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Chad Parenteau | Dmytro Pavlychko | Mark Pawlak | Milorad Pejic | James Penha | Ralph Pennel | Anne Elezabeth Pluto | Adrian S. Potter | Matt Potter | Denise Provost | Alex M. Pruteanu


Chad Parenteau

Discarded: Poems for My Apartments by Chad Parenteau Discarded: Poems for My Apartments by Chad Parenteau
Červená Barva Press, 2008

In this new collection by Chad Parenteau, the peculiar intimacies of the shared apartment experience emerge in imaginative and startling shapes. In Parenteau's stunning tropes, the apartment, now war zone, now toxic wasteland, now party palace, at once magical and mundane, finds its excited denizens "burning their hands on bulbs to stay awake, / afraid to miss a summoning." Parenteau musters poignancy, pathos, and the pathetic from the crowded sink and the discarded vodka bottles, breeding them into his lines with an acute and ironic sensuality. If, as the author contends, "The bed now leaves its own notches/on the backs of everyone/who's slept in it alone," these poems will leave their mark on the mind of any reader who has ever stammered through a roommate interview or suffocated from the incense sneaking under the crack at the bottom of a roommate's door.
-Tom Daley, Instructor for the Online School of Poetry

$7.00 | 25 Pages | In Stock

Dmytro Pavlychko

Two Colors of the Soul: The Selected Poetry of Dmytro Pavlychko, Edited and with an introduction by Michael M. Naydan Two Colors of the Soul: The Selected Poetry of Dmytro Pavlychko
Edited and with an introduction by Michael M. Naydan
Červená Barva Press, 2012

Cover Art: “Two” by Olha Fedoruk

Translated from the Ukrainian by Svitlana Bednazh, Gladys Evans, Michael M. Naydan, Dzvinia Orlowsky, Mary Skrypnyk, Aliona Sydorenko, Martha B. Trofimenko, and Walter May.

Dmytro Pavlychko has been an editor, translator, literary critic, film scriptwriter, ambassador, and pro-democracy political figure. He was born in 1929 in a rural village close to the Carpathian Mountains. In 1944-5 he was imprisoned at the age of 15 by the Soviets on fabricated charges for alleged activities on behalf of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. He has published twenty collections of poetry, as well as several books of poetry translations and literary criticism. Many of his poems have been set to music and turned into songs, with ones such as “Two Colors” becoming national classics known by Ukrainians virtually everywhere. In 1977 Pavlychko received the Shevchenko Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Ukraine. Pavlychko served as ambassador to Slovakia from 1995-1998 and later to Poland from 1999-2002. He was elected a member of the Ukrainian parliament in 2005. He has received the designation of Hero of Ukraine from the Ukrainian government as well as honorary doctorates from Lviv National University and Warsaw University.

He continues to reside in the capital city of Kyiv and remains active in public life. Two Colors of the Soul: The Selected Poetry of Dmytro Pavlychko is his first book of poetry translated and published into English. From the Introduction: DMYTRO PAVLYCHKO: POET AND STATESMAN by Michael M. Naydan

In the tradition of poet-statesmen Neruda and Seferis, Pavlychko writes about his twin passions, love and history. Courageous, direct, and plain-spoken, he has long deserved a place on the international literary stage and Michael Naydan’s skillfully edited selections should confirm it.
—Askold Melnyczuk, award-winning novelist, author and editor

Out of Stock, Please Order it from SPD Books:

$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9883713-0-9 | 90 Pages | Temporarily out of stock

Mark Pawlak

Natural Histories by Mark Pawlak Natural Histories by Mark Pawlak
Červená Barva Press, 2015

Mark Pawlak is the author of seven poetry collections and the editor of six anthologies. His latest books are Go to the Pine: Quoddy Journals 2005-2010 (Plein Air Editions/Bootstrap Press, 2012) and Jefferson's New Image Salon: Mashups and Matchups (Červená Barva Press, 2010). His work has been translated into German, Polish, and Spanish, and has been performed at Teatr Polski in Warsaw. In English, his poems have appeared widely in anthologies such as The Best American Poetry, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, For the Time Being: The Bootstrap Anthology of Poetic Journals and in the literary magazines New American Writing, Mother Jones, Poetry South, The Saint Ann's Review, Solstice, and The World, among many others. For more than 35 years Pawlak has been an editor of the Brooklyn-based Hanging Loose, one of the oldest independent literary journals and presses in the country. He supports his poetry habit by teaching mathematics at UMass Boston, where he is Director of Academic Support Programs. He lives in Cambridge.

