The Argotist Online
For people who have difficulty reading the site’s text, please see here.
Argotist Ebooks has been going since 2010, and because its ebooks are free, each one gains a larger readership (and we are talking about thousands of readers a month here) than would be the case if it were a print book available to be sold in a bookshop or from an online vendor. That poetry print books don't sell in large numbers is well known, but that poetry will be read by large numbers if made available for free, is not well known. In this respect, free poetry ebooks are the way forward for poetry publishing. Yet poetry print book publishers have failed to see this, as they are still wedded to the idea of selling poetry as a commodity rather than aiming to gain a large readership for it. It is true, that some poetry publishers have made available free PDF samples of selected poems in the poetry print books they sell, but only as an inducement for people to buy the print book. Therefore, Argotist Ebooks will continue publishing free poetry ebooks (and other genres of literature) so as to reach the widest readership possible. A discussion about the advantages of free poetry ebooks over poetry print books can be found here.
Submission guidelines and contact details can be found here.
by Jake Berry
Poems by Jake Berry that originally appeared as status updates on Facebook between May and September 2009.
by Rich Curtis
A series of thirty-five poems composed by Rich Curtis from found text. The found source material was a copy of the book Ironweed, by William Kennedy, that has been ripped in half, with the half that was attached to the spine of the book being used here.
by Martin Stannard
As may be inferred from the title, this poem by Martin Stannard is published in the hope that it will assist the complete idiot to understand the basic problems of living a life, and also help him or her to overcome them.
by Francis Raven
Moisture Surges by Francis Raven is a book of poems about water. There are three main sections divided by two conversations/plays and book-ended by a prologue and an appendix. The three main sections are: (1) a section on the metaphysics of water (2) a section on the biology and life of water and (3) a section on humanity's interaction with water. The prologue is a sonnet and the appendix includes resources about water. The two conversations/plays that break up the main sections are: (1) a play about the water shortage in the west that alludes to Plato's Apology and (2) a roundtable conversation with real philosophers on a possible philosophy of water.
by Chris Mansel
Chris Mansel writes like a man without a country. Each poem of The Ashes of Thoreau is a labyrinth of fragmentation and resolve. The projection is dense but difficult to abandon. Like cinema, it will leave you entertained by the time you step back into the light.
by John M. Bennett
158 poems (or barely constrained outbursts) written in the Spring of 2009 in which John M. Bennett tries to reformat the world with a swarm of linguistic distortions and formal jiggling, bursting out of the thin shirt of consciousness to reveal what's out there and also what's in there. The poems are textual, visual, aural, multi-lingual (English, Spanish—or their simulacra—and bits of French and Globbolalia). Unlike anything else written.
by Peter Ganick
What is a text? After John Coltrane's wall of sound, we have here a wall of text. What does making sense entail? Is it in the words themselves and/or the sequence of words? In An Archeology of Theory, Peter Ganick suggests both and neither in true spatial reference. Energy is space is a version here-to-be-read.
by Todd Swift
Todd Swift’s Experimental Sex Hospital is the ebook sequel to his critically acclaimed, Mainstream Love Hotel. Shadowing that previous work, the poems here deepen and lengthen the poet's exploration of desire and devotion, and, aesthetically, the tension between innovation and tradition in contemporary poetic styles. As in all Swift's work, musicality, sense of form, and wordplay fuse with elevated and street-level tones that create a zany, risk-taking book-text that interrogates ideas of self-identity and poetics, with an earnest eroticism. Barely literature, or literally bare, these are poems that enjoy walking naked with a flamboyant display.
Sparagmos Never Mind the Via Negativa
The word is flesh. Tear it apart, syllable by syllable. Tear the syllables apart, letter by letter. There is no longer any need to begin with the word. We have already torn the letters apart. The word made flesh, the letters made noise... Eat it—raw. Jim Leftwich's Sparagmos Never Mind the Via Negativa was written in May 2010 using a Logitech EX 100 keyboard. It is a text, but it is not a text about reading.
by Sarah Ahmad
Sarah Ahmad's Closing Eyes Blazing Life consists of neo-vignettes fabricated from the chaos of absurdity that is the background noise to the human experience, and which encircles us like a demented throng.
by Alan Sondheim
In Playz by Alan Sondheim, extreme base desires take over base desires, control becomes politics becomes control, and zaniness is exposed as violence, sex, arousal and betrayal.
by Jeff Harrison
Jeff Harrison's Sharks of Mary Shelley explores the subterfuges and circumscriptions of the authorial persona before a backdrop of cannibalised historical identities filtered through the ventriloquism of poetic utterances.
by Bill Drennan
Stories Short and Strange is the first volume of a unique collection by Bill Drennan. These tales are typically laced with blends of absurdist science fiction, satire, childish cartoonism and black space humour.
by Jack Foley
Jack Foley's King Amour is a series of amour-plated adventures that take the rider on a fifty-year journey in a soi-disant con-sciousness that takes itself serially and postulates both pos and impostures in a grand, grad granulation of mic and picturation. The Kong is dead, but the Konig kicks. Who but Amour would dorothy these ravings? As the great, inspiring, and possibly loony Samuel Greenberg wrote, 'The blue, faded purple, horizon mount / Seemed to bellow the valleys in mists / Of enriching, ensuing, divine shadowings... / Where may this be?'
by Evelyn Posamentier
In Brainiography Evelyn Posamentier creates a dreamscape in which objects become animate and humans objectified, both inhabiting a marginal realm between physical and virtual dimensions. In language that is neither pre-modern nor postmodern, a compelling narrative brings language to a turning point. Here is poetry responsive to encounters with world and technology—brutal and immediate. A new form of witness.
