The poems in this volume are experimental in nature. They came out of a study of the enneagram—a symbol best described in P. D. Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous. While looking for a way to experience the laws expressed in the enneagram, Frederick Bauman devised a poetic form of nine verses of three lines each. The poems are presented in the order written and then the stanzas are rearranged in the order 9, 3, 6, 1, 4, 2, 8, 5, 7. Readers interested in the enneagram are referred to Mr. Ouspensky's book and the “Holy Planet Purgatory” chapter of G. I. Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, which does not mention the enneagram but discusses the laws it symbolizes.
“Rees’s poetic imagination, imagistic and psychologically honed, projects back into history, as far back as the myths of origin—and these poems, weighted with mattering, give a picture of the narrative behind our daily projections: longings, sorrows, retributions and redemptions. We feel a poet doing the poet’s hard work, processing what is.”
—Sven Birkerts“Elizabeth Rees’s poems project the bare inherent tattering of memory reknitting the current with ferocious loyalty & precise quick lilt: His hands hold his head / because his mind can’t see / why his eyes should weep. (Man Weeping in a Chair.) They are lucid in agitation: There isn’t time… / No, that’s wrong, / there are buckets of time. / Exploding takes forever. (Saboteurs.) With discerning detail & achingly tender triage—frontal, tough, sweet—they dig out the live among the dead, having blessed the bones. Enlivened, we emerge as the poems do: … a cave opens / and we wander out, squinting / from the heavy slope of light. (Sinai Desert Walk.)”
—Olga Broumas“No doubt that Elizabeth Rees is a poet of the world—commanding a range of subjects, replete with cultural and religious references, as she travels the terrains of our globe, utilizing the language of poetry as truth, never severing social consciousness from private mediations on family bonds, from which the book takes its title: My knees smeared with mulch, I tilled / until every stone was turned, until the fault was deep enough to bury / all the seeds that could have borne / a son. Weeds will be my daughters / and every root a branch. Reflective, fearless, and unrelenting with love, these poems pulsate to the music of formal poetry, while simultaneously liberating the vernacular to express the wonder and challenge of being human in a conflicted world, invoking poems of toughness and glass-like fragility.”
2014 | 76 pages
With each poem in this series, Bauman explores the life of an animal native to the Catskill region, delving into their secret suffering, fear, and determination. Through their daily struggles, he reveals the interconnected nature of our world and our shared fears. In his final poem, he extends these same fears and struggles to man through the mythic figure of Gilgamesh. Richly detailed and poignant, Feral Idylls asks us to consider existence and our place in the world.
2010 | 56 pages
Praise for Steve Clorfeine's work: "I found myself carried by his words...often an unremarkable or extravagantly beautiful list of things and events was made brilliant by the attention paid to their existence."
—Parabola: Myth, Tradition and the Search for Meaning"Clorfeine's day to day experiences read like a series of prose haikus...there is a clarity in his writing...a habit of seeing the ordinary and the extraordinary, the marvelous in the mundane..."
2006 | 90 pages
Codhill Poetry Award Winner 2017Between the destruction of angels, creation of philosophers, and use of mythological creatures, Fraying Edge of Sky captures a side of the other-world humans don’t see into very often: “A walking stampede, slow and terrible. / The hospital for nonexistent children. / A mountain devouring clouds.” Hanson’s beautiful lyricism and shocking imagery coalesce in wonderment, in poems that play with the power of light and dark, ultimately haunting the pages that make up her magical book, reminding us over and over of how “We are giants over the fallen.” The Experiment Collect light in a bucket of water, pour it off slowly—keep the light from breaking, watch it seep into soil. Now it is dark; time to get rid of the night. Dig a hole to drain it. See how the hole already brims over with darkness, saturated. Dig deeper, with more urgency. Mine the blackness. Keep pushing until fog rises up. Realize you are nothing. * * * The beautiful and fanciful investigations in Danielle Hanson’s Fraying Edge of Sky are homages to magical realism but are also lyrical bursts in splendidly gilt frames. The precise language of the poems conjures up the overlooked details of a world that, in its hurry, will miss them. The light in a bucket of water, the ribbon-like fog, the small mice who are angelic in their infestations—all are an inventory of the miraculous that Hanson’s truly original voice urges us to hear and to hold close. —Oliver