The list below comprises all chapbooks published by Mindmade Books (née Seeing Eye Books). To view a brief description of any work just click on the entry. You will find reviews of those titles marked with an asterisk on the review page.

George Albon, Reading Pole

This suite of poems – inscribed under pictographs comprising what could be called a “hobo alphabet” – is written in the taut, precise style that characterizes the work of George Albon. Reading Pole is a call to “vagabondage,” an invitation to wander “out along the American” and a record of that fabled existence on the “saucer edge of life.”

March 2000 | 24 pages

Felicity Allen & Simon Smith, Telegraph Cottage

This collaborative, hybrid text weaves alternating passages of diaristic prose (by Allen) and sonnets (by Smith) into a fabric that is doubly dialogical, being an exchange between the authors themselves, but also between them and Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, whose poetry Allen and Smith evoke and whose correspondence they appropriate in these finely-wrought pages.

September 2007 | 36 pages

Shane Anderson, Soft Passer

Soft Passer pulses with an alluring dissonance, as the formal uniformity of its 30 poems is countered by their unrelenting semantic disjunction. Each line encapsulates a momentary state of mind or observation contiguous with the next but with which it does not communicate. Mosaic-like, the poems “have a lot to do with dissociation,” their author notes, “but also the desire for its opposite – or opposites; connections and zen-like moments of clarity.”

June 2015 | 36 pages

Therese Bachand & Michele Costa, Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in Retrograde is a collection of visual poetry created in correspondence between poet Therese Bachand and artist Michele Costa. Not surprisingly, it is very much a dialogical work, in which collaged materials, sketches, and doodles are interlayered with or inscribed onto the written text, revealing and obscuring it, and encouraging a reading that is both linguistic and pictorial.

March 2012 | 32 pages

Ahmed Barakat, A body that must rest on air

In the spare, occasionally minimalist poems that make up this collection, the harsher aspects of contemporary urban life are tempered, even overcome by Barakat’s indomitable lyricism, which betrays an almost child-like sense of wonder at being in the world. A body that must rest on air is the only work by the late Moroccan poet currently available in English. It was translated from the Arabic by Hassan Hilmy.

June 2008 | 32 pages

Dawn-Michelle Baude, Finally: A Calendar

This compact book of days holds a full month of tight prose lyrics, each square poem functioning as an impressionistic window on the world. Their singular energy, fragmented, discontinuous, reflects our increasingly multi-faceted perception of experience and its double: the mind trained on time. Baude’s use of the calendar form both circumscribes and unifies the collection, drawing the many into a one. Finally.

June 2009 | 36 pages

Molly Bendall, Windward

The pages of Windward are scattered along waterways large and small, on whose banks and in nearby fields, among bottle shards and arrowheads, these breezy, elliptical poems have been found. They are an invitation to a voyage we would be wise to take. Shall we?

March 2008 | 16 pages

Guy Bennett, The Row

The Row is a sequence of twelve-line poems inspired by the music of Anton Webern. Built on a series of formal and lexical variations that parallel the permutations of the tone row, this collection incorporates fragments from the writings of Webern, his colleagues and critics, in a mosaic-like meditation on music and aesthetics.

June 2000 | 32 pages

Nicole Brossard, Shadow / Soft et Soif *

This new work by Canadian poet Nicole Brossard is a beautifully paced constellation of brief lyric poems that trace the fugitive qualities of language, love, and poetry as they play themselves out in a writing “snatched / from the rift in the simple present.” It is translated from the French by Guy Bennett.

June 2003 | 40 pages

Franklin Bruno, MF/MA

This symmetrical collection posits a poetry of popular radio, with its sudden blasts of white noise, intermittent jingles and spliff razzle dazzle. A musician and poet, Franklin Bruno has released four recordings to date and tours frequently with his band. MF/MA is his first book.

December 1999 | 36 pages

Avery E.D. Burns, aethers

In aethers, Avery E.D. Burns chronicles the details of daily life as perceived through the veil of human thought and emotion. The poetry – almost stately in its columnar movement – draws the reader into and through the work in a measured, meditative pace.

