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Autumn House Press – Active Titles

If you would like to order any of our titles directly from Autumn House Press please call us at (412)381-4261. You can also find many of our titles at The Copacetic Comics Company, Amazing Books, Caliban Books, and East End Book Exchange.

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Bear Season by Katherine Ayres

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Award-winning author Katherine Ayres charts a lyrical, thoughtful path through the lives of bears she encounters in the forests of Western Massachusetts. Using her natural curiosity and wit, Ayres explores how people and bears coexist, and what happens when things go wrong. This page-turner will delight any reader with an interest in the natural world, and also anyone who is awed by the power and majesty of the black bear.

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Gift That Arrives Broken by Jacqueline Berger

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This is an art that is centered everywhere. It brought me closer to my own center, and it will bring you, whoever you are, closer too. –Alicia Ostriker

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The White Museum by George Bilgere

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Once again, George Bilgere has shown that imaginative wonders and deep emotional truths can be achieved with plain, colloquial American speech. –Billy Collins

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Divine Salt by Peter Blair

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Peter Blair’s acute devotion to his central subject — our damned and locked-away, our despised and our sub-human — is solid and true. These narratives, elegant and plain, possess unforgettable interior tonal bursts and vocal keenings. The visual layers in the poem “Courtyard,” garden of our brief reprieve, moved me to read the poem aloud and then repeat it to myself as if I’d dreamed those images. Maybe Blair, while sitting in with his companion muses Weil and Whitman, listens in on us, too, in our most desperate and most enlightened milliseconds and gives back to us our own good sense and compassion. From the so-called “quiet-room” of the asylum arrives an aching emotional disorientation with the power to upset our peculiar cold American complacency. –Judith Vollmer

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Farang by Peter Blair

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Peter Blair’s Farang utilizes the best elements of travelogue, memoir and documentary. These poems are panoramic and introspective, foreign and intimate. Crossing genres and cultures, Blair writes lucidly from the crossroads where memory and empathy intersect. –Terrance Hayes

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Natural Causes: Poems by Brian Brodeur

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Brian Brodeur’s poems embrace our shadowed selves—human frailty, ignorance, even the grotesque. In Natural Causes, he reminds his readers that what we hold dear—each other, animals, the planet—is often perilously close to violence and loss… an astute and valiant book, brimming with humanity. –Denise Duhamel

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Blood Honey by Chana Bloch

These poems of intimate memory and sure-handed imagination survey the human condition with a tender, compassionate, and unflinching gaze. They take place in the world of the daily — they eat, dress, make love, ponder, remember, mourn, and observe. They know some things about life that are hard to put into words, and for those things, they find words, and more. Chana Bloch’s poems carry their reader into a hard-won, music-ripened wisdom. –Jane Hirshfield

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Swimming in the Rain: New and Selected Poems 1980-2015 by Chana Bloch

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I was spellbound by Mrs. Dumpty. Chana Bloch deals with the most agonizing personal experience with hair-rising honesty and, always, unwavering control….I admire the speaker’s rare ability to step outside herself, to look at herself and her situation with harrowing candor, wit, hard-won wisdom, deep feeling. The supply of forceful metaphor seems inexhaustible, the language sounds like a living voice. This is a stunning collection. –X.J. Kennedy

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women Edited by Andrea Hollander Budy

When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women features 460 poems by 96 of the most exciting poets in America including:Kim Addonizio, Natasha Trethewey, Robin Becker, Lia Purpura, Hilda Raz, Tracy K. Smith, Chase Twichell, Marilyn Nelson, Marie Howe, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Martha Collins, Jan Beatty, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Claudia Emerson, Lynn Emanuel, Mary Oliver, Jane Mead, Mary Ruefle, Kay Ryan, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and Pattiann Rogers.The collection includes a photograph and a brief biographical sketch of each poet.

