Poetry

  • "Mr. Murphy is a very careful craftsman in his work, a patient and testing intelligence, one of those writers who knows precisely what he wants his style to achieve. His poetry is quiet but packed, carefully wrought, not surrealistically wild, and its range not limited but deliberately narrow. It takes aim."

    —Derek Walcott

    "Among my favorite poems in Rich Murphy's The Apple in the Monkey Tree, 'Monk See Monk Do,' 'Forceps Two Step,' 'Table Manner,' 'Weather or Knots,' 'Science 1492,' 'The Nature of Things Now,' 'Genesis.' I could go on listing. The apple and the monkey are carried throughout the collection but are presented in a fresh way each time they appear. The satire—the exposure of the reality of human existence and human nature, very Swift-like, yet different in execution—less gritty than Swift's poetry. Nicely done.”

    —Samantha Gloss, Freelance Editor

    "If 'we distract the angels from the soft / behind of our biology for the rough / terrain of history,' we connect human beings to the fuller spirit of the mountain and ocean. After all, the earth is prior to mankind. We exist for it. Nature doesn't exist only for human use. These poems ask questions about human relevance. If a poet can answer, in part, the question, What are the reasons for history?—then his book is worthy of our attention.”

    —Sean Farragher, Poetry Editor, FRiGG Magazine

  • ODE TO DOGS I am tired of hearing about dogs used as metaphors for the uncivilized. Imagine a world in which humans possessed at least twenty times as many olfactory receptors, able to distinguish the tang of cancer rising musk-like from the bedsheets next to a smoldering ash tray, able to detect that one drop of blood in every five quarts of water, to know what you did last night no matter how many times you soap-scrubbed the evidence. It does not take savagery but more love than we can muster to lick the hand you've sniffed, to love despite the perfume of sins we wear each day like a halo.
    2008 | 38 pages
  • Winner of the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award for 2010, Matthew Nienow’s The End of the Folded Map charts the jagged frontiers of memory with lines of metrical precision and imagistic inventiveness, rendering an atlas of our collective humanness.

    —Pauline Uchmanowicz

    2011 | 32 pages
  • The fragmentary poems are of flight, written in the full fury of movement from a known habitat to one full of strangeness. The uncanny is their constant envoy. They enter into things at an obtuse angle and forget their origin, beyond good sense, beyond good taste and use of time.... Perhaps a nomadic ear is able to make very subtle discrimination in text. Such an ear is at work here.

    —from the Afterword

    2010 | 32 pages
  • Codhill Poetry Award Winner 2018

    In The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire, Robert Krut unveils surrealistic imagery and apocalyptic moments that encroach on his cityscapes. Entering his urban vision of off-kilter fingerprint police, helix fireworks, and lockboxes replete with “unsewn / buttons from the shirts of dead men” (“The Vault”), we are invited to witness how “daylight peels silence / off the sides of buildings” to reveal vampire teeth and arrows (“Phantasmagoria at Six AM”), how “every single body on the street / turns to paper” (“At This Very Moment”). Krut dismantles the world around us and in turn remakes it into something dark yet alive, a place seething with desire, where “A thousand leaves are worth one wish” (“This All Starts With You, and This All Ends With You”)
    From the very first poem in this quiet and intimate collection, Robert Krut inventively crafts image after shape-shifting image, each suggesting an alternate universe designed to help us better understand our real one. From a preacher in a lentil rainstorm to a doorman wearing a hat full of beetles, we meet people (and see places) filled not only with what is real but with what is possible. Between these magical details runs a clear and steady narrative: a speaker who dons the “too-small sweater of summer.” Who knows that “danger isn’t a bomb, danger is a drip.” And who survives “this pension of suffering.” The graceful poems in The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire beautifully balance being both agent and acted upon. Krut is a poet of vivid imagery and distinctive voice.

    —Patricia Colleen Murphy, Hemming Flame 

    Robert Krut’s newest collection, The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire, paints a landscape of imagination where the Lord of Time might be bargained with as we are left “waiting to be swallowed whole.” The seductive tactility of Krut’s language reminds us of our bodies, our bones and teeth, our veins and fingerprints even as we move among dragons and giant arachnids. A provocative pendulum swinging from fantasy to physicality and back again, these poems acknowledge our longing for escape but leave us with the inescapable conclusion that we are tethered now and forever to ourselves and to this blood-drenched world.

