Catherine Sasanov | Lynne Savitt | E. M. Schorb | Steven Schreiner | Roger Sedarat | Claudia Serea | Zvi A. Sesling | Don Share | Adam Shechter | Glenn Sheldon | Larissa Shmailo | Susannah Simpson | Mary McLaughlin Slechta | Noel Sloboda | Judith Skillman | Leora Skolkin-Smith | Harry Smith | Paul Sohar | Michael Spring | Michael Todd Steffen | Shelby Stephenson | Paul Steven Stone | Tim Suermondt | Roberta Swann
Tara by Catherine Sasanov
Červená Barva Press, 2008
In 2005, poet Catherine Sasanov made an unsettling discovery: slaveholding had been an unspoken part of her family's history. Sasanov's painstaking search to find out what happened to the men, women, and children held by her ancestors is at the heart of her new chapbook, Tara. In its pages, Sasanov conjures Missouri's Antebellum landscape out of the ravages of urban sprawl. She pieces together a portrait of slaves and freedmen in poems haunted by the question: How does one write a coherent life of a people if only bits and scraps of their existence can be found?
Traditions of Bread and Violence
by Catherine Sasanov
Four Way Books, 1996
(Excerpts from the back of the book)
Catherine Sasanov breathes spirit into flesh and blood and turns tears into our daily bread. Her poems should be said out loud like prayers. It has been years since I have read poems of such humanity.
These extraordinary poems dwell on violence, dwell in the violent truth of the world - Christ's body torn, or a lover's chest cut open, and the Milagro stamped from tin into the shape of a body part...$12.00 | ISBN 1-884800-09-2 | 54 Pages | In Stock: 1
the deployment of love in pineapple twilight by Lynne Savitt
PRESA :S: PRESS, 2005
…Lynne Savitt is the Janis Joplin of poetry.
These poems are heart-breaking, funny, introspective, angry, and masterfully-crafted.
No one writes lust and life and our secrets, fantasy and actual, like this. If you are breathing, Lynne Savitt's poems are a must.
--Leo Connellan, poet laureate of Connecticut
Ambulance sirens ring through her words with the same burning intensity for life…$6.00 | 48 Pages | In Stock: 2 copies
Murderer's Day by E. M. Schorb
Purdue University Press, 1998
Winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize.
Cover art: "The Fire," by E. M. Schorb
E. M. Schorb has published two previous collections, The Poor Boy and Other Poems and 50 Poems. His work has appeared in major literary publications here and abroad, and he is a recent recipient of a fellowship in literature from the North Carolina Arts Council.
"The poems of E. M. Schorb shine calmly even as they buzz with energy; are connaissant with world and yet transcendant of it; make something deeply funny and yet highly sad - given a world and a time and a good mind's eye. This is the work of a mature intelligence, its ironies unadulterated by cynicism, and its swells informed by understatement. A feisty book, a confident book, and in its own way, a furiously festive one."$8.00 | ISBN: 9781557531209 | 112 Pages | 5 copies
Belly by Steven Schreiner
Červená Barva Press, 2015
STEVEN SCHREINER is the author of the collection Too Soon to Leave and the chapbook Imposing Presence, and co-author with Allison Cundiff of In Short, a Memory of the Other on a Good Day. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Poetry, Image, Colorado Review, River Styx and December, and numerous anthologies. He is the recipient of fellowships from the VCCA, Tall Rock Retreat, and The National Writer's Voice of the YMCA. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is the founding editor of Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature.
Cover art: Ethan Shaltout and Steven Schreiner
Belly is a sequence of confessions. It is a quiet yet intense journey into the deepest wells of a maturing heart. Schreiner writes movingly about the painful transience of love and loss, the forces of memory and childhood, delineated by the revision of seasons and the symbolism of flowers as death, as remembrance. Belly reconciles the permanence of family in all its anguish and grief with the consciousness and inevitability of what supremely makes us human: forgiveness.
Steven Schreiner reaches his summit in this remarkably vivid, darkly truthful, and often heartbreaking book of memories, losses and longings, the work of experience.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-8-1 | 80 Pages | In Stock
Paul Celan and the Messiah's Broken Levered Tongue: An Exponential Dyad
by Daniel Y. Harris and Adam Shechter
Červená Barva Press, 2010
As Ron Sukenick so aptly put it in his last book "Mosaic Man," Jews are both proto and posthuman. Adam Shechter and Daniel Y. Harris are possessed of that molten globe of fiery perdition that draws the brighter children of the tribe to the flame. Add poetry and oy! What can I say? Shechter and Harris have made another journey to the hellchamber of Jewish mystery/creation/death and came out in company, a big company that includes a lot of fried geniuses, but most of all they came out, and it's good to see them.
—Andrei Codrescu (www.codrescu.com), is the author of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Princeton University Press) and edits Exquisite Corpse at (www. corpse.org).