by Chris Stroffolino
Chris Stroffolino’s Light as a Fetter is a collection of poems inspired by Cliffs Notes. A collection that John Ashbery has described as 'carelessly brilliant'.
by Rich Curtis
As a performance art piece, Rich Curtis became a licensed notary public in 2009. Since that time he has notarized many things, none of which have been legal documents. Curtis is fascinated by the idea of being legally bound to TRUTH. His personal view that truth is inherently subjective runs counter to the notion of a legal and absolute truth. As part of this project he devised an exercise of witnessing one true thing each day. For the most part Curtis tried to pick the most obscure, least significant event of a given day. He distilled each of these moments into one sentence. The result of this is A Year of Ordinary Moments, where the body of the text is the result of his daily observations.
by F. A. Nettelbeck
A thirty-six-page sequence from F. A. Nettelbeck's blog, Sewing Memory, written between 2007 and 2010, Pesticide Drift presents Nettelbeck as both perpetrator and victim in the death of poetry and scandalizing myth.
by J. D. Nelson
Scratch-n-sniff the strange fragrance of J. D. Nelson's Noise Difficulty Flower. These 25 science fiction-scented surrealities were written between 2007 and 2010.
Bogle's Solzhenitsyn Jukebox is a collection of stories where texts
create themselves out of shreds of recollections, leaps of logic, and the
constant self-adjustment of narrative imperatives; spinning themselves out in
the process of going along under their own momentum. This is akin to what the
critic and culturologist Mikhail Iampolsky referred to as the poetry of "caresse".
by Felino A. Soriano
Portions of Conversational Assemblies by Felino A. Soriano are ekphrastic interpretations of various jazz recordings, and part of the larger, dedicated series of poems Soriano has dedicated 2010 to composing.
by David Meltzer
Doom Cusp by David Meltzer is dedicated to the California artist Wallace Berman who was one of Meltzer's mentors when he became exiled there from Brooklyn. Berman's use of the Hebrew alphabet and especially the Aleph in his collages, reminded Meltzer of the presences of the Holocaust and seemed relevant today in the midst of another series of Holy Wars and their ultimate futility.
by Susan M. Schultz
by a series of paintings by Elizabeth Berdann, Old Women Look Like This
by Susan M. Schultz is about very old age. Schultz tests the comparison of old
age to childhood by placing old people into unexpected narratives, including
children's stories, among them Pippi Longstocking and Diary of a Wimpy
Kid. An imaginative off-shoot of her Dementia Blog (Singing Horse,
Symphony No. 2 by Ric Carfagna (and a follow-up to his Symphony No. 1) is a work not to be construed as a symphony in a strictly classical sense, as is the case with the symphonic forms of works by Mozart or Haydn, but more along the lines of works by obtuse unwieldy 20th century composers such as Norgard, Nystroem, Segerstam and Pettersson. It comprises not so much of thematic elements as it does the repetition of images in differing contexts. It starts off with a burst of dissonance then settles down into a placid, surreal, disjunctive utterance. It also attempts to conjure up the ghosts of cubist poetry (a short lived and little known poetic phenomena) with Carfagna’s own idiosyncratic spin on it.
McCaffery and Alan Halsey
revised and expanded edition of Paradigm of the Tinctures by Steve
McCaffery and Alan Halsey revisits the classic humanist idea of the Sister Arts
where poetry is understood to be a speaking picture and a picture a silent poem.
The revisitation, however, is bluntly revisionary and the result is a fresh
by Adam Fieled
Disturb the Universe: The Collected Essays of Adam Fieled, we see a young
poet wrestling with old problems: how to move forward and conserve
simultaneously, how to form coherent judgments regarding what will endure and
what will not, how to, as Eliot wrote in Four Quartets, ‘purify the
dialect of the tribe’. These essays are bold stabs in search of new
directions, which push the envelope past what post-modernism in poetry has
heretofore allowed. They may prove to be enduring benchmarks of a period of
transition and turmoil.
Cantos of Ulysses
is a travelogue of the grotesque. A linguistic equivalent of a painting by
Hieronymus Bosch or Francis Bacon, it distorts, exaggerates and polarises the
familiar world to such an extent that our senses are drawn inwards to escape the
conflicts fashioned by such energies. As Mansel writes, ‘When confronted with
conflict the mind re-enters the body. You are going where the smell is coming
by Vernon Frazer
roots of Vernon Frazer's textual poetry lie as much in the free jazz of John
Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and their successors as they do in language-centered
poetry, Surrealism, Dada and abstract expressionism. In Margin L,
Frazer's words and concepts play over the page until they create a sense that
something has happened during each poem’s movement. The poems, however, leave
their interpretation of what precisely has happened up to the reader.
Jerome Rothenberg's The Jigoku Zoshi Hells: A Book of Variations is a series of new poems following the method of composition Rothenberg had previously used in "The Lorca Variations" and in homages to the work of other poets and artists. In the present set he applies the same procedure to an early work of his own, "The Seven Hells of the Jigoku Zoshi" (1962) – not to annihilate the original but to bring it into a new dimension, where both versions can lead an independent if interlinked existence. The fifty year gap between them adds its own strangeness to the mix.
by Ivan Arguelles
Meant to be read in one breath Impressive (Big) Instant (Bang) ! requires the reader to give up any notion of syntactic coherency while at the same time adhering to the concept of narrative fluidity. We are in the single and only moment of creation, the Big Bang, when falling in love becomes the obsessive reiteration of a unique poetics, that of being obliged to surrender the Self, forging an oblivion of the skin. While the text can be read as a footnote to its immediate predecessor Madonna Septet, it remains stubbornly on its own, an amalgam of madness and intuition about Light and its myriad fragments.