Paperback: $34.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Woman in the Painting by Andrea Hollander Budy

Andrea Hollander Budy knows what to hold back as she lets us in. And so we willingly bring ourselves into her subtly registered emotional world. There’s a lovely blend of qualities at work here — an unsparing eye, and a heart that humanizes what that eye sees. –Stephen Dunn

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Amazing Yoga: A Practical Guide to Strength, Wellness, and Spirit by Sean and Karen Conley

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When the student is ready, this book will appear. Sean and Karen’s inspiring journey from the National Football League to parenthood to opening a yoga studio is both practical and whimsical. In this tale of unintended consequences and everyday epiphanies, their lives become yoga, even as yoga becomes their lives. Yours will too.
–Dave Stringer

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Peter Never Came by Ashley Cowger

Peter Never Came by Ashley Cowger

Ashley Cowger writes about childhood with a striking blend of cynicism and innocence. Each piece surprises in its fresh approach, its recasting of fairytales and childhood memories into fresh new shapes — a wonderfully realized debut by a young writer on the rise. –David Crouse

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Stories by Emerging American Writers Edited by Sharon Dilworth

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Jennifer Bannan, Keith Banner, Monica Bergers, Jane Bernstein, David Busis, Marjorie Celona, Katie Chase, Jason England, Sherrie Flick, Kevin Gonzalez, Diane Goodman, Derek Green, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Samuel Ligon, William Lychack, Andrew Malan Milward, Dustin Parsons, Matthew Pitt, Donald Ray Pollock, Casey Taylor.

These are the writers in Autumn House Press’ first anthology of short fiction. The writers, some well published with collections of their own, some newer to the literary scene, present stories that celebrate the boundless imagination and energy of the contemporary short story. The narrative premises are varied, always original. They sweep the grand landscape of an ever-changing world like the trio of expatriates negotiating the perplexing foreignness of the world in which they work in Derek Green’s “Samba.” The stories also focus on under-represented voices such as the young woman from California who is asked by her employers to maintain the quality of life of their dead golden retriever. There is the overweight transvestite keeping the peace in Keith Banner’s “Winners Never Sleep,” and the postal worker hoping for love in Casey Taylor’s “Calvary,” and the delusional chef who is forced to confront her lover’s infidelity in Diane Goodman’s “Beloved.”Keeping the Wolves at Bay reminds us that reading stories is an affirmation that life, no matter how difficult, is always fascinating.

Paperback: $24.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Collected Poems by Patricia Dobler

For all their differences, when I think of Pat I sometimes think of Flannery O’Connor. The tough-mindedness — the passion — the spiritual life — the humor — and of course, they were two absolute originals. They were also two who were well acquainted with illness. And who had an enormous hunger for life, and for art; and who died too young…. What grew in her was mystery, and her thirst to drink in deeper and deeper histories, and also life ‘outside of history.’ –Jean Valentine (from the Introduction)

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Coda by Marilyn Donnelly

Coda by Marilyn Donnelly

Marilyn Donnelly has always lived, spoken, and written, with a stunning, indelible, original voice. Her poems, while often brief, plumb great depths of wisdom and wit. Her style of humor sweeps cobwebs and confusion far far away. She reminds me of those haiku masters of the 13th century whom any of us would have been grateful to meet on a trail. Her voice would have saved us then, as she inspires and saves us now. Do not miss her beauty! –Naomi Shihab Nye

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Late Rapturous by Frank X. Gaspar

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From his writing room near the ocean in southern California, Frank Gaspar makes an irresistible music that crosses over from the inner to the outer, from memory to the moment, from the earth to the farthest stars and back again. I’ve loved his work for years and it just gets better and better, and unbelievably better. Gaspar is an ecstatic, and Late Rapturous is visionary, planetary and quietly wise. –Dorianne Laux

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

What You Are Now Enjoying: Stories by Sarah Gerkensmeyer

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The smart, funky, well-turned stories in What You Are Now Enjoying keep the reader not just guessing and leaning forward but in a perpetual state of wonder. Sarah Gerkensmeyer is an original, a sneaky sorceress of a storyteller. –Stewart O’Nan

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Sheet Music: Poems by Robert Gibb

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Robert Gibb’s poetry will give readers an idea of what Wordsworth might have been had he lived in the late twentieth century. –Tar River Review

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

What the Heart Can Bear: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1979-1993 by Robert Gibb

For Robert Gibb, “almost nothing” is “almost enough,” and his achievement in this long-awaited and essential collection of his early books lies in the results of his labor: “The work of memory is permanence.” Gibb is one of the folks to whose work I turn when I seem to forget how poems are written, or how they should be written. This book belongs among those worn American classics crammed on the rough-hewn shelf nailed onto the mudroom wall. –Michael Waters

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Deja Vu Diner by Leonard Gontarek