I can't begin to comprehend/surround all that is transpiring here in this Harris/Shechter collaboration/fusion—I'll need other readings toward adequate bearings—but as Seine suicide Paul Celan hovers among these pages of prayerful heresies—"no Shabbos-always Shabbos"—I experience a language that wields "pen as scalpel," and I feel flayed but grateful for this awakening into wild inquiry/attack. By way of thousands of years of Jewish history & of their own lives slashed out in poems & prose pieces of mesmerizing power, even as they wonder if they've gone too far, these two visionaries/revisionists have made something powerful & new here, something of charismatic complication. Oi Vey, & mazel tov.
—William Heyen, author of Shoah Train: Poems, finalist for the National Book Award
Adam Shechter is from Un-Brooklyn, the imperceptible imperialist brownstone aesthetic of 1989 Prospect Park West benches by Garfield Street. Adam has never been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review and this fact is likely to never change. For this reason, he started the online journal, The Blue Jew Yorker. Sadly, this quaintly anarchistic periodical has not found its reputation competitive with the above named titans of publishing. Still, Mr. Shechter receives great emotional satisfaction in publishing authors and artists in the journal. A tragic and ironic fact of Adam's life is that his neighborhood of birth and raising, Park Slope, now houses some of the most successful authors of the writing world. Roger Cohen moved in next to his parents, a house where the fabled Christiansen family once lived. In line with Freud, listening to the same song over and over is one of Adam's favorite hobbies.
Daniel Y. Harris, M.Div, holds a Master of Arts in Divinity from The University of Chicago, where he specialized in Jewish theology and comparative religion and wrote his dissertation on The Zohar. He is the author of Unio Mystica (Cross-Cultural Communications Press, 2009) and Hyperlinks of Anxiety (forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press, 2012). He is the associate editor of The Blue Jew Yorker. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Among his credits are: The Pedestal Magazine, Exquisite Corpse, In Posse Review, European Judaism, SoMa Literary Review, Mad Hatters' Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Wheelhouse Magazine, Moria, Ygdrasil, Wilderness House Literary Review, Poetry Magazine.com, Denver Quarterly, Convergence, Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture and The Other Voices International Among his art exhibitions credits are: The Jewish Community Library of San Francisco, Market Street Gallery, The Euphrat Museum and The Center for Visual Arts. His website is www.danielyharris.com.
Review in The Pedestal:
Review in The Jewish Forward by Jake Marmer: http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/132899/
Paul Celan and the Messiah’s Broken Levered Tongue was picked as one of the 5 most important poetry books of 2010 by The Jewish Daily Forward. http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/134268/$7.00 | 58 Pages
Out of Stock
From Tehran To Texas by Roger Sedarat
Červená Barva Press, 2008
Roger Sedarat's poetry collection, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, won Ohio University Press's Hollis Summers Award. His poems have also appeared in such journals as New England Review, Poet Lore, and Iranian.com. He is the recipient of scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference as well as a St. Botolph Society poetry grant. He teaches poetry and translation in the MFA program at Queens College, City University of New York.
To Part Is to Die a Little by Claudia Serea
Červená Barva Press, 2015
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Word Riot, Apple Valley Review, The Red Wheelbarrow, and many others. A four-time Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she is the author of three other full-length collections: Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, Canada, 2012), A Dirt Road Hangs From the Sky (8th House Publishing, Canada, 2013), and Nothing Important Happened Today (Broadstone Books, forthcoming, 2016). Her poem My Father’s Quiet Friends in Prison, 1958-1962 received the New Letters Readers Award in 2013. Serea co-hosts The Williams Readings poetry series in Rutherford, NJ, and she is the founding editor of the National Translation Month. More at cserea.tumblr.com.
Serea's poems instantiate with startling clarity and empathy what it means to be at once deeply rooted in the world and permanently dislocated, a cultural curator and translator, a juggler of conflicting desires. Her pendulum-like sway between her homeland, Romania, and the adopted/adoptive one, America, creates a fluid space of in-betweenness that allows her transnational speakers to choose not to choose, and to articulate, instead, what it means to live attuned to the distinct textures of these two worlds' beauty and grit, to their flute songs and "half-lit solitude[s]." Her incisive eye gives us the "Plexiglass politeness" of America alongside the de-humanizing deprivations of life in (post-) communist Romania, the guarded emotions of New World suburbia alongside the odyssean waiting that has become her parents' life in the village house with a "wasps' nest in its bosom" and chickens ready "to scratch the road for coins and worms."
To Part Is to Die a Little is a spare yet rapturous chant about an unending emigration and the continuous return to the soul of one culture in the language of another.
