“Part post-industrial sea chantey, part epiphany against the ‘economies of loss’ that expand exponentially with each morning’s news that struggles to stay news, Jane Sprague’s THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES offers us a rare and varied thick description (with Whitmanesque undertows) of those moments when our living-breathing-trying-to-pay-the bills-selves meet the vast expanse that is the seemingly boundless sea. ‘John Steinbeck was right,’ the poet writes. And Jane Sprague certainly is, too.”—Mark Nowak
Poet and Editor Jane Sprague is a poet and editor of Palm Press. Her poems, essays and reviews of contemporary poetry have been published in many print and online journals including Columbia Poetry Review, Kiosk, Tarpaulin Sky, How2, Jacket and others. She is the author of THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES (Chax Press, 2009) and Extreme Global: La Ciudad sin Extremo/Los Angeles, forthcoming from ChainLinks. She is the recipient of a NYFA grant as an Artist in the School Community at Cornell University and NYSCA grants for her curatorial and performance work. She has taught writing in public school classrooms as a teaching artist for Lincoln Center’s Institute for Aesthetic Education, at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women (in conjunction with Bank Street College), and at several colleges in Southern California. She is recently edited the collection IMAGINARY SYLLABI (Palm Press, 2011), a pedagogical project documenting and exploring the potential and actual work of innovative and radical strategies for teaching writing.
“In PRESOCRATIC BLUES the presocratics walk among us, obsessed with the everyday: the rain, the bar, the blues. And the poems that result are full of correspondence, of discovery in the Spicerian sense. These are poems that remind us that behind every simple moment is a larger question about the universe and humanities place in it”–Juliana Spahr. “In PRESOCRATIC BLUES, Joel Bettridge takes us back home, back to that poor old actuality at the pre-Socratic horizon of thought and matter. But we are no happier for it. We go down to the river, a Heraclitan flux that just keeps rolling, witness to despair and wicked deeds. These are sharply intelligent poems, full of acerbic wit, absurdity, and heartbreak.”–Devin Johnston
Joel Bettridge is the author of two books of poetry, THAT CULTURAL SOCIETY (The Cultural Society, 2007) and PRESOCRATIC BLUES (Chax Press, 2009), as well as the critical study, Reading as Belief: Language Writing, Poetics, Faith (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). He co-edited, with Eric Selinger, RONALD JOHNSON: LIFE AND WORKS (National Poetry Foundation, 2008). Currently he is an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University.
Ta(l)king Eyes by Jacque Vaught Brogan.
“Lively, innovative, and dancing with feminist passion, Jacque Vaught Brogan, ‘reporting from Notre Dame,’ has given us in TA(L)KING EYES a collection of perceptions for our mythic lady to celebrate. In this vividly experimental text, the eyes, ayes, & I’s have it!”—Sandra M. Gilbert
“In IN FELT TREELING, Michael Cross has created a pastoral theatre in which elaborate patterns of resemblance are poetically measured by counter-voiced assertions of autonomy and difference. The world is invited to ‘err’ and to ‘air’ its intentions freely, treely, freewheelingly, treelingly. These poems are “felt” doubly, as both noun and verb, with their layered emotional registers and their playfully theatrical costume dressing. As this carefully scored work is animated by the vocal fabric of its setting in the woods, the reader becomes transfixed, like Daphne, within the lush, felt landscape of the poems.”–Elizabeth Willis
Michael Cross’s critically acclaimed debut, IN FELT TREELING: A LIBRETTO, was published by Chax Press in 2008. HAECCEITIES is his second collection of poetry. He is the editor of INVOLUNTARY VISION: AFTER AKIRA KUROSAWA’S DREAMS (Avenue B, 2003) and The George Oppen Memorial Lectures at San Francisco State University (forthcoming). Cross lives in Oakland.
“The ever-precise and brilliant James Schuyler characterized Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry as brimming with the ‘intimate yell.’ Frank O’Hara got that energy pulsing in his work, but was tenderer, while Linh Dinh is more preposterous and full of outrage than either. Imagine a concoction that mixes Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Celine’s Bardum, frank, rollicking humor and hair-raising disgust. After adding fish sauce, a smelly cheese and sexual sweat, shake vigorously. Out of the bottle rises Linh Dinh. God talks to him and he talks about everything, including the body parts that Renaissance painters left out. No one does it better.”–John Yau
Linh Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1963, came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two collections of stories and four books of poems. His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, Best American Poetry 2004, Best American Poetry 2007 and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, among other places. Linh Dinh is also the editor of the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (Seven Stories Press, 1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (Tinfish, 2001), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (Tupelo, 2006). Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press, 2004) was chosen by the Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His poems and stories have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Arabic, and he has been invited to read his works all over the US, London, Cambridge and Berlin. He has also published widely in Vietnamese. He lives in Philadelphia. His works from Chax Press are AMERICAN TATTS (2005), JAM ALERTS (2007), and SOME KIND OF CHEESE ORGY (2009).