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Secret Letter by Erika Burkart, translated by Marc Vincenz
Červená Barva Press, 2016
Swiss poet Erika Burkart (1922-2010) has been compared to the likes of Ingeborg Bachmann, Friedericke Mayröcker, and Rainer Maria Rilke. During the latter half of her lifetime, the Swiss literary establishment perceived her not only as the grande dame of German- Swiss poetry, but also as an elusive, metaphysical, at times eccentric enigma of contemporary German-language literature. Born in Aarau, Switzerland, Burkart published over 24 collections of poetry and nine prose works, writing for the most part in the house of her childhood (the former summer house of the Prince-Abbot of Muri), Haus Kapf in Althäusern, Aargau, which was run as a tavern by Erika's parents.
Burkart received numerous literary prizes during her lifetime, including the Johann-Peter-Hebel-Preis (1978), the Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart- Preis (1990), the Joseph-Breitbach-Preis (2002), and the Gottfried-Keller-Preis (1992). To date, she is the only woman ever to have been awarded Switzerland's highest literary prize, the Grosser Schiller-Preis (2005).
Born in Hong Kong, Marc Vincenz is the author of nine collections of original poetry; his latest are This Wasted Land, and Its Chymical Illuminations (Lavender Ink, 2015), Becoming the Sound of Bees (Ampersand Books, 2015) and Sibylline, a book-length poem (Ampersand Books, 2016). The Washington Independent Review of Books recently called Vincenz "[a] peripatetic linguist... [he] prospers through travel like a psychoactive medicine man. Each poem is an open environment where anything can happen-a ceremony of advanced thinking-where a pilgrim of great altitudes accepts life's vagaries." Vincenz is also the translator of many German-language poets, including the Herman Hesse Prize winner, Klaus Merz, Werner Lutz, Erika Burkart, Alexander Xaver Gwerder, Robert Walser and Jürg Amman, and has published ten collections of translations-the latest is A Late Recognition of the Signs by Erika Burkart. His translation of Klaus Merz's collection Unexpected Development, was a finalist for the 2015 Cliff Becker Book Translation Prize and will be published by White Pine Press in 2018. He has received several grants from the Swiss Arts Council and a fellowship from the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. His own work has been translated into German, Russian, Romanian, French, Icelandic and Chinese; Bucharest's Tractus Arte Press released a Romanian translation of his collection The Propaganda Factory, at the 2015 Bucharest Book Fair. He is International Editor of Plume, Executive Editor of MadHat Press, and Plume Editions, Co-Editor of Fulcrum, and lives and writes in Western Massachusetts. Recent and forthcoming publications include The Nation, Ploughshares, Guernica, Washington Square Review, The Common and World Literature Today.
"Erika Burkart often evokes darkness, all the while "recu[ing] / fragments of images / from the dark chambers"-and these bits and pieces of the world, which she gathers with such care, gleam with a lasting, even healing light in her work. A precise and loving observer of nature, this major Swiss poet is especially sensitive to the question of how perceptions can be written down to "find [her]self / [...]-a language / no one knows anymore." For her, words raise no insurmountable barriers between the self and outside reality, but rather encourage her, as it were, to examine how one might more fully live."
"With Secret Letter, Marc Vincenz has gracefully and accurately rendered one of the last and most important books written by this philosophically minded poet. Hats off to him, for these full-fledged English poems express all the discreet music, subtle emotions, and thought-provoking qualities of the originals."
-John Taylor, poet, translator of Philippe Jaccottet, Jacques Dupin, and Jose-Flore Tappy
"Secret Letter by Erika Burkart offers lyrics so pristine and resonant in English that it's hard to fathom that these are translations. Marc Vincenz has done a great service for English-speaking, opening our shutters, our vistas onto the light- rich work of this amazing poet. Each poem mirrors creation and the birth of poetical language, without affectation or even extra syllables. The ensemble remins us of why we turned to poetry in the first place, for its spare, lyrical power, its shock of beauty, emotion, and insight."
-Marilyn Kallet, poet, translator of Paul Eluard, Benjamin Peret, and Chantal Bizzini
"Burkart's poems leave behind much more than a fleeting trace in the snow. Her delicate poetic footsteps have long since inscribed themselves in the memory of nature and her readers."
"Erika Burkart possessed something like a second sight. She saw people, nature, the world, with both an inner and outer vision."$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9966894-3-4 | 83 Pages | In Stock
Duino by Martin Burke
Červená Barva Press, 2016
Poet and Playwright Martin Burke is from Ireland but has lived for many years in Flanders (the northern Flemish speaking part of Belgium) a region with which he strongly identifies. More akin to the broad European visionary tradition than to any form of social realism, his work is noted for his insight and lyricism, qualities which are to the forefront in this version of the famous work by Rilke. He is currently working on a book-length poem The April Calends.
