Friday, January 28, 2011

SPD RECOMMENDS! New Titles Jan. 15–31
Try Electronic Ordering! SPD is on Pubnet, SAN 1066617. Questions? Contact Clay at ▫ 800.869.7553 ▫ fax: 510.524.0852

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Take 30% off our 50 best-selling titles of 2010. Click here for details.

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New Poetry from Ugly Duckling Presse 
gowanus atropolis
Julian T. Brolaski
$15 | paper | 104 pp.
Ugly Duckling Presse
ISBN: 9781933254814

Poetry. LGBT Studies. GOWANUS ATROPOLIS attempts to reconcile the toxicity of the titular Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and the east river in "Manahatta" with the poet's search for the pastoral in New York City. A queer elegy for when language might have been prior to thought, where the phrase becomes the thought, rather than the other way around—so that the dystopic might become, if not utopic, at least measurable / pleasurable, "melodious offal." "Once in a while there are poems which create entire fresh terrain. And I'm saying too that it's hard to come home from it, locator dials set anew. I'm jangling from the return, like the world had descended upon me so quickly through the poems it was some time before I realized I was still in one piece, and minted with a beautiful little scar. Julian's deviance is a hazard of poems which bend the muscle of light. I can hardly wait to share our extra strength when we've all read them!"—CAConrad.


New Poetry from Flood Editions 
Selected Poems
Roy Fisher
$15.95 | paper | 192 pp.
Flood Editions
ISBN: 9780981952062

Poetry. Edited by August Kleinzahler, SELECTED POEMS presents the remarkable range of Roy Fisher's restless and exploratory poetry. Stripped of ornament, skeptical in temperament, these poems find music in sudden disruptions, hesitations, and silences. They often move through post-industrial landscapes of Birmingham and the English Midlands, registering crepuscular half-tones, "the dog odour / of water," and "malted-milk brickwork." Beyond such literal subjects, Fisher captures the intermingling of fancy and perception, the play of light and shadow in the mind itself. As Kleinzahler suggests in his foreword to this volume, "The eye darts about in Fisher's poetry. It abhors the object at rest, framing of any kind. It's like a camera, jerking and swiveling on an unstable tripod. Early and late, the poetry is about the eye in motion. The shifts may be subtle or vertiginously abrupt. It's best not to get too comfortable as you progress through a poem because you're not going to be where you think you are for long."


New Poetry from The Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Editions 
Touch Wood
Albert Mobilio
$14 | paper | 87 pp.
The Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Editions
ISBN: 9781934029169

Poetry. "The heir to Modernism at its most terse and most oblique, Mobilio works line and sound forcefully together, managing amazingly acrobatic moves. With an eye for the monumental incidental, he winds through ekphrastic gesture and an eccentric abecedarium to give us a tour of the contemporary that's quick, vivid, and wry almost to the point of irony—but not quite. Instead, he sticks with the tenacious questions, probing the slim abysses between a life's well-oiled parts. It's delightful, witty, and deeply moving all at once"—Cole Swensen.


Available Again! New from Coach House Books 
Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture
Lisa Robertson
$17.95 | paper | 230 pp.
Coach House Books
ISBN: 9781552452325

Literary Nonfiction. Cross-Genre. This delectable book collects the rococo prose of Lisa Robertson, the ambulatory Office for Soft Architecture. There are essays—many originally published as catalogue texts by art galleries—on the syntax of the suburban home, Vancouver fountains, Value Village, the joy of synthetics, scaffolding and the persistence of the Himalayan blackberry. There are also seven Walks, tours of Vancouver sites—poetic dioramas, really, and more material than cement could ever be. SOFT ARCHITECTURE exists at the crossroads of poetry, theory, urban geography and cultural criticism, some place where the quotidian and the metaphysical marry and invert. And it makes for one of the most intriguing books you'll ever read. Originally published by Clear Cut Press in 2004, this revised edition features a foreword and new material.


