North American: Authors R to Z
(USA / Canada / Caribbean)

A - D | E- L | M - P | R - Z

Eléna Rivera The Perforated Map

Published 2011. Paperback, 103pp, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611603 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

What guides us through the unknown? What offers us the keys? In The Perforated Map, Eléna Rivera’s guide is language as she attempts to navigate the distances, the disturbances, the suggestions, the mistakes, the perforations. In these poems, language is the map, the matter that fills/affects the body, the organizing principle between the self and the world, and the forms that it gives rise to. The sentence is filled with holes. What is graspable between self and other? Is not all language in transit, moving in gradations of light, between knowing and the fuzzy conveyance shaped by words whose meaning is a matter of further adumbrations? How are we able to communicate our experience? How will understanding be sparked? What message is there for the poet/the reader? That is what is at stake in these poems, finding the word, the specific word, to illuminate the way, the experience of life, this moment, this time, this period of history.

Picture of book cover Eléna Rivera The Perforated Map
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Jaime Robles Hoard

Published 2013. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848612822 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Jaime Robles' newest collection, Hoard, invites the reader to investigate the permeability of boundaries, those that connect and divide lovers, as well as the ones that contain buried treasures. The book explores how we pattern expectation, hope and loss with the same intricacy and devotion to detail and expressiveness that we use when we craft gold objects and that typifies the writing process. How these same expectations and limits are buried in one's mind/body—or, in the case of the Hoxne hoard, in the earth to be spared harm and recovered—is the central motif of this beautifully crafted book. (Maxine Chernoff)

Picture of book cover Jaime Robles Hoard
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Jaime Robles Anime Animus Anima

Published 2010. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848610880 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Anime, Animus, Anima is formed from a mass of influences but most prominently from three classic Japanese anime. Parts One and Three evolved from imagery in Ghost in the Shell (1995, Production I.G.), an adaptation of the manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, directed by Mamoru Oshii and written by Kazunori Ito, and Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2 (2004, Production I.G. and Studio Ghibli), written and directed by Mamoru Oshii. Part Two evolved from imagery in Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995, Gainax), both the television series and the movies, written and directed by Hideaki Anno. Imagery from Cowboy Bebop (1998), the Japanese animated television series directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and written by Keiko Nobumoto, appears throughout all three sections.

Picture of book cover Jaime Robles Anime Animus Anima
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Linda Russo  Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way

Published 2015. Paperback, 72pp, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848613935 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems in Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way arise amidst those remnants, historical and everyday, that redefine what we know to be underfoot in the places we live. From the Rose Creek Preserve to Koppel Farm Community Garden to a backyard on Pioneer Hill – and in many spaces in between – these poems suggest that, as ecologically-attuned 21st century inhabitants, we need to not only understand the complex of relationships – as scientists help us do – but also to listen deeply for meanings at every level with a various awareness of what lives and thrives.

Cover of Linda Russo - Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way
 
Lisa Samuels  Symphony for Human Transport
Published June 2017. Paperback, 76pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615472 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
This book records a sustained plunge into the imaginative elixir of a dream. The dream starts with a waking vision – ‘the door of the train flew open’ – and continues as reverberations in the sensorium, the seat of felt thought. With the sonnet as its anchor note, the symphony blends the machine’s body and the garden, crash and after-sound. 
Cover of Lisa Samuels - Symphony for Human Transport
 
Lisa Samuels Wild Dialectics

Published 2012. Paperback, 84pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848612570 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This poetry unhinges the sensible cultural body and activates other oscillations of the sensible, which chime with acts of love and political subjects resuturing what are given to be facts. The poems are verbal machineries of encounter, brain music in relational life.

Picture of book cover Lisa Samuels Wild Dialectics
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Lisa Samuels Gender City

Published 2011. Paperback, 114pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848611696 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Gender City is in our skins, in the law, in our names (like Trudi and Terra), in places like the Barbie Doll Museum, in events like falling on the sidewalk, being in prison in a city with buildings made of skin, rupturing murder in language (pure meaning's urge), considering language as tattoo in a city with mouths that manifest like a disgorgement in your gender, in the city that has no center as the tattoo of poetry (the skin under your dress) has no center

Picture of book cover Lisa Samuels Gender City
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Lisa Samuels: Tomorrowland

Published 2009. Paperback, 9x6ins. 104pp, £9.95 / $18 
ISBN 9781848610507 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Tomorrowland is a book-length poem of bodily transit and colonial forgetting. Its names and events perpetually arrive in a new world, whose versions here combine promised lands and historical suicide. Eula moves among these real and imagined place-times with other symbolic names and unnamed figures, and Jack plays death. The primary formal note is the interrupted iambic.

