4983 Tall Oaks Drive · Fayetteville, New York 13066-9776 · info@bitteroleander.com
Recognized as Best Literary Journal for 2005 by Public Radio's - "The Poet and the Poem's" Tenth Annual Award for Excellence in Print
 

THE BITTER OLEANDER PRESS BOOKS

The Bitter Oleander: A Journal of Contemporary International Poetry and Short Fiction ISSN # 1087-8483.
Please click here to order any of the books below by snail mail.
Parabola
Dreams
Parabola Dreams by Alan Britt & Silvia ScheibliParabola Dreams by Alan Britt & Silvia Scheibli ($16.00)
ISBN # 978-0-9786335-9-2

Alan Britt's interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem (http://www.loc.gov/poetry/poetpoem.html#alan-britt) aired on Pacifica Radio in January 2013. His interview with Minnesota Review is up at http://minnesotareview.wordpress.com/. He read poems at the historic Maysles Cinema in Harlem/NYC, February 2013 and at the World Trade Center/Tribute WTC Visitor Center in Manhattan/NYC, April 2012. His latest books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010), Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). He is Poetry Editor for the We Are You Project International (www.weareyouproject.org) and Book Review Editor for Ragazine (http://ragazine.cc/). Alan teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formally feral cats.

Silvia Scheibli was born in Hamburg, Germany, and has lived in Ontario, Canada, as well as in Tampa, San Francisco, San Diego, the Mojave Desert, and currently resides near the US/Mexican border in Arizona. Her poems reflect her love of nature and wildlife as well as cosmopolitan habitats as felt in these lines from "Japanese Tea Ceremony - Golden Gate Park." She states, "The drinkers pour simplicity into a tiny cup/and are transformed/by a swallow's flight at their fingertips."
Silvia Scheibli's poems are translated internationally and included in numerous anthologies. She is a participant in the We Are You Project International (www.weareyouproject.org) and a January contributor to the online magazine, Truck. Her latest books are Under The Loquat Tree by Vida Publishing Inc., Maryland, 2002 and Parabola Dreams: Poems by Silvia Scheibli and Alan Britt published by The Bitter Oleander Press, New York, 2013.
According to the distinguished poet, Lilvia Soto, Silvia Scheibli writes with "an erotic brush" and some of her "word watercolors are true surrealist visions representing sensitive portraits of Mexican culture with a Zen aliveness and a lightning knowing." For example, in her poem "In the time of the Jaguar and the Sky Island Alliance," Ms. Scheibli states, "He watched jagged fruit bats/ slide out of the moon's silver sleeves/flutter to chrome-sapphire blossoms."
She is a regular contributor to the award-winning The Bitter Oleander, whose publisher and editor, Paul B. Roth, published her first book of poems, The Moon Rises in the Rattlesnake's Mouth in the early 1970's after she graduated from Tampa University, Tampa, Florida.

Both Alan Britt and Silvia Scheibli have, on their own, established their durability as poets for decades. The idea to put the two together, not just because they are good friends and poets of a similar aesthetic, is genius. Even though each's work shows greater differences than similarities to the other's, it is just this contrast which shows the pure individual way one can nurture the same perception by way of a uniquely different set of experiences. Both intrigue and delight; neither is whimsical unless on purpose. Both are concerned with the deterioration of the environment inclusive especially of the lack of civility among human beings on the planet. Reading either poet snaps you back from the brink of this non-reality we've all been brainwashed to believe is the only true reality. Experience is everything and both Britt and Scheibli's words develop it beautifully.

by Alan Britt &
Silvia Scheibli

Of Flies
and Monkeys
Of Flies and Monkeys (De singes et de mouches) Including also Les Mères (Mothers) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree) by Jacques DupinOf Flies and Monkeys (De singes et de mouches) Including also Les Mères (Mothers) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree) by Jacques Dupin ($24.00) A bilingual edition Introduced and translated from the French by John Taylor
ISBN # 0-9786335-4-7

(French/English)

JACQUES DUPIN was born in 1927 in southern France (in the small town of Privas) and raised in northern France (in Saint-Quentin) as well, until he settled in Paris in 1944 where he continues to live. His first book, Cendrier du voyage (1950), was prefaced by René Char. By 1952, he had begun working for the magazine Cahiers d'Art. Soon the poet came into contact with numerous artists, including Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, Victor Brauner, Wilfredo Lam, Alexander Calder, Jean Hélion, Georges Braque, Nicolas De Staël, Joan Miró, and Alberto Giacometti. From the 1950s to the present day, Dupin has been a major figure not only in French poetry but also in the contemporary art world, as a critic, expert (notably of Miró's painting), catalogue editor, exhibition organizer, and publisher (at the Éditions de la Galerie Maeght). Along with André du Bouchet, Yves Bonnefoy, Michel Leiris, Gaëtan Picon, Louis-René des Forêts, and Paul Celan, Dupin founded and edited the important review L'Éphémère, beginning in 1966. His poetic oeuvre is one of the most profound and challenging in contemporary French literature. Besides recent volumes published by the Éditions P.O.L., such as Écart (2000) and especially Coudrier (2006), which is translated here, two comprehensive Gallimard paperback collections, Le Corps clairvoyant (1999) and Ballast (2009), gather much of his earlier work. He was awarded the French National Poetry Prize in 1988, and the Grand Prix de Poésie (attributed by the French Academy) in 2010.

by
Jacques Dupin

The First Decade:
1968-1978
The First Decade: 1968-1978 by Duane LockeThe First Decade: 1968-1978 by Duane Locke ($25.00)
ISBN # 0-9786335-7-1

DUANE LOCKE was born in 1921 on a farm near Vienna, Georgia. His undergraduate work at the University of Florida led to his Masters studies on John Keats and set the foundation for his Doctoral thesis on the poetry of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. He received a Ph.D. in English Renaissance Literature in 1958 and was Professor of English and Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over twenty years. At the University of Tampa, he edited three critically acclaimed journals of poetry, Poetry Review (1964-1971), UT Review (1972-1982), and Abatis (1983-1986). He taught courses on every period of poetry ranging from Old English to contemporary, with a concentration in contemporary European and Latin American poetry.

