North American: Authors A to D
(USA / Canada / Caribbean)

A - D | E- L | M - P | R- Z

Rosa Alcalá Undocumentaries

Published 2010. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848610729 [Download a sample from this book here.]

'Rosa Alcalá, originally from Paterson, N.J. is a true daughter of W.C. Williams with a distinct, gutsy, and penetrating identity twining a public poeisis with her own luminous particulars. I know of no one else writing such poems that cut into and reenact the "plebeian" with such personal force, eloquence, and skill. "The syntax of worry rewrites cellular codes" she writes and then proceeds to investigate and expose the Industrial Age and its "genetic drifts". A worker is "fighting like a girl for gloves", a kind of child's cognitive dissonance documents improperly stored chemicals, "the deep sleep of field hands" stirs memory as does the more current and common "paycheck clean of union dues." Undocumentaries is Archive made Poetry. "Factory is both fact and act and/mere letters away from face/and story…" Alcalá's imagination and language disarmingly penetrate and extend these powerful devices and activating signals. The face we see is hers and our culture's own. I celebrate this book.' —Anne Waldman. 

Picture of book cover Rosa Alcalá Undocumentaries
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Rosa Alcalá The Lust of Unsentimental Waters

Published 2012. Paperback, 90pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848612334 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Rosa Alcalá's poems dwell in the liminal space between the personal and the political — poems built on the idea that "the world exists," and that work to define the metaphysical and ephemeral architectures of origin, migration, nationalism, and loss. Rosa Alcalá is uncompromising, wry, and brutal: all of the qualities that significant poetic works of cultural criticism require." —Carmen Giménez Smith

Picture of book cover Rosa Alcalá The Lust of Unsentimental Waters
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Merle Lyn Bachman: Diorama with Fleeing Figures

Published 2009. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848610125 [Download a sample from this book here.]

The poems in Diorama with Fleeing Figures delicately point to devastating historical events. Instead of mounting judgments, the poems accrue power gently, even stealthily. Evoking a language at once lost, familiar, original, and dying, they balance fragments of culture, with a locus of Jewish Eastern Europe, against intimate imagery of the body — "the most confused part of the forest."

Picture of book cover Merle Lyn Bachman: Diorama with Fleeing Figures
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Merle Lyn Bachman  Blood Party

Published 2015. Paperback, 104pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18  
ISBN 9781848614147 [Download a sample PDF from this book 
here.]

“Memory has its own architecture, its own geography. Yet, as Merle Bachman demonstrates in Blood Party, these are mutable—stretching and contracting within the space of experience: strafing events to get at their illogic and yet/memory, remaking. Bachman’s beautifully crafted, acutely sensitive poems adroitly combine history, autobiography, and lyric meditation. If space is ‘the externalization of what you really are,’ then Bachman risks sculpting space in a boldly disclosive and passionate way. This is a poetry that sends messages into the hidden sites of memory and returns with color, form, and commitment.” — Elizabeth Robinson

 
Cover of Merle Bachman - Blood Party
 
Rachel Tzvia Back: On Ruins & Return

Published 2007. Paperback, 104pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17.
ISBN 9781905700370 [Download a sample from this book here.]

On Ruins & Return: Poems 1999-2005 is Rachel Tzvia Back's second full-length collection and tracks the cycle of violence marking the lives of Palestinians and Israelis in the last intifadah (uprising).

Picture of book cover Rachel Tzvia Back: On Ruins & Return
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Andre Bagoo Trick Vessels

Published 2012. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848612037 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Aptly titled are these poems: they are like vials without bottoms… held up, looked through, a universe can be discerned. They pour and continue to pour a mixture of guile and subterfuge, language that contradicts, and bargains for its own sanity, contents in volume denying the size of these trick vessels."  — Mervyn Taylor

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Andre Bagoo  Burn

Longlisted for the Bocas Literature Prize, 2016. 
Published 2015. Paperback, 70pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848614154 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 

“Shapely intimations of disaster, poems of incendiary grace.” 
—Mervyn Morris, Poet Laureate of Jamaica

