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Picture Dictionary
Kristen Eliason

As much memento as memento mori, Kristen Eliason’s Picture Dictionary resists easy summaries. This full-color collection, straddling the lines of denotation and connotation, will force you to rethink the nature of language, observation, beauty, and grief.

At first glance, this astonishing book appears to be an ingenious account of a young American’s year in Japan, told through a ‘picture dictionary’ of anecdotes, usage notes and etiquette tips. But as this tale unfolds, a second, shadow narrative begins rising to the surface: an unbearably abrupt and severe loss suffered in another time and place. Suddenly the surface narrative, with its sour-sweet tastes, its new syllables, its nets of oranges, pink shirts and pickled plums, feels alive with pain, pain pricking through the skin of this text in nervy, exquisite relays. Eliason’s Picture Dictionary is a ravishing book about the inability of the heart to die with the dead, the sad burden of coming to know world in all its various and devastating beauty.
—Joyelle McSweeney

“Most of this doesn’t translate,” Kristen Eliason’s clear-eyed elegy Picture Dictionary must finally concede: not those beautifully impenetrable kanji characters, not the misfired conversations between the American girl in flight and her Japanese hosts, and certainly not the grief that follows a lover’s accidental death. This book attempts to wrestle what cannot be translated into some kind of order—not to explain or to solve anything, but to contain sorrow by giving it a comprehensible structure. As we proceed through the narrative parcellated into minute components in Eliason’s dictionary, we piece together a life—that is to say, we remember, and that act of remembrance offers itself as a bulwark against the ineluctable solitude of human experience.
—Kimberly Johnson

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When I Wake It Will Be Forever
Virginia Smith Rice

"Both shimmering and seething, haunted and haunting, the complex, dazzling contours of When I Wake It Will Be Forever beckon the reader with the imperative of 'listen'; and we do, because Rice's poems vibrate with a 'voice thorned and singing / but not human.' Like her poetic parentage—Desnos, Szymborska, Tranströmer and Csoóri—there is a wisdom contained in this work that transcends a singular being's experience; ultimately elegiac, yet 'lit by inner, hidden suns,' this book is a stellate network of memory, loss, longing, silence, and voice. Often serving as witness (to an aunt's suicide, a stranger's suicide, 'the suicide in my voice') Rice pays tribute to the manifold ghosts that clamor inside us. This is one of the most solidly exquisite and lingering first books I've had the honor of reading."
-Simone Muench

"Virginia Smith Rice has created a tremblingly precise, intricate, bright-edged evocation of a world both ecstatic and ominous, grieving and vital, broken and mending, but rarely mended. Her poems are richly colored and intensely focused on the shapes and forms of the world and of inner life and relationships. They are crowded with living plants and creatures and intense feeling, and Rice can even describe the color of solitude. Her language is sensuously complex, her angle of vision is oblique and finds the memorable touch of reality off-center, at the edges, just this side of perceptibility. She has created a delicate yet vivid response to what she calls the 'percussed absence' that haunts human life. This is a marvelous first book."
-Reginald Gibbons

"A Virginia Smith Rice poem is naked, like a bulb, although, unlike a bulb in the dark, it does not want to be seen dangling by and for itself, it does not want to be interpreted as the centre of its universe, even as a frame does not. Her poems say instead their warm color of incandescence to some still life hanging from a wall. When a Virginia Smith Rice poem says, 'Autumn laps gently as a well-fed dog: each pale / branch remembers leaves as essential things, / and how easy it is to let things go,' it at once frames a scene of plenty, of longing, and of regret. In this way, the poems in When I Wake It Will Be Forever are always pleasurable, colorful and sincere in and to every sense."
-Rethabile Masilo, author of Things That Are Silent

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Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women & Place
Edited by Erin Elizabeth Smith, T.A. Noonan, Rhonda Lott, and Beth Couture

In this 300+ page eclectic and engaging multi-genre anthology of contemporary women writers, you will find literature that transports readers across the entirety of the globe. Writers in Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women & Place, include Marjoie Maddox, Wendy Call, Barbara Crocker, Marthe Reed, Karyna McGlynn, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Dianne Seuss, Sarah Sloat, and many, many more!