Locke's poems have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Literary Review, Kansas Quarterly, Black Moon, Ann Arbor Review and The Bitter Oleander to name but a few. At present count he has had over 6,000 poems published in both print and more currently e-zine formats. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry. In addition to those included in this collection, they are: Poems of Duane Locke (1986), Whoever Raises the Question of Representation in Our Time (1992), Watching Wisteria (1995), and Yang Chu's Poems (2009). He also has three e-books all published in 2002: The Squid's Dark Ink (Ze Books), From a Tiny Room (Otos Books, Spain), and The Death of Daphne (4*9*1). He has also been anthologized in Southern Writing in the Sixties (1968), The Living Underground (1969), This Generation (1970), I Am Talking About Revolution (1973), The Immanentist Anthology, Art of the Superconscious (1973), Mantras (1973), Contemporary Southern Poetry (1978) and Ghost Dance Anthology (1994). His honors include the Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize for best sonnet written in that year, the Charles Agnoff Award for best poem in a literary review, and the Walt Whitman Award bestowed upon him by the Poetry Society of America.

by
Duane Locke

1001 Winters
Estonian/English
1001 Winters by Kristiina Ehin1001 Winters by Kristiina Ehin ($21.00)
A bilingual edition translated from the Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere
ISBN # 978-0-9786335-8-5

(Estonian/English)

Kristiina Ehin is one of Estonia's leading poets and is known throughout Europe for her poetry and short stories. She has an MA in Comparative and Estonian Folklore from the University of Tartu, and folklore plays a significant role in her work. In her native Estonian she has to date published six volumes of poetry, three books of short stories and a retelling of South-Estonian fairy tales. She has also written two theatrical productions as well as poetic, imaginative radio broadcasts, one of which has also been released as a CD. She has won Estonia's most prestigious poetry prize for Kaitseala (Huma, 2005), a book of poems and journal entries written during a year spent as a nature reserve warden on an otherwise uninhabited island off Estonia's north coast.

Currently "short-listed" for the 2013 Corneliu M Popescu Prize for the best in European translation.

These works by Kristiina Ehin arose from a richness in the earth. An earth composted with the ever-changing and often stagnant regimes overseeing Estonia's long, proud and storied past. But an earth that also brought forth the very basic of song into words that tell and retell the geography, the history and the culture from Estonia's bottomless oral tradition. These pieces not only come from this tradition but create for the young people in a new Estonia, a proud sense of wonder, opportunity and above all, freedom. It is especially refreshing to read work that is so universal and never speaks over any one of us in its own very unique and compassionate way. One need not be Estonian to appreciate the wisdom these poems exude. One need only begin and be unable to stop.

by
Kristiina Ehin

Empire in the Shade
of a Grass Blade
Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade by Rob CookEmpire in the Shade of a Grass Blade by Rob Cook ($18.00)
ISBN # 978-0-9883525-0-6


Rob Cook lives in Manhattan's East Village. He is the author of five previous books, including Songs for the Extinction of Winter (Rain Mountain Press, 2007), Diary of Tadpole the Dirtbag (Rain Mountain Press, 2009), and Blackout Country (BlazeVox books, 2009). His work has appeared in, among others, Fence, Harvard Review, Sugar House Review, Aufgabe, Pleiades, The Bitter Oleander, Mudfish, Massachusetts Review, Mayday Magazine, Osiris, Ur Vox, Colorado Review, Salamander, Many Mountains Moving, and Parthenon West Review.

Eschewing neat closures, Cook creates poems that arguably compose one long gesture, the sections open to and echo each other, all held together by the pain of an unblinking awareness as well as by a ubiquitous freshness in the writing--if Cook sees a worn linguistic or perceptual path in front of him, he always veers off in a new direction that challenges both himself and his reader. Fueled by a deep dismay, the poetry goes beyond Surrealism, for Bréton's "astonish me" is no longer sufficient; the many contemporary outrages of Cook's "always lurking, indefinable country" require instead a poetic that can register the shock of "castrated hymns" and "the statues of sharks inside our mouths." Cook's world, where even the ground is capable of falling and wind is torn to plastic, is our own but atomized and reassembled in such a way that what we see through his lens is both strange and familiar. Thus the poet's vision of berries "ripening / on a noose" encapsulates a life-and-death drama between, as the book's title suggests, the imperial and the natural, a drama that gives an urgent quality to the verse and so invigorates the poet that the end result is a buoyant energy in and of itself a significant victory. Like Whitman in another perilous national period, Cook, by imagining the unimaginable and expressing the ineffable, offers us "good health"; Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade is both an antidote for dispiritedness and a guidebook for living in the land of "commercially-harvested weeping." -- Philip Dacey

by
Rob Cook

Painting the
Egret's Echo
Painting the Egret's Echo by Patty Dickson PieczkaPainting the Egret's Echo
by Patty Dickson Pieczka ($16.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-2-0

THE BITTER OLEANDER PRESS
LIBRARY OF POETRY
BOOK AWARD WINNER
FOR 2012

Raised in Evanston, Illinois as a writer's daughter, Patty Dickson Pieczka found a strong appreciation of poetry. She graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Southern Illinois University in 2006 and, while there, spent two summers as an editorial intern at Crab Orchard Review. She fell in love with the area and moved to Carbondale, where she and her husband John own and manage a small rental business. They spend their free time exploring the lakes, trails, and bluffs of southern Illinois, from which Patty draws inspiration for her writing. She also enjoys music and played cello with the SIU symphony for more than ten years.