Picture of book cover Lisa Samuels: Tomorrowland
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Lisa Samuels: The Invention of Culture

Published 2008. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781905700851 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The Invention of Culture is the third full-length collection of poems by Lisa Samuels, whose second volume also appeared with Shearsman. The poems in this new collection are committed to bending forms and genres. They mix prosodic syncopation with prose staccato and floating page space, as though the page were not only paper but also skin, film, and musical score and as though language were eyes and fingers tapping out the news. And there is news here: the strained topicality of the poems is an index of imaginative vision meeting the world's insistence that it be experienced. These poems are stories without names – literary cousins, parallax histories, dreams, compound love songs and dirges – whose inhabitable spatial structures are like event horizons that mean to let you come back to the world.

Picture of book cover Lisa Samuels: The Invention of Culture
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Lisa Samuels: Paradise for Everyone

Published 2005. 96pp, paperback 9x6ins. £9.95 / $17.
ISBN 9780907562672 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A first UK, and second full-length US collection for this talented young American writer, who teaches literature, poetic theory, and creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to poetry, she has published work on modernist and contemporary writers, on intellectual property in the humanities, and on critical practices.

Picture of book cover Lisa Samuels: Paradise for Everyone
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Mark Scroggins Red Arcadia

Published 2012. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611924 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The poems of Red Arcadia present a jittery, spasmodic—often obscured—series of moving x-ray images of contemporary culture in its frenetic contradictions, its self-destructiveness, and sometimes in its moments of fractured sublimity; a wobbly digicam portrait of the bewildered, mournful, and sometimes bemused subject caught in the rush of sounds and images, scrabbling through the levels of the city's palimpset / midden, checking his watch for the arrival of some heroic Captain Modernism.

Picture of book cover Mark Scroggins Red Arcadia
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Spencer Selby: Twist of Address

Published 2007. Paperback, 80pp, 8x5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781605700172 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Poet, artist and historian of film noir, Selby was born and raised in the Midwest of the USA but lives in Oakland, California. This volume presents his first collection of verse in some years.

Picture of book cover Spencer Selby: Twist of Address
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Ron Silliman Northern Soul
Published 2014. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
?ISBN 9781848613195 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
Northern Soul is the second poem in a major sequence entitled Universe, following on from Revelator — published by BookThug in Canada in 2013. Universe is a work that, were Ron Silliman to live long enough, would take him three centuries to complete; it is a poem of globalization and post-global poetics (an important reason for publishing several sections outside the author's native USA). Northern Soul is a book-length poem of observation and reminiscence, a kaleidoscope of impressions occasioned by visits to Lancashire, in the north-west of England, where the author has several times appeared at the Bury Text Festival; Lancashire is also home to the Northern Soul music scene — another moment of US/UK interpenetration.
 
Picture of book cover Cover of Ron Silliman Northern Soul
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Pete Smith  Bindings with Discords

Published 2015. Paperback, 116pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614116 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A first full-length collection in the UK for Pete Smith, a Canadian poet born in Coventry but resident in Kamloops, BC, since 1974. In the UK and Canada he worked as a psychiatric nurse with intellectually challenged people in institutional and community settings. His poems, reviews and essays have been published widely in the UK, the USA and Canada.

Cover of Pete Smith - Bindings with Discords
 
Gustaf Sobin: Caesurae: Midsummer

Published 1981. 18pp, A5 centre-stapled.
ISBN-10 0907562000.  Out of print.

Originally issued as part of the 4th issue of the first series of Shearsman magazine. The text has not been subsequently reprinted in this form, although approximately half of it did appear in the Montemora volume Celebration of the Sound Through (New York, 1982).

Picture of book cover Gustaf Sobin: Caesurae: Midsummer
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Gustaf Sobin: Carnets 1979-1982

Published 1984. 32pp, A5 centre-stapled. £3.00.
ISBN 9780907562061

Four of the author's annual poem sequences collected in one volume. Since reprinted in the New Directions volume The Earth as Air (New York, 1984), and in the Collected Poems (Talisman House, 2010).