    —KMA Sullivan, Inclined to Riot

     A poem inside a poem is a guest, and Robert Krut’s new compilation The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire is worth putting the kettle on to serve. I am in awe at his ability with composing words, where the music from deep imagination comes easily to him. I’ve dined with these poems, went for long walks with “Now, Breathe Fire” and “Dear Demon” inside my coat pocket. I wrote his poem “Welcome” on a lotus leaf and posted it on my front door because it reminded that it is good to welcome the essentiality of darkness from time to time. Let these poems be lanterns to the door you are about to open. This collection is a treasure and good reason why we must keep on breathing.

    —Sam Roxas-Chua, Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater

    2019 | 80 pages
  • For Maître d’oeuvre Erwin von Steinbach & Sabina von Steinbach—architects, builders, sculptors: The Strasbourg Cathedral
    2015 | 76 pages
  • "These poems are a wonderful, wide-ranging record of pleasure (or perhaps it is my pleasure reading them), for even those on death or persecuted poets have beauty and restraint and all of them, whether on seabirds or a Korean wedding, are touched with the poet's signature wit and sense of astonishment."

    —Paul Hamill, Poet Laureate, Tompkins County, NY

    2007 | 90 pages
  • The Collected Sonnets of Harold A. Zlotnik This collection of sonnets, written over a fifty year period, treats such universal themes as loss, parental love, the cycle of the seasons, the everpresence of flux and change, and the tragic state of the world.
    2008 | 64 pages
  • Microfiction set in, around and under the mythical town of Wytheport Sometimes angst-ridden, sometimes whimsical, sometimes meditative, these short "biographs" depict the life and times of a unique place and its haunting residents. The Wytheport Tales draws inspiration from a range of authors: Dante, Carroll, Joyce, Eliot and Masters, as well as fantasists such as Cabell, Eddison and MacDonald.

    " 'Time is warping in the palace,' Laurence Carr observes in The Wytheport Tales. And our nights and days are warping in these sly, canny (or are they uncanny?) poems. Most interested in the world when that world is changing, and by turns in-flected, de-flected, and re-flected, here fanciful, there matter of fact, Carr's tales summon twilight presences from the edges of experience, dark, restless, playful, and urgent."

    —Robert Polito, Director, New School Writing Program

    "Though it seems to begin in the land of Dylan Thomas's Nightwood, it extends beyond that into wonderfully evocative, mythic worlds that strike me as utterly original in its language and pace."

    —Robert H. Waugh, The Monster in the Mirror: Looking for H. P. Lovecraft

    "With The Wytheport Tales, Laurence Carr gives us a work that shimmers and twists, that undulates across the mind's eye like a tapestry. At times homely, at others baroque, at still others nightmarish, the collection fits multitudes between its covers. I'm eternally grateful to have been introduced to a sampling of Wytheport's denizens, and look forward to many return visits."

    —John Langan, Mr. Gaunt

    2006 | 54 pages
  • Poems Searching for Things to Worship Sorting through fluttering debris of thick boyhood days, tangle of jungle browned with our absence, I remember how you cupped water at Cedar Creek, your hands a chalice. And flowers you planted near the bank to make it your church, somewhere to sit in the greening comfort of a private prayer. A place one might see God and not be surprised.
    "Winner of the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Prize for 2006, Patrick Carrington's Thirst reads like a novena, a plea for understanding and mercy." —Pauline Uchmanowicz, Final Judge
    2007 | 32 pages
  • Poems of Remembrance A journey through time and place with stops to visit Madame Curie, Charlie Parker, Scheherazade, Madame Bovary, Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin and God among others.
    2016 | 76 pages
  • I pick up thumb-tacks in the street and put them in my pocket. Some I use to stick up times on the corkboard, some I put back in the desk. Once a tack stuck straight through the ball of my foot as I ran straight on it, the ball of the foot came down, the heel lifted off pushing the ball of the foot down full on the tack. Running off I stepped off pulling off blind—leg, hip, spine, neck and tongue like a crack of lightning. If you want to keep time straight, you pick up tacks and put them in your pocket. —from "Thumbtacks, Glass, Pennies"
    2009 | 64 pages
  • It is most apt that the poems in Tilt / Hover / Veer utilize the modular refrain of in the pith of, dovetailing nicely with pith’s dual meanings: spongy plant tissue and the crux of / essence. Newell’s pithy fragments capture the essence of fleeting moments in time, whole worlds of weather, and portals into the wider universe. With a calm convergence of science, nature, and delicate imagery, Mary Newell’s poems speak to us in a distilled yet expansive diction that pulses and chimes with empyrean elegance and a rhythmic beauty. This chapbook glows with fire and light.