—Mihaela Moscaliuc, author of Father Dirt (Alice James Books, 2010)
Readers of To Part Is to Die a Little should prepare for an emotional journey, as they witness dramatic changes in the speaker's character and her surroundings. Deeply moving poems chronicle poignant milestones spanning from the speaker’s decision to leave her country of birth to settling into her country of choice, adopting her new life and seemingly making peace with an inherent duality voiced as "Let me be the pendulum/between my two lives." We meet and sympathize with poignant and vivid characters such as a Thai busboy, a Russian grocery bagger, Danny-the-butcher and other "Stars of the Underground." Congratulations to Claudia Serea for a well-crafted and brilliantly structured book!$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-5-0 | 96 Pages | In Stock
—Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, author of The Porcupine of Mind
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)
Across Stones Of Bad Dreams
Poems by Zvi A. Sesling
Červená Barva Press, 2010
Zvi A. Sesling has published poems in Midstream, Saranac Review, New Delta Review, Voices Israel Anthology, Cyclamens & Swords, Ship of Fools, The Chaffin Journal, Poetica, Ibbetson Street, Istanbul Literary Review, Illya's Honey, Wavelength, Asphodel, Main Channel Voices and Hazmat Review, and many others. In 2004 he was awarded Third Place in the Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition and in 2007 he received First Prize in the Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. He was selected to read his poetry at New England/Pen "Discovery" in 2008 by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish. He is editor of the Muddy River Poetry Review.
January 17, 2010
Review: Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
This great chapbook is about the giant dumpster of memory in the realm of past loves gone dead. The image of death carries right into the end, where Sesling imagines heaven as a welcoming place with a beautiful aquamarine sky like his mother’s ring…and yet there are his mother and father and relatives still instilling guilt and criticism and where “Piles of ancestors like old newspapers in the basement/will present themselves as headlines for me to acknowledge,…the sun yellow as the stars my aunts, uncles, cousins wore.” Only “Dogs from my past will bound forward through green fields,/tails wagging a quick metronome to their happy bark…” Continued...$7.00 | 38 Pages | In Stock
POEMS by Don Share
Zoo Press, 2002
Union presents a moving and original combination of vernacular directness, subtlety of tone and cadence, and imaginative vigor. Poems of mythologized autobiography--grief for a smashed marriage, for a lost childhood--are framed within the larger historical and political context of the poet's pained reckoning with his native Tennessee. --Rosanna Warren
Share's quest takes him back into the green heart of the country, looking down Union Avenue in Memphis where the Arkansas joins the Mississippi, flowing toward the Gulf, and where "the past still hurts, and gets sung about." Like those earlier singers, Whitman and Dickey, Don Share discovers again the distinctly American narrative, "the original catastrophe of our history," as he calls it: "We fought America in ourselves." And still fight, I might add. I delight in the precision of these chiseled poems and in the sizeable, important ambition of Share's imagination. --David Baker
But Union also sings the eternal concerns of love and time, death and longing...Few books are as lovely or profound. --Alice Fulton$12.00 | ISBN: 0-9708177-7-0 | 67 Pages | In Stock: 5
Bird Scarer by Glenn Sheldon
Červená Barva Press, 2008
MARTHA COLLINS-Structurally and emotionally expansive, Bird Scarer covers more territory than most first books. Beginning as a displaced Bostonian who finds himself in Chicago, where a "terrible blankness fills my eye," Sheldon next moves into a more abstract landscape, where he finds a "permanent address" that is both actual and mental. Finally, he opens his emotional eye to the variety and vibrancy of Latin America, where his travels become the metaphorical basis for a "Geography of Desire." Though often playful, the book is carefully observant and edgily serious: "I'm alert," the poet says, "like a bus rider / with a drunk driver making up / the names of the streets." Metaphors like this, usually emerging from setting, as well as less easily defined conceits ("The anarchists' picnic is / a disaster: Where? Why? When?"), turn these well-grounded poems into delightfully non-linear narratives that keep the reader as alert as the poet.
SUSAN AZAR PORTERFIELD-I am impressed by Sheldon's form. Always the stanza, always very regular, tercets or quatrains, etc., which seems to suggest a kind of control as does his use of short lines as well as short sentences. It suggests a kind of control and even terseness, but what I like is his unexpected bloom or rush of thought and/or feeling that really comes through. In other words, he gets us to ride on this seemingly tidy little train, but then the journey takes us on a wilder ride than we anticipated. I like the surprise of that. I also like what I perceive to be his tone and voice. Quiet, a bit sardonic, but also heavily emotional, Bird Scarer is lovely.
JIM DANIELS-Bird Scarer is an impressive collection of poems. The voice is wise and mature. The structure of the book both clear and sophisticated. One of the things I look for in a book of poetry is an accumulation of momentum from beginning to end, and I found that here. The book creates interesting tensions in terms of place-the links between physical places and emotional landscapes are explored in all their complexities. Sheldon has a fresh voice-quirky and disarming, frank and witty. And always precise. I was struck by the consistent use of tight, packed language, and his careful use of the poetic line. I love the understated humor in many of the poems, and how he uses form to reinforce that humor. The depth and tonal richness of the comparisons seem effortless and natural, yet carry enormous weight in these poems. They roll through these poems, one after another, creating surprise, discovery, insight, throughout. And fun.