$7.00 | 34 Pages | In Stock
Jefferson’s New Image Salon by Mark Pawlak Jefferson's New Image Salon
Matchups & Mashups by Mark Pawlak
Červená Barva Press, 2010

Mark Pawlak is the author of five previous poetry collections of which Official Versions is the most recent. He is also the editor of numerous anthologies, including When We Were Countries, fourth in a series of the “best” poetry and prose by high school-age writers, and Present/Tense: Poets in the World, an anthology of contemporary American political poetry. His work has been translated into German, Polish, and Spanish, and has appeared widely in English in anthologies such as The Best American Poetry, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, and For the Time Being: The Bootstrap Anthology of Poetic Journals and in such literary magazines as New American Writing, Mother Jones, Poetry South, The Saint Ann's Review, and The World, among many others. He supports his poetry habit by teaching mathematics at UMass Boston, where he is director of Academic Support Programs. He lives in Cambridge.

When will we pass Raphael’s Silver Cloud Lounge and Goya Cosmetics? Do we have time for a quick stop at Unicorn Hair & Nails? Do you ever wonder what’s on the menu at the Café Magritte? Have you put in your holiday order with the butcher at Bosch’s Meat Market? Do you secretly want to sneak into Grendel’s Den or buy the latest discount item from Golem Sales? This is America, and, as Mark Pawlak makes amply evident, it just keeps getting stranger and stranger. If you are trying to get to Vampire Manor or need the phone number of Sasquatch Taxidermy, this is the only accurate guidebook available today.
—John Yau

In Jefferson’s New Image Salon, Mark Pawlak transforms a one-trick pony into a circus of surprising yokings, which on further inspection turn out to be not only surreal—Shylock’s Hair Designs, Onan Gasoline Engines—but poetic and real. The preposterous, often hilarious names of American businesses Pawlak found in doing his mixing and matching make Edsel seem a great name for an automobile.
—Charles North, author of Complete Lineups

Cover Art: "Coda," Digital Collage by Daniel Y. Harris, www.danielyharris.com

$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9844732-0-5 | 32 Pages | In Stock


Milorad Pejic

THE EYES OF KEYHOLES by Milorad Pejić Translated by Omer Hadžiselimović THE EYES OF KEYHOLES by Milorad Pejic
Translated by Omer Hadžiselimovic
Červená Barva Press, 2015

Milorad Pejic was born in Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1960. Since 1992 he has lived in Sweden. His books of poems include The Vase for the Lily Plant (1985), The Eyes of Keyholes (2001, 2012), and Hyperborea (2011, 2013), for which he received the "Slovo Makovo-Mak Dizdar" prize in Bosnia in 2012.

Omer Hadžiselimovic, formerly a professor at the University of Sarajevo, is now an adjunct professor of English at Loyola University Chicago and at North Park University, Chicago. He has published works in American studies, English literature, and travel writing. In recent years he has been translating poetry from Bosnian into English and from English into Bosnian, published in various venues.


I mourn for the cypresses I brought
from Hvar: under tiny days, like through
sunglasses deficient they grow, breathing
with deaf leaves as if through a button.
From their horrible disease, like a thin trail
of ink spilled on a newspaper, they bleed out
at night over the yard wall into the moonlight.

The long winter is drying out the boats down
at the lake, a small church above smoking
roofs looks like a fishing buoy. No one from
anywhere to unlock me from the cypresses.
Planted in the snow, they traipse after me with
their shadows' needles like after a vial of lavender.

