Eric Roy Includes
Florence Nightingale’s Lost Log
Poetry by Bernadette McComish Includes 2 dollars for shipping