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Echo Park by Christine Hamm Now Available!


Echo Park Christine Hamm BlazeVOX [books]

From "pink-spangled bikinis" to "your mother's stolen perfume," Christine Hamm's Echo Park is littered with the strange, sexy detritus of life, gorgeous life.

—Kate Durbin, author of The Ravenous Audience

Many novels could and should be reduced to short stories, which could then be condensed to worthy poems, which could in turn be distilled to something which fits the tip of the tongue and the whole of the night. Christine Hamm’s poetry cuts out a lot of middlemen.

The specificity and care of the language gives us a range of contemporary vignettes through a music which is neither trite nor portentous. Each fragment is a whole, recontextualised in the reader’s own confusion, hope and hunger. In spite (as well as because) of the artistry and contemporaneity, these are poems you could present to someone who claimed immunity from Modern Poetry, as the craft and intelligence are deeply embedded, rather than sticking out at sharp angles.

The sense of effortlessness is to do with all the fat of the novel being burned off and used to cook the actual onions we were after in the first place. It’s a pleasure to follow your nose all the way to the end where the hot-dog stand glows and the park still echoes.

—Peter Hughes, author, The Pistol Tree Poems and founding editor, Oystercatcher Press

Christine Hamm’s Echo Park takes you by the hand and leads you into a vast subterranean passion play that moves through houses and theaters and parks and alleys all the while smiling all the while promising that the over-ripe orange you smell will recede and your hair will stop burning and you can find your way out of the root cellar even though the light is busted and the door is bolted. These poems are a delicious dreamy basket of puppies with a dank surprise underneath—not the pony every little girl longs for but a portal into a whole wide weirdly and care(fully) imagined world.

—Rebecca Loudon, author of Cadaver Dogs

Christine Hamm's Echo Park places the world on a tilt and proceeds to shake it none too gently. Filled with strange and broken tableaux, these poems warp the friendly and familiar into something sinister and erotic. Echo Park is a book of rare intensity.

—Ivy Alvarez, author of Mortal

Like a novel by Dickens, Echo Park contains a sweep and scope of voice and character. Hamm's astute observations and associations cast a bright light on the forgetful parent, the forgotten child, Dorothy coming to (waking up) halfway up a tree, Joan of Arc working in the Gap. She encapsulates moments, like the very second when, say, love, ceases to be, or begins once again to live.

In "Starling," the bird's shiny wings are compared to "the lids of a woman's eyes/in an empty bar./Everyone and/no one at once." In poems including "Dampen," Hamm's heart-broken world seems too violent to be true, a world in which human beings are finding it impossible to coexist with each other, let alone with nature.

Exquisite analogy and image, often poised as tableau or vignette, create lasting impressions of persons, places, and relationships that are sometimes realistic, sometimes stylized in the manner of a fable, or otherwise enduring and highly defined.

—Valerie Fox, author of The Glass Book

Christine Hamm is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Drew University. Her poetry has been published in The Adirondack Review, Pebble Lake Review, Lodestar Quarterly, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, and many others. She has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist in the Naugatuck River Review’s 2nd Annual Narrative Poetry Contest. Christine teaches English at CUNY and poetry writing all over NYC. The Transparent Dinner, her book of poems, was published by Mayapple Press in 2006, and her second book, Saints & Cannibals, was published by Plain View Press in 2010. Christine was named a runner-up to the Poet Laureate of Queens and is a poetry editor for Ping Pong, the literary journal. She is the editor of the anthology, Like a Fat Gold Watch, poems and more inspired by Sylvia Plath. For more about her, go to

Book Information:

· Paperback: 100 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-007-1

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