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My Grunge of 1991 by Dennis Etzel Jr. Now Available!

Dennis Etzel Jr.'s precise prose poetry examines injustice, Star Trek, George Bush's oft-ridiculous internal monologue, and a vague, nebulous past. Didacticism is just another device in My Grunge of 1991, one that makes technical yet poetic points about feminism and the nature of utopia. Etzel also challenges the idea of pure art, instead using his meanders to promote a utopia to be striven for. But "Does the Reader know the Watcher is watching him read as he reads about the Watcher?" Tune in to accompany Etzel as he interrogates our surveillance state.

—Amy King, The Missing Museum


Like the smart My Secret Wars of 1984, Dennis Etzel Jr.'s My Grunge of 1991 sings with intensity. Collaging pop culture, feminist scholarship, and politics from that year, these prose poems question. Etzel asks, “You doubt my honor as a warrior?” and “Who made my home a McHome?” If in Fast-Food Sonnets, Etzel explores the meaning of customer service work, here Etzel turns the focus to the ways culture works on the self. Reading this new collection is a lovely disorientating echo of dictions that transport. Like a Kansas tornado with its resonating swirl, readers of My Grunge of 1991 land among Happy Meals, Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, and Desert Storm coverage. In the muzak, grunge stars Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana voice and scream. With lines arranged alphabetically across 75 poems, My Grunge of 1991 offers a sound answer to Dana Gioia’s 1991 question, Can Poetry Matter? With a poet’s ear like Etzel, it can.

—Laura Madeline Wiseman, Through a Certain Forest


Within the poem, “a list of alphabetized semblances for keeping track of occurrences out of post-trauma,” the speaker negotiates a way between quotations. Even pre-9/11, “we [were] no longer safe,” so he cloaks himself in “Grunge music, comic books, and Star Trek.” Amidst the dystopia of the First Gulf War, Dennis Etzel, Jr. brilliantly imagines a utopia where “there are no boy or girl Happy Meal toys – only Hot Wheels or Barbie.” In other words, this absorbing prose-poem sequence is an inoculation against – and hope for – the present.

—Joseph Harrington, Of Some Sky


In My Grunge of 1991, the mix is all: the combo of high and low, public and private, your life & her life & theirs, all at once, an intersectionality of those bold prosperous times (for some) and the madness below and in between—of a Bush war, a Happy Meal land filled with “boy” and “girl” toys: Hotwheels, Barbies. Both clever and tender-hearted (and “woke”), this collection allows a steady gaze at what the early ‘90s and Dennis have wrought.

—Kevin Rabas, Songs for My Father, Kansas Poet Laureate, 2017-19


Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has an MFA from The University of Kansas, and an MA and Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from Kansas State University. He has two chapbooks, The Sum of Two Mothers (ELJ Publications 2013) and My Graphic Novel (Kattywompus Press 2015). His first poetic memoir My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015) was selected by The Kansas City Star as a Best Poetry Book of 2015. Fast-Food Sonnets (Coal City Review Press 2016) is a 2017 Kansas Notables Book selected by the State of Kansas Library. In addition to My Grunge of 1991, This Removed Utopia (Spartan Press 2017) was published in 2017 as part of the Kaw Valley Poetry Series. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others. He is a TALK Scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council and leads poetry workshops in various Kansas spaces. Please feel free to connect with him at dennisetzeljr.com.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-297-6

$16

 
 

My Grunge of 1991 by Dennis Etzel, Jr. Book Preview 

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A Lyrebird, Selected Poems of Michael Farrell by Michael Farrell; Editor Jared Schickling Now Available!

Revelation and habit conspire in this selection of Michael Farrell’s poetry, whose shambling virtuosity brings to mind the lost art of scat singing. From his earliest poems, Farrell’s skittish lines echo the studied laissez-faire of the New York School, but they also make it new, with a startling range of tone and diction broadcast—and exquisitely garbled—from somewhere down under. Yet perhaps the most astonishing quality of Farrell’s poetry is the way it summons that rarest of affinities—a correspondence with the movement of dance. For reading Farrell’s poems can feel like one is shadowing a step, a combination, by Gene Kelly—or Savion Glover, looping and breaking across a field of trifles and sorrows.

—Daniel Tiffany


Enter A Lyrebird and you open onto a polyphony of slang and nuance. Expect a humorous disorientation and deep travel through undersides of all that can be said and borrowed. Just in time, since mono-culture cannot know itself, Michael Farrell’s deft bravery transmutes English and gives us journeys out.