New Poetics in Translation from Upper West Side Philosophers 
The Vocation of Poetry
Durs Grünbein
$13.95 | paper | 62 pp.
Upper West Side Philosophers
ISBN: 9780979582998

Literary Nonfiction. Poetry History & Criticism. Translated from the German by Michael Eskin. This extraordinary book offers a dazzling personal poetics as well as a sustained engagement with the origins of poetry itself. In tracing an arc from the landfills and forests of an East German childhood to the "global air-space of poetry," it takes in a breathtaking poetic itinerary from the Classics to the present day. Emerging from the heart of the European tradition, every page is packed with insight, wit and linguistic surprises, superbly rendered in Michael Eskin's supple English. But more than that: this is a volume with a mission. In reckoning with the possibilities of poetry, it sets out to show us a better way of being in the world: "a guide to thinking and feeling with precision." Written by one of the most exciting and thought-provoking writers of the moment, THE VOCATION OF POETRY is essential reading for anyone interested in modern poetry or in modern life.


New Poetry from Dusie Press 
Three Geogaophies: A Milkmaid's Grimoire
Arielle Guy
$15 | paper | 70 pp.
Dusie Press
ISBN: 9780981980829

Poetry. THREE GEOGAOPHIES follows the travels of the poet through seven years and three cities: San Francisco, New York, and Gothenburg, Sweden. Weaving in mysticism, Tarot, and foreign and imaginary language, the story is one of phenomenal romanticism searching for home and, ultimately, love. "THREE GEOGAOPHIES is a travelogue, translating speechridden distance with fragile romance and accident music from San Francisco to New York to Sweden. 'There is always something we hunt: skin.' Be it others' or our own ('I wasn't intact and impermeable then') with the intractability of space skewering geography and time-space changing story in all of its senses. What there is breathes: 'geometry is all about living'; what there isn't facilitates: 'patterns of light cause accidents to happen' and the longer the distance, the more adventurous the storytelling"—Edmund Berrigan.


New Poetry from Apostrophe Books 
Remains to Be Used
Jessica Baran
$14 | paper | 72 pp.
Apostrophe Books
ISBN: 9780979362743

Poetry. Jessica Baran's ekphrastic poems challenge the way we encounter the aural, visual, and textual artifacts of artists and thinkers as varied as Sergio Leone, Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Hitchcock, and Hank Williams. Strange and intriguing, Baran is a voyeur who provides heuristic glimpses into new aesthetic experiences. These poems peek into the tangling and untangling complexities of a performance by Jan Bas Ader, a poem by Wallace Stevens, or a video installation by Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Baran is as wildly adept in her investigations of the filmic gaze in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as she is in her poetic misprision of Derrida's Specters of Marx or in her inhabiting of a song by Metallica. REMAINS TO BE USED invites and disorients, changes lenses, and ultimately trespasses the interior worlds of objets d'art.


New Poetry from Factory Hollow Press 
The Bled
Frances McCue
$14 | paper | 62 pp.
Factory Hollow Press
ISBN: 9780984069873

Poetry. "Frances McCue's book is the most moving account of a spouse's death I have ever read. While living abroad in Morocco he died suddenly, and the aftermath of that event is detailed here with astonishment and heart-rung love"—James Tate. "THE BLED is a cleared-eyed, ruthless, beautiful, terrible look at what it is to find love and to lose it, to be knocked around by death and grief, to wonder how you can on living"—Rebecca Brown.


New Poetry from Wave Books 
Nine Worthies
Caroline Knox
$20 | paper | 48 pp.
Wave Books
ISBN: 9781933517483

Poetry. This hand-sewn limited edition has a letterpress cover and design influenced by 18th century typesetting and binding techniques. A stunning work of prose and poetry by eminent poet Caroline Knox, NINE WORTHIES operates as a sort of historical novella, telling the story of the life and times of American portraitist Nathaniel Smibert in nine individual portraits interwoven with the perspective of the artist.