$7.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9966894-1-0 | 44 Pages | In Stock


James Penha

Snakes and Angels Adaptations of Indonesian Folk Tales by James Penha Snakes and Angels Adaptations of Indonesian Folk Tales by James Penha
Červená Barva Press, 2010

Winner of the 2009 Cervena Barva Press Fiction Contest

A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past eighteen years in Indonesia. He teaches at STB-ACS (International) School in Jakarta. No Bones to Carry, the latest volume of Penha's poetry, is available from New Sins Press at www.newsinspress.com. His award-winning 1992 chapbook On the Back of the Dragon is downloadable from Frugal Fiction at www.frugalfiction.com.
Among the most recent of his many other published works are articles in NCTE's Classroom Notes Plus; fiction at East of the Web, Big Pulp, and Ignavia; and poems in THEMA, Storie, Naugatuck River Review, Waterways, and in Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Press), and the two Silver Boomers anthologies. Penha edits The New Verse News, a website for current-events poetry at www.newversenews.com.

Since childhood when my father told me Jewish and/or Russian folk tales and my mother would conjure old German stories, I have been fascinated by tales based on the mists of past times. Now along comes James Penha, a native New Yorker living in Indonesia, who has written down three Indonesian folk tales. Usually one thinks of a page turner as a mystery or suspense novel, but Penha’s three tidy little stories wrapped up in 34 pages keep me reading until the end. And what endings! I won’t tell you, but I will say that the first story “Dust and Stone” will be familiar to many readers from other cultures because it has universal themes found in English and Greek literature, the Old Testament, among many others. The first tale tells about a magician who is turned into a dog during day and a man at night, the woman who loves and their son who....well, that’s enough for now. Just say you will enjoy this story as much as I did.

The second story, “The Farmer and His Angel” is another well known theme of love found and lost, deceit and redemption in which a young man finds the woman of his dreams and desire in a most unusual, and deceitful way and learns that in the long run the truth will be revealed.

The final tale in this trilogy is “The Snake Boy” which incorporates the themes of the first two stories, but with a different twist and a unique route by which it gets there and Penha’s interpretation of this – as with all three tales – is well and cleanly rendered.

Snakes and Angels will hold any reader’s interest and give parents new stories to tell their children at bedtime rather than the age old Mother Goose or Aesop fables that schools tell and parents repeat. These fresh takes are wonderful stories that teach and entertain at the same time and will last a long time in your memory.
-Review by Zvi A. Sesling

Like Baroque pearls on a string the narratives possess the beauty, wisdom and universality of folktales. The wonderful poetic adaptations speak to us today...
-Rochelle Owens

"Snakes And Angels" is a remarkable feat of preservation of folklore through ingenious retelling by a masterful hand. The mythic lives on through the creative effort to erase the division between past and present by giving it a new voice that tells us not what was but what is and always will be.
-George Economou

$7.00 | 34 Pages | In Stock


Ralph Pennel

A World Less Perfect for Dying In by Ralph Pennel A World Less Perfect for Dying In
by Ralph Pennel
Červená Barva Press, 2015

Ralph Pennel is the author of A World Less Perfect for Dying In, (by Cervena Barva Press, 2015). His writing has appeared in The Cape Rock, Ropes, Open to Interpretation, Ibbetson Street, The Smoking Poet, Unbound Press, Monologues From the Road and various other journals in the U.S. and abroad. Ralph teaches poetry at Bentley University and literature at Bunker Hill Community College. He has been a guest lecturer at Emerson College and served as the judge for the 2013 WLP Dean's Prize for Emerson. Ralph also teaches workshops at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and for Student Day of Poetry run by MassPoetry.org. He is a founding editor and the fiction editor for the online literary magazine, Midway Journal (www.midwayjournal.com), published out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Ralph Pennel lives and writes in Somerville, Massachusetts, and was a finalist for the Poet Laureate of Somerville in 2014.