"Miniature celebrations of place, the writings in Not Somewhere Else But Here deftly maneuver through imagined spaces and bustling Manhattan streets, the impossible page and the architecture of Japanese homes. Here, place is questioned and subdued: it is the hot gloss of sun on concrete."
-Lily Hoang, author of The Evolutionary Revolution and Changing

"The writing in Not Somewhere Else But Here is at turns haunting and infused with a deep magic. The work carries the reader from Beirut to Vermont, from Japan into dream worlds, bodies as maps. Landscapes are often treacherous, populated with 'mouths of razor-wild men', enchanted with 'fists opened to explosions of diatomic stars,' and each woman in this collection navigates those spaces with a deft grace. Step into the worlds they have summoned."
-Margaret Bashaar, Editor of Hyacinth Girl Press

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The Lost Animals
David Cazden

"David Cazden's anticipated second collection, The Lost Animals, takes us from cemetery where animals nibble moss off headstones to a high-rise apartment to the sand fences of Fort Lauderdale. Through poems deliberate in their story and interlaced with images, we find exquisite and sensual language based in landscape and the natural world: 'Here your body unwound / while winter's clothing piled up, / its cold ground spreading for miles, / curtained in white, freckled by crows.' Cazden's poems take us into the details of living and relationships where we can settle into a world where 'pears illuminate the neighborhood' and 'each surface melting / at the faintest touch.' Each poem is layered with moments and a constant nod to time here on this robust earth and with the animals who live there."
-Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum & Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room

"As the title of Dave Cazden's wonderful book portends, loss is at the heart of this sure-handed and memorable new collection. These are felt and moving poems—from the death of a long-ago lover ('Nicotiana, Jasmine alata') to the break-up of a relationship to the death of a brother from a drug overdose ('Voyage'). Through his use of lush metaphors and sharp-edged imagery, Cazden shows us how, in poem after poem, art can transform pain."
-Jeff Worley, author of A Little Luck, winner of the 2012 X.J. Kennedy Prize from Texas Review Press

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The Hardship Post
Jehanne Dubrow

"There's a tensile strength of line here—predominantly pentameter—that underscores the ease of the poetic idiom: just as the heartfelt yet disciplined feeling—life of the content underwrites this collection's larger themes of Judaism and its ancient traditions. The Hardship Post has a good deal on its mind as well as the load in its heart. Polish history and heritage may be one personal focus, but displacement and identity are the greater subjects. First books don't usually take on the world at this level of seriousness and skill."
-Stanley Plumly

"I admire Jehanne Dubrow's poems not only for the poise and beauty of her lines, but also for the way she grapples with big subjects: inheritance and home, the cultural and the personal. A bearer of tradition, she also knows what it's like to lose herself in modernity. 'I don't belong where bodies separate / from minds like sand trying to leave behind / the sea.' Poems become strands of continuity stretched almost to breaking by mobility. Dubrow seems to have lived everywhere—and that is precisely where The Hardship Post should be read."
-David Mason

"At the place where the cruelties of history and those of story intersect, Jehanne Dubrow has staked a claim. These are poems of emotional intensity under formal control. An impressive first collection."
-Linda Pastan

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A House of Many Windows
Donna Vorreyer

"The poems that comprise this enviable collection are unflinching and fearless, crafting new definitions for the definition of woman—as mother, as lover, as flawed and singular being. Donna Vorreyer has written these revelatory verses from the caverns of her own body—her commitment to the breath of each stanza is formidable. And that's why this book is unforgettable."
- Patricia Smith

"Vorreyer writes, 'Who cares if the night is blind / its white eye plucked and hooded?' yet these brave, sometimes elegiac poems are about caring, about how one goes on even when the weight of intense feeling is crippling. Desire, loss, the humble and glorious body, the great subjects of what it means to be human are deftly exfoliated in these poems of disassemblage and re-creation."
-Laura McCullough

"'I have a need to carry things,' says the speaker in Donna Vorreyer's A House of Many Windows, a Millay-like sequence on longing—not for a lover, but for a child she can't have. Fiercely, she enlists poetry to conceive her tie to the unborn—'My uncoupled sonnet, my comma / splice. Forgive the mediocre world, / ill-versed in our intimate literacy'—and to the boy she will eventually adopt and raise. Such mysterious and steadfast love makes Vorreyer's poems part of a wider narrative, having to do with human connection at its core—as something way, way thicker than blood."
-Douglas Goetsch

