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Book Review :: Because I love you, I became war by Eileen R. Tabios

Because I love you, I become war Poems & Uncollected Poetics Prose by Eileen R. Tabios book cover image

Guest Post by Susan Kay Anderson

The Glass Fire in Napa Valley, 2020 seems to have been a turning point for the extremely prolific poet, editor, novelist, and activist writer Eileen R. Tabios. She and her husband experienced the fire and subsequent evacuation, which was successful, except that part of her life’s work was lost. She lost whole archive entries; material that belonged inside protected library buildings in official archives and not in an outbuilding that burned. This book makes real the fact that Tabios felt strongly compelled, passionate, and driven to collect some of her rescued writings and preserve them in book form. She tackles this project with love of what she finds among the remains of her work and is saying that love is the war she is raging against loss. While published archives can be boring to read because we don’t have the original pamphlet, magazine, or lecture to enjoy, Tabios’ inventive poems are delightful. More than half of the book is a compilation of “Uncollected Poetics Prose” that expand the meaning of archive, leading readers to dream along within them. What is so magical about this collection is that we are not left hanging and lost in the dense material of this ambitious project; we are shown abundance and astounding imagination in what remains. This project is love.

Because I love you, I become war: Poems & Uncollected Poetics Prose by Eileen R. Tabios. Marsh Hawk Press, May 2023.

Reviewer bio: Susan Kay Anderson is a National Poetry Series finalist, Jovanovich Prize winner, and former Ragdale resident who lives in southwestern Oregon’s Umpqua River Basin. Her long poem “Man’s West Once” was selected for Barrow Street Journal’s “4 X 2 Project” and is included in her book of poems, Mezzanine (2019). Anderson also published Virginia Brautigan Aste’s memoir, Please Plant This Book Coast To Coast (2021). https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/susan_kay_anderson

New Book :: Craft

Craft: A Memoir by Tony Trigilio book cover image

Craft: A Memoir by Tony Trigilio
Marsh Hawk Press, September 2023

Tony Trigilio’s Craft: A Memoir is an exploration of the writer’s craft through a series of short, linked personal essays. When writers talk about “craft,” they frequently focus on clinical, literary-dictionary terms such as language, narrative, structure, image, tone, and voice, among others. Craft: A Memoir is an effort to understand craft through discussions of the direct experience of writing itself—through stories of how Trigilio became a writer. Each chapter features an anecdote from the author’s development as a writer that illustrates craft elements central to his body of work.

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New Book :: Creativity: Where Poems Begin

Creativity Where Poems Begin by Mary Mackey published by Marsh Hawk Press book cover image

Creativity: Where Poems Begin
Nonfiction/Poetry by Mary Mackey
Marsh Hawk Press, September 2022

Mary Mackey’s Creativity: Where Poems Begin is a meditation on how the sources of creativity emerged from a vast, wordless reality and became available to a poet. As such, it is not only a memoir; it is an exploration of the power and process of becoming a poet. What is creativity? Where do creative ideas come from? What happens at the exact moment a creative impulse is suddenly transformed into something that can be expressed in words? To describe creativity is extraordinarily difficult because the moment of creation comes from a place where language does not exist and where the categories that determine what we see, hear, taste, and feel are not immediately present. In our daily lives, we tend to live on the surface, unaware of the complexity and richness of what lies below. Poetry creates itself, bubbling up from the depths until it reaches that part of our brains that transforms consciousness into words. Poetry chooses the poet. The poet did not choose it. This book is a journey to that place where all poems begin.

New Book :: Steeple at Sunrise

Steeple at Sunrise new poems by Burt Kimmelman published by Marsh Hawk Press book cover image

Steeple at Sunrise
Poetry by Burt Kimmelman
Marsh Hawk Press, November 2022

Burt Kimmelman’s new poems continue his exploration of syllabic forms. The book’s first section contains individual poems written in recent years, each standing on its own as a unique experience. “Plague Calendar,” which follows, consists of especially brief and understated poems presented in the order of their inception. They subtly chronicle an individual’s psychological endurance over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, person and landscape reveal a transformation in recent time, an individual’s experience of daily life. Steeple at Sunrise is Kimmelman’s eleventh collection of poems. His work is often anthologized and has been featured on National Public Radio. He has also published eleven books of criticism, most recently Visible at Dusk: Selected Essays and Zero Point Poiesis (a gathering of writings on George Quasha).

New Book :: Plan B: A Poet’s Survivors Manual

Plan B a Poet's Survival Manual by Sandy McIntosh book cover image

Plan B: A Poet’s Survivors Manual
Memoir by Sandy McIntosh
Marsh Hawk Press, June 2022

If you’re a poet, how are you going to survive if you can’t get a teaching job? McIntosh offers the answer: You need a Plan B if you want to put food on the table, wear shoes without holes in the soles, and stop living with roommates before you turn sixty. Taking readers through his own experiences in the world of commercial writing and publishing, McIntosh asserts that it is possible to have a successful career as a poet while holding down day jobs that make us better writers. Sandy McIntosh is publisher of Marsh Hawk Press. He has published fifteen collections of poetry and prose as well as three award-winning computer software programs.

New Book :: Zero Point Poiesis

Zero Points Poiesis book cover image

Zero Point Poiesis: Essays on George Quasha’s Axial Art
Edited by Burt Kimmelman
Aporeia, June 2022

Published by Aporeia, an imprint of Marsh Hawk Press, Zero Points Poiesis gathers essays by writers Vyt Bakaitis, William Benton, Edward S. Casey, Chris Funkhouser, Matt Hill, Andrew Joron, Robert Kelly, Burt Kimmelman, Kimberly Lyons, Cheryl Pallant, Tamas Panitz, Carter Ratcliff, Gary Shapiro, and Charles Stein who elucidate George Quasha’s unique achievement as poet, artist, and thinker. They’re complemented by Thomas Fink’s interview with the poet on the poetics of preverbs, an introduction by Burk Kimmelman, and forward by Jerome McGann.

New Book :: Rasa

book cover art

Poetry by Joanne Dominique Dwyer
Marsh Hawk Press, May 2022
ISBN: 978-0-9969912-7-8
Paperback, 94pp; $18

Winner of the 2021 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize chosen by David Lehman, RASA is Joanne Dominique Dwyer’s second collection of poems. Lehman noted that “Joanne Dominique Dwyer is an exceptionally talented poet, whose mind in motion on every page in Rasa gives pleasure. The author writes that ‘Intimacy means profoundly interior — / countless sets of keys and cryptic codes.’ The book is intimate in this sense. The author celebrates the power of the imagination to multiply metaphors, as in ‘Tarzan Audade,’ with its striking opening lines (‘It’s never a good sign when the patron saint / of betrothed couples is also the saint of the plague.’) and ‘No Alphabet,’ orchestrated by the reiterated ‘If not’ that begins the poem. The poet’s fruitful exchanges with Freud, in such poems as ‘To Charette with a Man,’ ‘Patron of Embalmers,’ and ‘Handsome Is as Handsome Does,’ delighted this reader.”