Translators: Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Inspired by the case of a torture specialist in 1980s South Korea who from 1988 to 2000 was a fugitive in his own house, The Catcher in the Loft (published in South Korea in 2011 as Saenggang) is in equal parts a portrait of a man coming to terms with his notorious past and a coming-of-age story centered in his dependent relationship with his college-age daughter, who has always thought of him as a patriotic policeman. The novel begins at breakneck speed, with a victim perishing under the torture artist (renamed An)’s watch, and a hurried decision that An must take cover. The remainder of the novel is a dual narrative related in turn by the torture artist and his daughter, Sŏn, who must harbor her father in a loft above her room. There follows a counterpoint of concealment (An) and revelation (Sŏn), with the daughter discovering the “festival” of her own body during an infatuation with a university classmate, followed by the sobering knowledge, manifested firsthand in her encounter with one of her father’s shattered victims, that the father she had idolized is a sado-masochist reduced to abject dependence on her for all of his daily needs during his concealment in the loft. When the novel ends, years later, the focus is equally on An’s ultimate capitulation (he turns himself in to the authorities) and Sŏn’s awakening to her autonomy.
Codhill Poetry Award Winner 2014Sonia Greenfield explores menace and loss so often, it’s as if her poems are scarecrows to hold against the night. She likes the lyric and persona, likes telling us over and over again, we survive. A master of the unsettling image and moment, she’s got a big imagination and an appetite for the complexity of our lives. “We always bend / our fear into something more useful.” I don’t know if we do, but Greenfield does. The poems in Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market are more than useful—they are beautiful, and demonstrate once more that art is our deepest response to the fragility of life.
—Bob HicokSonia Greenfield’s vision is x-ray and technicolor at once. These are poems of tragedy and ecstasy, rendered in high music and beautiful and shocking imagery. It’s rare to find a poem “riveting,” but hers are poems that, once started, refuse to be left unread.
—Laura KasischkeIn Sonia Greenfield’s poems, we experience a mind busy with the work of description, and it is through that description—of people known and unknown, of lives on the edge of being unmade, or being sewn back up again—that Greenfield brings us to revelation. By looking at the surface of existence, and by narrating circumstances of particular people in particular places, Greenfield shows us how noticing matters, and how looking at the surface can illuminate the depths.
2015 | 76 pages
Nobody captures the infuriating challenges or transporting joys of fatherhood like Steve Lewis. Written with honesty, humor and compassion, as well as an abiding love of the remote beauty of Hatteras Island, A Hard Rain is the masterful and compelling story of one man’s attempt to reclaim a sense of self and rebuild his family after his wife inexplicably disappears.
—Karen Dukess,The Last Book Party“What begins—and remains—a poignant love story also immediately becomes a mystery that pulls the reader through to the very end. The family at the heart of A Hard Rain learns to reckon with a change so profound that every member is affected, as well as every reader. Lewis tells a story that moves us all, well beyond even the last word of his brilliant novel.”
—David Masello, author, playwright, cultural critic, Executive Editor of Milieu magazineForget what you know about motherhood as you dive in to Steve Lewis’ A Hard Rain. He places you skin to skin with a family wading through grief and mesmerizes you with prose that makes you feel each carefully placed comment, each grain of North Carolina sand beneath your feet. I have seldom read such beautiful writing or felt so taken by a group of characters.
—Annabel Monaghan, columnist and author of the Digit books and Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big?Steven Lewis has the uncanny ability to write about your life without actually knowing you. In his latest novel, an unrelenting hard rain falls on the Hudson family. A rain shrouded in mystery that leaves each member scanning the horizon for a glimmer of sunlight. A reprieve from the squall of their lives. A beautifully observed story of a family’s search for understanding on an island with few answers, rich in heartbreaking poetic detail, by an incredibly gifted writer of whom I couldn’t be more jealous.