LUIS URREA-Glen Sheldon's earlier poetry is certainly filled with promise. We find a full voice in play. Perhaps the poems are shaded by his expertise in Thomas McGrath. Still, this influence does not in any way dull the poems' brio. It is as an American poet that Glenn Sheldon will ultimately be remembered (and revered). He will have a major career as a poet, as Bird Scarer reveals his full maturity and trajectory.$14.00 | ISBN: 9780615171678 | 60 Pages | In Stock: 20
Victory over the Sun The First Futurist Opera
by Aleksei Kruchenykh
Translated by Larissa Shmailo, Edited and with an introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky
Červená Barva Press, 2014
Victory over the Sun, one of the most important events in Russian Futurism and in the avant-garde in general, is not well recognized in the West. Now in a new edition of Larissa Shmailo's brilliant translation of the text, with a lively introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky, readers can appreciate the significance and innovativeness of the 1913 play. Using Shmailo's translation and Malevich's pathbreaking stage designs, the play was reconstructed and staged in 1980 to great acclaim and remains a signal accomplishment in the history of the avant-garde.
—Gerald Janecek, Author of Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism (UCSD, 1996) and Sight and Sound Entwined (Berghahn Books, 2000)
Velimir Khlebnikov, literally, missed the train on co-penning this one, contributing only a poem to Kruchenykh's libretto. Staged alongside Mayakovsky's Vladimir Mayakovsky, A Tragedy, the 1913 original production of Victory is remembered primarily for Kazimir Malevich's costumes, lighting, and set design, instigations for the Suprematism and Constructivism still to come in 1915 and 1919, respectively…. Nothing is more fitting for this centennial of "Russian Futurianism" than a celebration of Kruchenykh's great contribution to poetry, his Zaum, and not just for its verbal play – the inventive neologizing and the épater-le-bourgeois utopianism – but for the underappreciated antilyricism of his verse, as well. In communicating to us his musicality in English, Larissa Shmailo has done a remarkable job in conferring on Kruchenykh his true due as a poet.
—Alex Cigale, Translations Editor of MadHat Lit
A century ago, Aleksei Kruchenykh was the way out writer's most way out writer. If publishing today, he still would be.
—Richard Kostelanetz, Author of A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (Routledge, 1993)
Featured in Russia Beyond the Headlines: http://rbth.com/literature/2015/01/21/the_enduring_appeal_of_russias_avant-garde_43039.html$16.00 | ISBN: 978-0-692-30231-6 | 56 Pages | In Stock
Exorcism by Larissa Shmailo
Exorcism, Larissa Shmailo's second poetry CD, displays the remarkable range and electrifying vitality that have won her admirers worldwide. Following the release of The No-Net World, Larissa Shmailo returns to her deepest poetic origins, and from there, reveals an ascendancy that will mystify and astound.
A Cure For Suicide by Larissa Shmailo
Červená Barva Press, 2008
In "A Cure for Suicide” by Larissa Shmailo, Shmailo writes (as the founder of Fulcrum Magazine Philip Nikolayev points out in his introduction) as if she is …” constitutionally predestined to sing out her lines…her eyes filled with life and love, pain and death, freedom and coercion, the real of the mind and the imagined of the heart.” In the poem “Dancing with the Devil,” the poet sings about the need to throw caution to the wind and trip the light fantastic with the Devil:
“They say if you flirt with death,
you’re going to get a date;
But I don’t mind—the music’s fine,
And I love dancing with someone who can really lead.”
Shmailo put herself in the deceptive calmness of the eye of a hurricane, asks us to tell her what makes us tic, and takes us on the Harlem River Line, like the “Duke” took us on the “A” train. In a sea of mimics this poet is an original voice.
~Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update/ May 2008
Gently Read Literature Review:
The No-Net World
by Larissa Shmailo
FROM THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE:
Listening to poet and translator Larissa Shmailo’s latest spoken word CD is almost like attending eighteen short plays in the span of forty minutes. Like the best plays, each poem tells a compelling story of human struggle... Like the best plays, her poems also crackle with breathtaking language, which in the true tradition of the tragedies of which she speaks almost sound as if they could be sung (indeed, in some cases they almost are). Shmailo’s expert understanding of the close relationship between poetry and drama, music and language, and the primal human need to just hear a really, really good story make The No-Net World a truly unique contribution to twenty-first century American poetry, and a CD worth listening to frequently and carefully.
“How My Family Survived the Camps,” [IS] the strongest, the most important poem here, and one which clearly is based on personal (or at least familial) experience, and one which carries great emotional power. In it she describes the combination of luck and ingenuity that enabled her family to survive the Holocaust.
FROM NEW CENTURY:$11.99 | Audio CD | In Stock: 2
Intense and poignant.