Her first book, Lacing Through Time, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 2011, and her chapbook Word Paintings (Snark Publishing) was published in 2002. One of her poems was nominated for an Illinois Arts Council Award, and she was the recipient of the 2010 Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Additionally, her work may be found in such journals as: Apocalypse, Bellowing Ark, The Bitter Oleander, Bluestem, Blue Unicorn, Briar Cliff Review, California Quarterly, The Cape Rock, Chicagopoetry.com, Common Ground, Crab Orchard Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Halogen, Karamu, The Listening Eye, Mad Swirl, Mid America Poetry Review, Midday Moon, Moon Reader, Poetry Depth Quarterly, 96 Inc., Northern Stars Magazine, Quantum Leap and their anthology, Editor's Cut, Poet's Post, Rambunctious Review, Red Owl, Red Rock Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Seedhouse, Skidrow Penthouse, Sidewalks, Sierra Nevada College Review, Springhouse Magazine, A Summer's Reading, Talking River Review, and Willow Review

.

The poetry of Patty Dickson Pieczka never hesitates to introduce both a startling imagination and a sense of the natural world. Here is a poet who is no stranger to either. With fast-paced literature more and more the norm, we're more than fortunate to have a place such as this book of poems to go and settle ourselves down. Poems in Painting the Egret's Echo are sanctuaries for all those moments in life that elude us. Pieczka's poems see, hear, experience and uncover for us so many terrestrial experiences occurring unseen at all times around us. In universes we have yet to fully explore for their ingenuity and beauty, she is the perfect guide for us. Her knowledge and those precious maps of perception earned through life-changing experiences help the reader flow into their rhythm and wash out the other side a more vitalized person. Giving someone a new pair of eyes is not always easy, but if only for a few precious moments, it can make all the difference.

by Patty
Dickson Pieczka

Tobacco Dogs
Perros de tabaco
Tobacco Dogs by Ana MingaTobacco Dogs
by Ana Minga ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-1-3

(Spanish/English)

translated from the Spanish
by Alexis Levitin

Ana Minga's work has appeared in many anthologies in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, as well as in two Ecuadorian anthologies published in Cuenca and Quito. One of her short stories was awarded first prize in a literary competition in Villa Pedraza, Spain. Her book A Espaldas de Dios (which provided the entire text for this volume in English) was nominated for the biennial Hispanic-American Golden Lyric competition in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her work has appeared in many journals across the US and she was the featured poet in the Autumn 2010 issue of The Bitter Oleander. In 2012, she was an honored guest at the Second International Conference of "A Woman's Cry" in Trujillo, Peru. Her poems have been published in English translation by Alexis Levitin in such journals as: Ashville Poetry Review, Blue Lyra, Boulevard, Ezra, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Metamorphosis, Per Contra, PLume, and Rosebud

Goya's Perro Semihundido, found on the cover of this book, is the most poignant depiction of the human condition I have ever encountered. The universe is reduced to mounting dark earth seemingly on the verge of engulfing a small, half-hidden creature, while the background offers nothing but a curtain of greenish-grey hopelessness. This is not just one small dog. It is each of us waiting to be swallowed by the earth, surrounded by a universe that says nothing.

Ana Minga is always on the side of the beaten, the down-trodden, the marginalized, all beings threatened by dissolution and death, whether mongrel dogs or incarcerated lunatics. Her last published book Pajaros huérfanos (Orphaned Birds) is set in an insane asylum, where she spent time doing research as both journalist and poet. Many of those painfully inventive, at times fantasmagoric poems, appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Vol.16; No. 2. But that is another book. For the moment, let us be content with this grim vision, originally titled Behind God's Back. Let us think of Hieronymus Bosch. Let us think of Francis Bacon. Let us think of Goya. These, to my mind, are her anguished compatriots.

by
Ana Minga

Child Sings
in the Womb
Child Sings in the Womb by Patrick LawlerChild Sings in the Womb
by Patrick Lawler ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-3-7

Patrick Lawler is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Foundation for the Arts grants, a Saltonstall Artist's grant, and the CNY Book Award for Fiction. At SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he teaches Literature of Nature and Environmental Writing courses, and at LeMoyne College he is Writer in Residence where, besides poetry and fiction, he teaches scriptwriting and playwriting. He has published five collections of poetry: A Drowning Man is Never Tall Enough (University of Georgia Press), reading a burning book (Basfal Books), Feeding the Fear of the Earth (Many Mountains Moving Press), Trade World Center (Ravenna Press), and Underground (Notes Toward an Autobiography) -- combining an interview with poetry and memoir (Many Mountains Moving Press). His novel Rescuers of Skydivers Search Among the Clouds is the winner of the Ronald Sukenick American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize--Fiction Collective 2 (University of Alabama Press). Four Way Books will be publishing a collection of short stories The Meaning of If in 2014.


