Friday, July 25, 2014

RECENT RELEASE - Corpus Christi Octaves by Jose Angel Araguz

In his marvelous Corpus Christi Octaves, Jose Angel Araguz uses flexible eight-line syllabics that are tight but cozy, spacious enough to maneuver in.  Open and alert, his poems have a knack for making connections, a gregarious inclination to reach out.  Two of the three sequences here are elegies, and the octaves work as associative chapters in Araguz’s free-floating meditations on friendship, memory, and loss, movingly building from the particular to the sublime: “the other side of where you are.”  He brings back his friends so powerfully and yet so casually that we can meet them and mourn their loss through the easy-going, exhilarating spell of his words.

- John Drury, author of The Poetry Dictionary

Writing with a graceful concision to the scale of the octave, in syllabic lines that modulate subtly from the conversational to the elegiac, Jose Angel Araguz achieves an impressive range of variations on the themes of poetry, friendship, and loss. Corpus Christi Octaves is a skillfully-developed, affecting work.

Daniel Groves, author of The Lost Boys

Corpus Christi Octaves is an intimate collection that hems in the little thunders inside one's longing to witness. Jose Araguz echoes the language of a paraclete, the diction of the ocean, and the lullaby sounds of oars to water. "When the lights gave out, I would write by the moon / When the moon gave out, I'd write trusting the words." This beautiful book invites us to live alongside poetry, to listen immeasurably.

Sam Roxas-Chua, author of Fawn Language

Jose Angel Araguz, author of the chapbook The Wall (Tiger’s Eye Press), is a CantoMundo fellow. Hailing from Corpus Christi, Texas, he has had poems recently in Barrow Street, RHINO, Hanging Loose and Poet Lore. He is presently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. He runs the poetry blog, The Friday Influence.

37 pages, 16 poems

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NEW RELEASE - Trestling by Bernadette Ulsamer

Trestling by Bernadette Ulsamer is a stunning book of blood, bone, and body parts. I am song, I am incorruptible…says this brave speaker—and she is. She is the one who writes through resistance to say the things we’re not supposed to say. In these poems of original voice, telling becomes a splay of slashing details in which lingerie is a character, class is a character, and survival is not a given. This is a writer who can start a poem with Ash Wednesday and end it with deep hunger: …like some cheerleader swallowing/a black-eye greased football player/still unshowered after the game.

--Jan Beatty, Author of The Switching/Yard

I kissed the dirty ground, Ulsamer writes, and that is what her poems do:  strike a balance between love’s grit and love’s daily exhalations. In language that sharpens our ears to the music of plain speech, Trestling takes us into bedrooms and bars, hospital rooms and court rooms.  We see, in striking and memorable detail, blood and bras, hands clutching hips and hands clutching rail tracks as a night train approaches. Ulsamer’s world is a tricky one, and these poems face its dangers head on—not for the thrill, not for the challenge, but as a reckoning that this is what life is:  messy, frightening, and scream-worthy beautiful. 

--Nancy Krygowski, Author of Velocity 

Bernadette Ulsamer earned an MFA from Carlow University where she is a member of Madwomen in the Attic. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Pittsburgh City Paper, The Main Street Rag, Girls with Glasses Literary Journal, Cossack Literary Journal, Roar Magazine, The Broken Plate, and has been anthologized in Voices from the Attic and Along These Rivers. Her poem “ICU, Holy Thursday” was long-listed for the International Fish Poetry Prize 2013.

32 pages, 25 poems

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NEW RELEASE - Time's Mirrored Illusion by Nina Romano

Wreathed in the tranquility of nature, Romano's poems behold the world of memories and small miracles, suffering and daily blessings.  These poems remind us that hope can be renewed.

~ Gianna Russo, Moonflower

Nina Romano’s poems are sumptuous—a banquet for the senses.  Each verse in Time’s Mirrored Illusion is a little journey, taking the reader through time, place and emotions.  Savor this collection leisurely or gobble it up—either way it satisfies. 

~ Melissa Westemeier, Whipped, Not Beaten; Kicks Like a Girl

Nina Romano has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.  She has published one poetry chapbook, Prayer in a Summer of Grace from Flutter Press, and four poetry collections: Cooking Lessons by Rock Press, submitted for a Pulitzer; Coffeehouse Meditations, from Kitsune Books; She Wouldn’t Sing at My Wedding from Bridle Path Press; Faraway Confections from Aldrich Press. She has also co-authored a non-fiction book about writing: Writing in a Changing World. 

52 pages, 36 poems

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

NEW RELEASE - Broken Slates by Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher's chapbook, Broken Slates, is about the bridge between youth and adulthood and the mixture of emotions that time can bring, especially to situations such as work, relationships, friendships, self-awareness, etc.  This collection is reflective of some of his experiences and feelings at that time and Jonathan has tried to capture any shift in outlook, attitude, and emotions in his poems.  Jonathan's various surroundings and how they can inform one's overall sense of being are also a prominent factor.

Jonathan Butcher has been writing poetry for around seven years, and has been published in a wide range of print and online publications in both the UK and US.  His first chapbook ‘Concrete Cradle’ was published in 2013 by Fire Hazard Press. He was born and lives in Sheffield, England.

34 pages, 27 poems

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Friday, April 11, 2014

NEW RELEASE - The Eleventh Month by Ben Rasnic

The Eleventh Month is a recollection of one's life from growing up in a small Appalachian town in the early 1960s, to experiencing America on the road, to revisiting and experiencing the decline & steady disappearance of one's roots and culminating with the deeply personal  contemplation of life in its final stages; all expressed from a unique yet brutally honest perspective. 

Ben Rasnic is a native of Jonesville, a small rural town in southwest Virginia with a population <1000.  His poetry has been widely published in web-based poetry venues and print journals.  A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2011, Rasnic still considers as his greatest literary achievement, electing to publish two short poems by Yusef Komunyakaa while serving as editor of his college literary magazine, Jimson Weed, in 1978,16 years before Komunyakaa received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  This is Rasnic's fourth published volume of poetry, preceded by Artifacts and Legends (2012), Puppet (2013) and Synchronicity (2014) which are currently available on Ben currently resides in Bowie, Maryland.

64 pages, 38 poems

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