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Ghost | Landscape by Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher reviewed at Ploughshares


ghost landscape mainGhost/Landscape
Kristina Marie Darling & John Gallaher
Blaxevox, February 2016
102 pp; $16

Buy: paperback

In the collaborative poetry collection Ghost/Landscape (Blazevox, 2016) by Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher there is no beginning or end. The first poem is “Chapter Two.” So begins traversing a time loop of poems where the reader can really “begin” anywhere. What is a beginning and what is an ending? Is moving forward and looking behind you the same thing? A circle never ends. “Chapter Two,” begins like a bed time story:

“We must have known there was no going back…that morning, before our windows had been broken, you asked about the lock on the door. I realized it was only a matter of time before the alarm sounded, which always seemed out of place in the dead of winter.”  

The reader is a happy prisoner in this manikin-like frieze: feelings are suppressed into the pages of Goethe novel. Timelines, like broken glasses, need to be glued back together. If the reader needs to assemble a puzzle to establish a linear map, one should look to the corners first. In Ghost/Landscape, the edges are gray and decrepit. The backbone seethes.

Darling and Gallaher use color to drip the poems in surprising apathy. In this illusion to the underworld, “Thermopolis as a concept” they paint this canvas:

“The scenery is used to being blamed for such things, red,
beige, and more red with some yellow. And blue and black
and white.

I’m busy looking at everything I’m looking at. It rises and falls as I sit and stand. It’s shadowy or bright or neither, really. Navys and grays. I expect great things from it.

A little jump and it’s leaping. There on the bluffs overlooking
the town I see it leap as I’m looking at it leaping.

If, late in summer, it’s late summer, then it’s late in summer.
That weird feeling of being cheated when the forecast of bad
things happening doesn’t come to pass…”

The outer world is constantly in flux, unforgiving, and ambivalent towards the humans who gaze upon it no matter if the grass is green or covered in snow. There is also an apt correlation: if the outer surroundings are corrected than inner relationships may heal. In the poem “Landscaping,”

“We’re looking out the kitchen window, and we have this opportunity to go back and undo our errors. But where do we start? We mowed poorly around the trees. We didn’t marry well or have pleasant children…”

The landscape reflects a sadness.  There are repeated domestic objects noted throughout the collection: drinking glasses, the phone, a calendar, a television, torn photographs.  The objects reflect how the speakers convey the passing of time: selling them, losing them, realizing something was stolen. The objects may change but our connection to them remain the same. We sell certain objects just to want them again. In another poem in the middle of the collection, also titled “Chapter Two,” 

“Next thing you know, the whole house is a yard sale. Your bed is three feet under other things. Here, there’s still some room between it and where the bureau was, a kind of depression you can lie on…”

The succinct wordplay here illustrates a heavy woe: one can lay down on a bed and make a depression with one’s figure as well as succumb to an emotional albatross.

Read the whole review here

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The Rapture of Eddy Daemon by Daniel Y. Harris Book reviewed at Stride


The Rapture of Eddy Daemon, Daniel Y Harris (BlazeVOX)
Eddy Daemon is in thrall to Shake-Speares Sonnets. The subtitle says so. It also says this new book is a posthuman homage to said sonnets. I have no idea why the apostrophe is missing, or how Harris has let the daemon loose within these 14-line texts, but let loose he has, in a wild rollercoaster ride of cut-up, collage, image overload, scientific [dis]information and post-apocalyptic textual dystopia.
Harris' world is a posthuman one of decay, ruin, sensuality, intellectual and sexual abandon. Eddy Daemon, our anti-hero, runs amok through it, never pausing for breath, preferring to pile on the adjectives, the verbs and the images, choosing to live only in confusion. 'He won't be radicalized with selective memory.' Why? Because he appears to remember everything except his source material. Where is Shakespeare in all this? 'Eddy perfects the idea of degraded origin', apparently through 'divine breathing-in' and 'rapture's canon', with 'lust awakened'.
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The Rapture of Eddy Daemon by Daniel Y. Harris Now Available!


Finally: a posthuman translation of Shakespeare. I'm glad Daniel Y. Harris beat Watson at it. There are still large chunks of human in his kind lineation."

—Andrei Codrescu, author of Bibliodeath: My Archives (with Life in Footnotes), (Antibookclub, 2012)

In The Rapture of Eddy Daemon, Daniel Y. Harris has composed a wild poetic drama through realms of eros and spirituality. His writing is simultaneously playful and profound, transmuting ancient symbols and concepts into a contemporary wisdom, heretofore unknown in poetry.

—Daniel C. Matt, author of the first nine volumes of the annotated translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, and of The Essential Kabbalah, and God and the Big Bang

Daniel Y. Harris has a perfect ear. Pass it on. “It’s the last season of day one.” Crisp consonants frame smart vowels betwixt parentheses that host deliciously true songs. Whole verse thrums from peak to sprawl. He crafts high-frequency fluidity. Each sonnet is agleam with future friction, “revers(ing) this law of creation.” The litmus state, “Unborn in choiring wings,” reminds us that “The topos is in the billions.” Each fleck of this multiplicative joy ride earns a resounding “YES”!

—Sheila E. Murphy, author of more than 30 books of poetry, including Letters to Unfinished J., winner of the Gertrude Stein Award by Green Integer Press, and Continuations (with Douglas Barbour), co-founded the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series.