Tracking Systems we see a world (not completely unlike our own) full of
threat and the attending paranoia. Populating this world: Stetson Kennedy,
Benjamin Franklin, Don Knotts, Gandhi, and an assortment of birds, bears,
coyote, and a few beings of the less ordinary, more mythical variety.
'These pieces by Mark Young have a disturbing and comic speed, and seem, as a group, to get at some essential weirdness of the 'global' info-capitalist culture we're all trying to survive and live in'. Sam Lohmann (editor of Peaches & Bats)
is a text composed and generated by an old 8-bit computer, ZX Spectrum 48. The
text consists of partial memory dumps, stochastic manipulations and character
encoding processes, all written by an author using native Basic language offered
by ZX Spectrum.
A play about language.
by Michael Basinski and Ginny O’Brien
by Bariane Louise Rowlands
A Fool in the Pack by Bariane Louise Rowlands is an exploration in vocabulary, metaphor and free form, expressing adoration and respect for nature and animals, as well as expressing sadness at the lack of respect, honesty and love between human beings. Many of the poems are pseudo-sexual/sensual, which partially reflect the confusion that can accompany a too early exposure to sexuality.
by Evelyn Posamentier
Evelyn Posamentier's Royal Blue Car takes you to the core of the red thread of life, in words that are given to you as grains: vivid drops of soul.
by Vernon Frazer
In Odds Against Today Vernon Frazer's linguistic techniques force language beyond semantic limitations to produce poems that become events rather than meanings, although his lexical admixtures do not necessarily preclude perceiving or experiencing meaning.
In Odd Fish we encounter Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a 19th century American naturalist learned in ichthyology, botany, malacology, anthropology and linguistics whose field notes set out to, as Adam did, name the world he walked through, one circumlocution at a time.
by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
is a computer-generated process, a self-regulated stochastic text written using
old 8-bit computer, Atari 65XE, as the only source. The text is composed of
random bytes, memory dumps and characters mapped to Atari's own ATASCII set, a
near-chaotic travel inside to the computer's memory, instead of metaphorical we
are traveling literally to the world of the hexadecimal numbers, POKE/PEEK
commands and 6502 processor assembly opcodes. This book is a document of the
A Short Treatise on the Nature of the Gods takes the distance between human reality and godly ideality as its primary crisis. Each poem is its own discrete meditation complicated by its link to other such poems, all building not toward conclusion, but a clearer sense of difficulty.
by Michael Ruby
In Inner Voices Heard Before Sleep, Michael Ruby transcribes voices that are accessible to consciousness in the last seconds before sleep. There are 70 transcription sessions, each ending with the poet falling sleep. The origin and significance of the voices are undetermined.
by Joel Chace
by Joel Chace was inspired by an insight he had in 2010 that, as he says,
‘Periods complete sentences, which are complete periods’. Of this he says,
‘this sentence seemed to express two different ideas about periods (and about
sentences). Once I realized what this statement suggested, I was intrigued to
begin finding and creating more sentences, more ideas about periods—a
collection that has grown into this sequence’.
Empirical and Non-Empirical Identifiers
A look at the ways in which aspects of mainstream poetic composition practices limit ambiguity and a reader-response approach to the reception of poetry.
by Martin Stannard
Respondings is the second collection of poet Martin Stannard's reviews and writings about writing, this time selected from pieces published between 2004 and 2007. Often controversial and brutally honest, and never courting popularity, Stannard continues to question poets, poetry and himself in an effort to find out whatever there may be to find out. Stannard's writing has often been called "witty and outspoken". Others have just said it's really clever and funny. It's always interesting.
by William Allegrezza
Inshore Seeds by William Allegrezza is split into four sections. The first section explores the intersection of language, meaning, identity, politics, and inconsistency, and the second reveals poetry as news articles without the news. The third section takes on the prose poem, and the fourth section plays with the dual image of kern from typography and military history, as if poetry is called to both.
by Don Share
is the immortal goddess of concord and harmony. Despite the cheering poetry
implied in that description, she was renowned for receiving a fatal necklace on
her wedding day that brought misfortune to all who possessed it. More happily:
harmonia is the natural state of being of all living things, according to Plato;
it’s a genus of beetles, and of weeds, a particularly sublime Krautrock band;
an asteroid. And, encompassing vibrations from all these juxtaposed things, it
is also the title of this collection of slightly dissonant outfakes or B-sides
(as he calls them) by Don Share.
Country Without a
Of Country Without a Name, Morgan Harlow writes: ‘Ann Bogle’s latest collection of memoir fiction, is a sequence of thoughts, dreams and conversations. Here white petunias are cut with scissors to make a name, values are placed as if they were tarot cards, and approximations of the sublime are revealed in mathematical detail. Country Without a Name recalls the work of Dada poet Tristan Tzara (whose name means “country” in Romanian) and the semi-autobiographical pharmaceutical quests and cut-up text collages of William S. Burroughs. Bogle rebels, defines and ultimately defies hierarchies. Her writing, manifesto-like, hints at what might have been learned from Andre Breton’s Nadja if we had been given her diary to read, along with the idea that non-being dwells in language the same as being does,
or in Bogle’s words: ‘Not to be she is embodied’.