New Poetry from The Post-Apollo Press 
There Are People Who Say That Painters Shouldn't Talk: A GUSTONBOOK
Patrick James Dunagan
$15 | paper | 96 pp.
The Post-Apollo Press
ISBN: 9780942996739

Poetry. Written in and around the Spring of 2009, composed of short, fragmentary blocks of verse and prose, including several quoted sources, GUSTONBOOK is a workman's notebook of sorts sketched out in response to several years spent contemplating the work and life of painter Philip Guston in relation to the ongoing world, i.e. exhibitions, books on/about Guston, other books/art works amid daily walks, drinks, and talks. More explorations than explanations, the entries contained herein situate the eye of memory as witness to the immediate surrounds of now: day to day, hour by hour, the concern never (always) changing. As Guston once said, gesturing out the window, "Who wants that? and you can't have it anyway."


New Fiction from Six Gallery Press 
Evan Lavender-Smith
$15 | paper | 118 pp.
Six Gallery Press
ISBN: 9781926616162

Fiction. The literature of the dispossessed has found its most stirring contemporary avatar in Evan Lavender-Smith's brief tour de force of grief and solitude. Someone is floating in the depths of space with little more than his or her thoughts, tears, and strands of hair for company; nothing more than two stars—one in front, one behind—for guidance. How long has he or she been in this condition? How did it come about? For how long will it remain? Distances of a second and a century collide to reveal a present moment beholden only to the broken clock of thought. In a mesmerizing and unforgettable monologue, the speaker of AVATAR describes a mode of living and thinking sustained at the very precipice of being.


New Poetry from Ahsahta Press 
a beautiful name for a girl
Kirsten Kaschock
$17.50 | paper | 104 pp.
Ahsahta Press
ISBN: 9781934103173

Poetry. Human identity testing itself: are the speakers of these poems mother, teacher, creative artist—or are they merely bones to be sorted and juggled? The ramifications of identity ("we'd know... the translation / into mother to be exaltation. Murder, also") leap up sharply in the book's central poem, "Snuff Ballet," in which one speaker, a dancer, is tested by inquisitors who may be a board from whom she seeks a grant. But perhaps these voices, which quickly become intimate and judgmental ("When was the last time you had sex?"), are merely criticism internalized, part of the "one-woman show."


New Fiction from Solid Objects 
Master of Miniatures
Jim Shepard
$12 | paper | 56 pp.
Solid Objects
ISBN: 9780984414239
(previous edition was ISBN: 9780984414215)

Fiction. "As in Nosferatu, with its smartly imagined life of the German film director F. W. Murnau, here Shepard considers the Japanese special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya and his cinematic inventions for the science-fiction movie we know as Godzilla. And like many of Shepard's stories, MASTER OF MINIATURES limns the intense and alienated world of a focused expert obsessed with his field of endeavor, at a cost to his marriage and children. For Japanese survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the fifties, America itself seemed king of the monsters, to be looked at with fear and awe. This is a poignant and important story that seems to me a summation and condensation of many themes that have preoccupied Shepard before. Like a diamond held aloft, each turn of this tale in his deft hand flashes still more light"—Ron Hansen.

New Fiction from Mud Luscious Press 
The Hieroglyphics
Michael Stewart
$12 | paper | 82 pp.
Mud Luscious Press
ISBN: 9780983026310

Fiction. "In THE HIEROGLYPHICS, a novel(la) in prose poems, Michael Stewart tackles nothing less than a radical revision of creation myths that comments darkly on the ancient stories we have received & the future we may be facing. Stewart's language is spare & haunting, the allusions resonating, in this work that 'reminds us how pale are the achievements of men'"—Wendy Barker.


