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A reading from the forthcoming book, The Epic of Hell Freeze (What Stays the News) by Richard K. Ostrander


Poetry reading of newly published work, "The Epic of Hell Freeze" at the Coffee Scene in Fayetteville, NC


The Epic of Hell Freeze (What Stays the News) Richard K. Ostrander BlazeVOX [books]
The Epic of Hell Freeze is a lush crosscurrent of peculiarly fine poetry. Here poems are as playful as they are crucial, whimsical and heartbreaking in a wide drifting landscape. Moving with a purpose, language circles and embodies in a ceaseless spirit in a work of great beauty and force, of intelligence and stark humility. These poems make rites of passage actual through poems that speak a primary language. Ostrander speaks a primary language. He is inventing a world—and this beautiful book enacts a patient intelligence and exemplifies physical grace. In these lines you will hear fullness of representation, and a luminous consciousness. This is a book of desire and transcendence, obsessed by, and never afraid of, its mysteries that turns toward those mysteries with language both base and grand. Ostrander is the best kind of poet: one in love with language and life. This is a wonderful, relevant book of poetry.

—Geoffrey Gatza

The poems in Richard K. Ostrander's The Epic of Hell Freeze (What Stays the News) shift from allusion (Andromeda, Abraham, Sisyphus) to illusion: "He walks through walls/ On the other side of silver." Ostrander's attention to "language's legerdemain" ties seemingly unrelated poems to each other like knotted scarves pulled from a magician's sleeve, using alliteration—"And a single sentence,/ Tautness of telephone lines"—as well as slant rhyme—"Flies, happy in their bottles/ Freer than fish/ that fly/ Melody or malady/ I don't know which"—and clichés twisted into new configurations—"There's a sty in the sky,/ Here's a shoulder to fry on." The poems take the reader into Bosnia and Afghanistan where "Tomorrow is the tail fin/ Of a rocket reaching down" and back to the U.S. where "Everyone turned to the sports page, feeling/ As if somehow something had been accomplished." What a journey into the world of words and war!

—Beth Copeland

Richard K. Ostrander currently resides within the Carolinas and the interstitial spaces of thought and desire. On most Sunday evenings, he can be found co-hosting Java Expressions, the local open mic at the Coffee Scene in Fayetteville, NC. No more data is required other than the work herein which is more than mere biography. Though some say it is about death, it is life. It is what stays the news

Pre-Order the book here

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