by Adam Fieled
Normal people tend to figure out what (and who) they want through relationships. Poetry in 2011 doesn’t always need to deal with the exalted, the archetypal, or (as is the case with post-modern poetry) the conditions and contexts of language itself. Poetry that configures the extraordinary through the normal is useful because it has utility value for an audience, largely middle and working class, that is being challenged by threatening external conditions, economic and otherwise. Mother Earth is an ordinary story with some pertinent implications; if it is read with understanding, it can function as allegory and its relationships stand as representations of the larger trends currently shaping our world.
by Maxine Chernoff
The uncanny and the daily blend in Maxine Chernoff's new collection, A House in Summer. From incantatory poems such as ‘Rune’ and ‘Commentary’ to the storied landscapes of ‘Parade’, ‘Aversions’ and 'A House in Summer', these large and generous poems ask the reader to confront a world
broken and made whole by language.
by Larissa Shmailo
the seeds on the head of a sunflower, the poems, translations, and story in Fib
Sequence by Larissa Shmailo whorl according to a special pattern. Here you
will find arachnids, jealous women, numbers, half-truths, a dangerous dictionary
and a few naughty words. Enjoy your encounter.
by Matt Hill
by Larry Sawyer
Using surrealist momentum to explore the possibilities of language, the poems in Werewolf Weather tear at the ‘curtain of nothingness’, as mentioned by Hughes-Alain Dal to reveal an egoless disquietness. Showing a mutability of identity, time and place in the actuality of words these fabulist poems celebrate the nostalgia of right now.
by Marc Vincenz
In these taut lyrical poems, Marc Vincenz navigates society through a Fellini camera capturing voyeuristic meditations and startling moments of flux. The citizens of The Propaganda Factory try to imagine what lies behind the Wall. Businessmen on the Brechtian stage yearn to speak of trees, Kafka’s secret police have an ear pressed to the glass, and ‘shadows drag behind like bats’.
by C. Brannon Watts
Bowl of Light is a collection of intersections, even collisions; the perspectives here move from adolescence to adulthood, and the poetry itself, in structure and spirit, reflects everything from moments of lyricism to abstraction and experimentation. The book is divided into four sections, each an arc of radius under the sky, a physical location, and a point along the journey to poetic and personal maturity. C. Brannon Watts' work is both personal narrative and intimate conversation with the reader; though there is aggression here, you should probably bring along your favorite hat, pipe, and personality. Just in case.
by rob mclennan
apertures, the second book of poet rob mclennan's the other side of
the mouth, he writes a variation on Vancouver writer George Bowering's Curious,
a collection of poems composed for and about other poets. In apertures,
mclennan composed pieces about the possessions of a variety of poets he has
known, whether personally or only through their writings, over the past decade
and a half. In eighty-three poems, mclennan writes the “stuff” of a list of
both American and Canadian poets, riffing through each writer's individual
language, resulting in a portrait of North American writing through the eyes of
one of Canada's most active poet/critics.
by Keith Higginbotham
poems in Calibration are about longing, dislocation, and the ultimate
failure of language to adequately address
the complexities and fears of ordinary life.
by Vernon Frazer and Michelle Greenblatt
As their divergent styles merge experimental language and personal experience into a rare musical synergy, Vernon Frazer and Michelle Greenblatt create a series of poems whose images of terror and darkness shadow dance across the page, their sinuous movements balancing a kernel of optimism that reveals itself as Dark Hope.
by Andy Brown
In Woody Alliances Laundered Andy Brown and William Wordsworth collaborate on 16 reinterpretations and variations of the most popular of English Romantic poems ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. Among other questions, these witty and insightful new poems ask what if Dorothy Wordsworth were the original source of the poem; what if William vanished from the picture altogether; what does commerce and recession have to do with daffodils; and why is the Reverend Spooner out walking in Grasmere, conversing with rhyming Cockneys, Zen poet-monks, and archaeologists who have just uncovered the Rosetta Stone for Wordsworth’s original poem?
by Jessica Smith
Composed between 2000 and 2006, these short essays on poetry and poetics straddle the genres of traditional academic essay and manifesto. They include analyses of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetics (Andrews, Bernstein, DuPlessis, Hejinian, Howe, McCaffery, and Silliman) and poetry by Modernists Eliot, Stein, and Zukofsky; 19th Century poets Browning, Rossetti and Shelley; and contemporary poets Cecilia Vicuña and Christian Bök. Spanning 200 years of poetry and philosophy, Smith weaves a theory of the concomitance of space and time in language.
Intermingling the imagined and the actual, Grounds reveals a common journey under the guise of untried language. Split into two parts, but carrying one narrative thread, Grounds challenges the reader, and provokes thought.
by Robert Archambeau
What if Kafka had written the Kama Sutra? What if the rhetoric of manifest destiny were mashed up with the destruction of Hiroshima? What if the icons of punk and glam found themselves curled up with Sheena of the Jungle? What happens when a poet draws a lucky card in the Mexican lotteria? What if poems were made from the flotsam and jetsam of culture, high and low? What if the author really has died, as Roland Barthes told us he would, and been replaced by the scriptor, whose sole power is to mingle texts? What if Jimi Hendrix had only given us the last two words of ‘Voodoo Child (slight return)’? The questions, if not all the answers, are in the poems in Slight Return: Remix and Ekphrasis.
by Francesco Levato
A series of texts, remixed from appropriated oral and written source material, which explore interpersonal conflict through a fragmented and implied narrative. The author seems to have a clampdown on what he is willing to express, and what few words are allowed through are charged with emotion and tension.