This is Patrick Lawler at his usual best. Whether taking us from a universe he unscrambles through the eyes of a newborn or sharing philosophical intimacy in his letter exchange between Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, the reader can do nothing but tag along, literally willing each page to turn on this seemingly endless journey through a time only Lawler seems capable of creating and controlling so masterfully with his always open-ended creativity exploring and gently excavating the past as it unfolds into the everpresent future.

by
Patrick Lawler

 
Sheds/Hangars
Sheds/Hangars by José-Flore TappySheds/Hangars
by José-Flore Tappy ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-4-4

(French/English)

translated from the French
by John Taylor

Special thanks to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for their support in making this translation project possible

José-Flore Tappy was born in Lausanne in 1954. She is the author of six volumes of poetry, all of which are translated in this volume. She has won two prestigious Swiss literary awards: the Ramuz Prize for Errer mortelle and the Schiller Prize for Hangars and for her entire oeuvre. Tappy has also written an essay about the artist Loul Schopfer. She has translated Spanish poetry and, with Marion Graf, the poems of Anna Akhmatova. She works as an editor and scholar at the Centre de Recherches sur les Lettres Romandes at the University of Lausanne. This book represents the first appearance of her poetry in English translation.


Tappy by no means abandons the deceptively simple, vivid, arresting imagery that has always characterized her poetry: here, the front of the house that becomes a gash in the darkness, the wall of nails, the keyboard of heads, the black-petal eiderdown, and the ladder of waves. Because of the suggestiveness of such symbols and word-pictures, one senses between the lines or behind the words something much deeper than that which can be summarily designated or described: the mystery of death itself, of course, but also certain aspects of this obviously intimate yet otherwise undefined relationship, which ever remains "before" words and yet becomes palpable, imaginable because of the poems.
---John Taylor, in his introduction

by
José-Flore Tappy

Puppets in
the Wind
Puppets in the Wind by Karl KrolowPuppets in the Wind
by Karl Krolow ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-7-5

(German/English)

translated from the German
by Stuart Friebert


Karl Krolow (1915-1999) was the author of more than twenty-one volumes of poetry in his lifetime, each with a physiognomy of its own. A noted critical essayist, he always furnished an exacting commentary on four decades of international poetry. Every German prize for literature honored his name and work, yet in translation his work is barely known. Scattered over the last forty plus years, only six books of his work in translation have appeared. Michael Bullock's Foreign Bodies and Invisible Hands, two wonderful renderings, along with Herman Salinger's Poems Against Death (all in 1969), and now this third selected edition of poems, Puppets in the Wind translated by Stuart Friebert.


Karl Krolow was a giant of twentieth century German letters, and made his mark early and often with poems, translations from Spanish, French and English, and criticism. Later, he added prose to his staggering output, which includes a number of volumes of Selected Poems (decade by decade), each with a life and mind of its own. Reminding of Virginia Woolf's dictum that a writer must be able to distinguish one day's light from another's, Krolow famously said he didn't write just for readers, but also for "so-called dead objects, landscapes, cities, gardens, streetcorners, animals, the air itself, for stones and their pores, for sadness, and bodily pain." Ranging across many subjects and themes, in a plethora of voices at once abstract and detached, Krolow's language is so concentrated that what is observed becomes intimate, even voyeuristic at times, illuminating basic human wants, needs, and values. Fond of quoting Flaubert, Krolow was intent on eventually "writing a book about nothing," which at the same time would be about everything.

by
Karl Krolow

The
Cave
The Cave by Tom HolmesThe Cave
by Tom Holmes ($12.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-6-8

THE BITTER OLEANDER PRESS
LIBRARY OF POETRY AWARD WINNER
FOR 2013

Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics. He is also author of Poems for an Empty Church (Palettes & Quills Press, 2011), The Oldest Stone in the World (Amsterdam Press, 2011), Henri, Sophie, & the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex (BlazeVOX Books, 2009), Pre-Dew Poems (FootHills Publishing, 2008), Negative Time (Pudding House, 2007), After Malagueña (FootHills Publishing, 2005), and Poetry Assignments: The Book (Sage Hill Press, forthcoming). He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize seven times, and his work has appeared a number of times on Verse Daily, as well as numerous journals. His current prose writing efforts about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: http://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/.


Hand art on Paleolithic cave walls is the artery, but observations like cut gemstones are woven into Tom Holmes' exciting tapestry of The Cave with its hunger for mystery to balance you along the edge: "When the wall opens, / I am lightning in the antelope's antlers / and the stripe along its jaw." These poems wrestle with the concept of time. They want to capture time, yet realize that time is elusive. So, they attempt to understand time through concrete experience, which poses its own dilemma. Even "The Needle," a vehicle which hopes to stitch the fabric designed to apprehend time, is ephemeral: "Let me tell you about the needle. / It is and it is not. It points / to what will be, and what it isn't..." Undeterred, the poet continues his quest. Enjoy this exciting journey through the primordial future.



--Alan Britt, judge for the 2013 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award.

by
Tom Holmes

Movement Through
the Pain
Movement Through the End by Philippe RahmyMovement Through the End
by Philippe Rahmy ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9883525-5-1

French/English

translated from the French
by Rosemary Lloyd


Philippe Rahmy (1965) is a Franco-Egyptian writer based in Switzerland. He studied the History of Arts and Egyptology at the École du Louvre in Paris, and graduated from the University of Lausanne in Literature and Philosophy. He is a founding member of the prominent French literary site remue.net, which is focused on promoting contemporary literature over the Internet and through live events. He is a published author in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and China as well as an accomplished photographer and director of independent short films. An active member of several handicap related associations, Rahmy is also writing songs for the rock band 'Gasoline'.