Gontarek’s lyricism — his aphoristic reticence — is unique in its precision, its refusal to use emotion carelessly, its eerie fragmentation. How almost not to say what must be said is the structural heart of these poems that express the ordinary surreal experience of our lives, and embody the tradition of Beckett’s “Every word is a stain on silence and nothingness.” Gontarek makes this dangerous territory his own — “I am a crazy man in a bathrobe,” he says as he meticulously sings his hypnotic songs. —Stephen Berg

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Party Girls: Stories by Diane Goodman

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Using food as a common theme, Goodman expertly cuts across class lines to reveal the souls of her memorable characters with subtlety and compassion. –Publishers Weekly

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

New World Order: Stories by Derek Green

In this wide-ranging collection of stories, Derek Green takes readers on a tour of the world as America’s military-industrial complex reels into a new century. Written with grace, masterful precision and brutal honesty, New World Order shows us characters stripped of the familiar and forced to face the world on its own harsh terms. By turns frightening and comical, fierce and suspenseful, these eleven stories turn our attention outward, to a world where our role as Americans is no longer as clear and secure as it once seemed.Derek Green’s New World Order is a sharp, stirring collection about Americans abroad, full of the eerie loneliness and hidden menace that comes with global travel in the age of terror. These vivid stories about greed, fear, and the thirst for adventure are also haunting, suspenseful dispatches from the front lines and back alleys of America’s corporate-military alliance. –Dean Bakopoulos

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

To Make It Right by Corrinne Clegg Hales

To Make It Right by Corrinne Clegg Hales

Her language muscular and resolute, equally hard-edged and finely honed, Corrinne Clegg Hales explores the sometimes uneasy resonances between family and community, the self and history, reminding us that one of poetry’s noble purposes lies in the skillful ordering of emotional chaos. To Make It Right contains poetry of fierce, undeniable beauty despite the hardships that have inspired it, and includes a sequence devoted to the discovery of a narrative’s first fine threads of truth buried with the victims of the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1857, when Mormon zealots murdered over a hundred emigrants men, women, and children bound for California. Ambitious and sustained, this remarkable collection is the work a poet intent on responding to the call of this world. –Claudia Emerson

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

67 Mogul Miniatures by Raza Ali Hasan

Great contentious pressures create these gem-like miniatures: East and West, rich and poor, fisc and spirit, landmines and butterflies, indictment and song. They take their hexagonal shape in a landscape that spans from Gilgamesh to Karachi. Over the humbled landscapes flies the paper kite of the great Urdu poet, Muhammad Iqbal, as Raza Ali Hasan channels the high-flying intentions and grounded tensions of his mentor. The poems are solemn and funny, a call to prayer and a call to arms. They are smart, scathing, and demand to be read with attention and concern. –Bruce Smith

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Song of the Horse: Selected Poems 1958-2008 by Samuel Hazo

Samuel Hazo’s new book brings us once again, in poem after poem, the flow of thought in a lively mind. His work is meditative and yet, because of its humane warmth and wit, it seems continually shared. I enjoy the variety of his sentences as they move in the best sort of broken-field running, down the page…. It is good to have this fresh selection of Hazo new and old. –Richard Wilbur

Hardcover: $24.95

A Theory of Everything by Mary Crockett Hill

A Theory of Everything is deeply original, magical, and WEIRD in a good way, as we used to say back in grade school. Some kinds of “weird” were desirable since they suggested potent originality, quirky insight, and startling but necessary twists of humor — as in, when is the last time YOU considered a flea’s memories or regrets? Mary Crockett Hill has made a significant, fabulously welcome contribution to the world of theories in general, and elegant poetry you will want to keep close by — for the days when your own elements of existence don’t fit neatly into compartments or jingle sweet harmonies in your ear. Here’s a place where darkness lives comfortably, studded with breathtaking light. Like a mesmerizing sky. –Naomi Shihab Nye

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Monongahela Dusk: a Novel by John Hoerr

In 1937, as labor turmoil sweeps across western Pennsylvania, traveling beer salesman Pete Bonner picks up hitchhiker Joe Miravich, a blacklisted coal miner running from the law. The two overhear a plot to kill a national union leader in Pittsburgh and warn the intended victim only to become targets of the man who ordered the assassination, a mysterious industrialist who conspires with racketeers to control mill-town politics. As the industrial region moves from Depression to postwar prosperity, the businessman and union militant form an unlikely alliance to defend themselves. A violent showdown reveals the exploitative nature of the economic and political powers that would, forty years later, turn the mill towns of the Monongahela Valley into blighted relics of the industrial era.“Hoerr, a McKeesport native and veteran labor journalist, has become a leading chronicler of the demise of industrial America.” –Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]