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Too Animal, Not Enough Machine
Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly

There is nothing mechanical about Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly's chapbook, Too Animal, Not Enough Machine. The poems zip in and out of multiple consciousnesses, re-telling a variation of Hansel and Gretel through the streets of New York. But the poems do not feel suffocated or defined by the city, rather it is the poems' narrators who give that space life; whether it's searching for Gretel in bathroom stalls, chatting up Little Red Riding Hood, or pondering the nuances of Mermish, Reilly's poems are fearless in their imagination, effortlessly melding the surreal with the mundane, the fantastic with the everyday.

"I love this collection of poems for the sounds and the sense of them. Immediately, the reader is struck—lightning-like—by Christine Reilly's agility in playing with language. This poet is craft-wise, cadenced, and 'crafty.' Beware the candy-coated house where the witch may be waiting…is this a chapbook of Grimms' Tales narrated, or a narrative filtered through those often misremembered but ageless stories? What I so admire about these poems is that Christine Reilly does not 'split' truth from tale, but holds them together in the flesh of our bodies, through violence and grace, and within the soul's pure 'knowing' of Mystery."
-Kate Knapp Johnson, author of Wind Somewhere

"The poems in Too Animal, Not Enough Machine are individual journeys to worlds where language is unique, startling, often luminous and always revitalizing. Christine Reilly's imaginative scope is inventive with a balanced tone that never rings a false note. Each poem is a destination that bends our perceptions so that we question what we have seen, heard and felt in order to ultimately embrace the new worlds she creates for us."
-Kevin Pilkington, author of The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree

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Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets
Edited by Nick McRae

Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets, the first anthology of its kind, seeks to give the best Quaker poets writing today a voice in contemporary letters. Many anthologies of writing from other spiritual traditions have been published in recent years, and this Quaker collection will be an important addition to the conversation. The poets presented in Gathered come from all points on the Quaker cultural spectrum. There are Quakers from all over the United States and Quakers from abroad. There are liberal Quakers and conservative Quakers. There are lifelong Quakers, Quakers from hybrid spiritual backgrounds, and those who were once part of Quaker society but have since moved on down other paths.

While all of these poets have been touched in some way by the Quaker way of life, the work presented here is not religious or devotional in the traditional sense. Many poems address Quaker culture and spirituality, but they question those traditions, taking a broader view of the human condition and the experiencing of living in our complex, often troubling world, where there are no easy answers.

Contributors include poets such as David Ray, Maria Melendez, Dawn Potter, Laura McCullough, Ellen Wehle, Maryhelen Snyder, Jennifer Luebbers, Errol Hess, Heidi Hart, Sarah Sarai, and many others.

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The Butterfly Lady
Danny M. Hoey, Jr.

Gabriel Smith is a black man in a dress. Always in full makeup, he ridicules, inspires, and entertains; he is both mother and father, pageant and relief.

Tortured by his zealous father, Gabriel moves to Cleveland, Ohio, to start a new life. Soon, he learns that his presence, despite giving order to those closest to him, incites fear and hatred. As past and present collide, Gabriel becomes the mirror that reflects the lives of the people surrounding him, the spectacle that isn’t as bad as the histories they want to escape completely.

Set against the backdrop of a city recovering from one of the worst race riots in history, The Butterfly Lady is filled with pain encased in the blues. This stunning first novel wrestles with the horrors of love and the consequences of being black, gay, and male.

In The Butterfly Lady, Hoey, clearly driven by love for his characters and a passion to understand their lives, weaves a cocoon of community. Fearless, in the tradition of Morrison, he looks under beds and throws open closet doors to present truth – drawing the reader in to the place where lives crash.
—Anton Nimblett, author of Sections of an Orange

The Butterfly Lady riffs from the page in bursts and twists, conflagrating image, sound, language and character in a literary mimicry of jazz ... Danny Hoey’s confident prose takes the reader into the heart of Cleveland’s inner-city where its inhabitants face sometimes unanswerable questions of sexuality, identity, and race.
—Britta Coleman, author of Potter Springs, winner of the Lone Star Scribe Award

Danny M. Hoey, Jr.’s The Butterfly Lady presents haunting characters that ask—demand—a great deal: Understand and embrace the complications and nuances of African-American identity. Arm yourself with these revelations. This is a terrific novel; devastating and hopeful because Hoey so unflinchingly educates the reader. He writes with the fierceness and truth of James Baldwin and has given us a story that lingers and informs long after the last sentence.
—Dana Johnson, author of Elsewhere, California and Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award

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The Old Cities
Marcel Brouwers

At turns both funny and devestating, Marcel Brouwers' debut collection, The Old Cities, takes you on a linguistic adventure around the world and home again. The poems here are playful, smart, and never boring. This is a collection any lover of language and travel should own.

