Wax World by Robert Mittenthal
“In Mittenthal’s work, it’s the idea of comedy in an explosion of craft that catches you. He’s quiet about it. He understands it will adhere—and it’s designed to—to linger. There’s almost a battle going on—an intellect that exists only to be destroyed by itself so that all that was is as it was—only clearer. And his sound sounds the most sounded out a boxer squaring off to take on the psychology of currency and its effects on labor. Not political OR only political. A clarity and honest posture mixed with poignant sarcasm about how the world sees itself. It’s about seeing inequality. ‘Paid to forget, I recall more.'”—Nico Vassilakis
What We Do: Essays for Poets, by Michael Gottlieb
Poetry/Essays/Literature 122 pages
How do we live our lives as poets?
In these three critical essays, plus an afterword, Michael Gottlieb addresses issues faced by us all, even if we are not poets or artists. Michael Gottlieb is the author of nineteen books including most recently, I Had Every Intention, Dear All, and Memoir and Essay, the authoritative recounting of the early days of the Language school. He was one of the editors of Roof, the foundational 1970s and 80s poetry magazine. A number of his works have been adopted for the stage, including his definitive 9/11 poem, The Dust, hailed by Ron Silliman as one of the “five greatest Language poems.” The Dust was stages by fiona Templeton and company at the Poetry Project at St. Marks on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
Learn what it is to be a poet, what it takes, in order to grasp and live in the art and the life. One essential need is listening. For Gottlieb, “I am still at least somewhat capable of taking the first step when it comes to doing what we do as poets, that is: listening.”
What’s the Title? TITLE
What’s the Title? TITLE, by Serge Gavronsky
The title is TITLE. What’s the title? TITLE. That means the book is the book, or “A” book, and implies that the book questions itself along the way, or perhaps just makes a lot of leaps, flops, and fade-away hook shots, though all is not in cinders. But life and words manage to burn, and if you burn too, it might be for thirst of knowledge, and you will at least have a chance to quench such thirst if you read this book, if you attempt to understand the nature of a title. You are Odysseus, and you’re trying to get home, or toward another goal, and you need a few challenges along the way; or, you’ll get them whether you need them or not.
No more silence of memory! Because you will need your memories, even as you begin to lose them. But letters hold the prospect of words, and words of sentences, sentences of paragraphs, paragraphs of chapters, and chapters of books. And what is it that a book needs? TITLE. If all the dates are her favorites, she still wants to look at a calendar, and if she misses one, or two, she needs a reminder. Or she needs to pour herself a shot of calvados. Calvados or calvary, or cavalry. Oh my avocadoes! On sunny days, he had that certitude, but Auschwitz and Dachau happened nevertheless. Half of the country was bombed out, but the afternoons kept and keep coming. And one day you will remember (or not, or who will?) that a violinist was needed for a marriage of American history to its right political place. There is no language without speech, there is no Olivetti without a green cover. Too green in the land of pairs of graphs. Life is touching each other, and may have no intertextualities. Or all may be so.
This is that book This is TITLE!
— Charles Alexander
WHILE SLEEPING by Bill Lavender
“Poetry and sleep have always been related to me. What do we seek when we lie down to rest but a pleasant landscape of language? inaudible rehearsals of the auditory, invisible practice of the visual. It is possible of course to be asleep and awake at the same time, indeed we are mostly, examples: driving the freeway and missing the exit engrossed in meditation, or better the ineluctable state of napping in my chair, when I leave me there and go out for closer observation, hearing even seeing everything that goes on around but not noticing my own snores” (from the Introduction by the Author).
Who Do With Words, by Tracie Morris
Nonfiction/Creative Essay ISBN 978-1-946104-12-0 116 pages $17.00
Advance sale price $15 until March 13. Book orders filled starting March 13.
With hip talk and logic, Morris lays some shine on the be in our being as Black folk, writes us a love song for our lingo and a manifesto for making it plain. She asks all of us to flip the script with finesse, to hold the bullshit of public discourse to a flame and make art from the funky embers. Finally, a philosophy we can get down to. Like a quilt full of codes to crack and spill. Like a cowrie on the divination board of Black genius.
— Yolanda Wisher, Poet, Bandleader, Curator of Spoken Word, Philadelphia Contemporary, author of Monk Eats an Afro and third poet laureate of Philadelphia
In Who Do With Words, poet, performer and critic Tracie Morris joyfully and instructively blerds out in her love letter to and lecture on Black speech acts. Riff-reading as philosophizing, she dialogues with J. L. Austin, Samuel R. Delany, and many others, dropping serious science in the process. A pocket-sized delight, and she keeps it tight!
— John Keene, Professor and Chair of African American and African Studies, Rutgers University–Newark