New Memoir from Wild Ocean Press
My Father's Love, Volume II: The Legacy
Sharon Doubiago
$20 | paper | 510 pp.
Wild Ocean Press
ISBN: 9780984130436

Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. "My soul looks back," James Baldwin said, "and wonders how I got over." Volume two of Sharon Doubiago's memoir, MY FATHER'S LOVE, reveals the legacy of her father's sexual and psychological abuse that continued throughout his life and the toxic effects it has had on the lives of everyone in the family. How family secrets ripple through succeeding generations with devastating results, how family myths become more powerful than truth, how they are maintained at any cost, and how denial blinds us to what we do not want to, or cannot bear to see. Most of us never realize we are in denial but Doubiago is not most of us, for she is a poet of exceptional power and insight. This is a book about all of us, how we deceive ourselves and others, believe what we want to believe, what we are conditioned to believe, how we are, as R. D. Laing put it, "destroying ourselves with violence masquerading as love." America collectively is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. MY FATHER'S LOVE helps us "to get over."


New Poetry in Translation from Host Publications
These Hands
Per Aage Brandt
$15 | paper | 183 pp.
Host Publications
ISBN: 9780924047749

Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Danish by Thom Satterlee. THESE HANDS is an extraordinary bilingual poetry collection from renowned Danish poet Per Aage Brandt. The uniqueness of this work comes from the uniqueness of the person himself: unlike many other professor-poets, Brandt's academic discipline is not literature but semiotics, a field in which he has authored a dozen books and roughly two hundred and fifty articles. Many of the poems in this collection read like thought-experiments—as if the cognitive scientist made poetry his laboratory and theories his poems. But Brandt's work is also rich with humor and humanity. His poetry has a sense of playfulness and a sense of a personhood—someone behind the poem who doesn't take himself too seriously, even as he addresses profoundly serious subjects such as language, consciousness, and existence, mixing comedy with critique. In this exuberant and sharp-minded collection, Brandt re-sets the limits of language and creates a new kind of verse, prompting one Danish critic to remark that his work "bears more resemblance to a brainwave than a book of poems."


New Poetry from Spuyten Duyvil 
The Yellow House
Robin Behn
$14 | paper | 74 pp.
Spuyten Duyvil
ISBN: 9781933132761

Poetry. "In the allegorical world of Robin Behn's marvelous THE YELLOW HOUSE, the landscape and thecharacters and the sequence of events enact the very fact and drama of human language andhuman voice. Part abstraction, part narration, all lyrically alive, wildly so, in a musical compositionthat we don't want to stop listening to"—Ralph Angel.


New Poetry from Adastra Press 
The Secret Admirer
Kyle Flak
$16 | paper | 24 pp.
Adastra Press
ISBN: 9780982249581

Poetry. In these seventeen poems of sprung rhythms and playful language, the author creates poetic fictions that are witty and hip in the new funk style: "History is a/tiny wrinkle we might as well just/forget about unless/it's going to/save us." The accumulative effect is mysterious, entertaining, and delightful. Limited to 200 copies of hand-set Goudy Old Style types letterpress printed on recycled and acid free Environment Felt text, hand-sewn, and covered in wraparound Classic Laid in Denim. "As long as fine literary presses continue to handcraft handsome books like these from Adastra, serious readers of the twenty-first century can rest assured, the book is alive and well"—American Book Review.


New Poetry from Ahadada Books 
Ahadada Reader 3
Mary-Marcia Casoly, Katherine Hastings, Melanie L. Moro-Huber, Jack Foley
$15 | paper | 162 pp.
Ahadada Books
ISBN: 9780981274492

Poetry. AHADADA READER 3 is a compendium of four chapbooks: Australia Dreaming by Mary-Marcia Casoly, Fog and Light by Katherine Hastings, The Memory of Paper by Melanie L. Moro-Huber, and A Disordered City by Jack Foley. "The poems in this collection, despite the interestingly various voices of the four poets, have one thing in common: they do what poems are meant to do, take you to places you've never been, show you things you've never seen, test the limits of what we've come complacently to accept as poetic language, and take the risk of being honest to themselves. How exciting to see four poets doing their own thing, the real thing"—R. H. W. Dillard.