Landscape with Female Figure: New and Selected Poems, 1982-2012 by Andrea Hollander

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In “Still Life with Jonquils” Hollander says, “The painter knows…we bring our own heat to the canvas.” Her readers enter poem after poem in this poignant and mature collection bearing the heat of their own lives. Hollander’s impeccable conversational diction does just what a poem should do; it raises the hairs on the nape of your neck. –Maxine Kumin

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Archipelago: A Balkan Passage by Robert Isenberg

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In the spirit of Paul Theroux, Robert Isenberg takes us on an informative, spirited, and sometimes comic journey into the heart of the Balkans. You can’t finish this book without being moved by the landscape, the culture, and especially, the people Isenberg encounters along the way. With the skill of a master storyteller, he creates a narrative that’s hard to put down, and when you’re finished, you are closer to understanding this “nervous string” of countries. –Sheryl St. Germain

Paperback: $19.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Half Lives: Petrarchan Poems by Richard Jackson

This remarkable series, athletic in its passion, sonorous and brave, reconfirms that love dines on both a lover’s heart and brain, and that the mortality of love encompasses the world. It also reminds us by its example that literature is a grand conversation spanning centuries and cultures. Petrarch is the spark, but Jackson’s the one on fire.
–Marvin Bell

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Crossing Laurel Run by Maxwell King

Crossing Laurel Run by Maxwell King

In these carefully-wrought elegies, Maxwell King writes of nature and family. By turns mournful and celebratory, the poems present a man who knows himself and his world.

Chapbook: $8.00 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

My Life as a Doll by Elizabeth Kirschner

These poems are dark, iridescent beads strung along a narrative of embattled childhood that supports but never overrides the lyrical force of Kirschner’s voice and vision. The narrative begins with a mother’s violence and follows its effects upon the daughter’s inner landscape — the visions, the bouts of madness, the circling smoke of memory — as she grows older. It’s the landscape that generates the force behind these poems, rendered as it is with stunning imagery at every turn, and with urgent rhythms that push towards a kind of exorcism. These poems confront hard things head-on, but far from being sensationalistic or depressing, they are lush, fierce, and lovely.
–Leslie Ullman

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]


The Moons of August by Danusha Laméris

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Danusha Laméris writes with definitive, savoring power in perfectly well-weighted lines and scenes. Her poems strike deeply, balancing profound loss and new finding, employing a clear eye, a way of being richly alive with appetite and gusto, and a gift of distilling experience to find its shining core. Don’t miss this stunning first book.
–Naomi Shihab Nye

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives by Sydney Lea and Fleda Brown

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Sydney Lea and Fleda Brown, both poets laureate of their states and both nationally recognized writers who’ve given their lives to their art, have conspired to write an unusual book of essays on a wide variety of topics, covering a lot of territory, both artistic and memoiristic. Some of the pieces, like “Wild Animals,” are downright silly; some, like “Sex, “Music,” and “Food,” are provocative; some, like “Clothes,” “Sports,” and “Houses,” appear ordinary but are ultimately revealing. The last pair of essays fall under the rubric, “Becoming a Poet,” but actually, the whole collection is about Syd and Fleda as people-poets. Poet-people. Poetry never completely goes off-stage in this wide-ranging and exciting conversation between the two.

eBook: $9.99 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Dark Opens by Miriam Levine

“No break between the voice and the word,” writes Miriam Levine, and indeed this is a speaker who seems entirely herself but somehow edgeless, too, so that she shades into whatever engages her attention. “It’s terrible to be rooted forever like Daphne,” she writes; she’d prefer to accept the invitation offered to her by Night: “Touch my face, I’ll make you…unending.” Somehow these effortless poems manage to be deeply connected to the solid physical world of friends and children, husband and neighbors, but also touch upon an airy, unfettered interiority, so that they’re both straightforward and complicated at once, both earthly and awash in a world of light. –Mark Doty

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Drift and Swerve: Stories by Samuel Ligon

Drift and Swerve is an extraordinary collection–fourteen feverish stories propelled by Samuel Ligon’s vigorous, perfect prose. Darkly funny and surprisingly moving, these tales of collision and escape feature unforgettable characters, like Nikki, who careens through the book’s hard America with a ferocious, incurable case of hope. –Jess Walter