Cover art: "Rising Tide" by Resa Blatman

In the opening poem of Ralph Pennel's debut collection, the speaker lists things he looks for in a poem: "Clear blue light / A single voice, cold, in need of fire" and "Everything I have ever buried," making a concise introduction to A WORLD LESS PERFECT FOR DYING IN—a world which is, after all, the imperfect but beautiful place where we live and die. "But I believe that we all, at the very least, should have some. Beauty, that is." That persistent belief in beauty and the simple kindnesses that one human being can offer another suffuses these poems—often filled with pain and loss—with something like light.
—Joyce Sutphen, Poet Laureate of MN, author of Naming the Stars

"I’m writing all this down," Ralph Pennel says at the end of his frightening and beautiful poem "Just Off The Hennepin Bridge": and he is writing it all down, a world haunted by both beauty and despair. Again and again Pennel returns to the theme that echoes throughout the book, "the great immeasurable hole /that only love lost can make." What a wonderful task to set yourself as a poet, to take the measure of the immeasurable as best you can and to call this impossible task—this ache you feel for the world—by its true name: love.
—Jim Moore, author of Invisible Strings

Ralph Pennel's poems situate us front and center in the speaker's intimate company. In a few humble, trust-earning gestures, Pennel can take us great, often dark, distances. "Confiding in the Prison Guard," written in the voice of John the Baptist on the eve of his execution, risks the one harrowing image after another in service to empathy far transcending them; the poem closes with a devastatingly vernacular plea. Whether he is slipping in and out of personae with the ease of a shape shifter, or serving his subjects as a caring spy, Ralph Pennel has reminded this reader that the single, irrefutable craft of poetry is graceful connection.
—Frannie Lindsay, author of Our Vanishing


Tinder Box Editions: http://tinderboxeditions.blogspot.com/2015/08/book-interview-world-less-perfect-for.html

Doug Holder Blogspot: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/

$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-7-4 | 76 Pages | In Stock


Anne Elezabeth Pluto

Benign Protection by Anne Elezabeth Pluto (Anya Vladimirovna Pluta)
Červená Barva Press, 2016

Anne Elezabeth Pluto is Professor of Literature and Theatre at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA where she is the co-founder and artistic director of the Oxford Street Players. She was a member of the Boston small press scene in the late 1980s and started Commonthought Magazine at Lesley 24 years ago. Her chapbook, The Frog Princess, was published by White Pine Press. She has been a participant at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 2005 and 2006. Her ebook, Lubbok Electric, was published by Argotist ebooks in 2012. Her latest work appears in, The Buffalo Evening News, Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, Mat Hat Lit, nycBigCityLit, and Pirene's Fountain.

Cover Artist:
Bryson Dean-Gauthier has been an artist since childhood, and as an adult has worked in the fields of graphic design, corporate communications, television and education. She has been a graphic design teacher for 15 years, currently with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division, and is also an instructional design consultant at New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island. Bryson's current creative work explores photography, digital imaging and mixed media, and takes inspiration from the intersections of fine art, design, mystery, spirit, the natural world and technology.

Benign Protection is a ripe and vivid collection of 32 poems fraught with multi-generational hauntings. "Each breath is a prelude," as Pluto "gnaws through me to my bone." The intricacy of her language is rich on the tongue. Pluto is meant to be read aloud. Resonant and unforgettable.
-Meg Tuite, author of Bare Bulbs Swinging, Artistically Declined Press (2014)

Anne Pluto is one of the finest poets I know. I highly recommend Benign Protection.
-Kay Kinghammer, author, The Wenachee River Anthology, Melinda Cochrane International (2014), Inside the Circus, Loyal Stone Press (2013)

From the opening poem, "The River Styx", in Anne Elezabeth Pluto's Benign Protection, we are led into a sphere of grief artfully rendered by Pluto's deft hand. There are poems of domesticity that are welcome relief, but the breathing room is small. Grief is Pluto's handmaiden and we are enriched by such an exquisite companionship in this finely-wrought volume.
-Clare L. Martin, editor, MockingHeart Review. Author, Seek The Holy Dark, Yellow Flag Press (2017), Eating the Heart First, Press 53, (2012)

