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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Feb. 21: Happy Birthday W. H. Auden!

W. H. Auden, 1839
[Credit: Carl Van Vechten]

Wystan Hugh Auden, 21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973, who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. -- Wikipedia

To celebrate Auden's birthday, we're sharing a poem by Erik La Prada, "Auden Lived Upstairs" from La Prade's new book,  Movie Logic, release by Poets Wear Prada, on February 7, 2013.

Auden Lived Upstairs
by Erik La Prade

I’m at Passport Restaurant,
Sitting at an outdoor table while
Eating a plate of couscous
And drinking an imported beer.
I’m facing 77 Saint Mark’s
Place. A tourist walks up
The stoop to photograph Auden’s
Memorial plaque, but it has been removed.
The only thing for him to look at is
A white outline that stains the red bricks;
He photographs the wall as his wife stands
On the bottom step shouting for him to come down,
Afraid he’ll be arrested,
When an anonymous voice from the hallway
Calls out, “Licitum est.”

Auden lived at 77 St. Marks Place from 1953 to 1972.  The site of his tenement apartment is now an Italian restaurant, La Palapa.

Auden in his St. Marks Place digs. Hannah Arendt reportedly described his living quarters this way: “His slum apartment was so cold that the toilet no longer functioned and he had to use the toilet in the liquor store at the corner.”

by Erik La Prade
ISBN 978-0615761237
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound 36pp.
Release Date: February 2013

"cinematic verse celebration of urbanity and human tenderness ... 
life freeze-framed into mise-en-scènes of hilarity and heartbreak"
-- ALAN KAUFMAN, author of Drunken Angel

Buy at Amazon.com: http://amzn.com/0615761232

& from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4146252/

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! "Edith Piaf" by Joel Allegretti

Nocturne for Edith Piaf
by Joel Allegretti
The accordionist, the gigolo,
the pugilist surely knew:

It all came down to the lights —

The footlights that fawned
over your delicious agony.

The lust lights of Place Pigalle.
The chaste lights of Sacré-Coeur.

Mais non

It came down to the heart.
How it fractures like a thrown vase,

Like a lover’s airplane
for which the sky has no further use.

How, in breaking, it is more of a heart —
more than a heart.

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien

We smoked a Gauloise in your honor.
We danced the Apache in your name.

How we envy you, Mlle Gassion.
You had no regrets. But we do.

This Valentine's Day selection is from Joel Allegretti's latest book, EUROPA/NIPPON/NEW YORK: Poems/Not-Poems, released in 2012 by Poets Wear Prada. “Edit Piaf” first appeared in Compass Rose.  Poets Wear Prada nominated this poem for 2013 Pushcart Prize.

by Joel Allegretti
ISBN 978-0615600208
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound 52pp.
Release Date: March 25, 2010
Now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615600204
and from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3785527

Come, children, and take your seat for Europa/Nippon/New York, where Joel Allegretti spans the globe with ears to the ground and eyes toward the stars. “The next world is the next movie,” the poet writes. Phantoms, chanson, Godzilla, bread and wine, riddlers-to-be roll through the projector-light of the poet’s wildly associative forms, his unforced epiphanies and extravagant voice. 
~ Daniel Nester, Author of  How to Be Inappropriate

Happy Valentine's Day: "Dearest Love" by Ice Gayle Johnson

Dearest Love
by Ice Gayle Johnson

I love the way you love
Your love helps me live —
White clouds lie over our promises —
It protects us from the weather
Your music plays songs deafening
The static on the radio

This Valentine's Day poetry selection is from Ice Gayle Johnson's "The Key," release by Poets Wear Prada in 2012.

The Key: Lady Grizzly & Sir Charles Otter
by Ice Gayle Johnson
ISBN 978-0615606514
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound 42pp.
Release Date: April 6, 2012
Now available at Amazon: http://amzn.com/0615606512
and from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3803444/ 
“Ice is anything but cold. These confessions of unashamed love, expressed frankly and directly, are warm enough to heat a city. In this age of ironic commentary on dreadful topics, it is refreshing to read these ardently unironic expressions of the author’s humanity.”

Happy Valentine's Day! "Begin" by Chocolate Waters

by Chocolate Waters

you came that night
you came up to me
that night i
your eye
that night you
caught me

This Valentine's Day selection, "Begin" by Chocolate Waters is from "The Woman Who Wouldn't Shake Hands, released by Poets Wear Prada in 2011.