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

lucky wreck by Ada Limón

Ada’s new book has a smart clip of anger to some of the poems, edgy parameters of disappointment to others, lots of personal relationship narratives, conflicts and emotional realizations; decisions, choices, changes, hopes and sadness, a type of survival poetry searching the world, getting into a deeper knowledge of people, and as the searchlight strobes out from the lighthouse through the fog and mist to lost travelers and explorers, structure changes toward an inventive orthodoxy of the heart’s stormy reign….bravo. –Jimmy Santiago Baca

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Poetic Classroom: A Collection of Lessons, Reflections and Poetry from Teachers and Students in Western Pennsylvania edited by Matthew C. Luskey and Christine Aikens Wolfe

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The Poetic Classroom: A Collection of Lessons, Reflections and Poetry from Teachers and Students in Western Pennsylvania, is a terrific collection not only for the working teacher, but for the working artist, student, and lover of language. This inclusive and inspirational collection breathes the humanity that is often left out of the academy: how to read, teach, and write in a way that is alive, breathing, and visionary. Buy this book! —Jan Beatty

Paperback: $29.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]


She Heads into the Wilderness by Anne Marie Macari

Our world needs poetry that can speak openly of body and spirit—their desire to live. It needs poetry that can speak to our difficult time about our cohabitation with nature. She Heads into the Wilderness is an important book as well as a beautiful one. It is populated by beasts, insects, birds, human children and men, growing-and-dying things, and among them walks an open-eyed woman who happens to be a gifted poet. Is she our foremother Eve? Yes and no, no and yes. Read her words. Walk alongside her. Line by line, phrase by phrase, take pleasure and wisdom from Anne Marie Macari’s radiant poems. –Alicia Ostriker

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Shelter by Gigi Marks

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In a poem called “Born,” Gigi Marks writes: “Because there are/ places that disappear, the ones that/ I go back to stand out in relief.” These short but potent poems revisit such places with insight, emotional precision, and a true poet’s eye. –Linda Pastan

Chapbook: $8.00 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Satisfied with Havoc by Jo McDougall

Without fanfare — and fanfare would be in order — Jo McDougall has created a small but solid corpus of poetry that is both unique and uniquely American….Gathered together in ‘the hasty tent’ of our life, we are, for a moment, something other than ourselves, not earth but air. Call it magic, call it art: either way, McDougall’s poetry is something like a miracle. –The Hollins Critic

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Dirt by Jo McDougall

McDougall gives voice to the ineffable emotions of plain people. And in the undiluted glare of the genuine, the land and its people are redeemed, if not wholly forgiven.
The Georgia Review

McDougall’s…reach is expansive, comprehensive … beautiful, witty, and unlike anyone else’s. –Kelly Cherry

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

New America : Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society Edited by Holly Messitt and James Tolan

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New America showcases 61 writers, emerging and established, who explore American life in a time of cultural change. This collection reflects a diverse, aspiring generation of writers, readers, and teachers. Including fiction by ZZ Packer, Carlos Hernandez, Junot Diaz, Wang Ping, and Percival Everett; poetry by Li-Young Lee, Chana Bloch, Lucille Clifton, Toi Derricotte, Linh Dinh, Martin Espada, Etheridge Knight, Dorianne Laux, Ada Limon, Terrance Hayes, Miguel Pinero, Evie Shockley, Gary Soto, Brian Turner, and Rita Dove; drama by Chad Beckim, Karen Hartman, and Elizabeth Primamore.

Paperback: $34.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

A Greater Monster by Adam Patric Miller

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Adam Patric Miller is an essayist who pays attention to the world around him, and we follow his gaze. He’s particularly adept at gathering a bit of this and a bit of that art; music; teaching; family stories of illness, of fathers, of divorce until they finally add up to something vital and unforgettable. With an astute ear for the music language can make on the page, and with the writer’s need to consider his obsessions, Miller covertly creates a portrait of the man he’s become on the other side of all he’s survived. A Greater Monster is a fine debut from an essayist who deserves our attention and our acclaim. –Lee Martin

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Come by Here: A Novella and Stories by Tom Noyes

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My day of fulfillment has drawn near: Tom Noyes’ Come by Here: A Novella and Stories squared me up and speared me in the chest. In these masterful tales, tornados billow out of smokestacks, strikingly real characters stand at the crossroads of the promised land and the broken promise, God moves on the water, and the truth comes black-eyed in the Devil’s night. –Glenn Taylor