by Raymond Farr
Executing techniques gleaned from Language poetry and its dada/surrealist roots; each poem is a box canyon of meaninglessness tipping its hat to the absurd. Literary expectations are dashed on the rocks of dire mismeaning, embellishing the nothing that seems an inherent folly, a joke intrinsic to "a turn of phrase." These poems succumb to the glossy experience of recreating the experience of reading these poems—a train of thought derailed again and again, until what is obvious becomes radiant/radioactive, but not meaning to "mean."
by Ed Larrissy
A book about the provisional and untidy narratives we create every minute, and how these overlap with the sanctified narratives of society and religion. The world remains strange, but the strangeness infects the story.
by J. D. Nelson
These 23 slip-resistant poems were written between 2009 and 2010 in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.
by Jake Berry and Jeffrey Side
by Iain Britton
These poems touch on the experimental, the alternative, and rely on space and imagery for impact, and should be treated as living entities. Each poem should take the reader on a journey. They are multilayered and many everyday themes interconnect them, and the use of mnemonics adds a strengthening dimension to the symbolism.
by Anne Elezabeth Pluto
Anne Elezabeth Pluto's Lubbock Electric is a collection that takes us from the emerald parlor of Easter to the turquoise tower of The Three Kings—a pilgrimage of dust from the West Texas prairie to Central Asia—calling forth the delicate bonds of love and death, and the memory that sustains them.
by Jack Alun
Snowlines is, at once, a poem and a series of poems in which perception and memory stutter to the edge of oblivion. Alun employs a taut, sparse but evocative style to direct the reader through a network of images and ideas into interiors of personal understanding. The variety of themes covered, including love, language and the ephemeral, incorporate as recurring echo into the bleakness of the landscape.
by Felino A. Soriano
Oscillating Fathoms These Nonverbal Chants
is a functioning interpretation of understanding environment; the basis of this understanding is found
listening to the voices loudly unheard, and through honoring communication’s multilayered opportunities and comprehended
A C Evans
Outside (a selection of poems from 2006 to 2011) takes place at “the borders
of the future”, where a solitary cyborg with metal arms stands waiting for
another client. The dramatis personae are a cast of mad performers, misfits,
hick comediennes, mutants, celebs, ghosts, undercover agents and the Eternal
Bride from the Large Glass. The tutelary deity is pale-faced Hypnos: guardian of
desperate poets and “you” (the invisible companion) or, perhaps, even
“you” (the reader) relaxing on an old park bench, watched over by hunched
this remarkable new book Katherine Hastings, as the title suggests, says hello
to song: song of “A ceiling of stars”, “slow lava flow”, and a sensual
iridescence that beautifully expresses Hawaiian love. Hastings does much more:
the reader who begins to read these radiant words may start out “in the
quenched hive of solitude” but soon finds her or himself “Afloat in naked
beauty”, “Turned tenderly/toward/together”! Hastings is a poet of such
skill and grace that the earth itself (in the spectacular form of Hawaii)
achieves a lyric, singing voice in her work’. (Lee Slonimsky)
by Lawrence Upton
Memory Fictions continues Lawrence Upton's (in his own word) restless investigation of renewing approaches to poetry. It is, in part, also a record of his recent formal exploration of notation (in this case of texts for two voices) to disambiguate typed text without being overly directive. The work is an affirmation by Upton of the importance of performance as the full realisation of a poem; poems written and presented to support performers inherently; and, in its structures and composition, it represents, though quietly, a new direction in his writing.
by Susan Lewis
The prose poems in At Times Your Lines muster compression and elision, irony and parable in the pursuit of the necessary impossible; tracing life and fault-lines between the lived and the created, the recognizable and the strange. “These poems are terse yet opaque, jokey yet unapologetically consequential... off-beat, perfectly tuned, and compulsively readable.” (Wayne Thomas, editor of The Tusculum Review). "With their gift for formal and stylistic compression, for condensation laced with startling shifts of speed and sound, these poems transform the necessary limitations of the coin of the realm into the making of virtuoso turns on a dime." (Robert Kaufman, University of California, Berkeley)
Malone’s Was It Something I Said, deconstructs the demotic with a wit
and humour that exudes a certain charm, yet is occasionally disconcerting in its
edginess. Coupled with this, is a linguistic turn of phrase that eases the
reader into exegetic flights of fancy, and from there into “the
haze of calculated space”, to quote from one of her poems.
Light on the Lion's
poems in Tim Van Dyke's Light on the Lion's Face are composed in
conjunction with Jean Baudrillard's book, Seduction, often using
fragments from the text as architecture for the poems. The other two
architectural concepts are the Shivite myth of Kīrttimukha
(or "Face of Glory"), a story about a ravenous lion eating its own
body, and the stylistic renderings and fragments of Aime Cesaire. Tim Van Dyke
uses these three points of departure to fashion a new sensibility about the
body, love, seduction, society, and the continued relevance of myth and ritual.
by Ric Carfagna
Symphony No.7 is a poetic meditation on the passage of time. Each of its eighty-eight numbered sections begins by isolating and framing an image of a moment resonating through an empirically based terrestrial reality. Here it is known that each moment is subject to the quantum flux of an observing mind’s cognitive awareness, and thus, each moment presented evolves according to the indeterminate and mutable potentialities inherent in the nature of its existence moving through an experientially perceived corporeal realm.
by Dan Godston
This poetry collection splices together found texts with the poet’s lines, creating dynamic juxtapositions of images and language. The found texts include quotes by a biologist, writer, and musicians and composers, and these poems explore themes such as an artist’s identity and audience’s presence, jazz and improvisation, and cognition and the creative process.