"Marcel Brouwers' debut collection The Old Cities is a travelogue of local and national curiosities, and in that the poems range so freely, there is a glide to this work, a welcoming ease. In that every subject in poetry, considered both carefully and freely, is as skewed as we are, these poems reveal, piecemeal--what other way, honestly, do we live out most of our lives--who we are at our least pretentious and most lively. The reader of these poems will find a plurality of intimated joys and sorrows. And, as well, a voice that is never merely shrewd but, and more consistently than any reader has a right to expect, ready at any moment to redress the ironies it registers so aptly. I love this book because it is in love with oddness. And it's word-wise: just read the first poem: not a received noun or a stock phrase that isn't affectively queried. If language got us into this mess, these poems seem to say, language will have to get us out."
-William Olsen, author of Sand Theory

"These poems come at us much as contemporary culture comes at us, full-bore, multi-barreled, incessant. They engage with the frenzy of our time, and, in perhaps one of poetry's most vital functions, they are subversive. They question, they put every thought under review. These are powerful, wistful, bemused poems--the health of poetry has just improved."
-Arthur Smith, author of The Late World: Poems

"One of my teachers in graduate school once told me that a "decent" first book of poems only needs about three "very good" poems. If this is true, then it must be that Marcel Brouwers' debut collection The Old Cities is an exceptional book. There are echoes of, among others, Frost and William Matthews--not bad company--but these poems are all Brouwers. His voice is equally compassionate and ironic, his vision equally expansive and precise, evidenced in a poem about his country: "Children who die go down as heroes/ gone down." Humor often sidles up to grief in these poems, but it's the pathos that rings the loudest: "I'm not in favor of the end/ but it's hard to think of what's missing, a love/ that wishes it be different and how it ultimately is." Just one of many beautiful moments The Old Cities possesses."
-Alexander Long, author of Still Life

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One Perfect Bird
Letitia Trent

In Letitia Trent's debut full-length collection, the poems unfold like wildflowers in the spring, each one more surprising and dazzling than the last. But they are not simply a fleeting beauty, but rather a voracious and heated sort that stays with you long after you've closed the book. These poems, rooted deeply in the places that they explore, are impeccably constructed and bitingly honest. This is a collection from a new voice that must be heard.

"Reading these poems I was reminded of the voice and vision of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. Similarly, the emotional and psychological rawness of human thought, as crafted by Letitia Trent in surprising, elusive, and innovative lines, startles us into a recognition so profound, we're not entirely sure what we're reading or if we're reading. It's a pleasing and unsettling experience--and I daresay, what literature should and can be."
- Kathy Fagan, author of Lip

"The poems in One Perfect Bird ride like a dirty living letter in a good, clean envelope. They are the silty Tang in our cups, the color of the hunters' vests like ribbons through the birches as they searched our forest for any rusty bursts of blood. They are primarily poltergeists; mesh net masks and subtly singing beards, bee bodies slipping from their chins like honey. If it's true that I lifted all these lines of praise from the lines in Letitia Trent's poems--and it is true--then who could blame me? For the lyricism required to describe them, I can't better their maker. No one could."
- Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil's Territory

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Like a Fish
Daniel Crocker
ISBN 0-9723224-7-7

"Dan Crocker isn't in the habit of calling things beautiful, Hell, neither am I, but I'm just going to put it out there, with Like a Fish, Crocker has shown his readers their fair share of beauty without ever having to drunkenly whisper its name. He writes about every day experiences in a way that anyone can relate to. His ivory tower is a Mississippi flophouse held together with tar and dreams. He's a strait shooter who gives it to you plain and simple. In short, his words don't have a stick up their ass. In our current lonely culture, what more could you ask for?"
-John Dorsey, author of Sodomy is a City in New Jersey