December 2001 | 36 pages

Rocío Carlos, A World Below

In A World Below, Rocío Carlos conjures a multilayered map of Los Angeles, fusing a mix of Aztec and Mayan myth, European folklore, scenes from under childhood, and the otherwise drab magic of the contemporary “city of angels,” with its jacarandas, hummingbirds, and smog. The poems also suggest a map of the poet’s identity, which appears as vast in scope and as complex as that of the city she inhabits.

December 2014 | 32 pages

Jacques Cégeste, Final Poems

This previously unknown follow-up to a well-known pseudobiblium consists of the late poetry of J. Cégeste, whose first poems were famously published in 1950 in the short-lived journal Nudisme. The unadorned style of Cégeste’s early writings is immediately apparent in these his final pieces, whose understatement will surely delight the perceptive reader and whose ultimacy brings to a fitting close the Mindmade Books catalog.

December 2017 | 16 pages

Jeff Clark, Arab Rab

Arab Rab brings together two long poems – “A Gigolo’s Ghee Gilded William” and “A Chocolate and a Mantis” – both of which feature the Baroque stylings and psychedelic imagery that characterize the writing of Jeff Clark, who picks up here where he left off in the award-winning The Little Door Slides Back of 1997.

September 1999 | 20 pages

Norma Cole, a little a & a *

Norma Cole’s a little a & a is a plural work, a polyphonic weaving of many voices articulated typographically and spatially on the page. Thematically, too, for as the poem unfolds, these voices touch variously on questions of art, literature, aesthetics, and translation, inviting a multi-directional reading of this thoughtful and engaging text.

December 2002 | 32 pages

Clark Coolidge, Book of Stirs

In this jolting version of Shakespeare’s Tempest, Clark Coolidge creates the verbal magic for which he is known, sustaining it throughout the entire poem, which reads like a forty-page incantation. In word and deed, Book of Stirs is very much a seventeenth-century literary sheep in twentieth-century wolf’s clothing.

March 1998 | 44 pages

Robert Crosson, In the Aethers of the Amazon

This collection of poetry from 1984–1997 includes many long out of print “classics” and a number of previously unpublished poems by a writer considered by many to be the quintessential Los Angeles poet. Robert Crosson died in late 2001. This was the last book published during his lifetime.

September 1998 | 40 pages

Sabrina Dalla Valle, 7 Days & 7 Nights in the Desert

Sabrina Dalla Valle’s 7 Days & 7 Nights in the Desert could be described as a contemporary devotional book stripped of overtly spiritual content: it is a (literal) book of hours covering seven days of (literary) creation. Dalla Valle’s writing – diaristic, notational – touches on memory, myth, science, and language, in sequences of quotidian observations against the desert as a backdrop.

September 2012 | 36 pages

Larry O. Dean, About the Author

In this new collection, Larry O. Dean displaces the focus of auto-referentiality from the text to the author as the paratextual “author bio” becomes the matter of the poems. About the Author is a wry comment on the increasing prevalence of peripheral writings (blurbs, review excerpts, writer and translator bios, publisher mission statements, “shout out”-style acknowledgments, etc.) and their parasitical relationship to literary texts.

March 2011 | 20 pages

Marcela Delpastre, The Blood of The Stone

In these dense yet brief lyrics, Occitan poet Marcela Delpastre (1925–1998) sings the life, the blood, the cry and song of the stone, the stone that holds the sun, that sleeps in the earth, that begot man and woman. Daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of farmers, Delpastre worked on the family farm all of her adult life. The land, her connection to it and to those who cultivate it were the sources of her poetry, as this bilingual collection richly shows. Translations from the Occitan were made by Nicole Peyrafitte and Pierre Joris.

December 2016 | 24 pages

Terry Dernbach, Filmic Scenes

Filmic Scenes is comprised of a suite of evocative, laconic texts that lie somewhere between the prose poem and the micro-narrative. Their blending of the fantastic and the quotidian is offset by their spare, “flat” style. The scenes themselves – improbable, humorous, troubling – suggest films that might have been made by Max Jacob or Taruho Inagaki, had either of them worked in this medium.

March 2013 | 24 pages

Mohammed Dib, Omneros

In this series of meticulous, brief lyrics, renowned Algerian poet Mohammed Dib explores the nature of silence, the formation of desire, and the functioning of thought and language in the spare, classical style for which he has become famous. These selections from the 1975 Omneros were translated from the French by Paul Vangelisti and Carole Lettieri.