New Poetry from Copper Canyon Press 
Sky Burial
Dana Levin
$15 | paper | 96 pp.
Copper Canyon Press
ISBN: 9781556593321

Poetry. "Death is the new and unshakeable lens through which I see," writes Dana Levin about her third book, in which she confronts mortality and loss in subjects ranging from Tibetan Buddhist burial practices to Aztec human sacrifice. Shaped by dreams and "the worms and the gods," these poems are a profound investigation of our inescapable fate. As Louise Glück has said: "Levin's animating fury goes back deeper into our linguistic and philosophic history: to Blake's tiger, to the iron judgments of the Old Testament." "Levin's work is phenomenological; it details how it feels to be an embodied consciousness making its way through the world"—Boston Review. "Levin has the skilled ear, magnificent tongue, and fierce mind of the truly prophetic"—Rain Taxi.


New Poetry from Ashland Poetry Press 
Expedition: New and Selected Poems
Arthur Vogelsang
$22.95 | paper | 200 pp.
Ashland Poetry Press
ISBN: 9780912592718

Poetry. "We have in Vogelsang a poet furious with history but attempting a mad escape. It's a swollen poetry, maximal at the least and packed with his rare rage. Sexual, sizzling really, and full of indestructible stories of fragility. Local as Pop art, it has international shadows—demotic, properly tilted, and glowing. The stories are ardent; the double binds are musical. The museums in his poetry are perturbed or disturbed spaces, and the language of surveillance and trembling is upon us: the poetics of a panicked or manic Kafka"—David Shapiro.


New Poetry from BlazeVOX Books 
Girl in Two Pieces
Elizabeth Hatmaker
$16 | paper | 94 pp.
BlazeVOX Books
ISBN: 9781935402596

Poetry. "Elizabeth Hatmaker has a quiet way of crunching up our world. She excels in shaking out the dirty little corners of the mind, particularly the mind of misogynist history. In the person of Elizabeth Short, the so-called 'Black Dahlia,' she has found her heroine, the way Leonard Cohen found Joan of Arc—or perhaps how Raymond Queneau found Zazie in the métro—for in Girl we see Elizabeth Short refracted and perfected through multiple stylistic prisms and processes. The matter of the Black Dahlia is, of course, gigantic, but Hatmaker has it all in the palm of her hand, and locates the world's pain and hope and justice in the figure of her girl in two pieces. Hatmaker is an exquisite writer, and better than that, she cares about something—the life and death of a lost girl—something tiny yet immense"—Dodie Bellamy.


New Fiction from First Intensity Press 
A Mind's Cargo Shifting
John Levy
$16 | paper | 138 pp.
First Intensity Press
ISBN: 9781889960227

Fiction. This author's flair for unpredictability and quirkiness is abundantly clear in this first collection of fictions. Lots of humor here, much of it dark, ironic, even disturbing, but with plenty of good clean funniness to keep things in balance. Serious readers and writers of poetry will find many of these stories of singular interest; just be prepared to laugh at yourselves if the shoes fit.


New Poetry from White Pine Press 
The Crows Were Laughing in Their Trees
Peter Conners
$16 | paper | 96 pp.
White Pine Press
ISBN: 9781935210207

Poetry. "Conners's prose poem is not just a beautiful quirky moment that gives us a glimpse of the miraculous, but also an attempt to become a myth in itself. That Conners seems to get it all into one book is simply amazing. What can I say? A literary master"—Ilya Kaminsky. "Conners writes with the playfulness and kinetic energy of an action painter. His spatters of images and fragmented narratives assume the condition of an exuberant non-sense that, in changing perspective, asserts a logic of its own"—Stuart Dybek.