$7.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9981027-0-2 | 55 Pages | In Stock


Adrian S. Potter

Survival Notes by Adrian S. Potter
Červená Barva Press, 2008

Winner of the 2006 Cervena Barva Press Fiction Chapbook Prize
Judge: Dorothy Freudenthal

Adrian S. Potter is the winner the 2003 Langston Hughes Poetry Contest and the 2005 Saturday Writers Short Story Contest. He has been published in more than 60 different literary journals, magazines, and websites including Colere, City Works, Reed, Out of Line, The Binnacle, Main Channel Voices, Blue Earth Review and Poesia.

Additional propaganda about Adrian and his writing can be found at http://adrianspotter.squarespace.com/.

Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Survival Notes by Adrian S. Potter

Somerville’s Cervena Barva Press has published a collection of very short stories or flash fiction by Adrian Potter: “Survival Notes.” Potter is the winner of the 2003 Langston Hughes Poetry Contest and has numerous publication credits. Potter’s pieces have a raw edge to them. They take place for the most part in urban settings with angry male characters in the midst of existential crises. One story that peaked my interest in this collection was “Domestic Silence.” In this story, an unfortunate neighbor to a loud and argumentative couple, tracks the jazz music the abusive male in this unfortunate coupling plays to mute the loud protests of his many domestic brawls.

I’ve lived here for two years, long enough that I can determine the topic of their disputes by what record is playing. Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” means that that the husband is releasing the frustration of financial woes onto her fragile ribcage. The swinging melodies of Duke Ellington are reserved for senseless shouting matches, the type of overreaction brought on by male jealousy. Electronic jazz-funk, like Herbie Hancock and the “Head Hunters,” is synonymous with the profanities and backhanded slaps that come from drinking binges. I don’t even have to explain the subtle irony when songs from Coltrane’s “ A Love Supreme” filter from underneath their doorway.”

I would like to see Potter develop more stories like this. He may be on to something.
Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update/ Jan. 2008/ Somerville, Mass.

$7.00 | 42 Pages | In Stock: 20


Matt Potter

Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between by Matt Potter Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between by Matt Potter
Červená Barva Press, 2015

Australian-born Matt Potter lives in Adelaide but keeps part of his psyche in Berlin. He is the founding editor of Pure Slush, Pure Slush Books, Truth Serum Press and Lit Bulb international writing festival. By day he has been a social worker, an English as a Second Language teacher, and oh, many other things. Find more of his work at http://mattcpotter.webs.com/

Matt Potter's Hamburgers and Berliners took me to Germany—with brief forays to Austria, Portugal and other European countries—without me having to shift an inch from my sofa. Potter's prose is, as always, absorbing, amusing, enlightening and engaging. If you are thinking of a trip to Europe (or Australia, where Potter originates) make sure you read Hamburgers and Berliners before you go. This intimate portrait of an Australian abroad should be nestled in your hand luggage beside your spare undies and bottled water—it's just as essential. Potter examines the differences between cultures big and small—between countries, continents or, at the other end of the scale, the microcultures that exist within a block or a street. He constantly questions the what and the why of things, observing idiosyncrasies and habits and ingrained patterns of thought in a way that makes you see your own surroundings and behaviours afresh. Never uncomfortably disrespectful (though often funny), Potter had me smirking with some of his descriptions and going “Aha!” at others.
Hamburgers and Berliners is that rare thing, a guide to humanity, forgiving in its delivery but covering every niggly aspect of living as a foreigner abroad in delicious detail, warts and all. If you want to give your brain a holiday, get it, read it, and have a ball.
—Gill Hoffs, author of The Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian Titanic and Wild: a collection

Matt Potter unflinchingly allows us inside his mind and heart, sharing fears and insecurities that most of us would never dare to reveal. His book is both poignant and funny, and through Potter's eyes we get a vivid picture of Germany—its landscapes, people, customs and quirks—while also witnessing one man's struggle to make sense of his own life as well as life at large.
—Len Kuntz, author of The Dark Sunshine