September 1997 | 36 pages

Ray DiPalma, Gnossiennes

This new collection comprises three long, multi-poem sequences remarkable for their well-tensioned style and understated lyricism, qualities they share with the musical compositions for which, collectively, they are named. Evoking France (in its allusions to Reverdy and Satie) and the poet’s native New York, Gnossiennes conjures a dual geography, both site-specific and indistinct, of the world of places and things on the one hand, of thought and language on the other.

March 2005 | 36 pages

Dolores Dorantes, sexoPUROsexoVELOZ

The sculptural fragments that make up sexoPUROsexoVELOZ revel in a tension created by the skillful montage of the sensual and the intellectual, engaging the “topos” of love (and of the love poem) on both a physical and an abstract level. These finely wrought poems are presented both in the original Spanish and in a masterful translation by Jen Hofer.

December 2004 | 36 pages

Julie Doxsee, New Body a Seafloor Body

Against an ocean backdrop, this sex and water poem unveils encounters both physical and metaphorical. They unfold in a landscape of scattered boats, root beer, harpoons, and ceiling fans as we look on. A lyric voice – playful, exploratory – implicitly encourages us to follow the writing in its nautical meanders. We do.

December 2007 | 24 pages

Portia Elan, Ghazals for the Body

These poems that make up this new collection by Portia Elan play with (and against) the traditional ghazal, eschewing the metaphysical for the phenomenological, the wistful for the observational. The writing is tight, light, and focused on the minutia of the everyday which, like the poems themselves, are offered (and taken) as an antidote for longing.

September 2014 | 28 pages

Frédéric Forte, 33 Flat Sonnets

These are sonnets whose form has been unfixed. Released from the constraints of meter, verse, and stanza, the familiar 14-line shape has unspooled into a compact rectangle comprised of a single, unbroken line. Rhyme is the only trace of its formal identity, which is also suggested by the use of the midpoint and slash, representing line and stanza breaks. 33 Flat Sonnets is a paradoxical read: we experience the sonnet form conceptually (and aurally, when reading aloud), while being denied it visually. This work has been translated from the French by Emma Ramadan.

March 2016 | 36 pages

Emily Kendal Frey, The New Planet *

This collection of “epigrammatic blunt dream ends,” as the author describes them, is built on a poetics of the non-sequitur reminiscent of Max Jacob’s Dice Cup and Inagaki Taruho’s One Thousand and One-Second Stories. In Frey’s minimal poems flashes of the unexpected belie the seeming banality of everyday events and observations.

June 2010 | 36 pages

Isabelle Garron, Face Before Against *

In this chain of brief, well-tensioned poems, Isabelle Garron explores the tenuousness of experience and the mystery of its uncertain implications.Her thoughtful writing is remarkable for its attention to formal structure, typographic detail, and the resultant play of printed signs against the white of the page, qualities much in evidence in this collection, which was translated from the French by Sarah Riggs.

May 2005 | 20 pages

Alfredo Giuliani, Incidental Verses

Incidental Verses includes 16 brief lyric poems by the eminent Italian poet and leader/editor of I Novissimi, all of which were written between 1978–1984 and published together in Italian in the 1986 collection Versi e nonversi. They appear here in a sprightly translation by Jeremy Parzen.

September 2000 | 28 pages

Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Greguerías

Author of more than 100 works – including seventeen novels, dozens of stories, numerous plays, pantomimes, screenplays, literary and biographical essays, two volumes of poetry, and an autobiography –, Ramón Gómez de la Serna (1888–1963) remains best known for his greguerías, a modernist take on the aphorism. He defined these brief and fragmentary texts with the formula: humor + metaphor = greguería, and published between fifteen and twenty thousand of them in fourteen different collections during his lifetime. The present collection, edited and translated from the Spanish by Guy Bennett, includes selections drawn from over the course of the Spanish writer’s career and presented bilingually. Echoing Varery Larbaud, an early admirer and translator of greguerías, Octavio Paz claimed that he too “would have learned Spanish just to read Gómez de la Serna.”

March 2014 | 28 pages

Lyn Hejinian, A Book from A Border Comedy

In this book (XIII from the monumental A Border Comedy) Lyn Hejinian weaves a long, tapestry-like texture of sources ranging from Ovid to Mandelshtam, Milton to Genet. The resultant poem flows broadly through the fields of personal memory, philosophical inquiry, and literary history.