His published books include: Mouvement par la fin, Un portrait de la douleur, postface by Jacques Dupin, Prix des Charmettes - Jean-Jacques Rousseau 2006, Cheyne Editeur (2005), Demeure le corps, chant d'exécration, Cheyne Editeur (2007), SMS de la cloison, publie.net (2008), Architecture nuit, texte expérimental, publie.net (2008), Movimento dalla fine, a cura di Monica Pavani, Mobydick (2009), Cellules souches, avec Stéphane Dussel, Mots tessons (2009), Cheyne, 30 ans, 30 voix, Livres hors collection, Cheyne (2010), Néant saccage, avec Mathieu Brosseau, Hors-Sol (2011). His forthcoming books include: Shanghai pour horizon, journal du coin des rues, peintures Bobi & Bobi, préface Jean-Christophe Rufin, publie.net/HachetteLivre (2012), Corps au miroir, peintures Sabine Oppliger, Encre et lumière (2012), La ville en soi, publie.net/HachetteLivre (2013).

He was awarded the Prix Charmettes-Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 2006, the prize Lettre frontière 2008 and a Pro Helvetia literary grant in 2010. In 2011 he was a writer-in-residence at the Shanghai Writers Association in Shanghai. He was awarded the Prix Wepler 2013 Mention spéciale du jury and the Prix Pittard de l'Andelyn 2014. Currently he's writing a novel about the topic of migration and migrants, and a new book of poetry in prose about identity and amnesia.

* * * * * *


How best to approach this short book, a book that burns and freezes, and whose title is abruptly completed, as if torn apart, beaten to a pulp, by the words: "a portrait of pain"? From that point, beyond that point, here, pain is a gaze. A gaze that recognizes itself, growing deeper and lighter when the words that traverse it scrape on the paper. The first word, the point of origin, leaps up from the instant of death and fades away in torpor.

Notes from an anachronistic diary, splinters torn from the suffering body, sparks scattered in the air. Far removed from any narcissistic complaisance, this portrait of pain is a constant transcribed day after day from what the body and the mind endure in the ordeal. The realistic notation, impeccably close and precise, opens to the outer world, exalts in the contemplation of the sea or the night, a tree, a cloud, the flight of a sparrow hawk above the walls. The linked chain of crises, of testing treatment, of injections constantly renewed as they project a dim light, provoking the exorable climb toward the light. A decantation that suddenly crystalizes and loosens the oppression. The tortured body reinvents, in order to stay alert, the escape route through an open window and the reconciliation with space.



--Jacques Dupin from his preface L'Epure / The Diagram

by
Philippe Rahmy

Ripened Wheat:
by Hai Zi
Ripened Wheat by Hai ZiRipened Wheat
by Hai Zi ($21.00)

ISBN # 978-0-986204906

Chinese/English

translated from the Chinese
by Ye Chun

Short-listed for the 2016 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Award presented annually by ALTA (American Literary Translators Association)

For over two decades, March 26th has marked the day when college students across China hold vigils for the poet Hai Zi, reciting his poetry and sharing their own poems dedicated to him. Newspapers and magazines publish memorial articles and the latest critical essays on his work. People travel from far and near to visit his tomb in the otherwise forgotten village of Chawan. It was on this day in 1989 that Hai Zi laid his body down on a rail track near Beijing Shanhaiguan and ended his life at the age of twenty five.
In modern Chinese history, few poets have been revered to the extent that Hai Zi has. Not only is he one of the most read contemporary poets, but also one of the most imitated--his folkloric simplicity, imagistic clarity, his motifs of wheat, wheat field, village, and grassland have found their way into many Chinese poems written today. Mostly unknown during his lifetime, he has been posthumously crowned with such titles as "the genius poet", "the purest poet," "the poet martyr," and "the poet who has changed a whole generation's writing of poetry."
Ye Chun is the author of two books of poetry, Lantern Puzzle (Tupelo Press, 2015) and Travel Over Water (Bitter Oleander Press, 2005), and a novel in Chinese, Peach Tree in the Sea, People's Literature Publishing House, 2011). A recipient of the NEA Fellowship, she is the former poetry editor of The Missouri Review, having received her PhD from University of Missouri, and currently teaches at Providence College.

translated by
Ye Chun

Confetti-Ash:
by Salvador Novo
Confetti-Ash by Salvador NovoConfetti-Ash
by Salvador Novo ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-1-3

Spanish/English

Anthony Seidman &
David Shook (tr.)

“I feel that poetry,” Salvador Novo confesses in a poem from Espejo (1933), appropriately titled Poetry, "hasn’t come forth from me." That will prove to be a recurring theme in the intense and brief work of this sui generis poet, a member of that distinguished "group lacking a group," as the Contemporáneos playfully referred to themselves. Among that constellation of solitary souls there belonged some of the best Mexican poets and Spanish speaking poets of the 20th century: José Gorostiza, Xavier Villaurrutia, and Carlos Pellicer, to mention the more widely known among them. The Contemporáneos was the first generation of truly modern writers in Mexico, and in their eponymous journal they published the first Spanish translations of T.S. Eliot, just to give a quick example of their cosmopolitanism. Moreover, they also published D.H. Lawrence, Saint-John Perse, Langston Hughes, Jules Supervielle and Paul Valéry. All of those influences can be spotted in the youthful poetry of Novo. Moreover, as in the brief quote which opens this paragraph, there appears another distinct trait in his poetry: confession.