de la Paz, author Requiem for the Orchard Dismantling worlds only to rebuild them anew, Danielle Hanson’s poems, little worlds made cunningly, as Donne would call them, expose the surrealism behind the most ordinary things. Take the tailor who “starts by sewing the fraying / edge of sky to a rock” and begins sewing a whole menagerie until he “creates / a daytime field of constellations, / embroidery of a new creation.” New indeed. These are visions like none other and if you want to see with the kind of fourfold vision Blake suggests, this original, this most precious of books is for you. — Richard Jackson, author Broken Horizons Danielle Hanson’s Fraying Edge of Sky traps the sun with mirrors, drowns the moon, staples spiders to the sky. There are strategies and curses, negotiations of light and dark, and, throughout, an ever-thickening swarm of angels that collide, that turn to blood, that infest. Photographs are empty, and even those emptinesses are deleted, leaving new emptinesses that are filled by a relentless drive to see things simultaneously as they are and what they intend to be. A lizard pretends to be a stone, but we still know it is a lizard; it is the pretending that strikes us. This is the heart of Hanson’s poetry: artifice that shows the truth. — Bradley Paul, author Plasma
2018 | 80 pages
"Winner of the 2012 Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award, Heather Cousins's Freeze, as sparse and elegant as winter branches, illuminates how time is both fixed and divisible, the human paradox both archetypal and mutable."
—Pauline Uchmanowicz, Final Judge
2013 | 30 pages
…At the crossroads of assault and proceed, with the sweat dirty gun grease of law machines, amid thrill and lull, faithless young gods inured to guts swill black smoke, uniformed, flag-fetishistic do-good recruits who brace for sanity's sake (checkpoint!) sake (checkpoint!) the creed of pluck for country and pluck for self and die in the smithy of old gods' desires... They planned it. This, the goods your works produce."
—Design at Mahmoudiya
2007 | 60 pages
A Short Piece It must be that the azaleas Bloom at dawn And fall at dusk. Over the low pine grove Behind the rocks in Samchung Dong They droop Whenever the clouds pass. All through April Unnoticed by any This year's azaleas also Must be blooming in the shade And falling in the shade. —Kim Gwang-gyoon
2007 | 152 pages
The poet's eye never misses the incongruity of things that cuts to the bone, "an obsidian scalpel of love" that keeps racing with her in the space between life and death, adoration and hatred. It may be that "balance is axiomatic," but always it is imperiled, a saving grace necessary, and the eye nervously glancing between heaven and earth. "Pamela Uschuk is a political poet, defiant in the face of injustice, as well as a poet of Eros. She's nobody's fool. She resurrects in her poems the brutalized, the murdered, the lost of the world—those who have no voice of their own. She pulls them close. And when she turns to the world's gliding wonders, she does so with a precise eye and everything she sees is absorbed by her uniquely compassionate voice."
—Dennis Sampson, author of Constant Longing and Needlegrass
2005 | 44 pages
Poetry cannot perform search and rescues. Words are not water or food or shelter. Grief cannot put a roof over storm-refugees. Compassion's not a substitute for action. Come in from the wind, let words restore power. Come in under the blue tarp of this Muse.... —from "Hurricane Hymn
2009 | 148 pages
A Collection of Creative Nonfiction In Search Of offers a wide-angle lens into the craft of creative nonfiction in a unique collection by fourteen professional, academic, and student writers, whose stories traverse oceans and continents in the common search for identity and place. Haifa Mahabir is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the State University of New York, College at New Paltz. She has also studied in Paris at the Creative Writing Workshop of the Paris American Academy, and has twice received recognition as the Year's Best Young Writer in both 2008 and 2009 from Travelers' Tales/Solas House. Original cover and interior artwork by Brandon Boyd of Incubus.
Proceeds benefit the SUNY New Paltz Creative Writing Program.
2011 | 116 pages
Codhill Poetry Award Winner 2016In Brandon Krieg’s stunning collection In the Gorge, we are placed on a tightrope, balancing the leisure of Western society against the survival of the natural world. Here, nature and human lunge and parry, conjoined twins in a struggle to the death. Krieg reminds us that our manufactured beauty is part of the planet-wide tableau—“looking down from an overpass / looking up through the canopy / the contrails the sunset / are not different things.” Part pastoral, part elegy for our future on Earth, In the Gorge urges us to believe in mercy, in redemption, and the dire need for entwining ourselves with the natural world. This is a phenomenal work.