March 1997 | 32 pages

Larkin Higgins, of traverse and template

As its title suggests, this new collection sets up a dialectic contrasting verbal poems exploring the world as seen through a windshield, and visual poems comprising symbols used by traffic accident investigators. The “collision” of the two, on both a graphic and a conceptual level, is a delight for the eye, ear, and mind.

December 2013 | 36 pages

Jen Hofer, lawless *

Lying somewhere between collage and assemblage, lawless is a multilinear meditation on time, memory, and the volatility of the mind as it navigates the turbulent passage from a past of doubtful character to an equally uncertain present.

December 2003 | 32 pages

Isabelle Baladine Howald, The Pain of Returning

This brief text, a reflection by a poet on a reflection by a poet on the death of a poet, is informed by feelings of displacement and loss, which Isabelle Baladine Howald traces back to their source not in death but in writing. The Pain of Returning was translated from the French by Eléna Rivera.

December 2012 | 20 pages

Ernst Jandl, the big e

Ernst Jandl’s the big e is a multi-section monovocalic poem of spartan texture and rhythmic complexity. The translation, by Guy Bennett, is likewise monovocalic and closely follows the word- and poem-shapes and sounds of the German original. While excerpts of this translation were included in Reft and Light (Burning Deck, 2000) and in Twentieth-Century German Poetry (Farar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), it appears in its entirety for the first time in this bilingual edition.

December 2010 | 28 pages

Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, Damaged Fauna

Damaged Fauna can perhaps best be described as a personal epic relating the advent and evolution of a metaphorical people, including the poet, whose birth, life, and death are recounted in the vibrant, unsentimental style characteristic of Khaïr-Eddine. It appears here in a bilingual edition, with the original French text and an English translation by Guy Bennett. It is currently the only work by Khaïr-Eddine available in English.

September 2006 | 16 pages

Aleksei Kruchenykh, F/nagt

F/nagt (1918) is one of more than thirty handwritten and hectographed booklets produced by Kruchenykh in 1918–19. As Gerald Janecek noted, this zaum poem represents “a return to minimal requirements”: the text has been reduced to its basic elements – the letter-form and graphic line – and (semantic) meaning has been eliminated. A work for the eye as much as, if not more, than for the ear, F/nagt straddles the line between verbal and visual poetry.

June 2011 | 24 pages

David Lloyd, Vega

The two poems that make up this dialogic work – “Lyre” and “Vega” – hint at the dualities that inform it. The nuanced interplay of a lyric “I” and “you,” the frequent shifts from the sensual to the intellectual and vice versa, and the juxtaposition of a distant past and an evolving present, suggest the deep, constellated space that lies between ourselves and the world, between earth and the heavens, between speaking and writing (poetry).

March 2009 | 24 pages

Alan Loney, Death of the Reader

Who is reading thus? Such is the question, paraphrasing Barthes, that Alan Loney implicitly asks us to consider in this new work. A hybrid text blending the poetic and the essayistic, Death of the Reader explores the fiction of the universal (or generic or neutral) reader and sounds its relationship with the author. As the title suggests, Loney’s reader is to Barthes’ what the latter was to the Author.

June 2016 | 24 pages

)ohn Lowther, Aeros in Err

This collection of sprightly verse probes the timely dictum that “what goes up comes down.” In poems both taut and jaunty, )ohn Lowther scans the skies, tinkering feverishly with jalopy-like whirligigs and dirigibles destined to “weave the wind” in fleeting glory. “Far off, he notes, “ ‘The Gestalt’ blinks into cloud & is gone.”

March 2002 | 36 pages

Piotr Macierzyński, If father dies first

This new collection, Macierzyński’s first in English, focuses on the writer’s ostensibly troubled relationship with his cruel, domineering father. The grim content of the poems, which recall Kafka’s pieces on the same subject, is offset by their spare, colloquial style and tempered somewhat by Macierzyński’s irony and dark humor. If father dies first was translated from the Polish by Aleksandra Małecka & Piotr Marecki.

