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Minnows Small as Sixteenth Notes: The Collected Poems of Norma Kassirer

Price: $18.00

Minnows Small as Sixteenth Notes The Collected Poems of Norma Kassirer edited by Ann Goldsmith and Edric Mesmer

Your belief in transcendent linguistic delight may have faded long ago but Norma Kassirer’s inexhaustible poetic universe will never fail to change you. Kassirer is dedicated to language’s folds and revelations and to what might be called a post-biblical garden of wit. Her eye is part Victorian lamppost, part timeless moon; and her ear confirms that magic still hums through our busy grief, our storms and stress. Read her and live.

––Janet Kaplan, author of Dreamlife of a Philanthropist

Surrealist, postmodernist, humorist––all these and more describe Norma Kassirer as a poet. Metaphor “comes rolling up a hill from a lobster net” and pulls us into irresistible play. Themes recur: cats, music, loss of autonomy in old age. Although “the rented Jell-O is easily / returnable,” the “Hydro Hall of Memory is no more,” and so we must take care not to offend our linden trees. What do “cats jugglers & acrobats” have in common? Read this book and find multiple answers.

––Anne-Adele Wight, author of Opera House Arterial

Norma Kassirer, widely known as the author of the delightful Magic Elizabeth, brings the same imagination, intelligence, whimsy, and delight to the poetry collected here. This work opens into a deceptively simple range of language implicated in a world of ordinary Jell-O molds and sunsets. Don’t be fooled. The mind at work here is astonishing in its attention to minutiae that always offer more – more meaning, more life, more love:

The little Jell-O molds
were empty of purpose
& still may be. Here in
the kitchen next to the

everlasting blue-flame

––Michael Boughn, author of City, Book One: Singular Assumptions


Norma Kassirer’s books include Katzenjammered (BlazeVOX Books, 2010), Milly (Buffalo Ochre Papers, 2008), the collection of surrealist stories The Hidden Wife (Shuffaloff Press, 1991), with artwork by Willyum Rowe, and two chapter books for children, Magic Elizabeth (The Viking Press, 1966) and The Doll Snatchers (The Viking Press, 1969).

Also a painter and book artist, examples of Norma’s handmade books can be found in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and in the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; paintings of hers are held by the Poetry Collection and by the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Norma was an avid member of Hallwalls, where she gave readings, organized the archives, and once painted the ceiling of the space on Essex with murals.

Writing of Kassirer at the time of her passing, the Buffalo News called her an “author, poet and artist who influenced generations of local writers and artists.” Along with this present collection, two chapbooks were posthumously published: Three Poems (The Poetry Collection, University at Buffalo, 2013) and a collection of asemic writing, The 1985 Notebook (Buffalo Ochre Papers, 2013).

Book Information:

· Paperback: 174 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-198-6


Pre-Orders Welcome


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