Though last words are rarely included in blurbs, Jack Spicer’s “My vocabulary did this to me” is apt praise for Daniel Y. Harris’ linguistic tour de force, The Rapture of Eddy Daemon, which is a procedural and meta-linguistic commentary on Shakespeare’s sonnets and so much more—from Faustian saga of human creation to an ode to the mechanical and posthuman methods of gaining access once again to the imagination. The circle/cycle is unbroken and broken simultaneously—and that is the joy of this big, ambitious, and brilliant riff on what “revision,” at its most exuberant boundary can mean. Read th is forever and then start again.

—Maxine Chernoff, author of Here (Counterpath) and To Be Read in the Dark (Omnidawn), is Chair of the San Francisco State University Creative Writing Department.

The fourteen-line sonnet form is the setting for this epic homage to the Bard. Harris’ bold achievement is nothing less than a sustained ecstatic idiom—a combinatoria, encyclopaedic in range, via which this daemon, this genius, this attendant spirit he calls Daemon eddies uninhibitedly.

—Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, author of The Valise and Editor of E·ratio

To be Human or… Posthuman? That is the question Daniel Y. Harris asks in The Rapture of Eddy Daemon, his new techno-savvy collection; an alluring post-avant garde ‘frieze of parabola and rosaries... eccentricities and personae’. Outraged critics may balk at the esthétique du mal infusing this neon-lit sonnet-homage to the Bard, but disregard their slings and arrows – just fasten your seatbelt for this white-knuckle ride through a multifaceted New Inscape of poetic phantasmagorical visuality.

—AC Evans is the author of Fractured Moods (Atlantean Publishing, 2012), From Outside (Argotist e-books, 2012) and Vespula Vanishes and Other Poems (Inclement Publishing, 2007)

The originality of Daniel Y. Harris’ writings is a multilayered surprisal, one of joyful momentum and challenging nuances that alters the reader’s understanding of language. In essence, one of the gifts of The Rapture of Eddy Daemon is its ability to advocate for poetic language, but too, for language in a general contextual awareness. This superb collection will create neoteric discernment for the reader ready to delve beyond what is currently being written. Harris has created, through Daemon’s interaction, something very new and deliberate, —something truthful into the paradigm of what creates rapture and its subsequent experiences.  

—Felino A. Soriano, author of sparse anatomies of single antecedents, is the Founder/Publisher of Counterexample Poetics and Of/with: journal of immanent renditions.

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015), Esophagus Writ (with Rupert M. Loydell, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2014), Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Cervena Barva Press, 2013), The New Arcana (with John Amen, New York Quarterly Books, 2012) and Paul Celan and the Messiah’s Broken Levered Tongue (with Adam Shechter, Cervena Barva Press, 2010; picked by The Jewish Forward as one of the 5 most important Jewish poetry books of 2010).

His poetry, experimental writing, art, and essays have been published in BlazeVOX, The Café Irreal, Denver Quarterly, E·ratio, European Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, Levure littéraire, Milk Magazine, Moria, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, The Other Voices International Project, Otoliths, In Posse Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Stride, Tarpaulin Sky and Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts. He holds an M.Div from The University of Chicago and is the Editor-in-Chief of X-Peri. http://x-peri.blogspot.com/

Book Information:

· Paperback: 176 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-254-9

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Laura Madeline Wiseman’s book Drink was awarded a bronze medal

We are pleased to announce that Laura Madeline Wiseman’s book Drink was awarded a 2016 National bronze medal in poetry by The Independent Publisher Book Awards. We are very happy for her accomplishment!

The Independent Publisher Book Awards (the “IPPYs”) are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. Since their inaugural contest in 1996, over 6,000 books have received IPPY Awards. This is a tribute to the independent spirit and expertise that comes from publishers of all sizes and budgets.

 Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her books are Wake (Aldrich Press, 2015), American Galactic (Martian Lit Books, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), and Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012). Her newest collaborative book is The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2015) with artist Lauren Rinaldi. She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, Arts & Letters, and Feminist Studies. Currently, she teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska.  

Book Information:

· Paperback: 100 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-205-1



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Little: Novels by Emily Anderson reviewed in Ploughshares Blog

Emily-Cov-lgerLittle: Novels
Emily Anderson
BlazeVOX, August 2015
158 pp; $20

Buy: paperback

The vogue for erasure poems continues, which is good news. Done skillfully, the erasure poem encompasses what Samuel Johnson called “the two most engaging powers of an author: new things are made familiar, and familiar things are made new.” Srikanth Reddy’s Voyager discovers within Kurt Waldheim’s anodyne autobiography the confession that ought to have been there; Ronald Johnson’s RADI OS (the genre’s great progenitor) finds an eerie new visionary melody within the organ music of Paradise Lost.

Emily Anderson’s Little starts from texts that, in some quarters, are as familiar as and perhaps even more beloved than those of Joyce or Milton: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little Housebooks. In our time, in the light of what the United States’ imperial westward drive meant to native peoples and to the environment, the books are vulnerable to several kinds of political critique. I can also attest, however (having discovered the books as an adult, reading the whole series aloud twice, once to each daughter), that they have a plainspoken poetry, a clarity of detail, and a psychological acuity that earn them a spot not far from Huckleberry Finn on the shelf of our compromised national classics.

Read the whole review here 

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