Geography of Love and Exile by Susannah Simpson
Červená Barva Press, 2016
Susannah spent much of her childhood in Kabul, Afghanistan and spoke Farsi as a child. She has been a waitress, a founding member of the Ad Hoc Players, learned to wield a grease gun at at an auto repair garage, worked on locked psychiatric wards and as a Hospice nurse held the hands of the dying. She is the Expressive Writing Specialist at a residential treatment center in West Palm Beach,FL.
In Geography of Love and Exile, Susannah Simpson explores the deepest of human desires: to belong to this world. Through language translucent with longing, she introduces us to her many worlds. We walk with her through the bazaars of Kabul, experience the sensual pleasure of s'mores over a campfire in upstate New York, witness the red-shouldered hawk's shadow "looping across canal water" in Florida. All the while, Simpson's inner landscape-of loss, loneliness, love-accompanies us along the way. To read this remarkable collection is to explore how the places in our lives shape who we are-and sometimes, if we are fortunate, help us to feel a little less alone.
-Mary Reynolds Thompson, author of Embrace Your Inner Wild and Reclaiming the Wild Soul
I couldn't read Geography of Love and Exile without thinking of Zora Neale Hurston's line-"Ships at a distance have every man's wish aboard." Or, I would add, even ships at anchorage, ships moored to the quay, temporarily in port, poised to continue a voyage, contain our yearning, our restlessness, our hunger for both memory and renewal, for unchartered distance and unrelenting intimacy. This, then, is the spirit and the soul of Susannah Simpson's powerful work, each poem a vessel of a journey taken, lost, interrupted, unfinished, redeemed.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9981027-2-6 | 67 Pages | In Stock
-Bob Shaccochis, author of Swimming in the Volcano; The Immaculate Invasion; The Next New World; Domesticity, and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
The Boy's Nightmare and other poems by Mary McLaughlin Slechta
The Feral Press, 2006
Circle Straight Back by Noel Sloboda
Červená Barva Press, 2012
Originally from Massachusetts, Noel Sloboda lived in Missouri while earning his Ph.D. from Washington University. He currently serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Company and teaches at Penn State York. The author of the poetry collection Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008), he has also published several chapbooks. Learn more here: http://www2.yk.psu.edu/sites/njs16/
“In that ghostly area between flash fiction and prose poems, you’ll find the work of Noel Sloboda. At his best, his dry humor and easy way with a sentence propel you forward from each piece into the next. Not only will Sloboda show you where you’ve been in the world, he’ll let you know a bit about the future, too. His characters, ‘hungry for redemption,’ are the real achievement in this kind of short work. Solidly real, honest and forthright, they’ll stick with you like early childhood memories recalled by chance in the day-to-day struggle of living.”
A tyrannosaurus and a triceratops put their heads together and guessed what would inevitably happen to all the dinosaurs, but the two could not agree how the end would come about.
It will surely be a flood, boomed the tyrannosaurus.
I rather suspect meteors will rain down, countered the triceratops in a loud contralto.
They debated for some time, before finally agreeing to disagree, since preventative measures—they decided—were more important, ultimately, than causes. United, they resolved to construct a massive canoe with a great umbrella mounted in its middle. They called their craft The Salvation, and as soon as it was seaworthy, they eagerly launched. In their haste, they forgot to bring paddles, and so the tyrannosaurus and triceratops drifted into the deeps, then drifted and drifted some more.
“It seems,” said the triceratops with an ironic smirk, “we’ve designed our own undoing. Surely, we’ll both starve out here.”
“One of us won’t,” said the tyrannosaurus, a gleam in one of his yellow eyes, which had a center shaped like a sharp tooth.
When he had finished his meal, the tyrannosaurs sighed heavily, regretting that his arms were too little to wipe his chops. Then he took down the umbrella and waited for the meteors.
Flash Fiction Chronicles:$7.00 | 34 Pages | In Stock
The White Cypress by Judith Skillman
Červená Barva Press, 2011
Judith Skillman is the author of thirteen full-length books of poetry. Her collection, Heat Lightning: New and Selected Poems 1986 – 2006 was published by Silverfish Review Press. She is the recipient of an award from the Academy of American Poets for Storm, Blue Begonia Press, 1998. She has also received grants from King County Arts Commission and Washington State Arts Commission.
Judith Skillman’s new collection, The White Cypress, is a finely textured weave that astutely examines the “seven deadly sins” from varying points-of-view. Certainty is erased as the reader is immersed in a mercurial blend of myth and personal history. Though we learn that “stunting” can be caused by denial, there is also a “violence in pleasure and leisure” as subtext. Each cherub embodies a nymph, the exotic the familiar. Using crafty fluctuation, these poems dislocate the reader so that firm ground is not an option. Skillman’s world is strangely fluid, yet layered with complexities that complement one moment and subtly contradict the next. The White Cypress asks us to ponder the residual problems of naming (our) “sins.”
—Katherine Soniat, author of The Swing Girl
Judith Skillman’s poems are finely hewn, well-balanced, and compelling. Whatever her subject matter—ants, a lemon, September, a harbor, a plum tree—her pieces unfurl, progress, and culminate seamlessly; narratives, portraiture, and commentaries infused with palpable images, lines destined for epigraphy. This is poetry worth reading and rereading.
