A Message Back and Other Furors
“Between what's perceived and how one adds meaning spells a moment of infinite duration, an admixture of sense and thinking, of mirror-clear images and impressionistic language. A MESSAGE BACK reads like an infinity sign, an unending process of journey and return, specific identity and underlying oneness, the poetry of open thinking in a time of war. With provocative borrowings and stinging insights, Leonard Schwartz transcribes an unforgettable conversation”—Thalia Field.
At Columbia University in April 1968, Hilton Obenzinger was one of many students who dramatically occupied the president's office. For six days they protested the university's secret research to support the Vietnam War and its plans to build a gym in Morningside Park despite the opposition of Harlem. The occupation adn subsequent strike was a generational moment repeated in universities around the country and throughout the world. BUSY DYING is an autobiographical novel, a portrait of the author's Polish Jewish family, a coming of age in poetry, music, politics, and friends in New York City and Columbia, including a dangerous exodus through the Yukon to end up teaching on an Indian reservation in Northern California. All of this is comically and sometimes tragically relived as the author is inspired by a series of encounters and coincidences, including the revelations of students he teaches at Stanford today and the surprising discovery of the story behind 'Hilton Obenzinger,' a 1980s Long Island high school humor magazine.
“Hilton Obenzinger is an American original. His lost histories are acts of leger
“Elizabeth Treadwell's writing, in which human (usually female) figures appear amidst fantastically embroidered surfaces, demonstrates volubility, humor, and intelligence in spades.”—Joyelle McSweeney, Rain Taxi
“What is strange, then, is the way Treadwell's refusal, her backing off, functions to generate worlds whose ambiguities and erasures function, to my reading, as fully determined. I don't feel the labor of needing to fill in the gaps (perhaps because Treadwell's gaps are enormously hard to fill are, in a real sense, honest); I feel instead the way in which those gaps speak and explain their inability to be filled.”—Simon DeDeo
Poems by Leonard Schwartz / Images by Simon Carr
64 pages; 24 poems with 24 images plus title/cover image
What do you get when you put ten frogs in a coffee pot? Answer: Salamander, the latest in a long, imaginative line of animal inventories that began in classical Greece, if not on Noah’s Ark, became popular during the medieval period, and includes such modern innovators as Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll, Jorge Luis Borges and J.K. Rowling. A collaboration among a father, his daughter, and a woodcutter, this poetic menagerie celebrates the intelligence and ingenuity of two dozen creatures, from elk to eel, orca to owl. A labor of filial laughter, this carved, quirky rolodex is also a mirror in which we see ourselves, as “Wildness withheld,” for the endangered species we are.
— Andrew Zawacki
Woodcuts — are they black on white or white on black?—cut through the woods of words. The wood shows what the words mean. And the other way round. You can’t be sure with animals.
Animals are there just enough for us to glimpse (a woodcut is more shadow than flesh) and have some working poet explain them to themselves.
This book is all explanation. Read “Blonde Raven” to learn what it means to live in a visible world
The poems are sparse — light shows through them — and tell us things about animals, and tell animals about themselves — so much so that I’m not sure, after reading through the 24 panels, whether I’m being explained or being enlightened. That’s a perplexity that comes when reading Rilke and Dickinson too, poets who can’t always tell themselves from what they see.
— Robert Kelly
photo by Carlos David
“John Tritica's SOUND REMAINS is as much a book of vision as hearing. Tritica register the emotions and motions of sound, taking a sounding, re-sounding, and tracking auditory adventure. He shows us fresh pathways via the word-routes and the root-words, particularly in the remarkable poem 'All Matter Is Encounter,' which presents us with 'sound that thinks, thought that resounds.' Tritica asserts that 'the hum of the room improves me.' I leave SOUND REMAINS similarly improved, and moved.”—Hank Lazer
“'Morning rise quiet, Satie's parade' is one line out of many that defines Tritica's rhythmic voice in a small space. Satie was a quiet composer, but in this book, the poet activates an intensity of feeling that magnifies the daily views of nature, of family and friends. There is a robust physicality here and the sense of a mind taking in the worth of language to expand being. This is a golden book.”—Gene Frumkin
“What we have in John Tritica's poetry is a phenomenology of the everyday, where the barely perceptible world right in front of our eyes and pressing against our skin appears in astonishing beauty and clarity, not as we normally experience it but as the poem allows us to experience it—a constellation of brilliant images, the inner life and music of words, the rush of juxtapostion and mind-body-spirit satori fusion: 'a matter of hearing what's slight significant.' Desert bloom and pulse of the sea create the apparitional expanse against which Tritica plays his magic, his inverted depth of field where 'The stillness is illusory / broom grass sifts the breeze.' 'All Matter Is Encounter,' Tritica proclaims in this poetic manifesto, and all encounter matters when we encounter it by way of the permission granted us in this book of wonder and ecstasy.”—George Hartley
TRANSDUCER, Jeanne Hueving's book of poetry, speaks of the literal and figurative meanings of an actual transducer, a device that converts one type of energy into another for purposes such as measurement and information transfer. The book is broken into four sections: Frequency, Flora, Chthonic, and Limning. All characterize the internal and external processes happening in the natural world (the act of killing ants and waves traveling over oceans). She brings to life the energy transfer occurring between these nominal subjects and further transforms their images into poetry. TRANSDUCER is “a trance inducer. Watching its petals fall, I am hypnotized into hearing frequencies audible only to the blind”-Andrew Joron. Hueving facilitates a conspicuous conversion of energy between her readers and her intensely electric, magnetic poems.
Implexures (Complete Edition)
Karen Mac Cormack
“Karen Mac Cormack writes a play of voices and the voicing of places as they combine. The combination is one where what would otherwise be merely singular begins to overlap. Citation, statement and creation–a multiplicity of moments that are only present as a weave–work together to narrate. The reader is implicated from the start. However, there is no single place that calls. Voices continue to speak. Identities however–the names and voices–can only ever be glanced at. And yet, the writing suggests. Humor and a complex sense of pathos work together. The writing entices. As would be expected Karen Mac Cormack has written an important book. Its presence connects the pleasure that reading affords with the critical reflection that writing demands”–Andrew Benjamin.