Picture of book cover Gustaf Sobin: Carnets 1979-1982
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Gustaf Sobin: Nile

Published 1984. 8pp, centre-stapled. £2.50. Out of print.
ISBN 9780903375634

A single poem, subsequently collected in the New Directions volume Voyaging Portraits (New York, 1988). Published jointly with Oasis Books, London.

Picture of book cover Gustaf Sobin: Nile
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Gustaf Sobin: Blown Letters, Driven Aphabets

Published 1994. 24pp, centre-stapled chapbook, with jacket. £4.99.
ISBN 9780907562191

Contains three poems: 'On the Nature of the Iconic'; 'Transparent Itineraries 1991' and 'Transparent Itineraries 1992', all of which were later collected in the author's New Directions volume Breath's Burials (1995)

Picture of book cover Gustaf Sobin: Blown Letters, Driven Aphabets
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Mary Austin Speaker  The Bridge
Published 2016. Paperback, 88pp, 8 x 5.25ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614673 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Transit becomes an act of transcendence in Mary Austin Speaker’s The Bridge. I love how each section of the book ends almost where it begins, how the world comes as it goes, flash after flash — and just when things begin to blur we “awake to astonishing / geometry,” to an awareness that “ascent is only a way / toward another opening.”
       The Bridge limns with unmatched grace the internal and external process of daily passage." —Joseph Massey
Cover of Mary Austin Speaker - The Bridge
 
Donna Stonecipher  Model City

Published 2015. Paperback, 94pp, 8x8ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848613881 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Model City is built from a missing antecedent, an “it” as mysterious as it is familiar: What was it like? What was what like? One’s life? The city from which one fled? The city to which one did so? The last century? The one before that? The weaving in and out of traffic? Love? Candlelight from a curtained window or the dull, digital glow of a smart phone from the balcony below? Here, those old utopic dreams and social experiments collide with the age of excess information, leaving behind broken bits of experience: precise, exacting, aphoristic, arresting — the emotional residue of just how one deals with one’s tiny-cog-in-a-big-machine conundrum allowed to curdle into language as concerned with form and structure, with feats of architecture and engineering, as it is with real human relationships. This book is a marvel. — Noah Eli Gordon

Cover of Donna Stonecipher - Model City
 
Eileen Tabios Silk Egg — Collected Novels 

Published 2011. Paperback, 98pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848611436 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Last century, I temporarily borrowed Jorge Luis Borges' chatelaine. I slipped off a certain key and made a copy before I returned it to its chains and the old man (OMG: can he ever snore!). Since then, I've been able to slip into Jorge's Library of Babel whenever I wished—that permanent stain on the 7th floor's limestone windowsill was from the d'Yquem I'd carelessly spilled from my treasured wine glass (stolen previously from Vermeer). About a year after I wrote all of the novels that comprise Silk Egg, I returned to the Library of Babel's 7th floor with a bottle of Ajax cleanser ("stronger than dirt!") that I'd hoped would work this time in erasing proof of my unpermitted visitations: that hardened pool of "nectar of the gods" ever winking out a small sun from the bibliophilic dimness. (Eileen Tabios)

Picture of book cover Eileen Tabios Silk Egg — Collected Novels
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Nathaniel Tarn: Avia

Published 2008. Paperback, 304pp, 9x6ins, Price £14.95 / $25
ISBN 9781848610026 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Franco-Anglo-American poet Nathaniel Tarn worked for over fifteen years on researching and writing this long poem about the fate of fighter aircraft and their pilots in 1939-45. In this most surprising departure from his usual concerns, Tarn shows Charles Lindbergh dreaming of returning to the U.S. by air, instead of by sea (as ordered), after his great 1927 New York–Paris achievement. Once again he hears voices in his cockpit. These voices tell him the story of aviation in World War Two.

Picture of book cover Nathaniel Tarn: Avia
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Nathaniel Tarn: The Landsongs

Published 1982. 12pp, centre-stapled.
ISBN-10 0907562019. Out of print.

Originally issued as part of the 4th issue of the first series of Shearsman magazine. Recently excerpted in the author's Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2002), and also collected in Palenque (see below).

Picture of book cover Nathaniel Tarn: The Landsongs
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Nathaniel Tarn: Palenque

Published 1986. 89pp, paperback. £7.50.
ISBN 9780907562092. OUT OF PRINT.

