Look at Darla Himeles, there on the razor’s edge of survival as a Jew, note taker of past and future extinctions, a poet fearless of science, unafraid of love or laughter. Listen as she sings love songs to the cephalopod dead, the manatees’ eyes “cataracted by microplastics,” and the Colorado that “forgets it’s a river.” Smile as she imagines T.S. Eliot becoming a blue crab. Meditate with her on our own eyes, possible “reservoirs of the Anthropocene’s / last sunlit hours.” Himeles helps us know our place as specks of a star, kin to all animals, in poems that dance with the pleasure of language.
—Alicia Ostriker, author of Waiting for the Light (Pitt Poetry Series 2017).
Stand Mute brings to the forefront things hidden and unsaid from abuse that often gets muffled and discarded. The poet is brave but the poems are braver. These confessions will break your heart, but in the breaking, there is rebuilding—for empathy, for human compassion for reshaping what we think we know of men. Victor Alcindor’s poems shatter the false narrative of masculinity. These poems scream We have to do better. Kids are cruel but humanity can be crueler. Sure, these are initiation and coming of age stories, but more importantly, these poems are baptismal and, if you listen carefully, you cannot emerge from this book unchanged. We often read blurbs with words like necessity and must read and they are actually not, but Stand Mute is the real deal.
—Randall Horton author of Pitch Dark Anarchy (Northwestern University Press 2013) and Hook: A Memoir (Augury Books 2015) Winner of the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for 2017.
Praise for Peter Kirn:
"I have been waiting for this collection. Peter Kirn is a beautiful poet & I bet you've never heard of him. Because no FB, no social media at all. I often wonder if he even has a phone until I get a call & hear his voice & am reminded he's not the man of my imagination. His poetry transports me to the world I want to be a part of & reminds me of the world I am a part of and how not to look away."
Yesenia Montilla, author of The Pink Box ( Willow Books 2015).
Get Fresh Books believes in honoring the artistic and personal integrity of our writers. As such, the back cover of this poetry collection does not feature blurbs. Mr. Kirn preferred not to have blurbs and we respect his wishes. Please enjoy the poem below and consider this beautiful collection of poems based on its merits.
what is the meticulous knot being
tied by the six moths
weaving in the silent remaining
wilderness at dusk
what is this rise & fall game this spinning
ring they make of where they are
have been & will be
who would have thought it
the moth is omnipresent in its own lifetime
the silence beams it into my ear like a stream of breath
in my 27th year i am part of the unseen root system
of entangled wonder & desire in light
good & clean for drinking
good for sinking in
i believe in thriving in full sun
& prepare my cotyledons
for their spirit is forming
so i tell them about the ferns & the sedges
& the bog & the maples turning
for it’s gold in the month of our becoming
The woman is singing and talking to you and she is urgent. This “whittled woman/this battered blue fragment” has traveled far, has burst through harsh iterations of time and experience. In searing poems carried from the wreckages of marriage, of trauma-memory, of self-doubt toxic as glue, of once-sacred homes now vanished, McEniry’s craft stays steady. Tough cadences and syllabic rigor thread themselves inside magic and enchanting music in a daughter’s Sunday meal, a sea floor, a community of poets, and a “honey-mint whisper/of eucalyptus.” There’s more: wit and bite in the short lyrics a la Stevie Smith; and sound-bursts inside the spacious prose poems. Just when we’re certain all is revealed of this wise and quirky soul-spirit-traveler, here comes young Eros, intoxicated by a lover’s hair and a dove high in a tree where the poet declares: “I built the foundation of my summer/on her creation.” This debut is a rare gift.
—Judith Vollmer, author of The Apollonia Poems (University of Wisconsin Press 2017), winner of the Four Lakes Prize.
In this gorgeous new collection of poems, Marina Carreira breathes life into the bittersweet stories of family and culture, a sensory journey into the striking beauty and hard truths of the immigrant landscape cultivated as an American experience. Her poet soul sings—like a Portuguese saudade—in service to safeguarding what has been lost and what should never be forgotten, “to remember it all—sweat and tears, / Luso ancestry, to run roots through/ my future great-granddaughter’s bones.”
—Rigoberto González, author of over twenty books of fiction and non-fiction, four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden (Four Way Books 2013), winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets.
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