—John Amen, author of At the Threshold of Alchemy, editor of The Pedestal Magazine
Skillman’s poem embrace matter rather than meaning, and all manner of matter—from the Hellenic to the Hebrew, from the heroic to the quotidian. All are pumped and stitched into the skillful skein of Skillman’s work.
—Meredith Davies Hathaway, Poetry International
As one privileged to hold a front-row seat to the blossoming of Judith Skillman as an award-winning poet, I am always happy to treat myself to more of the apt language that she uses to illuminate the intricacies of human relationships. I saw the flowering of this talent, and am happy to add my voice as witness to its craft and its power.
—Jesse Glass, author of The Passion of Phineas Gage & Selected Poems, Professor, Meikei University, Tokyo, editor of Ahadada Press
The White Cypress is reviewed in The Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9831041-2-4 | 67 Pages | In Stock
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Heat Lightning 1986-2006 by Judith Skillman
Silverfish Review Press, 2006
Judith Skillman lets us see through her to ourselves, not as through a glass darkly, but with glorious light.
--Stephen Meats, Editor, The Midwest Quarterly
Judith Skillman has already amply demonstrated her ability to document the fragile ecology of domestic relationships with the resolutely unsentimental eye of the naturalist.$15.95 | ISBN: 1-878851-23-3 | 145 Pages | In Stock: 5
--Deborah Woodward, Prairie Schooner
EDGES O Israel O Palestine by Leora Skolkin-Smith
Glad Day Books, 2005
Edges is an elegant and moving novel. Leora Skolkin Smith has that rare gift of the writer who can convey the sensibility-the essence of place and its people-with precision and clarity. A moving and provocative debut.
Katherine Weber, author of The Little Women, The Music Lesson
Summary of the novel as written on the back of the book: EDGES is set in a pre-1967 Israel and Palestine. Liana Bialik is fourteen years old when the suicide of her American father forces her to return with her sister and mother to Jerusalem where her mother was born and grew up. Liana's family were once members of the 1940's Haganah and are now living among the complex tensions of Israel's modernalization and expansion. Liana learns about her mother's childhood in the old city, her tragic uncle. With her young lover she lives in the Palestinian world beyond Jerusalem's border. She grows away from her intense relationship with her mother into a womanhood formed by the boundary-less spaces of a lost geography and people.$15.00 | ISBN: 1-930180-14-4 | 176 Pages | In Stock: 5
Little Things by Harry Smith
Presa :S: Press, 2009
"Harry Smith's poetry can summon a Whitmanesque majesty and scope... and like Walt, bears witness to the movement of the giant wheel of culture and history."$13.95 | ISBN: 978-0-9800081-3-5 | 78 Pages | 3 copies
—Phil Wagner in The Iconoclast
Up North by Harry Smith and Eric Greinke
PRESA :S: PRESS, 2006
(From the back cover) The 30 short poems in Up North evoke "that Northern feeling" & the universal mystery of time & space. Going up North is like traveling to another time. The radical special differences between urban & rural places encourage one to appreciate the relationships between people & nature from a fresh perspective.
Dancing Embers by Sandor Kanyadi
Translated by Paul Sohar
Twisted Spoon Press, 2002
Sándor Kányádi was born in 1929 in the small Transylvanian village of Galambfalva to a family of farmers. Since 1950 he has lived in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) Romania. A graduate in Hungarian philology from Bólyai University, he has served as editor on a number of Hungarian-language journals and magazines. Since his first book of poetry appeared in 1955 he has published over a dozen volumes. His translation work includes both Saxon folk songs and Yiddish folk poetry from Transylvania — in bilingual volumes — as well as contemporary Romanian poets and the major German and French poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. His is the recipient of the Poetry Prize of the Romanian Writers’ Union and the Kossuth Prize in Hungary, the preeminent literary awards of their respective countries, the Austrian Herder Prize, and the Central European Time Millenium Prize (2000). Kányádi now divides his time between Budapest and his cottage in the Transylvanian countryside.
Paul Sohar was born in Hungary and came to the United States after the revolution in 1956, earning a B.A. from the University of Illinois. A poet in his own right, his translations of Hungarian poets have appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies, including the bilingual volume Maradok-I Remain (Pro-Print, 1997).$13.00 | ISBN: 978-8086264-04-2 | 180 Pages | 4 copies in Stock
Homing Poems by Paul Sohar
Iniquity Press, 2005
In my poetry volume "Homing Poems" some of my poems appear in Hungarian translation too, because the book was printed in Transylvania.