August 2015 | 24 pages

Bernat Manciet, Ode to James Dean

One of the major Occitan writers of the latter half of the 20th century, Bernat Manciet (1923–2005) was the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction, and editor (for some thirty years) of the revue Òc. This 1958 poem, a hallucinatory verbal meditation on the death of the American actor, captures the “brutal, sharp, abrasive, wily, loutish, irascible, burning, rash, fighting, aggressive” qualities that Manciet prized in Occitan. It appears here in a bilingual edition with a translation by Pierre Joris and Nicole Peyrafitte.

June 2014 | 20 pages

F.T. Marinetti, Dunes

An early freeword poem by the founder of Italian Futurism, Dunes encapsulates the new poetry preconized by Marinetti in the seminal manifestoes “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature,” “Destruction of Syntax – Imagination without strings – Words-in-Freedom,” and “Geometric Mechanical Splendour and the Numeric Sensibility.” The only work of poetry by Marinetti currently available in English, it was translated from the Italian by Guy Bennett.

December 2011 | 16 pages

A Maxwell, Conversion Table

Conversion Table is one-half of an 8-bit work. Each of its apparent propositions have been stripped of the propositional attitudes that might otherwise color them, so as to suggest something apart from two assertive modes of literature: literature as intellectual property, and literature as evidence. Instead, it aspires to another life of literature: the undetermined.

September 2016 | 28 pages

Hansjörg Mayer, alphabet

Hansjörg Mayer’s alphabet is a sequence of twenty-six visual poems, each one focusing on a single letter of the alphabet. In this minimalist work, multiple instances of individual letterforms combine to create abstract graphic compositions – ideograms unencumbered by ideas – actualizing a purely formal rhythm of black strokes and white counters.

September 2002 | 32 pages

Deborah Meadows, How, the means

This new collection by Deborah Meadows was written after Bill Viola’s video installation Fall into Paradise and rings with echoes of the Tristan legend as the latter does. The fragmentary style of these small, tight lyrics only hints at the works that inspired it, revealing glimpses of them through the meshes of the text.

March 2010 | 28 pages

Ciara Miller, Silver Bullet

Written after canonical films such as Birth of a Nation, Imitation of Life, Native Son, et al., this collection of ekphrastic poems “seeks to wipe the dust off the founding imagery of Blacks in show business,” their author notes. Reflecting on the cinematic representation of blacks and their relationship to the whites playing opposite them, they form a meditation on a mediation of race and racial injustice “often masked in comedy, dance, singing, or bravado.” Silver Bullet is Ciara Miller’s first published collection.

December 2015 | 28 pages

Chelsey Minnis, Foxina

A sustained Mannerist litany, Foxina revels in the flamboyant lexicon of the fashion magazine, with its arcana of precious and exotic materials. The poem’s visually elliptical form playfully mirrors the revealing/concealing function of the finery enumerated, mediating yet not quite obscuring the voyeuristic gaze on which this play depends.

June 2002 | 20 pages

Laura Moriarty, Verne & Lemurian Objects

Drawn from a longer work entitled Glass Action, “Verne” & “Lemurian Objects” are, respectively, a retelling in verse of Jules Verne’s Journey to The Center of The Earth and a lengthy fragmentary poem “written in telepathic communication” with Lemurians living inside Mount Shasta. The characteristic transparence of Moriarty’s writing constitutes a kind of “glass action” in these surprising poems, offering the reader a glimpse into the earth of things not visible from the surface.

March 2017 | 28 pages

Béatrice Mousli, Metamorphosis of Palm Trees

A playful cross between a documentary text and a writer’s notebook, Metamorphosis of Palm Trees weaves together newspaper clippings, radio reports, quotations from scholarly and literary works, bumper stickers, fragmented conversations, and diaristic, poetic prose in a seamless meditation on language, writing, and exile in present-day Los Angeles.

September 2011 | 28 pages

Giulia Niccolai, Frisbees

The Frisbee seems a paradoxical poetic form: an occasional poetry without the occasion. An official occasion, that is, for the Frisbee celebrates the infra-ordinary: those uneventful events that generally go uncommemorated but which constitute the fabric of daily life. This selection of Niccolai’s early Frisbees (1982–1985) was translated from the Italian by Paul Vangelisti.

