ISBN: 978-1-934909-55-3 $18.00
Keri Marinda Smith
eri Marinda Smith was born in South Africa in 1985. She grew up in Florida, moving around the state until she settled in Gainesville after finishing college. She played in several bands while she lived there, then moved to New York to attend the New School for an MFA in Creative Writing. While there she won the school’s annual Paul Violi Prize, and graduated in 2017. She lives in Brooklyn and works in bars, and rarely sleeps.
“Dragging anchor is a nautical term used to describe the drifting that occurs when a boat’s anchor fails to hold. In Keri Smith’s memorable first poetry collection, she ably conjures the various worlds and states of mind and body she has inhabited, discarded, loved, left, revisited and loved again. There’s a compelling intimacy and rhythm to this charting of Smith’s vagabond coming-of-age journey, and that the dark moments, the doubts, and the rough edges have not been smoothed away indicates its intention to be true. The book succeeds in this, and the result is raw, sweet, brave, poignant, often irreverent, and always thoroughly human.” — Patricia Traxler
“Keri Smith’s wonderfully engaging debut is a chronicle of growing up and finding art and turning it into a home you can carry with you everywhere. Dragging Anchor looks closely at moments of loss and instability-friends die or move away, family members grow apart-but Smith remains pragmatic and optimistic: ‘throw away boxes of photographs / maybe you’ll see those people again.’ In her nimble lines she extols ordinary pleasures-bike rides, punk shows, sandwiches, ‘the sometimes perfect machinery of our bodies’-all of which are lifted up and animated by this poet’s political engagement, humor, and generous heart.” — Mark Bibbins
ISBN: 978-1934909-54-6 $18.00
The Known Universe
Terence Winch is the author of seven previous poetry collections: This Way Out, Lit from Below, Falling out of Bed in a Room with No Floor, Boy Drinkers, The Drift of Things, The Great Indoors, and Irish Musicians/American Friends, which won an American Book Award. He has also written two story collections, Contenders and That Special Place: New World Irish Stories, which draws on his experiences as a founding member of the original Celtic Thunder, the acclaimed Irish band. His work is included in numerous anthologies, among them the Oxford Book of American Poetry, Poetry 180, and Best American Poetry, and has been featured on “The Writers Almanac” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Winch is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing, among other awards.
“The Known Universe is my new favorite book of poems and should be everyone’s. The poems are so brilliantly original they defy labels or comparisons. No one writes poetry like Winch. His distinct voice and artistry let him lament the losses he’s experienced while laughing at the ways he does it, or share the joy of life’s pleasures while cataloging their disappearance. The author’s unique perspective is expressed through litanies, prayers, anti-prayers, traditional forms, untraditional forms, skepticism, jokes, declamations, soulful pleas, love notes, philosophical theories and inquiries, word play, rhyme, near rhyme, off rhyme, no rhyme, meter, anti-meter, confession and deflection, and all with singular intellectual power and insight into life’s challenges and rewards.”
— Michael Lally
ISBN: 978-1-934909-50-8 $18.00
Tableau with Crash Helmet
Bill Christophersen grew up in the Bronx, attended Columbia University and earned a doctorate in American literature. A former associate editor at Newsweek, he has taught writing and literature at Fordham and CUNY. His poems have won awards from Rhino, Kansas Quarterly and the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, as well as for inclusion in Best New Poets 2014. His book reviews have appeared in American Book Review, the New York Times Book Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. The author of literary studies on Charles Brockden Brown and James Fenimore Cooper (forthcoming), as well as two previous poetry collections-The Dicer’s Cup and Two Men Fighting in a Landscape-he lives in New York City and plays traditional and bluegrass fiddle.
Tableau with Crash Helmet features free-verse narratives that bear a New York stamp, from their local settings and subjects to their wry musings and apocalyptic shadings. In “New York Minute,” a grizzled harpist in a subway station “render[s] his version/ of a cosmopolitan afterlife.” In the title poem, set in the shadow of St. John the Divine’s cathedral, a “human gargoyle/ crouches over [a]/ discarded umbrella.” The spirit of the rationalist RenÃƒÂ© Descartes duels with that of the skeptic David Hume in the final poems of the first section. A New Year’s Day meditation unfolds in a sequence of anxious prose poems that structures the concluding section. As a whole, the collection marvels at the heart, which, reason notwithstanding, sometimes craves, like a famished cat, “its can of stinky-fish.”
“Tableau with Crash Helmet is full of haunting extended metaphors and a pervasive sense of the metaphysical found even in the most seemingly casual situations, which can turn at a moment’s notice into occasions for disorienting but immensely insightful contemplations of life’s essential driving forces.”