A selection of Tarn's poems from the first 12 years of his American period. Only one of his subsequent American volumes — the long poem Lyrics for the Bride of God (not excerpted here) — was published in Britain, and thus this is the only large collection of Tarn's work to be published on this side of the Atlantic since 1975, apart from the epic Avia (see above).

Published jointly with Oasis Books, London.

 

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Mervyn Taylor  Voices Carry

Published February 2017. Paperback, 100pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614970 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The Master Portrait Painter, Mervyn Taylor, is visiting his old haunts, the island he has sketched time and again with indelible ink, the Brooklyn of his residence in exile, and the journey back and forth, the poet returning to fill up his paint bottles, to recount the stories of voices that carry from dreams, memories, the Port of Spain that has changed forever and yet remains the city that is his own. 
     In this new collection, that is at the same time as old as the eternal truths he tells, we celebrate the voices the poet hears: we see him walk beside the Savannah, people calling out, hello Uncle, Daddy; we lament the turning of green places into dangerous fields, and we cry quietly while accompanying “the boy walking with his broken kite/to find the old Indian who bought him/the thread, to tell him how well it flew.”
—Indran Amirthanayagam
Cover of Mervyn Taylor - Voices Carry
 
Mervyn Taylor The Waving Gallery
Published 2014. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
?ISBN 9781848613300 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
"Mervyn Taylor is a poet of great sensibility. His astute, quiet and resonant poems bring us into what is not said as easily as he does portraitures that are singular in their insight. His poems shine without calling attention to themselves. Whether in NY or Trinidad, whether about love, forgiveness or adventure, his poems are gorgeous. This is a book to be savored. Here is a mature and muscled poet, writing that gives us what we look for in poetry: that brew of word, sound, truth." —Veronica Golos
 
Picture of book cover Cover of Mervyn Taylor The Waving Gallery
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Mervyn Taylor No Back Door

Published 2010. Paperback, 90pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848611412 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

There are those inhabitants of islands who say they "'fraid sea", meaning they have an abiding respect for the restless ocean and for whatever lies unseen past the horizon. 'Sea have no back door' is the phrase they use to indicate the idea of no return, of being swallowed up in the vastness of a world outside the shore that is a natural boundary.

These poems chart the journeys, metaphorical and literal, of those who stay, and those who go, and the dilemma of the immigrant soul trying to live in two places at once.

Picture of book cover Mervyn Taylor No Back Door
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Jon Thompson: After Paradise — Essays on the Fate of American Writing

Published 2009. Paperback, 136pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848610415 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

After Paradise: Essays on the Fate of American Writing lays bare the richness of classic American texts and their fraught relationship with what Jon Thompson sees as a culture of violence and war. Focusing on William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, Walt Whitman's Specimen Days, Emily Dickinson's Letters and Michael Herr's DispatchesAfter Paradise offers a series of moving, interconnected reflections upon what Thompson calls "the fate of American writing." Part cultural reflection, part lyrical criticism, part idiosyncratic literary history, After Paradise attempts to restore a sense of the original strangeness of American literature and culture by pushing the boundaries of the essay form.

Picture of book cover Jon Thompson: After Paradise — Essays on the Fate of American Writing
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Jon Thompson Landscape with Light

Published 2014. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848613492 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"All along the highway," Jon Thompson writes in his mesmerizing collection of cinematic landscape poems, Landscape with Light, "strange civilizations congregate in small settlements, like a vision of the past, suddenly there, evident to the eye." Otherworldly, uncanny, melancholy, there like the past, like the present, the place (not the people) remains: a glimpse, a flicker, a trick of light that excavates the dark, the endless accretion of shadows. What is to be found there? "Desire like a dream of paradise." Ekphrasis is rarely this eclectic, this moving. —Eric Pankey

Jon Thompson - Landscape with Light
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Jon Thompson  Strange Country

Published October 2016. Paperback, 92pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614826 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"In Strange Country Jon Thompson addresses the voices, amongst others, of ‘the traffic of fear’, and bids their speakers join the living. It is also an invitation to the reader to enter a specifically American poetry of the here-and-now. The accomplishment of Strange Country begins with the exact measure of its line and its discovered idiom in the face of what may well be termed the present contradictions of a strange country.  What sustains that accomplishment is a poet’s attention to a ‘wide-open polyphony’ equal to the multiple realities of its subject." — Kelvin Corcoran