September 2013 | 32 pages

Mostafa Nissabouri, Approach to the Desert Space

This long, multi-sectioned poem is a meditation on the frailty of identity, the tenuousness of language, and the beauty and ambiguity of barren spaces. Written in highly charged, densely metaphorical verse, Approach to the Desert Space is the first full-length poem by the noted Moroccan poet to be published in English. It was translated from the French by Guy Bennett.

September 2001 | 36 pages

Valère Novarina, Adramelech’s Monologue *

One of France’s leading playwrights, Valère Novarina is best known for the verbal ingenuity and lyrical intensity of his writing. Adramelech’s Monologue, which was given its English-language première at the Chicago Festival of Contemporary French Theater in 2004 and has been performed throughout the United States since, is a startling rumination on man, his uncertain origins, history, gods, and language. It was translated from the French by Guy Bennett.

March 2004 | 24 pages

Eric Pessan, Sometimes, I Draw in My Notebook

Described by their author as “more or less bootless thoughts on the margins of [his] literary activity,” these captioned drawings by Eric Pessan were culled from his on-going, multi-year project (and 2015 book published by Éditions de l’Attente) Parfois, je dessine dans mon carnet. This selection focuses on candid, occasionally sardonic observations on writing and authorship – a compact ars poetica of words and (images of) things.

September 2017 | 28 pages

Sean Pessin, Thank You For Listening

These overheard poems (as the author terms them) were freely transcribed from TED talks and transformed accordingly. In contradistinction to the presentations that begot them, with their topical focus and clarity, this collection is woven through with disjunctions and non sequiturs, and bristles with statements as self-assured as they are illogical. While the poems speak of 1,001 things their true matter is both the TED talk as a form and, as the title suggests, the listener who consumes and (mis)construes them.

June 2017 | 32 pages

Guy Pettit, My Life’s Work

In this new collection, Guy Pettit revels in the startling uneventfulness of daily life. The writing – spare and clear – reflects this seeming oxymoron in its juxtaposition of a plain, at times colloquial style with a non sequitur approach to the composition of its verbal content. The title of the collection (which is also that of all but one of the poems) suggests that resolving this contradiction could well be the work of a lifetime.

June 2013 | 32 pages

Dennis Phillips, Study for the Ideal City

Study for the Ideal City is a multi-layered topology of cities real and imaginary, idealized via language in a series of fragment-like poems. The latent, yet discontinuous narrative quality of the collection suggests the possibility of a plot that never materializes, but which seems to exist somewhere outside the space of the poems.

March 1999 | 44 pages

Candace Pirnak, Blind Spot

Candace Pirnak’s Blind Spot brings together two long poems inspired by the visual arts. In their dialogue with the work of Lucian Freud and Ralph Eugene Meatyard, these finely crafted pieces call attention to the interstices of the viewing experience. Playing the seen against the unseen, the known against the imagined, they capture reader’s eye and draw it gently inward.

September 2004 | 24 pages

Raymond Queneau, For an Ars Poetica

Originally published in 1952, this collection of eleven poems by the co-founder of the Oulipo is not so much a how-to for the language arts as a how-to for a how-to. With his characteristic mixing of stylistic registers and his irreverent use of traditional versificaton (not to mention of the ars poetica itself), in For an Ars Poetica Queneau foregoes the rules for poetry writing in favor of writing about writing poetry and poems. This is a bilingual edition with translations from the French by Guy Bennett.

December 2009 | 32 pages

India Radfar, Twelve Poems That Were Never Written

The title of this collection implicitly poses the question of what it means to write (as opposed to think or conceptualize) poems, and encourages us to re-examine the relationship of writing to the resulting text. The twelve poems it comprises offer the beginning of a response to that question, which they approach with a quiet, zen-like earnestness.

March 2006 | 24 pages

Stephanie Rioux, Sticks

This new collection by Stephanie Rioux – her first – is an exercise in minimalism. The poems, lyrical snippets ranging in length from one word to four slim lines, form a suggestive, open-ended text that reduces the world and its quotidian splendor to bits and pieces. Sifting through them, the reader is free to imagine how they might fit together or enjoy that they don’t.

September 2009 | 32 pages

Eléna Rivera, Suggestions at Every Turn

In Suggestions at Every Turn, Eléna Rivera focuses tightly if fleetingly on the disjunctive moments of an intermittent quotidian, weaving an “I,” “you,” and “we” into the fabric of this quietly dialogical work. The poems themselves – an amalgam of colloquial and “official” language – turn frequently from the one to the other, suggesting the instability of the world they reflect.