Paul Sohar took BA in philosophy and a day job in a lab while publishing seven volumes of translations. Now two volumes of his own poetry are available: "Homing Poems" from Iniquity Press (2005) and "The Wayward Orchard," a prize winner from Wordrunner Press (2011). His prose work "True Tales of a Fictitious Spy" was published by SynergeBooks in 2006. He has translated two Hungarian bestsellers; "Far from Nothing" was published in Toronto (2006) and "The Club at Eddy's Bar" is scheduled for June release by Pheaton Press (Dublin, Ireland). His play "The Renewal" is now in print from One Act Depot (Canada); magazine credits include Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle, Bewildering Stories, and anthologies such as Budapest Tales and Bucharest Tales, etc.$13.00 | ISBN: 9781877968358 | 147 Pages | 4 copies in Stock
Maradok-I Remain by Paul Sohar
Csikszereda: Pro-Print Konyvkiado, 1997
Paul Sohar took BA in philosophy and a day job in a lab while publishing seven volumes of translations. Now two volumes of his own poetry are available: "Homing Poems" from Iniquity Press (2006) and "The Wayward Orchard," a prize winner from Wordrunner Press (2011). His prose work "True Tales of a Fictitious Spy" was published by SynergeBooks in 2006. He has translated two Hungarian bestsellers; "Far from Nothing" was published in Toronto (2006) and "The Club at Eddy's Bar" is scheduled for June release by Pheaton Press (Dublin, Ireland). His play "The Renewal" is now in print from One Act Depot (Canada); magazine credits include Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle, Bewildering Stories, and anthologies such as Budapest Tales and Bucharest Tales, etc.$9.00 | ISBN: 9789739311090 | 431 Pages | 5 copies in Stock
True Tales of a Fictitious Spy
by Ferenc Aladár Györgyey with Paul Sohar
A former political prisoner takes a satirical look at the Stalinist prison-camp system in Hungary through a series of misadventures which he recounts with uniquely Central European irony, giving his creative nonfiction a surrealist dimension – Kafka meets Solyzhenitsyn as the anti-hero Ferenc Aladár Györgyey presents his version of Ivan Denisovich in this Hungarian gulag grotesquerie.
Paul Sohar took BA in philosophy and a day job in a lab while publishing seven volumes of translations. Now two volumes of his own poetry are available: "Homing Poems" from Iniquity Press (2006) and "The Wayward Orchard," a prize winner from Wordrunner Press (2011). His prose work "True Tales of a Fictitious Spy" was published by SynergeBooks in 2006. He has translated two Hungarian bestsellers; "Far from Nothing" was published in Toronto (2006) and "The Club at Eddy's Bar" is scheduled for June release by Pheaton Press (Dublin, Ireland). His play "The Renewal" is now in print from One Act Depot (Canada); magazine credits include Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle, Bewildering Stories, and anthologies such as Budapest Tales and Bucharest Tales, etc.$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0744310740 | 294 Pages | 3 copies in Stock
Mudsong by Michael Spring
Pygmy Forest Press, 2005
In poems made of muck, time, magic and jazz, Michael Spring's Mudsong reminds us that nature, ours and the world's, is at once organic and mysterious… --Lex Runciman
…This is a stellar collection, dramatically envisioned, beautifully crafted.$12.00 | ISBN: 0-944550-71-1 | 76 Pages | In Stock: 3
--John Amen, Pedestal Magazine
Partner, Orchard, Day Moon by Michael Todd Steffen
Červená Barva Press, 2014
Cover Art: Irene Koronas
Michael Todd Steffen’s poems and articles have appeared in Connecticut Review, Poem (HLA), ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Ibbetson Street, Wilderness House Literary Review, Muddy River Poetry Review and in the window of the Grolier Poetry Bookshop. A graduate of Belmont in Nashville, on a Rotary International Fellowship he studied and taught in England and France. He was awarded the 2007 Somerville Newswriters Festival poetry prize, and currently lives in Cambridge where he writes and works for non-profits.
I've just come back from reading the poems in Partner, Orchard, Day Moon, full of admiration. Steffen is so alive in his writing, keen with observation, both of what things actually look like, what the wind feels like, how things grow and rot, and also of character, his own, his uncles', anybody's he sees. The book gives us many wonderfully memorable lines using his chosen meter for all its worth. This is very good work.
"A very moving collection of poems. I’m enjoying reading — and re-reading—the poems."
—Kathleen Spivack, author of With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others
Poet to Poet: Michael Todd Steffen, author of Partner, Orchard, Day Moon (Cervena Barva Press, 2014) interviewed by Doug Holder on SCAT TV.
March, 17, 2014; Boston Area Small Press & Poetry Scene:$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9883713-2-3 | 61 Pages | In Stock
Family Matters: Homage to July, The Slave Girl by Shelby Stephenson
Bellday Books, 2008
An intense and heart-breaking poetic narrative which, in its exploration of historical and personal materials, holds affinities to the work of Susan Howe and to James Agee’s classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Family Matters is a strenuous questioning — and exposure — of the fictions of ownership, whether of persons or places, graves or farms.$14.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9793376-1-1 | 58 Pages | 5 copies
—Allen Grossman, final judge, 2008 Bellday Prize competition.