the woman who wouldn't shake hands
by Chocolater Waters
ISBN 978-0935060096
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound 46pp.
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/woman-who-wouldnt-shake-hands/dp/093506009X
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-woman-who-wouldnt-shake-hands-chocolate-waters/1031784398, and from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3601293
Chocolate Waters's house music is rhythmic syntax and sassily whimsical word play that disarms, and then shifts down into impassioned essence. She shares with Billie Holiday a ‘smoldering, smoky quality’ and a finely tuned sense of timing, sometimes holding onto a single word or phrase until it becomes pure emotion. These poems are of the self yet selfless. Revelatory, lucid, luscious and laugh out loud funny but so psychologically astute.
 "Chocolate Waters writes in your mirror. Be prepared to gasp out loud in recognition." 
~ SHELLY ROBERTS, Columnist and 
Live a raw and sensuous life. Suffer it with wisdom, wit and vodka. Then using elegance, restraint and bite, craft it all into hilarious, tender, brutal, outrageous poetry. That’s the art of Chocolate. Each of us has either loved a Woman Who Wouldn't Shake Hands, or been one. Read these poems!
 ~ LYNN JERICHO, Writer, Counselor, Creator of the Inner Year

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! "The Slip" by Michael Montlack

The Slip
by Michael Montlack

Is it possible
to have been tattooed
by someone’s soul?

Only with eyes closed
can I trace outlines,
a slight raise on my unmarked skin
(even in creases: inner elbows,
between fingers and toes).
The designs always familiar
but too abstract to identify.

I mean, can one be widowed
by the living?

Carting the blank stone
from days into dreams
toward an open grave
in my front and back yards,
basement, bathtub.
Ever eluded by the body,
not the scent.

And if there is someone else one day,
will he sense this presence?

The fine slip beneath
my rumpled clothes.
The railing I reach for
even on shallow stairs.

Will you
be the mosquito netting
draping my honeymoon bed,
swaying almost imperceptibly in the dark
but allowing in breezes
that comb the hairs on my arms, 
legs, chest?

This Valentine's Day poetry selection, "The Slip" by Michael Montlack, is the the title poem of "The Slip," published by Poets Wear Prada in 2009.

2009 Releases
The Slip
by Michael Montlack
ISBN 978-0-9841844-2-2
Soft Cover, Saddle Stitched, 32 pp.
$10.00 (+ $1.50 S&H)
Release Date: October 2009
Perfect Bound Paperback Now Available at Amazon.com
List Price $10

And on CreateSpace.com

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

Sharing the Love & Poetry to Celebrate Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 -- Poets Wear Prada is  sharing the love with a different poem from our collection of poetry books every few hours starting today thru' Friday to celebrate Valentine's Day!  Enjoy and share them with  someone you love.

Pale Male & Lola

Pornography in the Park

by Mary Orovan

Public mating,
      out in the open,

   Grey owl has cozied
with Red owl 
     in hollow hole
of the old Pin oak,                                    
     fluffing each other's cheeks,
 waiting for the moon.
And Pale Male and Lola,
    our City hawks, atop the Carlyle Hotel,   
                     aerobatic display,
always Valentine's day.

Indigo go go
   puffed puffed pigeons
   woo.     Bill and … .

   Egregious acts
of ubiquitous birds
        oh, baby, all over the City.         

              Edgy music in the Ramble
    wild timbres and rhythms
bird calls                       
                                        bird calls
   birds answering
                           love on the fly everywhere.

This poetry selection, "Pornography in the Park" by Mary Orovan, is from "Green Rain," published by Poets Wear Prada in 2008.

Green Rain
by Mary Orovan
ISBN 978-0-9817678-5-7
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound, 30 pp.
Buy online at Amazon.com
And from CreateSpace


Praise for Mary Orovan's "Green Rain":

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


Pat Swenson, Editor Emeritus,

Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems

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
Poets Wear Prada is a small literary press based in Frank Sinatra's hometown, Hoboken, NJ, publishing beautifully designed books of excellent poetry since 2006.  Roxanne Hoffman and Jack Cooper, editors & co-publishers. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12th is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday!

Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln at age 54, 1863

Tuesday,  February 12, 2103 -- Abraham Lincoln, "Honest Abe," our 16th President of these United States, was born 204 years ago on  February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S.A.  He served as President from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865, and is probably best remembered for leading and preserving the nation during the American Civil War and for issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, leading to the abolition of slavery in this country in 1865.

In celebration of Lincoln's birthday, here is "For Lincoln," a poem by Austin Alexis, with an illustration by Charles Haywood Johnson, from Austin's book, "For Lincoln & Other Poems" (Poets Wear Prada 2010):

“Abe” by Charles Haywood Johnson

FOR LINCOLN (1809-1865)
by Austin Alexis


Your old-man skin
worn on your
young-man posture
in a youthful country
about to grow up fast.


You went to the theatre
not knowing
and not wanting to know.
All that red velvet!
And you didn’t pay heed
to the color.


What suit, what formality
did your wife package you in
as she, understandably, unraveled ...


The memorial pictures you
with monumental hands,
eyes eying the land,
and a huge face
housing a subtle smile.

