Larry Beckett’s The Book of Merlin is the first translation of Merlin of the Wild’s complete works. How can the writings of a 6th-century poet/prophet speak to us moderns? Page after page of battles and death answer that most succinctly. This is not the Merlin with a wand that you grew up with. Translator Larry Beckett’s poetry ranges from songs, Song to the Siren, to blank sonnets, Songs and Sonnets, to the epic American Cycle, including Paul Bunyan, Wyatt Earp, Amelia Earhart, and seven other book-length poems. His work Beat Poetry is a story of the poets and poetry of the fifties San Francisco renaissance. Beckett is currently working on a translation of Verlaine’s poetry.
Jay Atkinson’s The Tree Stand presents short stories of hardscrabble living and crushing blows, shot through with seams of love and hope. Readers will find the settings convincing and mesmerizing; the characters heartwarming and heartbreaking. Along with the title story, the 300-page collection includes “Bergeron Framing & Remodeling,” “Lowell Boulevard,” “High Pine Acres,” “Java Man,” “Ellie’s Diamonds,” and “Hoot.” Atkinson is a professor of writing at Boston University and has an extensive sports background: he has done winter exercises with the US Marines, run with bulls in Pamplona, and played rugby in Belfast during “The Troubles” of the 1980s. He’s written two novels, a story collection, and five narrative nonfiction books, and received the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award Honors in Nonfiction, among other publications and awards. An excerpt and pre-order information can be found Livingston Press.
The Most Excellent Immigrant Stories by Mark Budman Livingston Press, November 2022
“There is a secret that we immigrants never share with the natives: a good immigrant adapts to a new country, while a most excellent immigrant makes the new country better.” The 22 stories in this newest collection by Mark Budman take readers on a ride from magic realism to hardcore realism to real magic. A certified interpreter of dreams and afflictions searches for treasure buried in a set of antique pillows. An interstellar alien in disguise guards the children at play. A prescription cream stops the dream thieves. A mass killer bares his soul, if he has any. The secret of eternal youth is for sale. And twelve potentially treasure-filled pillows float throughout, befuddling and entrancing their successive owners and seekers.