The twentieth century witnessed the proliferation of the poetry anthology, and perhaps none was so instrumental in reshaping the poetry canon than Donald Allen’s New American Poetry, which introduced many readers to the Beat writers, the Black Mountain School, as well as New York City poets. Allen’s anthology was organized around a concept of poetry communities, and was one of the first to foreground group “identity” as a canonical practice. As most readers of Donald Allen’s groundbreaking anthology are aware, William Bronk is not included in the cast of poets assembled within The New American Poetry. But what might be surprising to many is that Bronk was invited by Allen to contribute to the anthology and he was the final person to be cut from the final manuscript. Neither Us Nor Them uses William Bronk’s poetry and letters as a window to survey the construction of The New American Poetry anthology—as well as an opportunity to explore the generation of poetry communities as vital to the canon making process. The case of William Bronk is, therefore, illuminating both in terms of the late 1950s/early 1960s poetry scene as well as in the canonical debates that have occurred since then and rendered materially at the level of the anthology.
Windows without Dreams
captures the sheer joy of living. Many of the poems are formerly delightful,
dappled with quirky portmanteau words and turns of phrasing, which seem as
natural as sunlight. Yet, this collection is not without its representations of
sorrow; and there are poems about lost love and failing relationships where, to
quote from one poem, 'The kissed memories of rainbow sentiments, salt wind and
the sand storm, speak from my skin'.
by Julia Pello
A Needle through Night is an experiment in the spontaneous amassing of subjectivities in a non-stop tornado of impressions, deliberations and observations. Like a needle pulling thread, the act of writing extracts and attracts whatever comes within reach, as it seeks exalted states of “inner” revelations through sudden encounters with the outside world, and which might prompt the question: Where or what is the boundary between the supposed interior and exterior?
by Jeffrey Side
Poems from another life.
by Lawrence Upton
on Bob Cobbing gathers 26 pieces of varying length on Bob
Cobbing. Written between early 1980 and late 2011, these pieces add up to an
informed approach to Cobbing by one who worked with him, often as significant
collaborator, over three decades.
by Eric Wayne Dickey
Forgive Me, Tiny Robots are short poems selected from Eric Wayne Dickey’s twitter feed. They run in reverse chronology from the most recent to the oldest. The real twitter feed is read in reverse chronology, too, but that’s not how they were written. The oldest ones were written first. You can start at the bottom of the page and read up, or start on the last page and read forward. Reading backwards, Dickey’s says, disrupts ‘the natural time sequence’ and is ‘a powerful experience, as if self-dissecting’.
by Jeffrey Side
collection of poetry reviews by Jeffrey Side of poetry volumes by various poets
during the period 2004 to 2013.
by Joe Amato
Show and Tell might properly be called a work of experimental sci-fi. It’s an unconventional amalgam of standard narrative, reportage, film criticism, poetry, cultural commentary, conceptual writing, and science fiction, with an overlay of autobiographical detail that will likely be seen as such only by readers familiar with the author's other work. All told it’s a distinctively postmodern piece of writing that takes some unusual turns even by postmodern standards. It's part of a collection of short fiction, in progress, tentatively entitled The Heights and Weights of Stars.
by Paul Hoover
The Windows is a procedural series of poems developed by Paul Hoover in the years 2007-2013 while producing the poems in Desolation: Souvenir (Omnidawn, 2012) and Sonnet 56 (Les Figues, 2009), as well as the manuscripts in progress, Gravity’s Children and After Pascal.
Edited by Marc Vincenz
A selection of poetry under represented in both mainstream and avant-garde publishing circles.
by Mark Weiss
Bronk's work is characterized by extreme care. Metaphors are few and deployed
gingerly, and the matter of daily life enters most often just enough to suggest
a context. And his concerns are almost exclusively with final things: on the
fugitive nature of both the self and any kind of external reality, Being as if
lost in the chaos of before the Biblical creation. 'What we want is a here with
a meaning' he says in one of his poems, and goes on to demonstrate that we can't
this collection of poems inspired by Bronk’s writing practice, Mark Weiss
says, ‘Few of these poems dedicated to his practice really attempt to achieve
it, and he probably would have found most of them in different ways totally
scandalous. Rather, they seem to me to dance around his work as a fixed point.
It's in fact “Sometimes,” a poem outside the group, that may come closest to
Bill's poetry, though longer than all but a few of his, and I've chosen to place
it immediately after them, as a sort of envoi’.
by Jake berry
Genesis Suicide is a series of interconnected poems from the perspective of a point in space where the collision of multiple time frames have collapsed into an temporally non-sequential domain. Mythical, prescient, sardonic and whimsical these poems portray a world devoid of comfortable structure where reality itself is as shapeless as water.
by Jeffrey Side
study examines the influence of empiricism on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry
up until 1800, at which time he deserted it for transcendentalism. This is not
to suggest that he was completely an empiricist before 1800, but that his
empiricism was somewhat tempered by transcendentalist influences. Therefore, the
relationship between “empiricism” and “transcendentalism” in his
thinking with regard to poetic composition is problematical. Coleridge became a
transcendentalist poet and thinker, whose Biographia Literaria was partly
intended to demonstrate the malign effect of the Locke tradition on poetry. Even
so, that book is partly a work of self-correction. There is ample evidence of
Coleridge’s immersion in empiricist philosophy in the 1790s, as well as in the
kind of scientific enquiry that was thought to be congenial to that philosophy.
by Jeffrey Side
A collection of poems.