Burn is a kaleidoscopic, surreal and stunning collection. Bagoo forges carnivalesque, enigmatic, experimental, vivid, wild and wonder-inspiring poems full of verve and utterly fresh language that are, by turns, eerie, elegiac, fleshy, pensive, mournful, rhapsodic and absolutely scorching…
      Poems traverse geographical locations, from his island home of Trinidad, to other Caribbean islands and as far distant as Iceland. There, personal and societal angst, passions and pleasures are held up to a ‘sea of mirrors,’ into which we gaze. Bagoo explores daily life, love, art, history, literature, myth, popular culture, ritual and the molten ground of memory, bringing together and animating douens, lionfish, Auden, Mozart, Caravaggio and Tchaikovsky, among other figures. Bring the fire, burn.”  
—Loretta Collins-Klobah
Cover of Andre Bagoo - Burn
 
Dennis Barone Parallel Lines

Published 2011. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611627 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

I have organized Parallel Lines somewhat chronologically. There are stylistic (not thematic) groupings which break the chronology and there are repetitions, such as a number of "breath" poems, which go counter to the breaks and provide connections. The longest poem, 'Scarf', wanders and a scarf, as you know, can be wrapped around anything, any subject. Or a scarf can be comforting, keep you warm, or make you fashionable. Or it might be used by the magician for conjuring acts. For me in writing 'Che Tempo', one of the shortest poems in Parallel Lines, I heard in my head Marcello Mastroianni and a sort of post-war angst in the midst of la dolce vita. (Dennis Barone) Read more by clicking on the cover.

Picture of book cover Dennis Barone Parallel Lines
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Ellen Baxt: Analfabeto / An Alphabet

Published 2007. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15.
ISBN 9781905700363 [Download a sample from this book here.]

Analfabeto / An Alphabet was written in Recife, Brazil, and Brooklyn, New York. Part dictionary, part travel diary, part historical record, it crosses genre boundaries narrating a story of fragmented shifts in identity — cultural, gendered and sexual. It addresses the complications of translation, not only linguistic translation, but also the multiple ways we translate ourselves when we are away from whatever we might call "home."

Picture of book cover Ellen Baxt: Analfabeto / An Alphabet
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Debby Jo Blank The Explosion of Binary Stars

Published 2012. Paperback, 86pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611979 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The Explosion of Binary Stars explores themes of loss in the author's own life and in the lives of her patients. The themes are universal: divorce, breast cancer, war, addiction, PTSD, ageing, depression and, most importantly in this book, the death of a sibling. The book is not maudlin, rather the intimate poems invite the reader to enjoy an honesty that ultimately celebrates life, while funny poems about love and travel are scattered throughout as a balm.

Picture of book cover Debby Jo Blank The Explosion of Binary Stars
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Joseph Bradshaw In the Common Dream of George Oppen

Published 2011. Paperback, 90pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611498 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Comprised of both poetry and essays, Joseph Bradshaw's In the Common Dream of George Oppen makes its premise to imagine what bodies of work might exist in Oppen's fabled 25 year silence. By turns, the book forcefully projects a singularly fabricated biography onto the figure of Oppen, then self-reflexively retracts, divagating through a poet's desire for mentorship and community. Bringing in everything from ruminations on blurry memories of Idaho's landscape, to dialogues held across centuries & continents with the likes of figures such as the Elephant Man, In the Common Dream of George Oppen brushes up against the fragile boundary between the finished and the unfinished poem, or a finished or unfinished life.

Picture of book cover Joseph Bradshaw In the Common Dream of George Oppen
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Melissa Buckheit Noctilucent

Published 2012. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848612150 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems in Noctilucent begin where light exists or is created in darkness, a paradox. But this is not "dark / light" of metaphor, but of the real and of relationship, where algae illumines the deep sea, the light of dead stars reach us from deep space, and night is a doorway, an entrance into the interior — of self, other, cosmos. Melissa Buckheit bridges human experience — personal, historical, social — into this space where the very thing which is invisible or hidden, must be spoken. There is no Truth — but truths, identity, eros, suffering, loss gleam along the interstices of the lyric as meaning embedded in a strange and musical syntax. We are surprised, as if by a pale-white, fragrant Datura blooming unforgivingly in the dark of night, by her intimacy and electric force. In Noctilucent, the beloved is every human body, a decaying salmon, or the lilts of a lover's voice — our human memory in the impermanence of the world.