—Sarah Riggs

 
 
 
 

Michael Farrell grew up in Bombala, New South Wales. He lives in Melbourne. He has edited features for US journals Slope, GutCult and ecopoetics. He visited the US in 2004, 2015 and 2016, and has performed in Buffalo, Seattle, Berkeley, and San Francisco. Books unrepresented in this selection are BREAK ME OUCH (a comics poetry book, 3 Deep), and Long Dull Poem (SOd). His scholarly book, revised from his PhD, is Writing Australian Unsettlement: Modes of Poetic Invention 1796-1945 (Palgrave Macmillan). Michael also edited, with Jill Jones, Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann, 2009), and edits the magazine Flash Cove (flashcovemag@gmail.com), with designer Wendy Cooper. He writes songs with Jimmy Hawk, and co-wrote the Dick Diver single “Waste the Alphabet.”

His poems have been included in the Turnrow Anthology of Australian Poetry (Turnrow) and Active Aesthetics: Contemporary Australian Poetry (Tuumba/Giramondo), as well as the following North American journals, some now defunct: Boston Review; Denver Quarterly; Verse; Pool; Lana Turner; can we have our ball back; Moria; Poetry; Shampoo; smalltown; Coconut; ex-ex-lit; Mirage#4/Period(ical); Yellow Field; blue and yellow dog; La Petite Zine; eccolinguistics; LIT; The Literary Review; Quarterly West; Slope; Tooth; Volt; Aught; Boog City; Dispatch Detroit; ducky; Fence; GutCult; Poethia; petticoat relaxer; sendecki.com; sidereality and others; thanks to their editors.


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Jared Schickling is the author of several BlazeVOX books, including the trilogy Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing + ATBOALGFPOPASASBIFL: Irritations, Excrement and Wipes + The Pink (2015-13) and Province of Numb Errs (2016), as well as The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014) and the chapbook Prospectus for a Stage (LRL Textile Series, 2013). He lives in Western New York and edits Delete Press and The Mute Canary, publishers of poetry.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 162 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-280-8

$18

 
 
 

A Lyrebird- Selected Poems of Michael Farrell Book Preview

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The MERCURY POEM by Jared Schickling Now Available!

 THE MERCURY POEM sifts through the aftermath of nuclear meltdown and lets the senses piece us together. A puzzle: in this our time of ever-expanding exclusion zones, how to take cover / take care inside foregone conclusion? What is not forgone? What is poetry inside such disaster? Ear to the ground, eye on the facts, and with heart and subtle humor, Jared Schickling offers a volatile music where “flammable animals cavort / bioplastic / in the bioplast” and the fish choir takes over. Here is poetry that pulses, in search of. Read up.

—Ryan Eckes


Writing from the liver of what he’d call a National Sacrifice Zone, Schickling’s oozy syntax mixes tire fires and shrimp songs, transboundary waste dumping and hungry babies. And against easy, blissed-out landscape poetry, he gives us ecologies as they are: wondrous saturations of life and matter disturbed by floods of mutagenic pollutants in poems like damaged double-helixes that make a jagged sense read forward or backward. This collection is, by turns, playful and ethically rigorous, performing playful flips in language but also never forgetting we live in a world that will remain marked for millennia by acts of corporate and governmental malfeasance. The poems remind us that environmental catastrophe and quotidian life touch each other in intimate, ongoing ways.

—Joe Hall


With THE MERCURY POEM, Jared Schickling brings us an oddly reversible apocalypse—the story of individuals grappling with their own bleak place in history. “A tsunami ruining the beach / during an election season,” “the exclusion zone is breeding,” and as an elegy to television, the poet finds normalcy in the unlivable.

—Jonathan Penton

Jared Schickling is the author of several BlazeVOX books, including the trilogy The Pink + ATBOALGFPOPASASBIFL: Irritations, Excrement and Wipes + Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing (2013-15) and Province of Numb Errs (2016), as well as The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014); the chapbooks Prospectus for a Stage (LRL Textile Series, 2013) and A Packet of Food (Omnia Vanitas Review, 2013); two Trump Locofo chaps, Donald Trump and the Pocket Oracle and Donald Trump in North Korea (Moria, 2017); and he edited A Lyrebird: Selected Poems of Michael Farrell (BlazeVOX, 2017). He lives in Western New York and edits Delete Press and The Mute Canary, publishers of poetry.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 72 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-300-3

$16

 
 
 
 
 

The MERCURY POEM by Jared Schickling Book Preview 

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Ekstasis by Peter Valente and Kevin Killian Now Available!

 This collaboration between two poets who also work in the visual arts, is a near perfect work of concision. Peter Valente turns the camera into poetry and Kevin Killian entices the poem to work with visual mastery.

—Neeli Cherkovski is currently finishing his new book of poems, Elegy for the Beat Generation


While Valente’s photographs appear coolly intimate, the deeper revelation is individual memory. What, exactly, have we been invited to witness? Is a face and body in the blue light sufficient? Or do we crave more? More tension, more ambivalence in the decision to share: what and how much? Ekstasis is a ménage à trois that rivals anything one could experience on Google+.

—Vanessa Norton is the cofounder and editor of Wasted Books.


Kevin Killian and Peter Valente’s haunting collaboration Ekstasis comes on like one of those dark dreams you can’t seem to shake – it’s memory and sensations still lingering long after you’ve awoken.

—Michael Salerno, artist, filmmaker, and publisher.

Peter Valente is the author of several books, the most recent of which is a translation of Nanni Balestrini’s Blackout (Commune Editions, 2017), and a couple of chapbooks. His poems, essays, and photographs have appeared in journals such as Mirage #4/Periodical, First Intensity, Aufgabe, Talisman, Oyster Boy Review, and spoKe. In 2019, City Lights will publish his co-translation of 33 of Artaud’s late letters (1945-1947) with an introduction by Stephen Barber. Presently, he is at work on a book for Semiotext(e). In addition, he has made 60 short films, 24 of which were shown at Anthology Film Archives.

Kevin Killian, one of the original “New Narrative” writers, has written three novels, a book of memoirs, four books of stories, and three books of poetry. For the San Francisco Poets Theater Killian has written forty-five plays, and the anthology he compiled with David Brazil—The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985—has become the standard text on the subject. Recent projects include Tagged, Killian’s nude photographs of poets, artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and intellectuals; and forthcoming, with Dodie Bellamy, The Nightboat Anthology of New Narrative Writing 1977-1997.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-292-1


$22

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ekstasis Images by Peter Valente - Text by Kevin Killian Book Preview 

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Excentrica: Notes on the Text by Steven Reese Now Available!

It’s a rare poet who can look the muse in the eye and speak through or with her as Reese has done in this fragmentary and insightful collection, which reads both as a form of exegesis, literary criticism and dialogue, as well as a love poem to literature. It is at once a beautiful composition in its own right, and an illumination of the magic and mystery of composing verse, addressing the poets’ many sources of influence and inspiration. Reading it, I envisioned a stone skipping across the surface of our literary history, leaving ever-expanding circles behind it before sinking into the water. And while the muse, Renate Ștefan perhaps the alter-ego of Steven Reese, or the reborn Reese as the name suggests, might be like the skipping stone, it is the circles left in her wake that the writer is left with, that he delineates and celebrates in this remarkable text.

—Nin Andrews


Steven Reese’s poem/essay/disquisition on/history of poetry stretches the boundaries of not only our definitions of poetry, but also the limits of language and its ongoing challenge to loosen itself from its leashes. True to its thesis, this work itself extends our definition of what a poem, as well as a poet, should be. His argument describes that quality of poetry that (similar to what Robert Bly says) “leaps” beyond the strictures of inhibiting poetic form, away from the ethno-, ego-, concentric, to the ex-centric. He brings along for the tour some of the greatest voices in poetry—not only in English, but in many other languages—including Yeats, Emerson, Rilke, Sappho, Dickinson, Paz, Mallarme, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and others who describe poetry’s out-bound force. Someone once said a great poet should think as well as sing, and Reese proves it can be done by taking us on a breathtaking poetic/aesthetic ride. And don’t even think about fastening your seat belt.

— William Greenway


Exhilarating. Expansive. Two margins charging the space between with eros.

—Caroline Longstreet

Steven Reese is the author of two previous volumes of poetry, Enough Light to Steer By (Cleveland State) and American Dervish (Salmon), as well as two volumes of translation, Synergos (selected poems of Roberto Manzano; Etruscan) and Womanlands (selected poems of Diana María Ivizate González; Verbum, Spain). He teaches literature and poetry writing at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he currently directs the Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing. Visit him at screeseonline.com.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 110 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-279-2


$16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Excentrica- Notes on the Text by Steven C Reese Book Preview 

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