Cover of Strange Country by Jon Thompson
 
Maureen Thorson My Resignation
Published  2014. Paperback, 78pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848613447 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
How does one overcome the thought that "past failures dictate future performance"? Maureen Thorson's second book of poetry follows a couple as they put their separate histories behind them and create a new life together. In My Resignation, fragments of overheard dialogue, close observations of the changing seasons, and a wry sense of humor blend to narrate the transformation of doubts into certainties, as past heartbreak is set aside with this motto: "Proceed with caution, but always proceed."
Picture of book cover Cover of Maureen Thorson My Resignation
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Elizabeth Treadwell: Birds and Fancies

Published 2007. Paperback, 100pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16.
ISBN 9781905700165 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Rhyme and ancestry — literary and otherwise — become contemporary in Elizabeth Treadwell's newest collection, Birds & Fancies, which traces a deepening initiation into the mysteries and continuities of history and biology brought on by motherhood. "Oh daughter thou/shalt grounde & playe."

Picture of book cover Elizabeth Treadwell: Birds and Fancies
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Lina ramona Vitkauskas A Neon Tryst

Published 2013. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848612365 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A Neon Tryst is a collection of ekphrastic poems featuring the films L'Eclisse (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni); Seconds (dir. John Frankenheimer); and Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman). Though divided in three separate sections by film, the collection stands as one, cohesive piece, as all main characters share an internal conflict — losing identity with the passage of time.

Picture of book cover Lina ramona Vitkauskas A Neon Tryst
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Laura Walker Bird Book

Published 2011. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848611535 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

bird book is written in collaboration with a field guide to North American birds. Each page both borrows and departs from language found in an individual bird entry. The resulting text is an investigation into dissolved and dissolving narrative, into the permeable boundaries between "human" and "natural," and into the partial and shifting nature of narrative and memory themselves, "wet and traveling maps." Here, as in bird song, gap and repetition create their own story. To welcome "accidental field," "to take the songbird out of your mouth," to examine the ever-shifting relationship between what we receive and what we project, is to move through a porous and shared space, affecting and affected, where "yellow spectacle" hovers over "a suggested house": "exuberant ground."

Picture of book cover Laura Walker Bird Book
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Craig Watson Sleepwalking with Orpheus

Published 2011. Paperback, 96pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848611382 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Haunted by Cocteau's version of the Orpheus myth since 1968, Craig Watson collected a palimpsest of renderings, fragments and images from the Orphic tradition for the next 40 years. In 2008, he returned to these materials in the wake of a near fatal stroke. The result is Sleepwalking with Orpheus, a constellation of voices that recount the legendary singer's continuous journey through the realms that compose a life.

Picture of book cover Craig Watson Sleepwalking with Orpheus
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Ellen Wehle: The Ocean Liner's Wake

Published 2009. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848610712 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Lush, languid, enamored with the natural world, The Ocean Liner's Wake is a book of longing. In these wide-ranging poems the Other takes many forms: lover or God, a bridge, a sprig of forsythia. But always, the poems seem to say, what we hunger for is union. In spare, chiseled lines Wehle examines what it means to be fully alive to the world.

Picture of book cover Ellen Wehle: The Ocean Liner's Wake
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Mark Weiss  As Luck Would Have It

Published 2015. Paperback, 116pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614130 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"This is a barefoot poetry, almost in the very oldest Asian sense of that phrase, a poetry of voice & body that recognizes that even body-language has accents, which surely it does. The eye is keen, the humor self-deprecating. Mark Weiss has reached that point on life’s mesa where forgiveness (to oneself as well as others) may well be the most important of gestures. A book to make you glad to be in the world." —Ron Silliman

Cover of Mark Weiss - As Luck Would Have It
 
David Wevill: Departures – Selected Poems

2nd Edition. Published 2013. Paperback, 150pp, 8x5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9780907562344 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This second edition, issued on the 10th anniversary of its first publication, is presented in a larger format, with a larger typeface, and with a few very minor typographical errors corrected, but is otherwise unchanged.

This collection covers the entire poetic career of David Wevill, who has faded from view as a poet in the UK since his departure for the United States in the early 1970s. His first four collections won many prizes and gained him a reputation as one of the finest poets of his generation, as well as a place in all the major anthologies of the period and in the seminal Penguin Modern Poets series. His subsequent collections were all published in the author's native Canada and have been difficult to obtain either in the UK or the USA. David Wevill now lives in Austin, Texas.

Picture of book cover David Wevill: Departures – Selected Poems
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