For Instance
For Instance, by Eli Goldblatt

For Instance, by Eli Goldblatt. Poetry. ISBN 978-1-946104-16-8. 114 pages.

Reproductions from woodcut prints by Wendy Osterweil and drawings by Michael Moore.

In a sentence, the phrase “for instance” follows an assertion or argument, and precedes a series of examples. Eli Goldblatt gives us myriad examples unconnected to a thesis, except insofar as the thesis asserts what is. This is a world composed of bombings, wars, bad history, framed in a private space of family, garden and dream-work (which often takes us back to all the bad histories). In a larger sense, the book is an elegy—for his dear friend Gil Ott, and for a world where fascists lose. But “even in Barcelona, Franco won.” “War grows” in the poet’s mind, erupting in museums and in his son, who “emerges into the sunlight stabbing, punching, blasting his enemies.” Words are like tattoos; they scar. The poet craves “a language beyond all this talk, / words erupting beneath words that evict / or seduce, dominate or sell.” Goldblatt’s book offers a public and private MRI; we do not yet have the results, so we can only hope for the best. Our best consolation may be that we have this map of one poet’s decency and care.

— Susan M. Schultz

Reading Eli Goldblatt’s For Instance provides delights of a kind one can hope for, sometimes even expect, but never predict. In this copious and wide-ranging new collection, Goldblatt writes from within a closely attuned, deeply committed attention to that dance of limits & potentialities we call daily experience. Where there is a wall or other obstruction, his words seek a gap or to create the gap – space that leads through. Miraculously, it is precisely the light on the other side, the light he will find, that illuminates Goldblatt’s search. At the same time, a constituent gravity shapes the poems of this book; their articulations offer the possibility for – but they also demand – the close embrace of re-reading. Here is a book for time, one to return to and discover its moment renewed again and again.

— Tom Mandel

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Since I Moved In, by Trace Peterson
Since I Moved In, by Trace Peterson

SINCE I MOVED IN, by Trace Peterson. Poetry / Transgender Studies. ISBN 978-1-946104-15-1.

A new & revised edition of the classic book by pathbreaking poet & cultural critic Trace Peterson. This edition contains a new Introduction by Joy Ladin.


The second edition of Trace Peterson’s Since I Moved In is a welcome re-issue, with a new introduction by Joy Ladin, of a landmark collection of poems by one of the most influential transgender poets writing today. Peterson, enacting her self-chosen name, traces connections and lines of flight between genders, between creative expression and acute observation, between her grounding and training in Tucson’s celebrated poetry scene and her on-going involvement in New York’s. Trace is an imperative, as well as a noun, and a name. It means to write over, as well as a faint remainder. Animated by the space of that double signification, and by the practice of making new life through transcribing an old life into a new register, Trace Peterson’s poetry — in life and in words — gives voice to something raw, inchoate, in-process-of-becoming. —Susan Stryker


These are the daring adventures of the voice, the voice that wants to be a body, and had no way to be a body in and for itself when this book was written: this book is maybe the first book of poetry in which I saw my own trans experience written and comprehensibly embodied, not allegorically or across a gap of anachronisms but as it is, as it was at the very same time. This is the voice that kept secrets from itself, that knows what it’s like to keep a secret and wonder whether it was never a secret; the voice, too, that knows how troubling it feels to be a voice, to be nothing other than voice, among readers and listeners who claim, in that early-2000s way, to hate voice (because they cannot hear their own). There is a Hartford in her heart, “no broken glass in it,” though “the map is not the map,” and alongside it there lurks, or flourishes, an “inability to be where I am.” This is a voice that sees: that sees “the boys at / lavender the girls in show,” a voice of experiment, a voice “wearing your socks.” I recommend it to anyone like me, and also to people who are nothing like me, who want to know how it has been. — Stephanie Burt


I will forever praise the day in 2010 when I discovered Since I Moved In at a friend’s house and sat down and read it cover to cover. Almost a decade later, my “skull still humming from a gift received.” The experience of recognition (which is to say the benevolence of awareness) (which is different from the more distant (more dangerous) act of seeing/being seen) that transpired in the initial hours with this book altered the trajectory of my life in simple and extraordinary ways. As Joy Ladin’s introduction to the new edition makes clear, Since I Moved In’s 2007 publication was revolutionary and foundational for what would become a beautiful groundswell of trans and nonbinary poetry. “Even the boundaries were drawn up temporarily,” Trace tells us. And how deeply true this is between so many (so much) of us, on any given day. Thank you, Trace, for this 2nd edition–a kind of textual transition, a gift to trans and nonbinary writers, past, present, and future. Here is “The Pleasure of Arriving”: a poetry of integrity–smart, hilarious, frustrated, and tender. — TC Tolbert
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Towards a Menagerie by David Miller
Towards a Menagerie by David Miller

Towards a Menagerie. isbn 978-1-946104-17-5. Short Fiction. 136 pages.

by David Miller

 

These are children’s stories for adults, you could say…  and they have the sort of quirkiness, humour and wisdom that might be expected from such an enterprise. Read… and enjoy.

Miller is a conjurer of narrative, pulling not rabbits but marsupial mouse, flamingo and others out of the hat or from behind the reader’s ear. Said ear takes delight in the adventures of this intrepid gang. The animals have a hard time but they come through. As does the reader, entertained, educated and re-humanised by this encounter with the Other.  

(Anthony Rudolf, from the Afterword)

This is a book for dreamers and those who can still summon up what WH Hudson called the animism of childhood, or delight in Buddhist Jataka Tales and Beatrix Potter, Kipling and Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The living world speaks to us. One of my favorite characters is Antechinus — the pouched mouse (marsupial, really) of Miller’s Australian homeland — a fine example of convergent evolution. Throughout his career, David Miller has been drawing the unlikely worlds together in crystalline structures. You want to look forever; you learn what lucid means.”

(John Martone)

In Towards a Menagerie, David Miller (Spiritual Letters), that versatile polymath, hooks up Kenji Miyazawa with Ub Iwerks—and Ovid!

(Guy Birchard)

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