by Aine MacAodha
Where the Three Rivers Meet is a collection of poems linguistically evocative of 17th century Irish Gaelic poetry, although written in English. The poems are rich with references and imagery that evoke the mythos of Ireland’s ancient history and Celtic traditions. The landscape is also figured, with an affection and respect, not only for its actuality but also for its vitality and mystery. In some respects, this poetry has a connectedness to the ancient traditions and concerns figuratively expressed in various earth religions, as well as in Celtic Christianity.
by Chris McCabe and Tom Jenks
Personae is a selection of the first five collaborations between Chris
McCabe and Tom Jenks. This sampler focuses on the ludic world of characters
created for dialogue, from Tony Hadley in exchange with Shakespeare, Beckett's Family
Fortunes, a version of Ubu Roi in which Pere Ubu is played by Boris
Johnson and the minutes of the British Onion Marketing Board in which a
gathering of contemporary poets debate the current state of the onion. Jenks and
McCabe provide a slice of British life rarely seen outside of the UK's seaside
piers in the tourist season.
by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
is a literary monograph which compares Sylvia Plath via her poetry, letters and
diary entries with the main character of the 2010 Hollywood film Black Swan.
What results is an exploration of femininity, gender stereotypes and the female
psyche as depicted in a variety of films, poems and commentary by female poets,
and feminist scholarship, particularly from the 1950s to the present.
by Jeffrey Side
‘All the way through to the poem's conclusion, with its implied continuation, the reader will have embarked down an extraordinary route of languages, registers and vocabularies, which function to arrest, surprise, disrupt, flow together, collide and cut across each other's current like a plaited waterway. In turn, this flow has been enriched by the assimilation of artefacts from different generations of writers; these deepen the work, interlacing it with echoes and experiences from different times and cultures. The integration of so many disparate elements into one cogent construct is the poem's triumph.’ (John Couth)
by Jeffrey Side
examination of the ways in which aspects of Coleridge’s early writings and
philosophical concerns permeate the poetry and poetic aesthetic of Wordsworth,
especially in the composition of Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical
Ballads, of which Coleridge said, ‘It is most certain, that that Preface
arose from the heads of our mutual Conversations […] the first passages were
indeed partly taken from notes of mine […] for it was at first intended, that
the Preface should be written by me’.
by Janne De Rijck
all need to break away from this "mad, war-infested globe" from time
to time, and what better antidote than the poetry of Janne De Rijck? Her
"inner globe" is one of peace and serenity, with a wink to mythology.
It sometimes reminds me of the poetry of William Butler Yeats and Rabindranath
Tagore, and it is no coincidence that Ireland and India are two of her favourite
traveling destinations. So, sit back and relax, no need to labour over intricate
structures. This is, pure, intuitive poetry in which rivers, stars and rainbows
offer you a ‘doorway to our next existence’ and in which the spark of
divinity that lodges in each of us, can be felt.' (Gerda Casier)
by Ursula Hurley
is a novel about why and how people become
writers. Set in the 1990s, a cider-soaked adolescent from the North of England
encounters Oxbridge elitism with tragicomic results, until a woman playwright
from the seventeenth century shows her how to live. This is the first in a
trilogy of experimental fictions about gender, writing and drinking too much.
by Rosemary Starace
'In her wildly inventive Unseen Avenue, Rosemary Starace has achieved that which might seem nearly impossible—making the experience of reading a digital text seem tactile and intimate. Exploring the creative process through a re-imagining of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Starace has threaded a lantern on a rope down into the places that only this peculiar combination of mediums can reach. You feel as if you’re standing in front of a canvas, or alone in a room with a book made of real paper you can feel in your hands: grooves, edges and all. With humor, intelligence and evident pleasure, she has made a work that cannily requires intense engagement and allows moments of cool remove in turn. I will read this beautiful book over and over again.' (Carolyn Guinzio, author of Spine)
by Daniele Pantano
'Pantano offers us a chance once again to see a poet live comparative literature the way Pound did––but without the frightening aspect of the extreme beard, the Roman broadcasts, or the open cage. His poetry and translations reveal that writing is different languages influencing each other at the most intimate and experienced level.' (James Reidel)
by Clive Fencott
Hugh II, The Istictiv is an epic, multi-voice
poem in the form of the libretto to a text-sound opera. It is set in a Britain
that could exist as another in the multiverse: there are many resemblances as
well as dissemblances to the one we variously know. This is the first
publication of a work that was performed in parts in the multi-verse of the
early 1980s but never…
by Jeffrey Side and Jake Berry
Cyclones in High Northern Latitudes, Jeffrey Side and Jake Berry tell strange,
beautiful tales, collaborating, at once, in mythological structures and closely
observed moments of luminous experience. Indeed, Cyclones in High Northern
Latitudes is a dazzling storm of lyrical imagery, an emergency beacon telling
us that language and life are perilously, delightfully interpenetrated in the
laboratories of the experimental poetic.' (Scott Wilkerson)
by Jeffrey Side
A collection of poems.
by Leanne Bridgewater
O and The Owl
is about a play on the 'o' and the 'owl' as a word, phonically, but also
metaphorically: environment; animal instinct; nature. We have become so
dependent on having to know what everything means, we ask it too much. The O and
The Owl - what does it mean? It has no formal meaning but it asks you 'what do
you think / what do you see / do you see the play on word / do you see the
oblong rhythm / do you see the hidden politics / do you feel tongue-twisted / do
you see the micro-meanings instead of 'what is the true meaning of this?' -
Language's seatbelt has become unfastened, landing face-down in earth where the
tongue licks and sniffs at it in a playful manner - and then the owl comes!