“Much happens in Bill Christophersen’s poems. There are ghosts in snow, dreams hang upside down, traffic piles up. Things jumble and tumble about. And this all happens in words: smooth words, prickly words, mysterious words (‘windsock,’ ‘fucus,’ ‘monkey puzzle’). Lines fly freely or gather into waves ready to crash. Rhyme schemes unexpectedly sneak into stanzas, and haiku somehow attain epic proportions or spread themselves across pages like verbal archipelagos. But Christophersen offers more than linguistic diversions. He uses words to summon up things of this world, and in the process he reminds us that words are also things in this world.”
— Jack Anderson
ISBN: 978-1-934909-51-5 $18.00
Justin Jamail is the Deputy General Counsel of The Metropolitan Opera, and was a mergers and acquisitions attorney based in the Tokyo office of Morrison & Foerster LLP for 5 years. He studied poetry at Columbia University and the UMass Amherst MFA program. He grew up in Houston, TX and now lives in Montclair, NJ.
“There’s a new ‘sheriff on / Clue Street’ here to show us what’s ‘behind the luxury desks of Twit Street.’ Justin Jamail’s debut collection is dedicated to ‘my fathers,’ and you can sense the benign influence of such major New York School figures as Kenneth Koch and Paul Violi in Jamail’s exclamatory poems that celebrate motion and surprise, observe the ‘restless traffic,’ and pause for a negroni in Singapore before invoking the ‘god of business travel’ and planting ‘familiar beans in unfamiliar gardens.’ In one of the poems, Jamail likens himself to ‘an heir with live parents.’ This book is worthy of its legacy.”
“Earlier this century, a team of archaeologists from the University of Texas discovered the remains of a formerly unknown civilization on the site of an abandoned office park in the suburbs of Houston. Among the few artifacts present was a collection of fragments from what appears to be a much longer, more substantive text, a document characterized by one scholar as ‘part creation myth and part owner’s manual, part hymnal and part scratch-off lottery ticket.’ Is Justin Jamail familiar with this document? Is he privy to the complete version? Is he somehow responsible for its authorship? These are all questions Exchangeable Bonds asks but which Jamail, despite a series of emails and phones calls, refuses to answer.”
— Carson Cistulli
ISBN: 978-1-934909-52-2 $18.00
North of the Charles
Charles North’s adventurous poetry has received numerous honors, including two NEA grants, four Fund for Poetry Awards, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Individual Grants to Artists Award. North has published ten books of poems, among them Complete Lineups and What It is Like, which headed NPR’s Best Poetry Books of 2011. Among his recent publications are Translation, a collaboration with the artist Paula North (The Song Cave, 2014), and two books just out: States of the Art: Selected Essays, Interviews and Other Prose 1975-2014 (Pressed Wafer, 2017), and Elevenses, a collaboration with the artist Trevor Winkfield (Granary, 2017).
COMMENTS ON CHARLES NORTH’S WORK:
“North’s wit, exuberance and unfailingly elegant syntax make him one of the most memorable of contemporary poets.”
—Washington Post Book World
“The most stimulating poet of his generation.”
— James Schuyler
“As brave, conceptual and big-minded as Jack Spicer’s lifetime of conference calls with the underworld, North’s work constantly greets us with the deft presence of a mind devilishly enamored of improbable form and substantial ideation.”
— Publishers Weekly
“An improvisatory élan that soon becomes an almost familiar tune, sung to the friend you become every time you lend an ear. The direction is true North; the vintage just right.”
— Charles Bernstein
“[North] is the master of multitasking-all experience open to him at every moment-as well as a master tout court. He belongs on the summit of our American Parnassus.”
— Harry Mathews
ISBN: 978-1-934909-53-9 $18.00
Tony Towle is a quintessential poet of the New York School and of the city of New York itself. In his thirteenth collection, his wit and musicality consistently light up the pages, showing why he has won awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poets Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as earning the respect of his peers.
“Tony Towle’s is one of the clear, authentic voices of American poetry.”
“Towle has achieved his place by a particular elegance of style involving lush imagery, lofty diction, a transparent use of metaphor, and numerous devices of wit and rhetoric, all in the service of a seemingly Romantic personality. ”
— Charles North
“Towle’s poems are beautiful…not because they form decorous displays, but because they are alive with intelligence, urbanity, and multiple voices and views.”
— Ron Padgett
“Poetry continues to be one of the rarest of pleasures, and those who care about it can find here [in North] a noble grace, dramatic and personal.”
— James Schuyler
“Meditative, erudite, stunning with ease and quirky sanity, Tony Towle’s massive Selected is a phenomenal measure of a poetÃ¢Â€Â™s nearly four decades’ mind in poetry.”
— Anne Waldman
“Tony Towle is one of the New York School’s best-kept secrets.”
— John Ashbery