For the young Novo, passionately avant-garde, poetry was not only everything that tradition seemed to bypass, such as the unsacred, the free association of ideas, the prosaic, the unedited spaces of Spanish from the vast cities, fragmentation, irony, the uninhibited along with an acrid sense of humor, but also a poetry not detached from his lifestyle, which captured with an opulence in language, as well as a frankness, making one think of Oscar Wilde (one with whom Novo shares not only an emotive and aesthetic quality, but also a sexual orientation which he openly practiced in a society that was vehemently scandalized). The translations which Anthony Seidman and David Shook have done—-taken from two fundamental books by Novo, XX Poemas (1925) and Espejo (1933)—-offer an excellent way in which to appreciate the work of this radically unorthodox poet.
—Alberto Blanco

Salvador Novo López (30 July 1904--13 January 1974) was a Mexican writer, poet, playwright, translator, television presenter, entrepreneur, and the official chronicler of Mexico City. As a noted intellectual, he influenced popular perceptions of politics, media, the arts, and Mexican society in general. He was a member of Los Contemporáneos, a group of Mexican writers, as well as of the Mexican Academy of the Language. He was well known for his wit. When a party, where young soldiers had been invited by gay scholar friends of his, had degenerated into a fight and a scandal, Salvador Novo brushed off the whole matter with a factual: "This is what happens when members of the intellectual elite try to enter military circles". In accordance with tradition, the street on which he lived was renamed after him when he assumed the role of Mexico City's official chronicler, a post held for life.

Anthony Seidman, a Los Angeles native, is a poet and translator. His work has been included in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, The Black Herald Review, Huizache, World Literature Today, Nimrod, etc.,as well as in the anthology Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press). His second collection of poetry, Where Thirsts Intersect is still available from The Bitter Oleander Press, and a new collection, Cosmic Weather & Other Climates, is forthcoming from Eyewear.

David Shook is a poet and translator living in Los Angeles, where he founded Phoneme Media. His most recent translations include Tedi López Mills' Death on Rua Augusta, Víctor Terán's The Spines of Love, and Mario Bellatin's The Large Glass. His collection Our Obsidian Tongues, which was long-listed for the 2013 International Dylan Thomas Prize, is now available in paperback.

Anthony Seidman &
David Shook (tr.)

Territory of Dawn:
by Eunice Odio
Territory of Dawn by Eunice OdioTerritory of Dawn
by Eunice Odio($20.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-3-7

Spanish/English

Keith Ekiss with Sonia P. Ticas & Mauricio Espinoza translators

Travelers to Costa Rica often depart the capital of San José as soon as they arrive, heading out for the cloud forest of Monteverde, the volcano at Arenal, or the waves at Playa Tamarindo, leaving behind the smell of diesel fumes and the city's concrete architecture. But if you visit the National Theater, a civic treasure modeled on the Paris Opera, you will find a bronze statue guarding the building, the bust of a woman with a fierce, penetrating gaze, and hair of Medusa-like serpents: the mother of Costa Rican verse and the country’s most significant international literary presence, Nuestra Eunice, as she’s been called, the poet Eunice Odio.
Eunice Odio's poetry has thus remained almost wholly unknown to readers outside Latin America, obscured on the margins of the region's avant-garde and proletarian-poet traditions. A woman poet who lived a secluded life, Odio was born in a country with, at the time, an antipathy to artists and writers, who often relocated to Mexico City if they wanted to establish themselves as contributors to the vanguard. Odio herself was aware of her marginalized, self-exiled position. Octavio Paz once told her that she was "of that line of poets who invent their own mythology, like Blake, like St. John Perse, like Ezra Pound; and they are rubbed out, because no one understands them until years or even centuries after their death."

——Keith Ekiss, from his introduction

Eunice Odio (1919-1974) is considered the leading Costa Rican poet of the twentieth century. She traveled and lived throughout Central America and the United States before settling for much of her life in Mexico City. Her principal works include Los elementos terrestres (Earthly Elements, 1948), Zona en territorio del alba (Zone in the Territory of Dawn, 1953), El tránsito de fuego (The Fire’s Journey, 1957), and Territorio del alba y otros poemas (Territory of Dawn and Other Poems, 1974). In addition to her poetry, she was the author of short stories and numerous political and cultural essays. Her complete works were published by the University of Costa Rica in 1996.

Keith Ekiss is a former Wallace Stegner fellow and Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and the author of Pima Road Notebook (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010). The past recipient of scholarships and residencies from the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Petrified Forest National Park, he received the Witter Bynner Translators Residency from the Santa Fe Art Institute for his work on Eunice Odio.

Sonia P. Ticas is Associate Professor of Language and Latin American Literature at Linfield College, Oregon. She is currently at work on a book about the development of feminism in Central America.

Mauricio Espinoza is a poet, scholar and journalist from Costa Rica. He is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Cincinnati.

Ekiss, Ticas &
Espinoza(tr.)

The Hunchbacks' Bus
by Nora Iuga
The Hunchbacks' Bus by Nora IugaThe Hunchbacks' Bus
by Nora Iuga ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-4-4

Romanian/English

Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole, translators

"i'm sam," begins the first poem of Nora Iuga's The Hunchbacks' Bus (Autobuzul cu cocoșați). The book is a sort of family chronicle centered on the imaginary character sam and his life, much of which is in his head, his not very faithful wife minodora, his brother istovitu (the name means exhausted, worn-out). Itțs comic, though not often in a laugh-out-loud kind of way; surreal or fantastic at not a few moments, at others ribald, eccentric; perhaps even a little hard to cozy up to, since Iuga keeps everything at an ironic distance. Her style is rarely lyrical in a traditional sense. The syntax is direct but the imagery teases and surprises; the poetic voice is energetic, even audacious, with a delightful quirkiness.