by A C Evans
A C Evans explores the subversive traditions of the bizarre and grotesque, yet he describes both his art and poetry as Realistic. Influenced by the Gothic dark-side of Romanticism, fin-de-siecle Decadence, Aestheticism, the iconoclasm of Dada, revolutionary, anti-clerical Surrealism and the immediacy of Pop, he regards all these as points of departure, none as a destination.
by Craig Santos Perez
Listen is the fifth chapbook by Pacific Islander poet, scholar, and activist
Craig Santos Perez. Written in narrative and lyric forms, these poems explore
Chamorro, Micronesian, and Pacific identities, cultures, histories, politics,
ecologies, and migrations. An accompanying spoken word audio album, titled
Crosscurrent, can be downloaded here:
by Jaime Robles
Dark Lyrics looks at several contemporary poets, and how they use a darker emotional palette in their writing. The poets include John Burnside, Maxine Chernoff and Seamus Heaney, among many others. The book presents Classical ideas and mythology as a backdrop for the poetic practice of using negative emotions. Robles also meditates on her own recent work and how that aligns with this ages-old poetic practice.
by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
Joritz-Nakagawa’s eighth poetry book (excluding chapbooks), terra form(a)
explores relationships between stability and instability, illness and recovery,
hope and despair, connection and disconnection, material and immaterial.
by Jake berry
in the Garden is a brief selection of song lyrics chosen by poet, Jake
Berry, from among songs written in the last 20 years. They are not intended to
be representative of his music or his poetry, but are instead compositions that
stand alone without music, though often in the manner of informal and folk
verse. The book also includes links to video and audio versions of some of the
songs so that they can be heard as originally intended: sung with musical
Posit Trilogy initiates a cycle, and then repeats it twice: a kind of
Father, Son, Holy Ghost structure around the poet's quest to achieve self-hood,
through analysis of different kinds of subjectivity (visionary, practical),
explorations of dreams (consciousness creating its own kind of mazes and
matrixes to wander around in) and attempted resonances with the American city of
Philadelphia (birthplace of America, enchanted by history, architecture, hidden
depths, and interstitial, subterranean structures). The cycles that constitute The
Posit Trilogy ricochet back and forth, with an eye towards creating a poetic
landscape individual, idiosyncratic, and loopy enough to stimulate any human
brain receptive to its advances.
by Jonathan Penton
Backstories is a brief volume of poetry that takes mythological archetypes and forces and smashes them together, uncomfortably and anti-logically. It explores violence and sexism in current and antiquated myth, along with helplessness, power and the tragedy of the inflexible.
by Jake Berry and Peter Ganick
Berry says that his poems were “written in spontaneous response” to Peter
Ganick's enigmatic and suggestive drawings. The poems, however, are not
ekphrastic evocations, at least as such poems are usually conceived, but emerge
from a kind of surrealist response or subconscious metaphorizing process, which
suggests the existence of a true and non-rational realm of connections between
all things. Berry's revelation of that world is consistently beautiful and
resonant: “a dawn that never ceases.”’ (John M. Bennett)
‘Adventure, suspense, philosophy and love all wrapped up in one exciting story of two ship-wrecked strangers who become lovers after being washed ashore on an island in the Indian Ocean. Their lives will never be the same again. Based on the biographies of the South-African surfer Leonard Stolk and a Flemish poet. The plot and names (other than Leonard Stolk) are fictional.’ (Brian Wrixon)
by Aine MacAodha
“Musćilt” is Gaelic for “to awaken”, and in this collection the poet expresses an awakening on her part from the horrors of Northern Ireland's past, The poems reflect upon the inner struggles and outer battles on the road to peace, and on this journey they rediscover familiar landscapes now re-emerged, while reaching into the light towards God/peace/consciousness.
by Michael Ruby
we close our eyes, we see things. We see colors and shapes, images, even brief
visions. In Close Your Eyes, Michael Ruby explores this common human
experience in a series of 47 prose poems, which can also be seen as
scripts for abstract films. The book extends Ruby's hypnagogic Inner
Voices Heard Before Sleep (Argotist Ebooks, 2011) into the visual realm
and joins his chronicles of fleeting memories, dream narratives, conversation
fragments and repeated words in his trilogy Memories, Dreams and Inner
Voices (Station Hill, 2012) and in Compulsive Words (BlazeVOX,
2010). Close Your Eyes also points to further explorations of
by Paul A. Green
poems document how identity dissolves and coagulates in the media landscape, via
the writer’s engagement with music, film, esoterica and memory.
by Gabriella Garofalo
by Gavin Selerie and Andrew Duncan
November 2011, I visited Gavin Selerie in North West London for an interview
that ultimately stretched over four day-long sessions. The immediate lure was a
visual-verbal commentary on his 1996 long poem Roxy, which I had
acquired a copy of part of, and which was a glimpse of a labyrinth of trophies,
troves and associations, more complex than the poem itself. It hinted at an
inner world where every space was covered with images, enveloping like a novel
with a hundred characters. I wanted to drop a microphone into that labyrinth.'
by Tom Snarsky
happens when on the way to the “You” of lyric poetry, something happens?
Something so oblique and mysterious the speaker cannot tear their “I” away?
The poems in Weaken weaken the form of lyric address, loosening the knot
of I & Other just enough to let the light through—and some other things
David Samuel Smith
and friends have provided guidance and enlightenment touching multiple religions
and cultural experiences. Empathetic and mystical tendencies bring streams of
consciousness to words in conversation and thought. Upon the Veil is a
collection of these musing and conversations with Jake Berry and other friends.
by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
A poet’s anxiety following radical cancer treatment is depicted in this hybrid ebook.