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Unreconstructed: Poems Selected and New by Ed Ochester

This collection includes the entire text of Snow White Horses, Ochester’s earlier selected poems, as well as selections from Land of Cockaigne and a generous sampling of new poems. “Ed Ochester has his thumb on the American pulse and his ear tuned to the American voice–in all its urban-suburban-backyard-backwoods- rustbelt-ad-agency and Hollywood-inspired dreaming and folly. He smiles at it, he loves it, he makes us love it too. For he is also a gardener who knows the names of things, and knows, as well, that “we have no single lives,/ we are grass, trees,/ hidden roots intertwined/ mile upon mile.” I salute Ochester’s Whitmanic yawp and tenderness. –Alicia Ostriker

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

No Sweeter Fat by Nancy Pagh

These poems take an elaborate look at the persistent complication of desire through the lens of obesity and body consciousness. At times the language is poignantly raw, at other moments tender, understated, then humorous to get at the diffuse agonies that might, otherwise, be lost to silence.  –Tim Seibles

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

E Block Photographs by Mark Perrott with Introduction by Adam Gopnik

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In 2005 photographer Mark Perrott learned that Pittsburgh’s Western Penitentiary, located just downriver from the city center, was about to close. He requested permission to visit the 1885 Gothic sandstone structure, and ended up touring the site with a former Pennsylvania Department of Corrections administrator. They walked through spaces of confinement and institutional organization like the Mess Hall, Laundry, Commissary, Chapel, Death Row, and the cellblocks.

Paperback: $35.00 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Attention Please Now by Matthew Pitt

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The central characters of these remarkable stories are oddly ordinary and inordinately odd: that is to say, they are each uniquely qualified to speak for life outside of fiction. Pitt allows them to build the worlds they inhabit from their very particular understandings of what life is, thus endowing their narratives with unpredictable outcomes, and startlingly unexpected revelations along the way. Attention Please Now is a collection possessed of a genuine fictional beauty. —Chuck Wachtel

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]


A Poet’s Sourcebook: Writings about Poetry, from the Ancient World to the Present edited by Dawn Potter

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“This anthology is…one reader’s record of the long human need to make poetry. For no matter how distant in time those individuals have become, reading about that need, in both their own words and the words of others, keeps our relationship with them intimate and immediate.” –Dawn Potter

Paperback: $34.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

A Raft of Grief by Chelsea Rathburn

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In her excellent A Raft of Grief, Chelsea Rathburn probes the varieties and nuances of love and relationships with unsparing lucidity. “Maybe it’s not the eye/but the mind that can take only so much beauty, or solitude, or pleasure,/ maybe we travel both to find and forget ourselves,” she says in this book set in places as varied as Paris, Florida, Krakow. I love how she’s able to affirm what can happen between two people, while asking if a story-teller sometimes has to “sacrifice lovers and selves to the narrative arc?” She’s willing to, which is one reason why her narratives are so persuasive – her allegiance throughout is to the poem as a whole. She will not let her fine moments overwhelm, as lesser poets often do; her limpid, yet complicated phrasing is always part of the poem’s fabric. -Stephen Dunn

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

The Beds: Poems by Martha Rhodes

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In The Beds, award-winning poet Martha Rhodes skillfully navigates a tonally complex terrain. Rhodes’ fourth collection mixes form and free-verse, specifically using the rondelet’s tight, obsessive repetition as a means to harness and modulate frenetic content. In just three lines of “Anticipation,” we encounter methodical constraint as a vehicle to control the difficult: “She climbed the stairs / wanting to find them, and she did. / She climbed the stairs.” A master of the poem of longing, Rhodes deftly explores this theme (“I ask little but do ask this: Praise.”), as well as anger (“Hell / was where I wanted him, / next minute not soon enough”), resilience (“I claim Baker River as it opens in a rush. A saddle of rock holds me.”), and even humor (“this bed may just represent my Grand Contribution after all”). Ultimately these are poems that “recognize what it is you want,” to assert, “that should be mine now. / And then it is.”