In the first of five authorial interludes, short monologues in prose, Iuga addresses the reader, "you might find it hard to believe, but sam actually exists" (notwithstanding the fact that he's sometimes presented as a dog); and Iuga notes otherwise in "sam is an angel":

i'm still determined to find out who
sam is and what he does with his little stick…
i'm the most helpless text
in this city


Iuga's world may at times be one of loss, worry, proverbially a dog's life, but it spins away with exhilarating dreamlike absurdity.

——Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole, from their introduction

Adam J. Sorkin, the translator of more than fifty books of contemporary Romanian poetry, has won the 2005 Poetry Society (U.K.) Prize for European Poetry Translation as well as the International Quarterly Crossing Boundaries Award, the Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize, the Ioan Flora Prize for Poetry Translation, and the Poesis Translation Prize, among others. His work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, The Academy of American Poets, The Witter Bynner Foundation, the Arts Council of England and the Romanian Cultural Institute. Sorkin's recent publications include A Sharp Double-Edged Luxury Object by Rodica Draghincescu (translated with Antuza Genescu), Červená Barva Press, 2014; Gold and Ivy/Aur și iederă by George Vulturescu (translated with Olimpia Iacob), Eikon, 2014; The Starry Womb by Mihail Gălățanu (translated with Petru Iamandi and Gălățanu), Diálogos Books, 2014; and The Book of Anger by Marta Petreu (translated with Christina Zarifopol-Illias and Liviu Bleoca), also Diálogos Books, 2014. B & W by Diana Manole (co-translated with the author) came out from Tracus Arte in Bucharest, 2015. Forthcoming are Syllables of Flesh by Floarea Țuțuianu (translated with Irma Giannetti) from Plamen Press, and the book-length poem Eclogue by Ioana Ieronim (co-translated with Ieronim) from Červená Barva. Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English, Penn State Brandywine.

Diana Manole was born in Romania and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. A writer, translator, freelance journalist and scholar, she made her editorial debut with Men and Women: 29 in Alphabetical Order (Phoenix, 1996), followed by five more collections, including Evening Habits (Eminescu, 1998 – Bucharest Writers’ Union Award) and (Landed) Immigrant Angel (Brumar, 2011), as well as four award-winning plays, among them The Child Who Didn't Want to Be Born (Cartea Românească, 1999 – Romanian Writers' Best Debut in Drama). Her poetry (translated from Romanian with Adam J. Sorkin or written in English) has appeared in The Nashwaak Review, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Untethered, Event and Grain in Canada; Poem in the U.K.; Prufrock in South Africa; and The Lunch Ticket, Third Wednesday, Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation, Cutthroat and The Chattahoochee Review (nominated for a Pushcart Prize) in the U.S. Manole has published widely in Romanian literary magazines. In September 2016, one of her poems from B & W was featured on the Parliament of Canada's website as Poem of the Month.


Adam J. Sorkin & Diana Manole (tr.)
Call Me When You Get to Rosie's



by Austin LaGrone)

To Each Unfolding Leaf
by Pierre Voélin
To Each Unfolding Leaf by Pierre VoélinTo Each Unfolding Leaf
by Pierre Voélin ($25.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-6-8

French/English

John Taylor, translator

This book offers a representative selection of Pierre Voélin's poetry, ranging from his early books Sur la mort brève (On Brief Death, 1984) and Les Bois calmés (The Calmed Woods, 1987) to recent works such as Y. (Y., 2015) and Des voix dans l'autre langue (Voices in the Other Language, 2015). In other words, since La Nuit osseuse (The Bony Night) section of On Brief Death was written during the years 1976-1980, this Selected Poems spans four decades and reveals the Swiss poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer's role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution. Up to now, Voélin has remained very little known in English-speaking countries.

Yet he is one of the most important figures in contemporary Swiss francophone poetry. Born in 1949 in the village of Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland, Voélin is a key poet in a generation that also comprises Frédéric Wanderlère (b. 1949), François Debluë (b. 1950), José-Flore Tappy (b. 1954), and Sylviane Dupuis (b. 1956). It is a generation that has sometimes chosen thematic directions differing from those taken by their Swiss mentors, namely Anne Perrier (b. 1922), Philippe Jaccottet (b. 1925) and Pierre Chappuis (b. 1930), and that has conceived new poetics to continue to question man's place in the cosmos.

——John Taylor, from his introduction

Pierre Voélin (b. 1949) was born in Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland. He is one of the most important figures in contemporary French and francophone poetry and his work is featured, notably, in Philippe Jaccottet's highly selective bilingual anthology, Die Lyrik der Romandie (Nagel & Kimche, 2008). He has written twelve volumes of poetry and two collections of essays. In 2016, he won the Prix Louise-Labé for his most recent poetry collection, Des voix dans l’autre langue (La Dogana, 2015), which is entirely translated here.
This first English-language translation of his work offers a vast representative selection of his poetry, ranging from his early volumes On Brief Death and The Calmed Woods to recent books such as Y. and the aforementioned Voices in the Other Language. These four decades of creativity reveal the poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer’s role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution.

John Taylor (b. 1952) has translated several French and Francophone poets into English, including Philippe Jaccottet, Jacques Dupin, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Pierre Chappuis, José-Flore Tappy, and Georges Perros. His translation of the work of the Italian poet Lorenzo Calogero, An Orchid Shining in the Hand, won the Raiziss-de Palchi Translation Fellowship from the Academy American Poets in 2013. He is the author of the three-volume essay collection Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Transaction, 2004, 2007, 2011) and of two books devoted to European poets, Into the Heart of European Poetry (Transaction, 2008) and A Little Tour through European Poetry (Transaction, 2014). His most recent collection of short prose is If Night is Falling (Bitter Oleander Press, 2011) and Xenos Books has just published his volume of poems The Dark Brightness (2017). Born in Des Moines, IA, he has long lived in France.