Matt Potter's Hamburgers and Berliners brings back the adventures, the frustrations and the newness of moving to Germany. These honest missives made me want to do it all over again.
—Christopher Allen, author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type

$18.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9966894-0-3 | 273 Pages | In Stock


Denise Provost

City of Stories by Denise Provost
Červená Barva Press, 2021

Denise Provost served for many years in local government and for almost fifteen years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She has published in such journals as Ibbetson Street, Muddy River Poetry Review, qarrtsiluni, Quadrille, Poetry Porch's Sonnet Scroll, Sanctuary, Light Quarterly, and in numerous Bagel Bard anthologies. She received the New England Poetry Club's Samuel Washington Allen Award in 2021, and the Best Love Sonnet Award from the Maria C. Faust Sonnet Competition in 2012. Her chapbook Curious Peach was published by Ibbetson Street Press in 2019.

"City of Stories is a full length poetry collection which explores the narratives we construct to shape our world. In three thematic sections, these poems observe the shared experiences of community, reactions to current events, and the imaginative life sparked by interactions with literature. Many of these poems employ formal conventions: Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets; quatrains, heroic couplets, the ghazal and the ballade."

Cover art: "Somerville 12" by Steve Imrich

"Both the art and toil of poetry might be summed up as the love of words. In "City of Stories" Denise Provost proves over and over that her romance is fruitful and enduring. The book opens with a series of charming sketches which limn the aura of her hometown city. From there, the "city" metaphor expands, and the reader is guided through realms that are personal, political, historical, literary, mythical, and even all of the above. Among its many surprises, Walt Whitman will declaim his apotheosis of the Internet, Rumi will have his own blog on it, and Maud Gonne will rewrite a famous poem by Yeats. This volume sparkles with bright spirit."
-Tomas O'Leary, author of In the Wellspring of the Ear

"Tip O'Neill's famous aphorism can be rightly extended: good poetry, like good politics, is local. Denise Provost's City of Stories sings the neighborhoods, the everyday events, the Honk! festival, Somerville's ArtBeat, Kendall Square, Longfellow Bridge - but reveals these places and events as universal. These poems portray carefully observed daily life around us - people talking on their phones, waiting for buses, listening to street musicians. They suggest a vision of what life everywhere should be: peaceful, leisurely, considerate. Denise Provost's lines weave a scaffold of ordinary scenes; the poetry happens in the spaces between, where it brings us the humane, and the extraordinary."
-Adnan Onart, author of The Passport You Asked For; winner of the 2011 Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award

"City of Stories is a book of poems full of awareness and clarity. The verse is strikingly steady and deep-rooted, the subjects oddly near and pertinent, as public as a bridge or tower clock, private as exchanges overheard between parents and children; from the gentrification of endeared neighborhoods, to the maddening rhetoric of our lawmakers. In these poems, Provost demonstrates simply dangerous wit and agility with language. The great surprise the collection offers us is all the fun she manages to have and impart along the way. Here are poems that fairly read themselves to us and then stay with us to remember."
-Michael T. Steffen, author of Partner, Orchard, Day Moon

$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-51-2 | 72 Pages


Alex M. Pruteanu

The Sun Eaters a novel by Alex M. Pruteanu
Červená Barva Press, 2018

Alex M. Pruteanu is author of novella Short Lean Cuts, and Gears: A Collection (Independent Talent Group, Inc.), both available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books. He has published fiction in Guernica, [PANK], Specter Literary Magazine, The Prague Revue, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and many others.

The Sun Eaters unravels the story of two brothers in a small village of an Eastern European country just post World War II. The two boys and a handful of their colorful mates struggle to survive famine, desolation and destruction, as well as repressive political ideology that has been forced upon their country. In the boys' battle against what seems like all elements of life-turned-hostile, we discover the beauty of the enduring human spirit and the coping powers of a child's imagination during difficult times.

$18.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9984253-5-1 | 156 Pages
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