Who from the angels will hear me?$7.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9966894-9-6 | 22 Pages | In Stock
Into what existence may I vanish?
Why is it that, though it can, beauty does not destroy us?
Why does terror spring from every angel's mouth in joy?
Yet this is the world's landscape where, somehow, we endure
And the lovers, who annihilate annihilations
Lock time like a prisoner in their arms but their hearts are birds in air
Spring and its stars require us and the mission of music also
As we require mirrors to hold our expectations
As sinful and profane are our chosen companions
Where Antaeus is livid in air but renewed on the ground (oh let there be praise for such falling for this is no elegy)
As lovers are (oh pleasurable earth that such joy be yours!)
Sap to earth-mould that love rise again in any space, region or occasion through which its arrow passes
To focus on the unseen voice prompting a saints' ecstasy
Listening only to the secretive breath of the world
Speaking histories and chronicles-but what will they tell of you?
Let them tell that you were enraptured and quivered
In the arrows flight within you.
Cimmeria by T. M. De Vos
Červená Barva Press, 2016
T.M. De Vos is a 2015 Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellow; Co-Editor-in-Chief of Gloom Cupboard; and staff member of The Atlas Review. Her work has appeared in Juked, The Pacific Review, burntdistrict, Moonshot Magazine, Quiddity, Hawaii Pacific Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and the Los Angeles Review, among others. She has been named as a semifinalist for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and the Paumanok Poetry Award. De Vos is also the recipient of fellowships from Murphy Writing Seminars, Summer Literary Seminars, and the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library. She is currently working on her first novel.
"Some poets jump up and down, make faces, pretend to act smart, or witty, or stupid as they write. T.M. De Vos comes up to your table as you sit alone in a cafe, sits down in the empty chair, and starts talking to you in near whisper. You're surprised at first, don't know how to react, but are soothed by the softness of her voice, the warmth it projects, push out of your mind the din than surrounds you, and let yourself be drawn in by her words. There isn't a single lie, a hint at pretense in what she says. It is all so honest and simple. Her story is yours but she tells it in a way you would have never thought of and you see yourself differently. You're amazed. You're grateful to her for having sat down at your table. You've gained a friend."
-Yuriy Tarnawsky, author of The Placebo Effect Trilogy
"An illuminating collection, Cimmeria inspects human intimacies. These poems are at once clinical and compassionate as they slip from the ordinary to horror, from a boy's red balloon to his bag of blood. T.M. De Vos enlarges as she vexes our grounding in the everyday."
-Renato Rosaldo, cultural anthropologist and author of Diego Luna's Insider Tips
"Cimmeria plumbs modern relationships from intimate perspectives. The poems talk from across the room, then sit down and whisper unexpected truths. Where the 21st century keeps the bright and beautiful at the forefront, De Vos provides a rich depth of field that shows there is nothing of significance to fill the vacuum left from loss."
-John Gosslee, editor of Fjords Review and author of 12: Sonnets for the Zodiac
"In her collection Cimmeria, poet T.M. De Vos opens up a complex world of brutal emotional pain delivered in elegant, precise, yet emotive language. We are taken through a landscape scarred by anguish and littered with memories ground down to a powder by unsuccessful, at times stifling relationships. But the look back upon this scorched earth of ardent scars is that from a vantage point of forgiveness and transcendence. De Vos is magically able to simultaneously condemn and absolve the cruelty that lives within all of us."
-Alex Pruteanu, author of Gears
"T.M. De Vos reaches beneath the surface of experience to examine what is primary and primordial in everyday-and not so everyday-actions. Her examinations sometimes cut like a surgeon's knife, other times magnify like a biologist's microscope, to reveal what (often) has been taken away from those who try to give. The precision of her language and clarity of her imagery open our eyes to what has remained hidden, buried and closed off for too long."
-Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Haywire, Tetched, and Roughhouse
"T. M. De Vos sounds the depths of what we truly know. With tremendous tenderness, yearning and passion in her voice, she gives us the visceral truth, including the literal blood, bone and guts of experience. By knowing where the limits of desire come from, herself, she is able to wisely accept what it is that life offers."$7.00 | 36 Pages | In Stock
-Jeffrey Ethan Lee, author of Towards Euphoria
The Last Gun by Anne Harding Woodworth
Červená Barva Press, 2016
Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent being Unattached Male (Poetry Salzburg, 2014). The Last Gun is her fourth chapbook after Up From the Root Cellar and Herding, both from Červená Barva Press. A selection from The Last Gun won the 2015-2016 COG Poetry Award out of Cogswell College, San Jose, CA, judged by poet A. Van Jordan, who wrote: "You'll find that The Last Gun is 'a gathering place for... admirers, rememberers, the once-armed.'" Harding Woodworth lives in Washington, D.C., where she is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
"Just when you thought you knew all the arguments in America's gun debate, here comes Anne Harding Woodworth's powerful chapbook, The Last Gun. In these haunting poems, the "last" gun clears its throat and speaks. He speaks his fears and hopes in a voice as unexpected as it is unsettling. We almost feel sorry for him as we follow his arrest, imprisonment, and more. These poems aim straight at the rhetoric. They trigger some laughs but mostly they lament a country in which we hear too much from guns. Guns usually get what they want. But here, in this smart, insightful collection, Anne Harding Woodworth only appears to show the gun's humanity. Actually, she shows us our own."
-Joseph Ross, Author of Ache, Gospel of Dust, and Meeting Bone Man
An excerpt from The Last Gun was the winner of the 2015-2016 COG Poetry Awards (Cogswell Polytechnical College, San Jose, CA), judged by poet A. Van Jordan, who wrote:
The Last Gun opens with smoke and closes with a bang. These poems toggle between the spirits of the living and the spirits the living carry into death "to ask questions, to contemplate/ a state of being that is no more." These poems care about what we carry with us on our journeys and how others hold us in memory. As a reader, you'll find that The Last Gun is "a gathering place for... admirers, rememberers, the once-armed," and this poet has prepared us both "for the journey... where it will be judged," and for the "deeds on earth."$7.00 | 37 Pages | In Stock
Fire Tongue by Zvi A. Sesling
Červená Barva Press, 2016
Zvi A. Sesling has published poetry in numerous magazines both in print and online in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland France, New Zealand, India, Canada, Australia and Israel. Among the publications are: Midstream, Voices Israel, Saranac Review, New Delta Review, Plainsong, Asphodel, Ibbetson St., Blue Lyre, Door Is Ajar, Scapegoat, The Chaffin Journal, Ship of Fools, Levure Litteraire, The Moth, First Literary Review—East, and Main Street Rag. He was awarded First Prize (2007) in the Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. In 2008 he was selected to read his poetry at New England/Pen “Discovery” by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish. He was a featured reader in the Jewish Poetry Festival in Brookline, MA. He is a regular reviewer for the Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene and is Editor of the Muddy River Poetry Review and publisher of Muddy River Books. Sesling has been a featured reader in various venues in the Boston area, San Diego, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and the Boston Poetry Festival. Sesling has also read on local radio and cable television programs. He is author of King of the Jungle, (Ibbetson St., 2010), and a chapbook Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Červená Barva Press, 2011). He has taught at Suffolk University, Emerson College and Boston University. He lives in Chestnut Hill, MA with his wife Susan J. Dechter.
In Fire Tongue, the poems are precise and unsparing as they probe old questions of how and why the unspeakable enters our lives. In terse, suspenseful language and lines that are as light as their subjects they carry are heavy, indeed ominous, Sesling looks for hope, for what can redeem us. The poet finds the answer in our ability to listen, to feel, to own a conscience, and to value life.
-Afaa Michael Weaver
Poet Zvi Sesling is at a point in life where there is much more in his past than in his future. In "Fire Tongue" there is delicate balance of the past, present and speculation of what is to come. Sesling fearlessly faces what we all feel deep in our marrow - our own mortality. As a highly skilled poet with a gimlet eye, Sesling pulls this off with a mixture of humor and pathos. No word is wasted... life is too short for that... Sesling ,my friends, is well acquainted with the night.
-Doug Holder, Ibbetson Street Press, Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing/Endicott College
Fire Tongue takes us on a journey down Zvi Sesling's "road of sorrows." Here is madness, pain, cities of the dead, remnants of the lost, vast fields of suffering, outcroppings of cruelty, deserts of war and violence. With a dream-like clarity and precision reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, Sesling shows us what we cannot deny about our nature, our history, our times. This is poetry as ritual incantation, a fiery tongue in its own right, teaching us how to navigate and thus perhaps begin to understand our harsh and bloody terrain.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9966894-4-1 | 87 Pages | In Stock
-Fred Marchant, Author of The Looking House (Graywolf Press)