John Taylor (tr.)
Shatter the Bell in My Ear
by Christine Lavant
Shatter the Bell in My Ear by Christine LavantShatter the Bell in My Ear
by Christine Lavant ($18.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-8-2

German/English

David Chorlton, translator

Born in 1915 on July the fourth, Christine Thonhauser (Lavant) was the ninth child of a miner, Georg, and his wife, Anna, and grew up in poverty. While the poetry she was later to write contained the language of spirituality, the pain she described in it came from actual conditions which she suffered: scrofula and tuberculosis of the lungs. Being disadvantaged in health also meant she could not complete her education as intended. Unable to do hard physical work, she earned a living with knitting and weaving until she gained a reputation as a writer. Along with these health problems, she had depression to endure. Poor hearing or blindness in her poetry were not conjured metaphors for a general condition. For example, the first stanza of a poem from Spindel im Mond:

Shatter the bell in my ear,
slash the knot in my throat,
warm my strangled heart
and ripen my eyeballs.

Writing sometimes in rhyme, sometimes in free verse, Lavant employed directness in her language. I have chosen more of the free verse poems to translate and when there is rhyme I find it preferable to hold on to tone and meaning than attempting to replicate the echoing sounds. The use of sun and moon and stars would easily become a cliché were it not for the unusual slant in the work. So strong was Lavant's connection to the commonplace elements that moon and stars become symbols illuminating her particular, troubled road to Heaven. Even glancing at first lines in several of the poems here displays this tendency: The moon's halo was never so large . . . I hear the heavy moon approaching . . . Ever closer to the Milky Way's edge . . . The moon's signal light

——David Chorlton, from his introduction

Born in Austria in 1948, David Chorlton grew up in Manchester, close to rain and the northern English industrial zone. In his early 20s he went to live in Vienna and stayed for seven years before moving to Phoenix with his wife, Roberta, in 1978. Much of his poetry has come to reflect his growing concern for the natural world. In 2008, he won the Ronald Wardall Award from Rain Mountain Press for his chapbook The Lost River, and in 2009 the Slipstream Chapbook Competition for From the Age of Miracles. Other poetry collections include A Normal Day Amazes Us (Kings Estate Press), The Porous Desert (FutureCycle Press) and Waiting for the QuetzalI> (March Street Press). The Devil’s Sonata (FutureCycle Press) appeared in 2012, and in 2014 the same press published David Chorlton: Selected Poems. He is represented in Fever Dreams (an anthology of Arizona poets from U. of Arizona Press), New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press), and has a poem in BIRDS, an anthology from the British Museum. His A Field Guide to Fire was part of the Fires of Change exhibition, a collaboration of artists and scientists addressing the role of fire in forest management in the age of climate change. His single work of fiction, The Taste of Fog (Rain Mountain Press) is based on a murder which occurred near Vienna in 1961.He has also worked on translations from the work of the Austrian writer Hans Raimund.


David Chorlton (tr.)
Wondering the Alphabet
by Roderick Martinez
Wondering the Alphabet by Roderick MartinezWondering the Alphabet
by Roderick Martinez ($30.00)

ISBN # 978-0-9862049-9-9

Typography/Graphic Design/Poetry


Like every alphabet, the origin of ours is vast and complex. It has grown from a determination of grunts and yelps of joyous wonder, through hollow reed pens pressed onto delicate papyrus, rubbed in ink across wood block carvings, shuffled around moveable type, all the way up to how our current hand-held devices and their design applications deliver us a constant barrage of typefaces, fonts and spatial designs. This book was written with that in mind as well as from a perspective of those writers, readers and designers who have spent their whole lives, in one way or another, focused on all the alphabet provides. Not only is there a chronology of our alphabet tracing graphically its changes over time, but this text also includes and combines tanka poems by twenty-six credited poets, each facing a visually translated composition of their work graphically rendered in full color by Roderick Martinez. In addition to these texts and graphics, every poet included has written his or her subjective thoughts about a specific letter assigned to them totally by chance. The beauty of these visual translations face to face with each poem, creates a most unique and heretofore unseen correspondence between both art forms. Each enhances the other, becomes a part of the other, allows for all ends to open up and flow between the two. Possibilities become infinite and Martinez’s vision along with these twenty-six gracious poets, is both a sight to see and read!

Roderick Martinez has a MFA in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied under R. Roger Remington. He has worked as a corporate graphic designer and creative director/designer for agencies in New York, before starting his own visual communications firm in 1998. His designs have won regional, national, and international awards. He has taught graphic design, advertising design, and psychology of advertising at Cazenovia College and is the current program coordinator and tenured associate professor of communications design at Syracuse University. He has served as faculty advisor of the Syracuse University AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) student chapter. He has lectured on a range of design topics both regionally and nationally. Martinez has been awarded several Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship. These awards recognize that his classes exemplify the highest ideal of sustained, quality engagement at Syracuse University. Roderick is a wonderer.






Shipping is Free domestically.

FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL ORDERS, PLEASE NOTE THAT A $10.00 SHIPPING CHARGE PER BOOK WILL BE ADDED .
If you wish to print out an order form instead and send by snail mail, please click here.

Click here to return to the top
The Bitter Oleander Press
4983 Tall Oaks Drive · Fayetteville, · New York 13066-9776
http://www.bitteroleander.com · Email: info@bitteroleander.com
© The Bitter Oleander Press  ·  Design: Rainbow Graphics
You are visitor # . Thank you for your interest in us.