"Dan Crocker has the heart and the chops, an innate ear for language and the gift of good storytelling. He is one of those writers accessible to all of the diverse crowds he writes about--the denizens of the trailer parks, as well as the academies. To say Crocker is an important writer is an understatement; he's a hidden gem in American letters."
-Nathan Graziano, author of After the Honeymoon and Teaching Metaphors

"Crocker's gritty yet tender poems expand beyond the topography of the south and into the landscape of the human experience. He candidly displays life's three-dimensional ups and downs that most people perceive as a mere two-dimensional surface. This collection confirms why Crocker is one of my all-time favorite poets."
-Rebecca Schumejda, author of Falling Forward

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Especially the Deer
Julie Ruble, Tyurina Allen, Mary Beth Magin
ISBN 0-9723224-0-X

Especially the Deer was the first book released by Sundress Publications in 2002 and the first book in the Artemis Project, which publishes poetry by women who are 25 or younger. Featuring poetry by Sundress favorites Julie Ruble, Mary Beth Magin, and Tyurina Allen, Especially the Deer has now been re-released with a new cover and book design! Get this beautiful 8.5" x 8.5" glossy-covered, perfect-bound edition today for only $12.95!

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The Bone Folders
T.A. Noonan
ISBN 0-9723224-6-9

T.A. Noonan's second collection of poetry, The Bone Folders, follows a coven of Louisiana witches through the death of their high priestess and the turmoil in the regime change that follows. Drawing upon interviews and experiences with modern practitioners of witchcraft, the poems combine innovative language with an overarching narrative that explores the complexities of love, history, spirituality, and personal sacrifice.

Not to be confused with the supernatural tales of Anne Rice or Charlaine Harris, these beautiful and experimental poems come at this very real world through the lens of math, food, Greek mythos, grammar, sexuality, and the banal of the day-to-day. These poems in their dazzling craftsmanship explore the contemporary Pagan existence and the universal pain of human loss.

"This is incantation. Noonan speaks; spells and forms and formulae leap into being. Very new, very, very old: poetry begins with naming, then metamorphosis. Dickinson's Letters to the World conjoins the 'hello world' introduction to Java and coffee ground soothsaying. 'O' the days begin, and they end with a loop, 'until what it touches / / : becomes what is touched.'"
-Catherine Daly

"Here, in The Bone Folders, the poem is an entity that springs from a love of language, algebra, and the landscape of the page. T.A. Noonan's tools are varied and sharp. She has a sculptor's eye for detail and an uncanny instinct for mining from the stone what the stone wants to be. With all her extravagances, spatial and intellectual, her eccentricities of grammar and syntax, her free form and reverent villanelles, she is the maker of language's shape, a craftsperson that knows that the center of an artist's commitment is to serve the work in progress. In all her abstract permutations is a focus on the truth. She is poetry's Henry Moore, giving shape to things and characters, particular and internal, to which, at the end of our reading we can only reply, YES."
-Michael Madonick

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How We Spend Our Days
Jessica Bush-Warman
ISBN 0-9723224-4-2

How We Spend Our Days is the first collection of poems by Jessica Bush-Warman. Jessica Bush-Warman lives in Pennsylvania, where she attends graduate school at Seton Hill University. She is currently at work on her third book. Her poetry has appeared in various literary publications throughout the country. She and her husband are expecting their first child in September. (This is the second collection released in the Artemis Project.)

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Can You Tell a Line from an Odyssey
Marek Lugowski
ISBN 0-9723224-1-8

Can You Tell a Line from an Odyssey is the newest chapbook from celebrated Chicago poet, Marek Lugowski. This collection of previously unpublished poetry explores Lugowski's 1988 road trip from Dallas to Taos and back again.

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Especially the Deer
Julie Ruble, Tyurina Allen, Mary Beth Magin
ISBN 0-9723224-0-X

Especially the Deer is the first book released by Sundress Publications. It is 100 pages, perfect bound. Featured in it is a spattering of poetry by Sundress favorites Julie Ruble, Mary Beth Magin, and Tyurina Allen. This is the first book in Sundress's Artemis Project, which publishes poetry by women who are 25 or younger.

This edition is currently out of print.

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