September 2005 | 24 pages

Elizabeth Robinson, Refractory Responses

The poems of Refractory (meaning obstinate but also irreducible) responses (as in answering yet also reacting) riff off Ebbe Borregard’s Sketches for 13 Sonnets, creating an open-ended conversation that both evokes and elides dialogue with the poet that inspired them, the sonnet form that subtends them, and the reader that refracts and completes them.

September 2003 | 20 pages

Martha Ronk, Prepositional

Just as prepositions connect nouns to other words and define the relationships that bind them together, so do the poems that make up Prepositional form a nexus of discrete connections linking thought to language, quotidian events, and philosophical meditation, all of which lie at the heart of Martha Ronk’s writing.

June 2004 | 32 pages

Claudia Roquette-Pinto, Shadow Zone

Shadow Zone is made up of a suite of gem-like, elliptical lyrics by Brazilian poet Claudia Roquette-Pinto. Drawn from her 1997 book zona di sombra, these poems were translated from the Portuguese by the author, with an introductory poem translated by Michael Palmer.

June 1999 | 20 pages

Joe Ross, The Wood Series

Joe Ross’ Wood Series is built on a classical compositional strategy: variations on a theme. In this case the theme is wood, and the finely wrought poems explore that theme in the many forms it can take: from trees to furniture and architecture, to the pages of a book and, ultimately, the subject of poetry.

June 1997 | 28 pages

Chika Sagawa, To The Vast Blooming Sky

This set of brief, enigmatic poems by Japanese modernist Chika Sagawa both reflects and responds to the work of her European Dadaist and Surrealist counterparts. Herself a translator (of Joyce and Woolf), Sagawa has been championed by Sawako Nakayasu, who translated the present collection from the Japanese.

December 2006 | 28 pages

Giovanna Sandri, Hourglass: The Rhythm of Traces *

The poetry of Giovanna Sandri ranges from the fragmentary lyric to abstract visual poetry. In Hourglass, she combines both in a series of poems comprising verbal and nonverbal elements. This work was awarded the Premio nazionale di poesia Lorenzo Montano when published in Italy in 1994. It was translated from the Italian by Guy Bennett.

June 1998 | 48 pages

Peter Schmidt, The Thoughts Behind the Thoughts

In 1970 Peter Schmidt created this mixed-media work by combining extant prints from his studio and aphoristic writings mined from his journals. Sets of 55 “thoughts” were assembled onto thick card stock, boxed, and given away to friends, family, and colleagues, such as Jasia Reichardt, Robert Wyatt, and Brian Eno. In exploring the pathways leading to the creative process, they constitute a sort of ante-ars poetica, and in so doing strongly prefigure the Oblique Strategies, which Schmidt later created in collaboration with Eno.

June 2012 | 24 pages

Barry Schwabsky, For Despair

In For Despair Barry Schwabsky explores the unsettling interstices between love, love lost, and love regained. These poems, at once muted and joyous, are what he finds there. For Despair is remarkable for its singular tone, its understated formal strategies, and its intelligence, qualities that both inform this collection and define Schwabsky’s writing.

December 2005 | 28 pages

Eric Selland, Inventions

Inventions is a sequence of 45 tanka-like poems woven from a number of appropriated philosophical texts. The resulting polyphony gives voice to an understated reflection on the world, as well as on reflection itself, engaging the Japanese form and the poetic tradition that underlies it as it does so.

May 2007 | 24 pages

Eleni Sikelianos, The Lover’s Numbers

These 66 sensuous lyrics, sure though playful in their use of language, are defined by the skillful rhetoric and sexually charged imagery that characterize the poetry of Eleni Sikelianos. The poems, quasi classical in style, are complimented by succinct rhythms and choppy syntax that give this collection its undeniable sense of urgency.

December 1998 | 44 pages

Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra, Tides

Tides is very much a work in dialogue – with the you to whom its poems are addressed, with the many writers those poems reference and quote and thus, by extension, with literature itself. Solís Cuadra’s approach is readerly and his style light, in spite of the occasionally dark turns the poems make. This bilingual edition of Tides is the first collection by the Nicaraguan writer to be published in English, with a fine translation from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine.