Or So It Seems by Paul Steven Stone
Blind Elephant Press, 2008
"Or So it Seems" offers a breathtaking but comical look at one man's spiritual journey. As we meet Paul Peterson he is being dragged reluctantly toward an oversized couch by a wine-emboldened, faded beauty named Allison Pratt. As a former member of The Seekers For Truth, a school of self development, Peterson holds a mystical view of the universe through which he examines the chain of events that have brought him to this absurdly humorous personal crisis. The novel follows Peterson's Do-It-Yourself Workshop, a supernatural, self-examination that takes him back and forth in time. Along the way, he is joined by a Hindu Holy Man known as The Bapucharya. Greatly amused by Peterson's life challenges, the irrepressible Bapucharya plays both Greek Chorus and Sancho Panza to Mr. Peterson's comically tragic hero. It is Peterson's search for answers to the mysteries of his life that this fantastic tale speeds us through, with a conclusion as startling as it is supremely fitting. You have never before read a novel like this!
One of the few incompetent managers not appointed to a position of high responsibility in American government, Paul Steven Stone has contented himself with being a creative director in advertising, a columnist, an environmental and human rights activist and a dime store philosopher. He presently works as Director of Advertising for W.B. Mason (Who But W.B. Mason!) and lives in Cambridge, Mass. with his lovely companion and wife, Amy. For the record, it took him 11 years to write “Or So It Seems.”$20.00 | ISBN: 978-1438207698 | 434 Pages | 2 in stock
How To Train A Rock
Short insights and Fiction Flights
by Paul Steven Stone
Blind Elephant Press, 2009
A collection of 'short insights and fiction flights' culled from over 20 years of the author's newspaper columns. Each one a highly polished gem. These short pieces are often funny, occasionally profound, generally insightful and always creative. Stone knows how to surprise the reader with twist endings, unexpected points of view and more narrative styles than a roomful of writers. You will be delighted.
Author of the innovative, comic novel, "Or So It Seems", Paul Steven Stone has contented himself with being a creative director in advertising, a newspaper columnist, an environmental and human rights activist and a dime store philosopher. He presently works as Director of Advertising for W.B. Mason (Who But W.B. Mason!) and lives in Cambridge with his lovely companion and wife, Amy. And did we mention Katie, Kristin and Jesse, Stone's three wonderful adult children...?$15.00 | ISBN: 978-1442117211 | 189 Pages | 1 in stock
The Art of Waving by Tim Suermondt
Červená Barva Press, 2014
Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections: TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and JUST BEAUTIFUL from New York Quarterly Books, 2010. He has published poems in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review and Stand Magazine (U.K.) and has poems forthcoming in Gargoyle, A Narrow Fellow and Plume Poetry Journal among others. After many years in Queens and Brooklyn, he has moved to Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.
"Tim Suermondt's poems in this new collection are open, friendly and inviting, in "the voice of our familiarity," but always with a profound or humorous twist. He is devoted "to a bravery found only in the details," to the "the raspberries and the ball games," or his wife "in a strange and beautiful hat," as well as to the dreams, disappointments and possibilities of everyday existence. Not for him the modish pessimism and linguistic difficulties of much of contemporary poetry. "When my wife puts on some Schubert," he says, "I'm sure the world will never end/ and neither will we." Here is a poet who communicates directly and has some hope for us. The apparent simplicity and genial humor of these marvelous poems are grounded in an artful subtlety that reflects the way life really is."
Cover Art: "Skull in a Landscape" (1946) by Edward Burra$7.00 | 28 Pages | In Stock
Everything Happens Suddenly by Roberta Swann
Červená Barva Press, 2010
Roberta Swann was program director of the Great Hall at Cooper Union and co-founder of the American Jazz Orchestra. Her poetry and fiction appear in many literary journals. She has taught at the Cooper Union, Indiana University, The New School, Baruch College and the Bennington Writing Workshops.
“Roberta Swann’s poems have a welcome vivacity; they are deft and full of charm and humor. But not entirely. Many of the poems record appealing moments of the natural world and yet sometimes, as she writes, ‘Abandonment is Nature’s way.’ In a poem that begins with recognition of the failing state of her mother, the last stanza begins ‘A bear is at the bird-feeder.’ It is this mixture of light and dark–the embrace of all of it–that is her special gift. Much pleasure lies within the pages of her book.”
“What’s the secret to Roberta Swann’s funny, inventive and moving poems about the natural world? I think it’s her voice, full of humorous aplomb and unflinching honesty. She knows how to balance sadness with happiness. Just as she moves back and forth from city to country, she can also gracefully cross the dangerous bridge between despair–at a beloved mother’s decline–and joy–at the antics of a big brown bear or a grizzled old squirrel. She’s able to see herself inside of nature, not outside. ‘You'll be stardust. I will too’.”$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9844732-4-3 | 72 Pages | In Stock