    —Cindy Hochman, editor-in-chief of First Literary Review-East

    Breathe in…tilt hover veer…breathe out…tilt hover veer. At any time in life, let alone these endangered times, tilt hover veer becomes a mantra, a pith, an essential part of our quiet. So “listen forward,” the poet encourages early in these pages, as the world’s great motor churns. For “We enter this world floundering”…

    —Mike Jurkovic, poet, pundit, provocateur. President, Calling All Poets Series, New Paltz & Beacon, NY

    Rich in surprising, often musical language Mary Newell’s poems bring us into the essence of experiences often overlooked. Tracing small details in the natural world Newell asks us, again and again, to pay attention to what matters.

    —Ruth Danon, author most recently of Word has it

    The Hinge poetry of Mary Newell arrests and lifts like the centrifugal surge to a sleeping volcano—with blasts of magmatic visage.

    —Jonathan Mulcahy, poet

  • "Winner of the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award for 2009," Elizabeth Rees's Tilting Gravity shimmers like moonlight on tidewater, illuminating the ebb and flow of brokenness and recovery with rippling imagination and lyrical elegance."

    —Pauline Uchmanowicz, final judge

    2010 | 36 pages
  • This fourth book of prose poems is a collection of collaged visual images—some randomly recollected—others noted down as I’ve apprehended them. Woven through the visual images are descriptions of sensation/perception that arise with the memory of place. About the three parts of the collection: ‘Together/Apart’ is specifically a subjective excavation of relationships; ‘Postcards’ speaks to a lifelong attachment to correspondence and its directness; and ‘Place’ is about situations/places that I’ve invented or re-imagined. 2015 | 80 pages
  • Internationally acclaimed poet H.R. Stoneback gives an inspired rendition of the eternal feminine, writing in high tonality of the struggles and passions of life, real and imaginary.
    2011 | 328 pages
  • A Hudson River Anthology This anthology of contemporary poetry and memoir celebrates the Hudson River and its environs in all of its breadth and depth. It brings together sixty Hudson Valley writers who explore what it means to be part of one of America’s great river systems: to live near it and sometimes on it, to travel it by sail, steam, oar and motor, to swim it, to gather food from it, and to have it as a constant in one’s ever changing life. The book was created as part of the Hudson 400 Celebration, but we hope that it will stand for many years as a testament to those native people, explorers, immigrants turned locals, and visitors who made the river part of their lives, and ultimately, a place to call home.
    2010 | 131 pages
  • and Other Poems "Susan Mesinai's poems are spiritual, inquisitive, and generous—an alchemy of language. With imagistic lines and surprising off-rhymes, their many cadenced voices range from Raoul Wallenberg's isolation cell to Jacob's ladder-totem-pole; Kali's broad sweeping grounds to a mother's mother's healing well; a daughter who "...plants her feet on mine...laughing backwards" to a wife's full moon face 'braver than any war.' I'm grateful for these new connections to this bright, agile world of constantly renewing relationships."

    —Christianne Balk, Author of Bindweed and Desiring Flight

    "Susan Mesinai, activist, poet, moral conscience, sends dispatches from a spiritual battlefront.... Lyrical, personal, fiercely honest, an American Akhmatova, Mesinai bears witness to the madness of her time, and to hard-won moments of sanity and hope in this incandescent collection of poems."

    —Marcus Boon, York University, Author of The Road to Excess

    At this Spring, you will find me, in all my smiling Invisibility Part of the play of lights and darks dancing on the Waters of a Sacred Well, giving Vision to the Blind & Healing. Here I will dwell, even in this lifetime For I have come Home. —from the poem "Welsh Woman Wandering"
    2007 | 110 pages
  • 22 Poems This collection of poems was written between 2004 and 2009. Working with various partners Steve Clorfeine developed a form, “moving and writing,” in which one person moves with eyes closed and the other witnesses the movement, after which both write, “free writing” style. Witnessed moving with eyes closed is based on a form called Authentic Movement, pioneered by Mary Starks Whitehouse and later by Janet Adler. They brought to a generation of dancers, educators, and therapists an improvised mindfulness-awareness practice, which Whitehouse called “movement in depth...moving and being moved.” What is revealed when the activity of imagining is primary, when the less visible or invisible becomes visible, when the substance of shapes, sounds, images, stories surfaces, mingles, and compounds and we are drawn deeper into the unknown and directed to mysteries?
    2010 | 68 pages
  • The ambiguity of snow Dog wishes, buried in squinty sun may never sprout deeper dreads down under may deface even terror’s stun gun before bright dawn pours on white cloth buffered over white strain and shows no blood on the collar— but the dead ground, bone’s crypt, dazzles, unwinds a drape to hide a corpse stuffed in.
    Read a review of Window with 4 Panes, from the May 2009 issue of Chronogram magazine.
    2009 | 78 pages