March 2015 | 32 pages

Philippe Soupault, Westwego

Westwego is an early poem by Philippe Soupault, one of the founders (along with André Breton and Louis Aragon) of the Surrealist movement. Written in 1917–22, it both precedes and follows Les Champs magnétiques [“The Magnetic Fields"] (1919), the first Surrealist work according to Breton who co-authored it with him. The only work of Soupault's poetry currently available in English, Westwego was translated from the French by Béatrice Mousli, whose biography of the poet was published in spring 2010 by Flammarion.

September 2010 | 16 pages

Adriano Spatola, Zeroglyphics

Spatola’s “zeroglyphics” are compact visual poems created by a “détournement” of advertisements, corporation names, logograms, and other found materials, that breaks down commodified typographic messages into neutralized compositions that border on optical static. This classic work of the Italian neo-avant garde includes eighteen zeroglyphics from the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as an afterword by Giulia Niccolai, translated from the Italian by Paul Vangelisti.

March 2006 | 48 pages

Catriona Strang, Steep: A Performance Notebook

As the title suggests, the pages of Steep contain notes for a performance combining the stark, tight poetry of Catriona Strang and the striking, lean musical compositions of François Houle, whose handwritten scores accompany the poems. Many of the pieces here included are featured on their 1999 CD The Clamorous Alphabet.

December 1997 | 28 pages

Paul Vangelisti, Agency

A microscopic Divina Commedia in prose, Agency ponders the unstable poetics of American politics in the post-9/11, “with us or against us” USA, whose central intelligence problem has seemingly become “…how to go about dismantling the untruths we had systematically constructed or defended in previous years.”

March 2003 | 36 pages

Catherine Wagner, Boxes

6 x 6 6-line portraits of 6 x 6 syllables each (exactly 6 per line) + 6 secret ingredients scattered through the geometrical space of every poem make up this symmetrical work. The startling rhythms and blunt imagery contained herein are among the defining features of Catherine Wagner’s Boxes, two of which won the Greg Grummer Award in 2001.

March 2001 | 24 pages

Liz Waldner, Read Only Memory

Liz Waldner’s voice is unmistakable – on the one hand studiously schooled (with, in this case, myriad allusion to and quotes from Sir Thomas Browne), on the other, highly personal with a dayglo tinge of humor and irreverence as high and low worlds collide, bump and grind. Read Only Memory preserves the trace of that voice.

December 2000 | 24 pages

Rosmarie Waldrop, Cornell Boxes

Eight measured prose poems that evoke the same sense of unexpected discovery one feels before the boxes of Joseph Cornell, for which this work is named. Rhythmed in fours (four sections of four sentences and four notes each), this collection places the “s” of surprise under the sign of symmetry – a treat for both lobes.

June 2001 | 24 pages

Diane Ward, No List (no list)

These new poems by Diane Ward feel at once familiar and different – readers will recognize the discursive and stylistic shifts that characterize her poetry, but the spareness and angularity that also shape her writing are tempered in spots by an intimate, almost elegiac tone that gives No List (no list) an unexpected lyrical resonance.

September 2008 | 20 pages

H.N. Werkman, Tiksels

Werkman’s “tiksels” (from the Dutch “tikken,” “to type”) are predominantly abstract, asemantic texts that explore the graphic properties of the typewritten letterform and revel in the aesthetics of the typewriter as a machine for iconic and textural writing. Dating from the early- to mid-1920s, the “tiksels” anticipate the visual and concrete poetries of the 1950s and ’60s, and like the latter blur the line between writing and art.

March 2007 | 24 pages

Susan Wheeler, Everything And / Below, Below, Below

Appropriated from multiple sources (though primarily from Russell Creviston’s 1955 paean to American industry Everything And The Kitchen Sink), Susan Wheeler’s Everything And / Below, Below, Below offers a timely reflection on the timeless “American way of life,” whose time may in fact be up. By letting the source text speak (almost entirely) for itself, Wheeler creates an ironic self-critique of American exceptionalism all the more pertinent in this era of record trade deficits, seemingly endless war, systemic economic collapse, foreclosures, bailouts, et cetera.

December 2008 | 32 pages