For Lincoln & Other Poems
by Austin Alexis
ISBN 978-0-9841844-3-9
6" x 9" Saddle Stitched, 34pp.
$10.00 (+ $2 S&H by Mail Order)
Release Date: March 2010
Available at Babbo's Books
242 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: 718.788.3475

Perfect Bound Edition Now Available from Create Space:
And on Amazon:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Remembering "The Wolf Man" Lon Chaney Jr

Lon Chaney, Jr (February 10, 1906 – July 12, 1973)

February 10, 2013 -- Lon Chaney, Jr.,  son of famous silent film actor, Lon Chaney, an American actor known for playing such characters as The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster and Count Alucard for Universal, was born born Creighton Tull Chaney,  107 years ago today, on February 10, 1906 in Oklahoma City.

Joel Allegretti  recalls his own adolescent transformation and the famous wolf man in this excerpt from "The Wolf Man of St. Mark’s Place" from his latest book "Europa/Nippon/New York:: Poems/Not-Poems" (Poets Wear Prada, 2012):

Thanks to Universal Pictures, the werewolf relocated from superstition to celluloid. The studio’s initial offering, Werewolf of London (1935), left nary a paw print at the box office. The second, The Wolf Man (1941), transformed the creature into a genre matinee idol who joined the rarefied movie-monster pantheon, taking his distinguished place next to Dracula, Frankenstein’s creature and the Mummy. Objects associated with the werewolf — full moon, silver bullets — entered the popular lexicon in the picture’s wake.

My personal experience was considerably less picturesque than that of Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney the younger). There was nightfall, but no machine-generated fog, no gypsy’s portentous utterances, no Béla Lugosi in one of his progressively lesser roles. I roomed with two other New York University graduates in a tiny apartment three floors above a record shop on St. Mark’s Place in East Greenwich Village. In the summer of ’75, I had the itch to leave the reek of Manhattan. Instead of going home to Minneapolis, I decided a long weekend upstate was the ideal prescription and bought a bus ticket to Monticello, where my mother’s cousin lived.

On Saturday night — I think it was close to midnight (how appropriate) — while the family was in bed, I took a walk in the backyard along the edge of the woods. Yes, the moon was full and as bright as a klieg light. Out from the trees a German shepherd puppy bounded up to me. Laughing out of surprise as well as glee, I wiggled my fingers in the critter’s snout. It thanked me for my playful gesture by closing its callow jaws on my hand and bolting back into the forest. Under the moonshine, I saw the miserable animal had broken skin. I rushed into the house and treated the wound with hydrogen peroxide, a gauze pad and adhesive tape. The next morning, I was in the local emergency room for a rabies shot.

I was dying to abbreviate my trip and late in the afternoon boarded the bus to  New York — this in spite of Cousin Maria’s protests. Did I mention she had the same first name as the actress who played the gypsy woman in The Wolf Man? Don’t you love coincidence?

Back in the city and feeling weak from the needle, I sprawled on the sofa by the living room window. One roommate stepped out to buy me a falafel sandwich. The other was somewhere.

The full moon spilled itself on me, and I learned the little German shepherd was neither German nor shepherd.

Chaney Jr.’s shape-shifting scenes are colorful. They had to be if the film was going to lure moviegoers. I’m sorry to report the real-world transmutation is removed from the fanciful worlds of cinema and village beliefs. No, I don’t sprout hair like a sideshow freak, although my eyebrows do acquire a Vlad the Impaler bushiness (pardon the mixed metaphor) and a day’s five o’clock shadow takes on the look of two days’ worth. My canine teeth don’t gain a couple of inches. My voice is my voice, but with a dash of Louis Armstrong. I don’t feed on human biceps; raw pot roast fits the bill. The profound shift is in my personality. The closest analogy is Mr. Hyde. Still, werewolf or plain old were, I’m an American, damn it. Derring-do fills my bones as much as marrow. My father was a Minnesota state assemblyman who always taught me the following: Whether fortune blesses you or misfortune befalls you, ask yourself, “How can I capitalize on this?”

The Bowery was only a hop, skip and a lunge away, so I loped to CBGB, called myself Lou Garou and formed a punk-rock band with a trio of like-minded fellows. I was the lead singer.

Our name? The Larry Talbots.

[First published in "KNOCK"]

by Joel Allegrettei
ISBN 978-0615600208
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound 52pp.
Release Date: March 25, 2012
Now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615600204
and from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3785527

Pop culture chronicler Allegretti leads readers of his latest book on a cinematic journey through time and space replete with airplanes, submarines, the expected cathedral stops, plus surprise encounters with marquee idols and urban legends. “Come, children, and take your seat for ‘Europa/Nippon/New York,’ where Joel Allegretti spans the globe with ears to the ground and eyes toward the stars,” Daniel Nestor, author of “How to Be Inappropriate,” urges. Commends Peter Covino, winner of the 2007 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, “Everything instructs, engages, and delights us through the wide-angle lens of this wonderful new collection where ‘the next world is the next movie.’”