Picture of book cover Melissa Buckheit Noctilucent
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Carmen Bugan  Releasing the Porcelain Birds

Published 2016. Paperback, 82pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614697 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In 1989 the five members of the Bugan family were allowed to leave Ceauşescu’s Romania with one suitcase each and death-threats in their wake. In 2010 the poet Carmen Bugan took possession of 1,500 pages of Securitate files on her father and in 2013 a further 3,000 pages of secret files on her mother, sister, brother and herself. Releasing the Porcelain Birds is about the transformation of that extraordinary history of Cold War Europe into poetry; it is about writing the self free and how poetry drawn in a new and tender narrative can do this. In this manner Releasing the Porcelain Birds is one continuous poem which faces down dispossession and reaches towards exuberance. 

Cover of Carmen Bugan - Releasing the Porcelain Birds
 
Alfred Celestine  Weightless Word — Selected Poems

Edited by David Miller & Richard Leigh
Published February 2017. Paperback, 118pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18

ISBN 9781848615281 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Alfred Celestine was born in Los Angeles in 1949 and came to London in 1977, remaining there until his death in 2009. He published two books of poetry: Confessions of Nat Turner (The Many Press, 1978) and Passing Eliot in the Street (Nettle Press, 2003). Weightless Word is easily the most comprehensive selection of his poetry to date, revealing his range and power as a poet.

Cover of Alfred Celestine — Weightless Word — Selected Poems
 
Maxine Chernoff Without

Published 2012. Paperback, 86pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848611962 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The series of poems in Maxine Chernoff's Without are elegiac brushstrokes, each somewhat feathery and brushing in more than one direction, which creates tension and unexpected arrivals as well as departures: someone or something is missing. Parts of the world are wavering and parts have disappeared. What remains is treated in the subtle management of the lines without a hint of punctuation, which allows for "waves" of attention, as meaning rises and subsides. The emotional impact is powerful, as are the recognitions, such as "when darkness loses / its waiting mirror / and tuning forks / stand in for solace" and "readers asleep /mouthing their dreams / fears of whispering / become a creed / until life blurs / like any lens /that fails at attention." There's a sense of meaning passing with the solidity and darkness of time.

Picture of book cover Maxine Chernoff Without
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Tom Clark Something in the Air

Published 2010. Paperback, 128pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848611085 [Download a sample from this book here.]

A poet of original vision and gentle, careful word-shaping, Clark allows his images to merge and converge toward a resolution in which flow is not arrested but pauses to take thought; the images take over the controls and "do the talking," almost as if they had a mind of their own. What a relief when that happens, the poet confesses; he just follows along and tries to stay out of the way of whatever it is they seem to want to be saying.

And when the elements of image and sound and sense do then mysteriously come together in the moment, as Clark here proposes, "A point is fixed…"

Picture of book cover Tom Clark Something in the Air
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Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems

Published 2008. Paperback, 110pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781905700462 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Jennifer Clement has published three collections of her work in bilingual editions in Mexico, where she was born and still lives. Although better-known outside Mexico as a novelist / prose-writer (A True Story Based on LiesWidow Basquiat, Prayers for the Stolen), she has been writing poetry for many years and runs the annual San Miguel Poetry Week in San Miguel de Allende with her sister, Barbara Sibley. This volume draws on her Mexican collections and also includes more recent work.

Picture of book cover Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems
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Jennifer Clement Widow Basquiat

Published 2010. Paperback, 144pp, 8.5x5.5ins. Out of print.
ISBN 9781848610989.
Now available from Canongate in the UK and Random House in the USA.

Widow Basquiat explores the love story between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Suzanne, his muse and lover. It is also a profound portrait of New York City during the early 1980s' art scene and the striking cast of characters from that time: Andy Warhol, Madonna, Keith Haring, Debbie Harry, Julian Schnabel and William Burroughs, among others.

