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Wave Particle Duality by Dana Curtis Now Available!

Intellectually astute, emotionally complex, imagistically provocative, Dana Curtis’s poetry, here assembled in this richly compelling new volume, plies the profound paradoxes and strange riddles of being human. The breadth of the poet’s regard is wide: she proffers a brilliant parade of poems containing meditations, laments, lyric complaints, love letters, and philosophical conundrums. She also explores physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s quantum theories (including his famed boxed cat experiment), concurring tacitly with him that “reality” may collapse onto one possibility or into another (opposite) one. 

These are poems that stretch the limits of consciousness, perception, and awareness, and that challenge our default notions of meaning and purpose. Curtis’s lush and powerful language rushes us into unknown territories of the psyche like a locomotive without brakes.
Under her tutelage, we may learn to “worship the mathematics of light,” and “explain the necessity of metaphor,” knowing “that beauty is as much a lie as anything else.” Savor these gorgeous poems seared by molten fire and calmed by insight: they’re voiced by a true American original.

—Maurya Simon, author of The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 2018

In Wave Particle Duality, Dana Curtis takes us into her nocturnal sphere, the film noir where fission splits the soul, and dark energy is all we have to go on. These are poems full of twisted desire and visionary clarity, pure need and thin hope. Throughout her language is as sharp as a pinprick. She cites Hogarth, which is apt, because Dana Curtis is a moralist, with gallows humor and a sense of the perverse. "Will you be my infidel," she asks? Oh, yes, we think. Just keep on talking.

—David Lazar

Dana Curtis has published two previous full-length collections of poetry, Camera Stellata and The Body's Response to Famine which one the Pavement Press Transcontinental Poetry Award. Her work has been published extensively in literary magazines, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on multiple occasions. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Elixir Press and lives in Denver Colorado.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-282-2


$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Through a Certain Forest by Laura Madeline Wiseman Now Available!

Through a Certain Forest draws us irrevocably into the faerie- and ghost-inhabited wilderness where we’ve all been lost in dreams. Evocative as hell, it draws on the accumulated weight of human folktales; even the title evokes the language of French fairy-tales: Il y avait jadis une certaine forêt … and, yes, I was enchanted. Trees as exploited women and as the inheritors of the earth, trolls as men and as the kitschy detritus of our society, share, at times, with humans a landscape cratered by unexplained bombings, and somehow, survivors of one sort or another pull through. These poems are filled with entities familiar to us who in turn gaze into the abyssal mirror of what does my life mean? A wonder-filled collection.

—F.J. Bergmann, author of A Catalog of the Further Sun


We are given a field guide to trees in Laura Madeline Wiseman’s latest book of poetry Through a Certain Forest, realizing as we step in that we are deep in the mythos of ourselves. Each poem is a persona, each tree species recounting its survival from humans. Us homo sapiens are the trolls lurking through the middle of the collection. In the midst of bombings and ecological disasters caused by us is the private life of the speaker, too, living with her own personal troll. Things are bleak, like the first half of a fairy tale. In a car on the freeway, the speaker thinks, “I want to ask how we’ll pay all the tolls still left before us.” We know there is always a cost. Yet the trees each have a voice of resistance as even laurels share, “Now we are the welcome—survivors, winners, and crowned.” We should be listening.

—Dennis Etzel, Jr., author of My Secret Wars of 1984


Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Through a Certain Forest is a quest, searing and searching, through a dystopian landscape that is partly natural, partly ruined by human choice. The collection's controlling symbols—trees, trolls, fairy rings, thunder, and bombs—are multivalent, linking primal ancient beauties and blasted modern realities. The saintly, forgiving trees are exploited and despoiled—sharing psychic space with a female speaker who suffers irruptions of domestic violence and sexual violation. This collection presents an audacious new myth—and it is shattering. The book also offers resolution and hope in a language of intense lyricism and music.

—Clif Mason, author of From the Dead Before


Laura Madeline Wiseman mixes the modern with the mythic so seamlessly I often emerge from her poems having forgotten which world I am in. Her apocalyptic visions in Through a Certain Forest are no exception; a true master of metaphor, she weaves tales of the takeover of trolls—those predatory people your mother warned you about—and the healing power of nature even at the end of the world. This collection confirms Wiseman as one of my favorite modern poets.

—Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, author of Strange Monsters


Via Laura Madeline Wiseman’s precise and nuanced language, Through a Certain Forest calls forth myth and folklore to illuminate the lives of women in a chaotic world. These evocative poems meld imagery of botany, trolls, factories, and apocalyptic disaster to reveal a narrative that is both beautiful and unsettling. Some poems give voice to plant life, each species forming a kind of collective consciousness, female voices sounding out against witnessed violence and destruction. In other poems, a woman shapes her life in the aftermath—joggers wear headbands, neon haired troll dolls remain hidden in old boxes, trolls hunker down under bridges. The world presented is much like our present world and vastly different from it. In the end, the poems reveal, “permanent scars” may remain, but life continues on.

—Andrea Blythe, author of Pantheon


Laura Madeline Wiseman teaches writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of 25 books and chapbooks and the editor of two anthologies, Bared and Women Write Resistance, selected for the Nebraska 150 Sesquicentennial Book List. She is the recipient of 2015 Honor Book Nebraska Book Award, Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship, and an Academy of American Poets Award. Her work has appeared in Feminist Studies, Mid-American Review, Arts & Letters, Calyx, and The Iowa Review. Her book Drink won the 2016 Independent Publisher Bronze Book Award for poetry. Her latest book is Velocipede (Stephen F. Austin State University Press).

Book Information:

· Paperback: 84 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-284-6

$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Through a Certain Forest by Laura Madeline Wiseman Book Preview

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Susan Lewis​'s Heisenberg’s Salon reviewed at The Friday Influence

 

lewis hs

review by José Angel Araguz

Drawing inspiration from German physicist Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which “states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa,” Susan Lewis’ latest collection, Heisenberg’s Salon (BlazeVOX [books]), presents a prose poem collection that evokes the form’s surrealist traditions while expanding on its logic-making means.

One can see this idea of position and momentum reformulated in poetic terms in these lines from the title poem:

Every time she turned her back, the apartment rearranged itself. Each version created a home for another way of life.

From there, the reader follows the main character adapting to her constantly rearranging apartment, curling up and reading Victorian fiction when she “[discovers] the couch under the picture window,” and setting the next meal when “the dining table was there instead.” In a similar manner, the reader of this collection adapts to each poem’s engagement with and rearrangement of familiar linguistic territory. The aptly named “Indeterminacy” is a good example of adapting to rearrangement:

Indeterminacy

It was time for something, although she could not for the life of her imagine what. So she assumed her post on the stoop & waited for the future to declare itself. A tattered bird of dubious provenance landed on the banister & inspected her with his ancient gaze. She exhaled with emphasis, but otherwise managed to keep her preconceptions to herself. The old fellow cocked his head & screeched. Terrific, she said. How am I supposed to know if you’re the one I’m waiting for? Terrific, he squawked. How am I supposed to know if you’re the one I’m waiting for? I get it, she said, bravely extending her arm. I get it, he echoed, latching on with admirable decision. It was the last conversation they ever had.

Here, the first half of the poem positions two characters in places of waiting. There is a push and pull between interiority and meaning at work; because “she could not for the life of her imagine what” it was time for (keyword here being imagine, an act of interiority), she is forced to look outside herself. Thus positioned, the conversation that takes place in the second half of the poem works as momentum, giving the scene the urgency of question and response. The phrasing of a “tattered bird” also leaves things ambiguous; one can envision a parrot playing out the conversation that follows, merely echoing the other character. And yet, the choice to not be specific about the kind of bird it is leaves room for the fantastical. From this uncertainty, the imagining the other character was incapable of on her own becomes an outer moment of imagination via this “conversation” with the bird.

This transformation via uncertainty plays out for the reader much like the conversation plays out for the characters, strictly in the moment, in the rush as the pieces of the poem come together. There is a thrill in this kind of poetry that speaks of a sensibility awake to the materials at the core a poem, how to get the “tattered bird” of familiar language to say something new. As plot requires conflict, these poems point to lyricism as its pulse.

Read the whole review here

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr