Poets Wear Prada is a poetry publishing house with excellent poets and affordable books with beautiful covers. Have you had your poetry today?--Meredith Sue Willis, Books for Readers * * * Stylistically, these beautifully designed and produced chapbooks bear their own distinctive signature.--Linda Lerner, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Michael Montlack | THE SLIP

With pitch-perfect pacing and an intimate colloquial voice, THE SLIP reads as engagingly novelistic even as these memoiristic vignettes are untamed by wit and scathing humor. Ouch. The poems are at once revealing yet winningly imaginative as they reignite myth—there’s even a bisexual Orpheus here who helps Montlack to rewrite the past while instructing, bruising, and exposing suburbia’s lingering melancholy.
—PETER COVINO, author of Cut Off the Ears of Winter, winner of PEN/America Osterweil Prize

The many moods of THE SLIP, from fabulous to funny to frenetic, announce the arrival of a promising new voice that can express, with consummate sensitivity and verve, the sorrows and celebrations of our complicated queerness. When Michael Montlack writes, he can make us sing or break our hearts. Each poem is a veritable “kiss of the artist”—passionate and memorable.

Rigoberto González, author of Other Fugitives and Other Strangers

Michael Montlack's THE SLIP situates us in the middle of a life, threading together joys and sorrows. Some of the comic moments will truly make you laugh out loud. And at times, you'll get horribly wistful. Such is the richness of this collection.

D. A. Powell, author of Chronic

THE SLIP by Michael Montlack
by Michael Montlack
ISBN 978-0-9841844-2-2
soft cover/saddle stitch/32 pp.
$10.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Michael Montlack by  Nicolas Arellano
Photo Credit: Nicolas Arellano

Michael Montlack is the editor of the essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009) and the author of two other poetry chapbooks: Cover Charge (Winner of the 2007 Gertrude Prize) and Girls, Girls, Girls (Pudding House, 2008).

Carol Wierzbicki | Top Teen Greatest Hits

Wierzbicki's poems are like early Corso, before the Beats, when he got straight to the point quickly, with great beauty. Her words carry the necessary freight with terrific speed and economy--look how spare and yet terribly lovely "Dorothy's Poem" is--it breaks your heart with absolute efficiency. If poetry is to proceed into the future with any sort of relevancy, this is one way it might do so.

—RON KOLM, co-author of Neo Phobe (with Jim Feast)

Carol Wierzbicki’s TOP TEEN GREATEST HITS is a big hit. In each of her fourteen poems, Ms. Wierzbicki mastered the technique of storytelling through perception and simplicity—her rite of passage to be read and shared by all.

—PATRICA CARRAGON, author of Journey to the Center of My Mind, and host of the Brownstone Poets Reading Series

To read the rest of Ms. Carragon's review in the January 2010 edition of GENTLY READ LITERATURE please follow the link to:

Poems by Carol Wierzbicki
ISBN 978-0-9817678-7-1
soft cover/saddle stitch/15 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Photo Credit: Pieter van Hattem

Carol Wierzbicki has run poetry reading series at ABC No Rio and elsewhere in New York City. Her work has been published in Long Shot, The Cafe Review, Public Illumination, and Evergreen Review, and in the Unbearables anthologies Unbearables (1995), Crimes of the Beats (1998), and Help Yourself! (2002), published by Autonomedia. She also is an editor of the Unbearables anthology, The Worst Book I Ever Read (Autonomedia). She compiled and edited Stories from the Infirmary (Universal Publishers,1999), an anthology of fiction and poetry on chronic illness. Her book reviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail and American Book Review.

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David Elsasser | Last Call

Poetry again prevails – the subject this time,
coping with time and our mortality. Elsasser has
accomplished some beautifully written and
memorable work here, weaving words about the
waxing of our years and waning of our bodies,
and where it leaves us.

—EVIE IVY, The First Woman Who Danced
and Dinner With The Muse,
the Anthology of the Green Pavilion Poetry Event

David Elsasser's a dangerous poet. His art is
patient observation of what happens when time
passes and we are not looking. He nails it “past
where rails meet.” What images! Watch your
back, these rites of passage are not for children.

—GEORGE SPENCER, Co-host of the Phoenix
Reading Series

by David Elsasser
ISBN 978-0-9817678-8-8
(soft cover/saddle stitched/30 pp.)
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Photo Credit: Su Polo

David M. Elsasser co-hosts the weekly Saturn Series poetry reading in Manhattan. LAST CALL celebrates his generation’s present moment of deliberation.

Karen Neuberg | DETAILED STILL

“A trigonometry of sensation, a performance of hands” leads the reader through this sweeping, elegiac sequence of poems. And like Muybridge’s freeze-frames, this sequence slows the locomotion of regret and awe, allowing the reader to become witness to the mechanism of remembrance. These poems seem not written, but conjured, as if imprinted by a mind alive to the “tiny, Zen-bell voice,” insisting that questions reveal more than answers.

—DEAN KOSTOS, Author of The Sentence That Ends with a Comma, and
Last Supper of the Senses

Karen Neuberg’s marvelous accomplishment in DETAILED STILL is that each poem is like a tiny mirrored room that reflects and refracts experience, evoking all the complications of memory and desire. Her gift is to find the connection between feeling and thought; each poem takes place in a synapse between brain and body, curiously both abstract and concrete simultaneously. Time is this poet’s subject, and how desire is quickened or lost over time, and how we understand that only through memory. What a welcome debut this is for our American poetry.

—MOLLY PEACOCK, Author of The Second Blush (WW Norton, 2008)

by Karen Neuberg
ISBN 978-0-9817678-6-4
soft cover/saddle stitched/18 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Photo Credit: Alan Neuberg

Karen Neuberg’s poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies including Barrow Street, 42Opus, Boxcar Poetry Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Louisville Review, Stirring, and Riverine, An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers (Codhill Press). A Pushcart and Best of the Net Nominee, she holds an MFA from the New School and is an associate editor for Inertia Magazine. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, NY and West Hurley, NY.

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Maria Lisella | Two Naked Feet

In a quietly seductive voice Lisella takes the reader on journey after journey, to exotic locales like Havana, Venice and Dubrovnik, places steeped in myth and bloodshed. With crystalline descriptions reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop, she mixes the haunted elegance of the old world and the disturbed consumerism of the new. TWO NAKED FEET is brilliantly wired with the tension of paradox. It is about exile and the movement of peoples, the destruction and pastiche of cultures, the chasm between the idealized world and the colloquial one. Lisella writes with depth and simplicity. Her “I” rarely steps outside of the observing eye to become autobiographical, and yet the poems are remarkable for their passion.

Award-winning author of Half Girl and Road of Five Churches

by Maria Lisella
ISBN 978-0-9841844-1-5
soft cover/saddle-stitched/24 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Photo Credit: Stillman Rogers

Maria Lisella is Program Coordinator for the IAWA readings at the Cornelia St. Café, and is co-editing an anthology based on those readings. She lives in Long Island City and was a finalist in the competition for Poet Laureate of Queens in 2007. A longtime travel writer, she currently edits a national travel trade magazine and is a member of the New York Travel Writers Association.

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Erik LaPrade | SWATCHES

In these clear forecasts of the recent past, Erik La Prade frees the reader to say an eternal Aloha to his phantom New York, a place everyone thinks they know and own, and its “remnants of an unenclosed frontier." All times happen at once here, which is why it takes so long to get across town, and which is also why nothing stays ripped up for long, and everything reverts to the “lived-in look.” A companionable observer inhabits these poems. Why not stay a while?

Jordan Davis

By its sheer dazzling wit, gorgeous word play and poignant insight, SWATCHES delivers a great winking comeuppance to the American poetry establishment. His verse provides the sort of heartfelt vision quite absent from the bulk of today's poetry: a sophisticated almost epistolatory sense of intimacy shared from his innermost being; a private history that unfolds against the backdrop of New York City and its public events. Here are love and loss, friendship, memory, aspiration and the tasks of living conveyed in terms that evoke the larger urban setting and that prove the city to be nothing less then the reflection and echoes of our own inner selves and struggle.

Alan Kaufman, author of Matches; editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

by Erik La Prade
ISBN 978-0-9817678-1-9
Soft Cover, Saddle Stitched, 19 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Erik La Prade has a B.A and an M.A. from City College. His first book, Things Maps Don't Show, was published in 1995, and his second, Figure Studies, was published in 1999. Some of his poems have appeared in Fish Drum, Night Magazine, The Hat, The Reading Room, The New York Times, and Artist and Influence. He also has articles and interviews in The Brooklyn Rail, Captured: A History of Film and Video On The Lower East Side, and The Outlaw Bible of American Essays.

Gil Fagiani| Grandapa's Wine

GRANDPA'S WINE is written where people make a life among the ruins of a shattered world. Feelings and memories take the place of an old coherence, now lost and never to be replaced. Gil Fagiani’s poems inhabit this world’s poignancy, searching its sorrows with unimpeachable candor and a spare language that perfectly suits its straightforward tastes and its undervalued satisfactions.
Bob Viscusi, author of Astoria: A Novel, and An Oration Upon the Most Recent Death of Christopher Columbus

Gil Fagiani’s poems celebrate the older generation of Italian immigrants as they collide with America, as they simultaneously hold to old ways and forge new identities. His lean lines describe without judgment, like my grandmother tasting her sister-in-law's rosemary tomato sauce every Sunday, “good, good, good enough,” she would purr. This collection hums with love, but it is a love born of mastery of the ingredients, and the application of great discipline and control.
Angelo Verga, author of A Hurricane Is, and 33 New York City Poems

by Gil Fagiani
ISBN 978-0-9817678-2-6
Soft cover,Saddle stitched,17 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Photo Credit: Maria Lisella

Gil Fagiani’s poetry collection, Rooks is set at Pennsylvania Military College in the 1960s (Rain Mountain Press, 2007); his chapbook, Crossing 116th Street: A Blanquito in El Barrio was published by Skidrow Penthouse in 2004. He has translated poetry written from Italian, Abruzzese dialect, and Spanish into English. He co-hosts the monthly literary reading of the Italian American Writers’ Association at the Cornelia Street Café, and is Associate Editor of Feile-Festa: A Literary Arts Journal. Fagiani is a social worker by profession, and directs a residential treatment program for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts in Downtown Brooklyn.

Listen to Gil Fagiani reading during National Poetry Month, April 2007,WNYC Newsroom, New York, NY

George Held | Phased

George Held's inexhaustible subject is the moon in all its phases, and he treats it with a quiet ear-pleasing lyricism and an impressive range. His moons shine on the world, and, bathed in their various lights, his imagination shines on the subjects it conjures and illuminates.
—Michael Graves, Illegal Border Crosser (Cervená Barva Press)
and Adam and Cain (Black Buzzard Press)

Phased: Poems, etc.
by George Held
ISBN 978-0-9817678-0-2
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound, 34 pp.

George Held

George Held is the author of 10 poetry collections and the editor of the anthology Touched by Eros. A five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, he has published his stories, poems, book reviews, and translations in such places as The Philadelphia Inquirer, Circumference, The Notre Dame Review, Commonweal, Connecticut Review, and Confrontation. His most recent poetry chapbook, The Art of Writing and Others, appeared in September 2007 from Finishing Line Press. In December 2007, his poem “Aftermath” was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. He has co-edited The Ledge Poetry and Fiction Magazine since 1991, the same year he joined the executive board of The South Fork Natural History Society and Museum (Bridgehampton, NY). A Fulbright lecturer in Czechoslovakia 1973-76, he retired as a professor of English at Queens College in 2004. Held resides in Greenwich Village with his wife, Cheryl.

To watch a video of George Held reading his poetry visit Poetryvlog.com

The Full Pink Moon
O Moon, you’re about the right distance
From Earth, far enough to avoid the stinks
And turmoils but too far to smell the flowers
Or see their yellows, reds, and pinks

Or witness Earthlings’ occasional kindness
And not too far to view a nuclear holocaust
Or a sand storm in the growing desert
If it’s on the side that’s facing you.

How I love to see your bland face
Rising above it all, like a discus
Or Communion wafer or sign of God’s
Indifference or maybe of His

Or Her distant benevolence,
If the pious even notice
You. Just stay where you are,
Hanging out up there in the black,

So blank yet so mimetic,
So void yet so iconic.
April's full moon gets its name from the herb moss pink,
is one of the earliest widespread flowers of spring

Richard Marx Weinraub | Heavenly Bodies

The poems in HEAVENLY BODIES deftly blend mythology, cosmology, and family romance (or are these all the same?) into a mix at once familiar and strange. Cool and precise, Weinraub's poems never miss a beat or waste a word.
—Rachel Hadas, author of River of Forgetfulness and Halfway Down the Hall.

Like the planets they contemplate, these poems, while rotating on their own axis, orbit around the stars of birth, desire, and death. Though they are transfixed by celestial rocks, they are also moved by the smell of quinces, pears, and apples. Cool alabaster on the outside, inside they are made of “Galilean sea.” This slender collection encompasses, to paraphrase Yeats, the heavens in a womb.
—Jee Leong Koh, Author of Payday Loans.

This is a book to remind us of the age-old task of the poet. The poems in HEAVENLY BODIES find in familiar words a genealogy that leads back to miracles and myths. Weinraub's wry association of ancient miracles and contemporary life refresh our language and sharpen the taste of experience.
—Peter Wood, Professor Emeritus, The College of New Jersey.

Read a review of this chapbook by New Jersey playwright, Richard L. Powell.

Poems by Richard Marx Weinraub
Illustrations by Roxanne Hoffman
ISBN 978-0-9817678-4-0
(soft cover/19 pp.)
$10.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Related to the Marx Brothers through his mother, Richard Marx Weinraub was born in New York City in 1949. He was educated in New Jersey and Oregon, receiving an MFA and a PhD from the University of Oregon. Weinraub has been teaching literature and creative writing courses at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan since 1987. Some of his poems have recently appeared in Asbestos, CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Faden, The Paris Review, POUI, Soul Fountain and Slate. A book of his poetry, a sonovella entitled Wonder Bread Hill, was published in 2002 by the University of Puerto Rico Press. It has been translated into Spanish by Elidio La Torre Lagares and the Spanish edition is forthcoming from Terranova Press.

Start player below to list to Richard Marx Weinraub's reading of his poem "The Ball of Earth and Heaven" as recorded for SLATE Magazine (Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at 6:50 AM ET).

Visit SLATE Magazine to read Richard Marx Weinraub's poem "The Ball of Earth and Heaven."

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Get your own - Open publication

Mary Orovan | Green Rain

We really enjoy your use of imagery, descriptive language and insight.

Pat Swenson, Editor Emeritus, Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems

Poems by Mary Orovan
ISBN 978-0-9817678-5-7
soft cover, saddle stitch, 20 pp.
$8.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)

Besides being wonderful poems they have an undercurrent, sometimes a flood-tide of sensuality, Eros and Thanatos, which gives the book a life above and beyond the beautiful words.
George Spencer, Co-host of ABC No Rio

Mary Orovan was Features Editor of US Camera Magazine, and taught in the Humanities Department at Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY.

Her poems have appeared in Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems, as well as in Amoskeag, The Fourth River, Freshwater, Hidden Oak, Main Channel Voices, 13th Moon and the two peace anthologies, Poetry for Peace (SandStar Publications, 2002) and Echoes from the Heart, edited by Tycho Thal for the Twin Towers Orphan Fund, 2003.

She's pictured here in a favorite spot in Central Park's wild Ramble where she comes to observe the tapestry of life that informs her work.

Start player below to list to Mary Orovans's reading of her poem "Brash" at the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC on New Year's Day 2008. (Originally published in Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems, Summer, 2008)

Visit the blog of the Greenwich Village Poets to read Mary Orovan's poem "Brash."

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Bob Heman | Cone Investigates

Bob Heman's Cone "pulls magic out of the rabbit and stuffs it into his hat" so readers will experience the same when they loosen their grip on logic to step into the marvelous...
Linda Lerner, Small Press Review
Click Here to read the entire review.

Bob Heman (Matched Pairs 463/Streaming Video by Mitch Corber, Thin Air Video)

As usual, Heman treats his audience to filet mignonettes of metaphysical sojourns, weaving narratives skillfully and witfully into poetic prosies.
-Carol Novack, Publisher & Editor, Mad Hatters' Review

by Bob Heman
Second Edition
ISBN 978-0-9841844-0-8
E-book, 24 pp.

Credit: Ed Barnas

Bob Heman's prose poems have appeared in numerous publications including Sentence, Paragraph, Quick Fiction, First Intensity, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Caliban, Artful Dodge, key satch(el), Hanging Loose, Center, and Lost and Found Times and have been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Hungarian. Since 1971, he has published and edited the often experimental magazine CLWN WR (formerly Clown War). He lives in Brooklyn. His collection How It All Began is available from Quale Press (www.quale.com) as a free e-book.

Click my Hypster playlist to hear my entire interview by Art Waves Host Anne Cammon on WKCR FM NY, originally aired on Friday August 24, 2007 at 9PM EST.

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Bob Heman in NYC at Bowery Poetry Club on New Year's Day 2006
(Video by Roxanne Hoffman)