Picture of book cover Jennifer Clement Widow Basquiat
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Peter Cole: What is Doubled: Poems 1981-1998

Published 2005. 212pp, paperback. £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9780907562795 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume gathers between a single set of covers the two highly praised books of poems published by Peter Cole in the United States — Rift and Hymns & Qualms. The doubling of its title, however, runs deeper, and reflects Cole's long engagement with the cultures of Jerusalem and linkage at every level. Whether a poem takes up the patterns of bird flight, the Eros of speech, or the slaughter of Muslim worshippers by a Jewish settler in Hebron, the poet's concern throughout has been with forms of offering and strategies of sustenance.

Picture of book cover Peter Cole: What is Doubled: Poems 1981-1998
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Brooklyn Copeland Siphon, Harbor

Published 2012. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848612020 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems in Siphon, Harbor are what happen when the element of freshwater is allowed to wash freely over the poet's intense and unabashed observations of new romance and the capricious nature of the American Midwestern summer. Copeland, anchored by the mutuality of her themes, wastes no time in layering her own intimacies upon the intimacy she creates with her reader. From the very first page we have access to both her process and the inevitable resultant verse. This verse, which may appear self-contained and compact, is in fact pliant and reciprocal. Among love poems that are unclouded by disingenuousness or cliché, we find a love that is both succinct and expansive, like a clear, gray lake that is deeper than it is wide.

Picture of book cover Brooklyn Copeland Siphon, Harbor
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Cid Corman: Marginalia

Published 1996. 44pp, A5 Paperback, £5 / $9.95
ISBN 9780907562214

A rare UK publication for this major US poet, long resident in Japan, this is a collection of the short lyrics for which Corman (1924–2004) was renowned.

Order from Small Press Distribution

Picture of book cover Cid Corman: Marginalia
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Catherine Daly: Vauxhall

Published 2008. Paperback, 100pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781905700714 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Vauxhall is pitched where voice and experience coincide. The poems sing and dance through heavenly mansions and real bungalows, tourist traps and museums, pharmacies and vending machines. Vauxhall is a calendar. It's an "all occasion" greeting and gift.

The Hollywood pitch for Vauxhall might have been "Marianne Moore meets Joan Jett" or "Alexander Pope goes to night school."

Picture of book cover Catherine Daly: Vauxhall
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Richard Deming: Let's Not Call It Consequence

Published 2008. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781905700660 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In Let's Not Call It Consequence, Richard Deming's first full-length collection of poems, the poet brings together abstraction and precise images to explore the intensities and reversals of lyric thinking, that "infinitely stuttering thing." These poems searchingly engage the content and form of anger, violence, intimacy, and the poetics of proximity, exploring the intricacies of language use to find the ways that "to ache, so to speak, is human."

Picture of book cover Richard Deming: Let's Not Call It Consequence
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Richard Deming  Day for Night

Published 2016. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614857 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Day for Night, Richard Deming’s searching new collection of poems, takes its title from the cinematic term for shooting night scenes during the day. With a complex lyricism, these poems often explore the ways that art, in whatever form, creates the possibilities of an address by which we hope to encounter other people even as it reveals the impossibilities of ever truly knowing others or ourselves. Haunting the poems in echoes and allusions is Shakespeare’s Hamlet and that play’s profound meditation on skepticism and the role of art in knowing the self. The poems bring together high and pop culture, hope and loss, loneliness and belonging, melancholy and transcendence. Poems from this collection have appeared in such places as The Nation, The Iowa Review, The Colorado Review, American Letters & Commentary, and elsewhere.
Cover of Richard Deming - Day for Night
 
Shira Dentz black seeds on a white dish

Published 2010. Paperback, 90pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848611283 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems in black seeds on a white dish spring from the search for what is generated and discovered when loss and desire occupy the same space. But lamentation is not the primary focus—by destabilizing everything in its reach, loss disables rigidity. These poems shift widely in form and tone, and seeds invoke the creative germ that spurs the metamorphoses occupying them: "Nothing to do but let the form of things take over." Shapes themselves, including punctuation, become a language throughout.