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Dear Good Naked Morning by Ruth L. Schwartz

Ruth L. Schwartz will settle for nothing less than the essential. Her passionate poems are alive to the vulnerability of the body, the daily possibility of joy, and the deep struggle not only to make sense of, but to affirm the world. –Mark Doty

Paperback: $14.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Miraculum: Poems by Ruth L. Schwartz

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Ruth L. Schwartz has reached a level of poetic maturity that we’re used to seeing only in the best of our American poetry… reaching after and trying to understand the natural world and her place therein, and modulating her poems with a subtle, ghostly music which has the capacity to lull us into understanding more about ourselves and about the wonderful ambiguities of living life most fully.
–Bruce Weigl

Paperback: $17.95 [ Purchase from Amazon ]

Little Raw Souls: Stories by Steven Schwartz

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How vividly Steven Schwartz describes his characters and how cunningly he wields the knife edge of suspense. I loved entering each of the worlds he creates–a grandfather fighting for his grandchildren, a man misled by a hippie couple, a woman who falls asleep at the airport, a teacher who holds his class hostage–and I hated to leave.
–Margot Livesey

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Favorite Monster: Stories by Sharma Shields

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Besides being weird, fantastic and surprising, the stories in Favorite Monster are flat-out fun. Always a halfstep ahead of the reader, Sharma Shields dares us to follow her through the twisted mazes of her dark rides, tantalizing us with just enough shocks so that when we come out the other side, we immediately want to go again.
–Stewart O’Nan

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The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry [Second Edition] Edited by Michael Simms

Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, by Michael Simms

A comprehensive selection of work by 112 important American poets including Kim Addonizio, Jimmy Santiago Baca, George Bilgere, Chana Bloch, Lucille Clifton, Billy Collins, Toi Derricotte, Stephen Dobyns, Rita Dove, Denise Duhamel, Stephen Dunn, Terrance Hayes, Bob Hicok, Jane Hirshfield, Tony Hoagland, Marie Howe, Jane Kenyon, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Larry Levis, William Matthews, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ed Ochester, Linda Pastan, Natasha Tretheway, and Jean Valentine.

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The White Calf Kicks by Deborah Slicer

There’s a wild, unpredictable exuberance in these wonderful poems, one formed of equal parts grief and joy. Slicer says of a giant Percheron stallion: “He’s made from endurance/like a hummingbird.” You can’t argue with an intelligence that alert — you can only startle and bow, grateful that imagination and language still serve, still proclaim the sacramental anguish of this world. –Gregory Orr

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Not God After All by Gerald Stern

With drawings by Sheba SharrowStern is one of those rare poetic souls who makes it almost impossible to remember what our world was like before his poetry came to exalt it. –C. K. Williams

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Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-first Century Edited by Sheryl St. Germain and Margaret L. Whitford

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Forty-six writers explore the range of the contemporary essay: Dorothy Allison, Jimmy Santiago Baca, John Biguenet, Tom Bissell, Greg Bottoms, Joy Castro, Toi Derricotte, Brian Doyle, Gretel Ehrlich, Jane Fishman, Melanie Dylan Fox, David Gessner, Derek Green, John Haines, Linda Hogan, Barbara Hurd, Robert Isenberg, Lori Jakiela, Jamaica Kincaid, Elizabeth Kirschner, Amanda Leskovac, Phillip Lopate, BK Loren, Jo McDougall, Debra Marquart, Kathryn Miles, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, Dinty W. Moore, Michele Morano, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Alicia Ostriker, Michael Pollan, John T. Price, Lia Purpura, Janisse Ray, Pattiann Rogers, Sheryl St. Germain, Marjane Satrapi, Ruth L. Schwartz, Lawrence Sutin, Rhett Iseman Trull, Tom Varisco, Margaret L. Whitford, John Edgar Wideman.

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Let it be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems by Sheryl St. Germain

Sheryl St. Germain’s poetry is filled with sensual delight, with the enjoyment of good food, good company, and good music. While she travels the world, St. Germain returns again and again to her native New Orleans, to the bonds of family and the forces of nature that break through and spill over human walls and barriers. In Let it Be a Dark Roux, St. Germain teaches us how to embrace all the currents of life—its pleasures, its sorrows, its inevitable challenge to step out into the street and take up the dance once more. –Mary Swander

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Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry Edited by Robert Strong

“All poetry is spiritual,” Robert Strong points out in his introduction. “As I worked on this anthology, I heard this sentiment again and again, from poets and readers alike. The spiritual, after all, is what our existence soaks in; it is both everywhere and ineffable, always right here and just out of reach. We see it in blades of grass, sense it in love and in the cries of newborns, in the eyes of the dying, in volcanoes and choirs…” This anthology of over 300 poems brings together America’s diverse spiritual traditions in one volume. Ancient Native songs from the Chippewa, Inuit, Ojibwa, Osage, Hopi, Pawnee, and Sioux are included beside traditional Protestant hymns and generous selections from Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and many contemporary poets such as Frank O’Hara, Linda Pastan, Gerald Stern, Toi Derricotte, Agha Shahid Ali, B.H. Fairchild, Anne Waldman, Bob Hicok, and Mark Doty.

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Lie Down With Me: New and Selected Poems by Julie Suk

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Who would have thought that any writer so acutely beset by what Emily Dickinson called ‘Heavenly Hurt’ could find so many ways to transform lamentation to consolation and leave us ‘singing / heedless of the dark taking aim’? The poetry of Julie Suk is at once deceptively spare and metaphorically rich, and the sensual mystery of her perfectly pitched and etched lines is haunting, elemental, and wild.
–R.T. Smith

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Rabbis of the Air by Philip Terman

Personal experience acquires the monumentality of mythology…. Here is a resolution that shifts between history and modernity, between old and new conceptions of Judaism, binding the generations. –Jehanne Dubrow, Prairie Schooner

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The Torah Garden by Philip Terman

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In these remarkable poems, Philip Terman explores the meaning of being a Jew in America. Personal and family history, prayer, religious exploration, and political invective are invoked in a powerful journey through the heart of America.

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Love for Sale: And Other Essays by Clifford Thompson

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The triumph of this deeply satisfying essay collection is its presentation of a whole human being: immensely cultivated, likable because unfailingly honest, reasonable, mature, witty, and never less than eloquent. Clifford Thompson’s perspective is that of a humane African-American male who is wary of any condescending sentimentality or group-rant, who loves jazz, movies, books, and the oddities of daily life. His prose style is consistently thoughtful, surprising and unobtrusively elegant, and the voice navigates with remarkable smoothness between personal experience and critical analysis. With this selection, he vaults to the front ranks of essayists of his generation.–Phillip Lopate

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The Golden Hour by Sue Ellen Thompson

…a book of both courage and the finest sort of craft: elegant, wild, beautifully disciplined, seemingly effortless, stunningly precise… –B. H. Fairchild

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Mass of the Forgotten by James Tolan

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Tolan’s strange and beautiful imagination takes hold of the reader and asks us to see, in that wild and twisting darkness, something important…the fresh, lovely heaviness of living. – Sheryl St. Germain

Jim Tolan’s poems, breathtaking in their stark originality and sudden turns of surprise, navigate the rich mixed waters of memory and imagination… “How far are we from home?” he writes. Not so far, in stunning poems like these. – Naomi Shihab Nye

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The Water Books by Judith Vollmer

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The Water Books is a remarkable achievement for its tough wit and shimmering beauties. Vollmer is both guardian and scribe, with a naturalist’s sharp-eyed ethos that snakes through watery realms, clear up to the Northern Lights and down to her own “fire-rings’ topaz and saffron stars.” As above so below. Her Rome and Pittsburgh meet as vivid—equally adored—parallel gem-lines in a magnanimous space. She kindles a bonfire for Pasolini and calls out hunter Cheney (“O great black mask of death”) with a Keatsian capability. These poems are feats of a heightened, familial, and adhesive consciousness, very good news for us all. –Anne Waldman

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The River is Rising by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s The River is Rising is both brilliant and heartbreaking. Survivor of the brutal Liberian Civil War, Wesley bears witness to a life she lost to that war, and to what it means to be a refugee who has remade herself…. “To every war,” she says simply, “there are no winners”…. I am in awe of these beautiful, necessary poems, and the glory and largesse of Wesley’s vision. –Cynthia Hogue

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Where the Road Turns by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Wesley possesses a distinctive, lyrical gift of the highest order…. The emotional appeal of her poetry is direct and accessible. She also has a dramatic gift and a masterly command of place. –Robert H. Brown, Liberian Studies Journal

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House Where a Woman by Lori Wilson

Wilson’s seemingly quiet lines will haunt you, hunt you down in the middle of the night, and change the way you feel about peace and quiet….[She] gives us women on motorcycles, women on country roads, women on the verge of flight as we are delivered straight to the reckoning: what days and nights brought us here and what prices have been paid? This is a book that is in love with sound and precision in an organic, necessary way—giving us more and more faces to whatever can be called truth, giving us an astonishing range of play, tenderness, and brave voices—arousing us to our own desire. –Jan Beatty

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