—Peter Steinfeld, Screenwriter, Drowning Mona, Be Cool, 21
On Being an Image-maker A Passion for Seeing gathers a rare feast of stories, impressions, and observations from a writer and artist known for his keen honesty, great heart, and passionate pursuit of the question: what does it mean to be human? Carefully chosen excerpts from many of his books and over a dozen new drawings are among the treasures included. In A Passion for Seeing, Frederick Franck establishes himself as a prime witness to the twentieth century. Read in this anthology the best of Franck's observations. From the onset of World War Two and his work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer to private audiences with Pope John XXIII and the Dalai Lama, from the streets of New York City to the ancient temples of Japan, follow his art and thought as they illuminate our world. "Franck...looks deep into the human heart and what he finds there is the priceless treasure of the sacred reality: a discovery and message so crucial to contemporary humanity."
—Georg Feuerstein, author of The Yoga Tradition"Dialogues with the spiritual masters of the East show us the possibility of a universal ecumenism that is rarely experienced."
—Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing"For the pilgrim in each of us who would journey into Eastern or Western spiritual traditions to chart a path in this troubled time...."
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self"He simply sees things most people do not...."
—Harvey Cox, author of The Secular City
2003 | 112 pages
A Promise Kept is the story of Jared's mythic quest to fulfill an ancient promise and save his people from endless war and spiritual poverty. A thrilling adventure and a tale of our time.
2011 | 280 pages
Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley This volume celebrates contemporary prose and poetry of more than a hundred women from New York's Hudson Valley. Writers from the Eastern border to the Catskills and along the length of the Hudson River evocatively address issues that touch not only women, but every reader who desires insight into the human experience. A Slant of Light is divided into five sections, each addressing a theme of women's lives. The book begins with Mythos, representations and revisions of myths on women. The second section, Body & Gender, explores visions of the body, gender socialization and the roles of women. The third section, Identity, examines both how women see themselves and how others see women. The fourth section presents women as parents, children, partners and lovers. The last, Woman in the World, shares works that meditate on our collective fate in a global world.
2013 | 220 pages
From A Warm Family… “ The sun is going down, and in the pureness of silence I drop the day’s anchor. As I shed the sweat-soaked clothes stars in the night sky draw near to me to be my friends, and my family.…”
—Kim Hu-Ran Translation by Cho Young-Shil
2014 | 120 pages
In the poetry of Celestine Frost, the I is not confessional, rarely even personal, but, like he or she, a voice, subliminal and quirky. In this, her fourth collection, the liquid, unamalgamated thought of the subconscious seeps into the conscious mind as ore into stone. The resulting idiom is the real subject of her work. "This is feisty, apt writing with an appetite one very much respects. No world is ever there unless it's come into. Here's a way in!"
—Robert Creeley"Celestine Frost's poems have the delicate touch that the surest poets command. Here is music that can devise with fire and grace."
—Ed Foster, Editor, Talisman"A brilliant song, a celebration of life connecting us to the universe. Frost experiments with language and form, creating a unique rhythm and vision--playful, profound."
—Marcia Arrieta, Editor, Indefinite Space
2003 | 120 pages
"When at seventeen I had become a medical student in Holland, my eye fell on a slim volume that carried in large yellow characters the title 'ZEN.' This was in 1926, when Zen was still unknown in the West. "Zen has been to me that which brings us into intimate contact with the world around us and, at the same time, with ourselves. This book, a revised edition of Echoes from the Bottomless Well, came to me at a moment of deep crisis. "The quotations from the Zen writings and words of the great Zen masters, as well as some sayings from the Gospels, were not culled from printed pages. They welled up irresistibly from some eight decades of reflection and meditation from deep down, sometimes in words, sometimes at first in images, for I am by nature not a philosopher but an image-maker. The images that came so compellingly, witness to the experience of Zen as it affected my life."
—Frederick FranckPairing Frederick Franck's unconventional calligraphic drawings with transformative words of wisdom from the Zen and Christian traditions, A Zen Book of Hours offers the seeds for many a heartfelt meditation on the innermost workings of life in and around ourselves.
2003 | 80 pages
The authors of this collection are seven older women from diverse backgrounds who are members of a longstanding Hudson Valley writing group composed of academics, a social worker, a psychiatric nurse, a teacher and a lawyer. Some are retired, some are still working, some are musicians. All are volunteers, activists and artists. The sections of the book— Remembrance, Joy, Visibility, Resistance, Resilience, Transformation, Aging, and Bearing Witness—grew from the authors’ individual passions and from their collective perspective of being women-of-a-certain-age in a culture that tends to render older women invisible, irrelevant. This collection is filled with honest, insistent poetry and prose that demands to be heard by readers of all ages, genders and perspectives.