Picture of book cover Shira Dentz black seeds on a white dish
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Shira Dentz Leaf Weather

Published 2012. Chapbook, 36pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £6.95 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848612273 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Veering — often within a single poem, often within a single line — from self-lacerating anger to desperation, from mordant satire of the confessional mode to stunned (and stunning) autobiography, from irreverence to a state of fearful silence, Leaf Weather is a 'chapbook' in no diminutive sense of the term. In 'peeling/away the sun,' Shira Dentz unlooses equal parts verbal anxiety, formal adventure, and emotional reckoning. It's one thing to write poems; it's quite another to live, as Dentz does, in the marrow of one's words." —Mark Levine

Picture of book cover Shira Dentz Leaf Weather
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Laressa Dickey Bottomland
Published 2014. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16

ISBN 9781848613263 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
Shortlisted for the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize for Best First Collection.
 
Bottomland is a collection of six longer sequences of poems: American Rough-leg; Bottomland; Catalogue of Utilities; A Pictorial History of Wilderness; Route to Cloudless: Day; and Mimesis, Synaptic. In this collection, Laressa Dickey sustains something of the spirit and space of the poem over a longer period of time, and explores the poem as an improvisational space. The poems were born in the deep chill of the Minnesota winter, and they begin out of her experience and memories of growing up on her family's tobacco farm in Tennessee, but move on to much more.
Picture of book cover Cover of Laressa Dickey Bottomland
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Laressa Dickey  Roam

Published 2016. Paperback, 96pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614864 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Roam marks a migration: back, forward and round again. Who stays? Who is allowed to roam? Mistakes, reverses—what do we take of our presence and past as we discover the world through our own perceiving? Motion comes first, then form. What is fixed? And who is with us? How does the past come toward us? How do we make sense of loss, silence? Disoriented, relating to a past that is unclear, we cannot be sure both where we are and which direction we’re moving. The question becomes where is the future? Roam proceeds toward it by echolation and witness—making something integral come alive.

Cover of Roam by Laressa Dickey
 
Joe Doerr  Tocayo — New and Selected Poems & Songs

Published August 2016. Paperback, 150pp, 9 x 6ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848614710 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

“By turns erudite and lyrical, esoteric and oracular, profane and ethereal – Joe Doerr’s Tocayo contains multitudes. This vast miscellany, a bravura poetic performance by every measure, signals the aborning of a new, necessary literary idiom for this mashed-up American age: the ineluctable punk sublime.”   —John Santos
 
“Disturbs all the codes.” —John Kinsella
Cover of Tocayo - New and Selected Poems and Songs by Joe Doerr
 
Edward Dorn Two Interviews

Edited by Gavin Selerie and Justin Katko
Published 2013. Paperback, 102pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848612785 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Edward Dorn's Two Interviews brings together two largely unseen interviews from 1971 and 1981, conducted in Vancouver and London, with Tom McGauley, Brian Fawcett, John Scoggan, Stan Persky, J.H. Prynne, Ralph Maud, and Gavin Selerie. Published alongside the interviews are uncollected extracts from Dorn's Day & Night Report (1971), extracts from his unpublished prose work Juneau in June (1981), and three uncollected poems from 1981. Along with Justin Katko's preface to the book, which focuses on Dorn and Prynne's 1971 trip to Vancouver, and an extended introduction to the 1981 interview by Gavin Selerie, which deals with Dorn's geographical and linguistic alignments, particularly those relating to his first period in England, this book includes unpublished photographs, and a bibliography of Dorn interviews.

Picture of book cover Edward Dorn Two Interviews
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Susanne Dyckman: equilibrium's form

Published 2007. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15.
ISBN 9781905700202 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In Susanne Dyckman's first full-length collection, following from her Etherdome Press chapbook published in 2005, poetic tonalities and phrasings are used to disrupt the chronology of past and present. Language plays — and replays — across the page, radiating from interiority to historical concreteness and back again. The reader is impelled through a temporal spiral, "the body as it moves in sequences of rain".

Picture of book cover Susanne Dyckman: equilibrium's form
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