New Poetry from Bordighera Press 
Chianti in Connecticut
Gil Fagiani
$10 | paper | 86 pp.
Bordighera Press
ISBN: 9781599540153

Poetry. "Gil Fagiani's muse is Italian American memory. These are poems of origins and belonging, of family, culture, politics. These are recollections, both elegiac and ironic, of a world Gil Fagiani observes from the privileged perspective of an insider who does not feel bound to the need to eulogize his community. They function as archival records, a museum of language in which a gallery of characters and objects and moments are captured in lines that vibrate with a sound, a touch, a presence"—Edvige Giunta.


New Fiction from La Alameda Press 
Joe's New Religion: Fictions & Fabulations
John Orne Green
$14 | paper | 136 pp.
La Alameda Press
ISBN: 9781888809572

Fiction. "The stories in John Green's collection are wild, unpredictable, frequently hysterically funny, and deeply original.... These stories dance on the edge of allegory—they hint at metaphors and multiple meanings, though thanks to Green's skill, they do so casually and without fuss.... His metafictional approach allows Green to think, through highly entertaining, deftly-written narratives, about very serious matters.... Green is onto something big here"—Askold Melnyczuk.


New Poetry from Patrick Lovelace Editions 
Brad Flis
$15 | paper | 72 pp.
Patrick Lovelace Editions
ISBN: 9780981897011

Poetry. In Brad Flis's first collection, PEASANTS, the reader is shuttled through a timeless allegory of the Nation taking new form in a new era. Compiling language rich with rhetorical cadence and alliterative fluency, the book exalts in the organization of our collective experience while lamenting the human as sacred organism of violence, the pursuit of happiness as the pursuit of enemy combatants. Poetic form, dramatized throughout, becomes the pleasure-stimulus for language at once familiarly embracing and clinical. Peasants is both a recovering of meaning in the post-WTC ruins of ideals, and, as it's playable lotto-scratch-ticket bookcover suggests, a willful uncovering.


New Poetry from Penmanship Books 
#Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online in 140 Characters or Less
Mahogany L. Browne
$15 | paper | 66 pp.
Penmanship Books
ISBN: 9780984151394

Poetry. African American Studies. This new novelty item is a hit for anyone with a friendly addiction to twitter, love, and laughter. "Mahogany L. Browne has her own style of Tweeting, her own unique Twitter voice. She can talk about being her and still make it universal"—Touré. "Writers are too verbose for plays; poets make better playwrights. Poets might tweet better too. Mahogany's #DEAR TWITTER is proof"—Miles Marshall Lewis.


New Memorial Publication from NYQ Books 
For Enid with Love: a festchrift
Barry Wallenstein, Editor
$16.95 | paper | 180 pp.
NYQ Books
ISBN: 9781935520122

Literary Nonfiction. Poetry History & Criticism. Jewish Studies. This is a gathering of essays, poems, and recollections dedicated to the memory of poet, scholar, teacher, and political activist, Enid Dame [1943-2003]. The rich array of contributions were written by friends, colleagues, and some who didn't know Enid personally but were moved and influenced by her life's work and ebullient spirit. For nearly a quarter of a century, she edited, with her husband Donald Lev, Home Planet News, and was a beloved member of the New York poetry community for as long. The cumulative effect of this gathering of encomiums recalls Enid as only language and art can do.


New Poetry from Mayapple Press 
They Say This Is How Death Came into the World
Paul Dickey
$14.95 | paper | 78 pp.
Mayapple Press
ISBN: 9780932412997

Poetry. "Many, many lives converge in THEY SAY THIS IS HOW DEATH CAME INTO THE WORLD like the illusion of parallel lines converging on the horizon. What seems quiet layers ice on a roiling maelstrom. We skid from poem to poem and when we break through we have a new home and a new idea for uttering familiar words"—Gian Lombardo.


Crash Dome
Alex Phillips
Factory Hollow Press

same great book, yet now somehow better
ISBN: 9780984069897
(replaces ISBN 9780984069859)


Friday, January 21, 2011

Zach Schomburg visits!

Zachary SchomburgSPD author and publisher Zach Schomburg has time to take a fast train

photo by Laura Moriarty