The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West Two powerful motives weave beneath the surface of our spiritual history: the desire to know and the desire to love. The secret history of the West is the story of saints, mystics, alchemists, poets, and philosophers trying to unite these two streams and celebrate—in the world and in their own persons—the sacred marriage of Logos and Sophia, Word and Wisdom. This book, an impressionistic history of the Western spiritual tradition, follows the traces—from ancient Greece into modern times—of those who sought to know the world and themselves, while realizing that they must overcome themselves to love the world and each other. There are chapters on Pythagoras, Sophia, Celtic Christianity, the Troubadours, the Grail, the Rose Cross, Renaissance spirituality, Romanticism, nineteenth-century occultism, and twentieth-century esotericism. Inspirational interludes place the whole within an atmosphere of Christian mysticism. Tracking this endless trace of our evolving relationship with each other, God, and nature, we begin to understand how human consciousness has changed and evolved and what humanity's task is now. With an introduction by Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing Series.
2003 | 303 pages
My mother said I had it, my father’s Black Irish. She loved him powerfully, as she did me. Still, I knew that couldn’t be good, the way she said it, a disease. But what exactly did it mean? – BLACK IRISH Dennis Doherty is author of three other volumes of poetry: The Bad Man (Ye Olde Fontshoppe Press, 2004), Fugitive (Codhill Press, 2007), Crush Test (Codhill Press, 2010), and a meditation on Mark Twain's classic, Why Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? (New Street Communications, llc, 2013). Mr. Doherty’s works appear throughout the literary press. He teaches creative writing and literature at SUNY New Paltz, and lives with his wife, Shari, in Rosendale, New York, hometown to their beautiful three daughters.
2016 | 68 pages
Zen Echoes"It is astonishing how thousand-year-old riddles are brought here to evocative poetic life. David Rothenberg converts them into contemporary verbal music, an arcanum, a profound secret, a mystery without intellectual solution." —Frederick Franck, author of The Zen of Seeing, The Buddha Eye, and other books Much as Coleman Barks breathed new life into the work of the great Sufi poet Rumi and reached the hearts and minds of contemporary readers, David Rothenberg now brings us vividly poetic new versions of the enigmatic koans and riddles from the classic Zen Buddhist text, the Blue Cliff Record. Blue Cliff Record: Zen Echoes is an accessible contemporary distillation of this twelfth-century treasure of Zen Buddhism, a lively feast of words and images designed to stretch and open the mind. With a foreword by poet, author, and translator Sam Hamill. "David Rothenberg's adaptation of Blue Cliff Record is that rare thing, a work of art that is also useful. It is as bracing as a dive into a cold spring--a wake up call from reality--the splendor of what is." —Mark Rudman, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Poetry and author of Rider "What is unique and wondrous about these poetic responses to the Blue Cliff Record is that here philosophy, spiritual practice and creativity are fused and whole. Each poem remarkably celebrates the Zen past and at the same time builds the foundation for a new interpretation that helps imagine how we, here and now, can live the Dharma on these shores." —Charles Johnson, winner of the National Book Award in fiction for Middle Passage
2001 | 128 pages with 12 illustrations
Translations and Transformations Fenkl's Cathay is a complex interweaving of fiction, translation, scholarship, and transformative writing. It includes new translations of the three luminaries of Tang Dynasty poetry: Li Po, Tu Fu, and Wang Wei—but that is only to whet the appetite. The volume also features the opening of the seventeenth-century Korean Buddhist classic, Nine Cloud Dream, by Kim Man-jung; an emulation of a horrific yet transcendent Tang Dynasty chuanji (“strange tale”); a magical, and yet postcolonial, revisioning of Hans Christian Andersen’s nineteenth-century fairytale, “The Nightingale”; and the enchanting story of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s conception and birth. The scope and depth of Fenkl’s achievement are astonishing. A simultaneous tribute to and criticism of Ezra Pound’s history-making 1915 chapbook of the same title, Fenkl’s Cathay is destined to be an instant literary classic.
2007 | 110 pages
Selected Poems: 1977–2005 A retrospective view of the best of Celestine Frost's work, culled from the five volumes she has published, along with a handful of uncollected work. The work reflects her view that the poet is a lightning rod and poetry a dangerous occupation.
2013 | 218 pages
Abraham Burickson's chapbook Charlie is an exploration of what it means to find oneself living without an instruction manual in a world filled with strangers. The poems follow Charlie and Sal, two very particular Everymen, as they navigate the emotional and intellectual straits of their lives, seeking meaning, pleasure, and some sense of self. The road is treacherous; pronouns jumble, rhythms overwhelm, and the intensity of sensual experience causes these poems to shimmer with longing and uncertainty. Charlie guides the reader on a journey that is as enticing as it is unsettling.
2010 | 45 pages
"I could make a picture book with cut-outs pop-outs and load-ins of Burrill Street long as a cobra snaking from above the train station all the way down past the monument to Kings Beach."
2010 | 85 pages
"Comfort, fathers of nostalgic rue? I'm charged to deliver the new, but change has shifted the shape of me; pain has twisted the make of me from all I thought I knew. Nomadic mappers of the land, I'm lost. Am I the message, messenger, or the one who heeds what calls?"
2010 | 64 pages
Visiting a school for disabled boys, the future Princess Diana singles out wheelchair-bound Alex to dance with—a five-minute encounter that colors the rest of his life, though quickly forgotten by her. Alex, a survivor of severe school bullying, thinks constantly of the tall girl with blue eyes—until one day he sees her on television, the new fiancée of Prince Charles. Alex’s story interweaves with Diana’s final day before her fatal accident in the late summer of 1997. In the unsatisfying company of her billionaire boyfriend she careens from one luxurious, alien Paris location to another, tormented by paparazzi. All day she tries to reach a friend in London, hoping to hear news that will bring a new direction to her life. “Dancing with Diana is a beautifully-wrought story that takes us deep into two hard-to-imagine worlds. Alex, a bright young man with cerebral palsy, has his destiny intertwined, in double-helix fashion, with Princess Diana. The latter we meet in her last few hours, and Alex we accompany from childhood through manhood. His ungainly yet triumphant progress towards self-acceptance and independence has an extraordinary echo in Diana’s own brave, doomed search for an authentic life. This is a very fine book that side-steps clichés about celebrity to create a new awareness of Diana, and also gives us a startling sense of life lived strongly and meaningfully with cerebral palsy.” —Dan Yashinsky, author of Tales for An Unknown City and The Storyteller at Fault
2015 | 160 pages
Song Yong is not one of the more celebrated writers in Korea but more of an outsider looking in on the mainstream writing establishment in Korea. His work has never seen commercial success, nor it is well-known in Korea, although he is respected among prominent literary critics. The lack of interest in Korean literature in North America makes it difficult to find a publishing venue for "out-of-the ordinary" fiction such as Song Yong's.... Song Yong's fictional world is different from the mainstream Korean fiction in the 70s and 80s that tended to reflect the political struggle for democracy and the consequences of rapid industrialization. It focuses on the alienation of individuals who are marginalized from society for various reasons. They are vulnerable within a homogenous society where dominant public discourse enforces rigid hierarchy, obedience, and conformity. There is little precedent in Korean fiction for Song Yong's calm, subdued and often detached narrative voice. He is one of the few Korean writers influenced by Existentialism in the 70s, and the themes of existential angst and despair appear throughout his work.... Song Yong's stories have a surreal tone which is rare in Korean fiction.... His stories never follow a standard formula or contrived plots but employ a unique narrative voice and technique that can be identified as distinctly his. They may deal with taboo topics in Korean society such as the unequal American-Korean relationship, materialism, and disturbing physical and mental abuses prevalent in the Korean military penal system.... Song Yong's stories display a Kafkaesque world of ordinary people trapped in authoritarian society. They present a different Asian fiction to readers accustomed to the two most common genres: Chinese books on Mao's cultural revolution and Murakami's brand of weird-for-weird's-sake Japanese fiction.
—from the introduction by translator Jason Park2008 | 190 pages