—Glenn Shaheen, author of Energy CorridorCornfields, jet trails and power lines, fences, abandoned mines and greenhouses—human delineations mar but do not yet overpower the nonhuman landscapes in Brandon Krieg’s stark, unerring and beautiful poems that, over and over, seek “to find the way back // to this day among days.” Krieg’s voice is watchfully tender, attentive to nature and to our moment in it, ever aware that even as we leave our signatures after us, so does fireweed. In this lovely ecopoetry, Krieg achieves a “good fearfulness” and even a joy that is no more or less elemental than rain.
—Nancy Eimers, author of OzIntelligence at its vastest stretches to a scarcest cry, and is ours, and not: you’ll hear it amply in the haunted, restless, dead-on lively poetry to be found in Brandon Krieg’s In the Gorge, a collection that finds its author deep in it, the sorrow and the joy, and the clarities that in this poetry have a luminosity all their own, because they have been seen, because they have themselves seen through us. I marvel at the heights of technique: free verse rising out of necessity to new necessities, new flashes and new spells. Even more considerable here is the marvel of the voice as it propounds resilient—tested, lived—ways into lyric sympathies and a compassion free of attachment, taking up dwelling there, gazing across.
—William Olsen, author of TechnoRageBrandon Krieg is the author of Invasives, a finalist for the 2015 ASLE Book Award in Environmental Creative Writing, and a chapbook, Source to Mouth. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, FIELD, The Iowa Review, and West Branch. He is an assistant professor of English at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
2017 | 74 pages
Most of these “fragments” were written by Jack Cain in group poetry sessions he was facilitating. The sessions were designed to be an exploration of the distinction between material arising from the subconscious mind as opposed to material arising from our ordinary consciousness. This direction came from G.I. Gurdjieff’s startling and impertinent statement that our subconscious is our “real” consciousness and our ordinary waking state of consciousness is “fictitious.” The group writing session would begin in quiet, participants would watch what arose and then write from that. Once everyone was done, the results would be read and there would be an exchange on what had been observed. These exchanges helped those present understand that we are all much more deeply connected than we realize.
2019 | 96 pages
"This text must be a mirror. It must reflect the reader back to herself, so that the reader acquires a vision. It requires a power greater than the text to allow the reader to see with clarity. It is the additional matter of awakening the heart. Ultimately, a search is sustained by strong feeling for the adventure of being in light of one's inadequacy to venture forth."
—from the ForewordA compilation of Stern’s columns from Chronogram in which he explores the intriguing concept of regional culture in its full meaning. Learning to be Human is a book about striving. The chapters are culled from a regular column in the Hudson Valley’s Chronogram magazine, over a thirteen year span. It is an inner account of a search for meaning in the light of the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, as well as Sufism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Judaism, in the context of the life of a seeker, lover, father, householder, athlete, publisher, and entrepreneur. The essays are a record of insights and experiences gleaned in light of a fundamental admonition: Know Thyself. What makes the book unique is its consistent return to the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff as a key to unlocking not only the meaning of the world’s great traditions, but also the experiences of the life of a man in the world, spanning the ages of 25 to 40 years old. The style of writing varies from deeply personal, almost confessional, first-person narratives, to poetic observations, to pedagogic expositions of philosophical and religious ideas. There is a clear political point of view, but always tempered by an emphasis on self-knowledge and the reflection of the activities of people in the world in ourselves. Jason Stern is the publisher and co-founder of Chronogram. Jason Stern's meditative but acute reflections on current issues and community events seem to echo the insights of Emerson and Thoreau, viewing the cosmos through the details of current life, looking with humour on the vagaries of our minds and customs. His centering in the ideas of Gurdjieff, the Armenian Greek who startled people a hundred years ago now by his cutting insight into human folly, gives Jason an edge that puts him in a special category. But here is no jargon or harsh judgment. Here is a human voice, sparkling with warmth and softened in bemusement, a voice-over to the movie of human life he sees just outside his window. You can dip in almost anywhere and find yourself smiling, no matter how serious the topic. Such a compassionate observer is surely a reminder of our own conscience and compassion.
2010 | 270 pages
Conceived first as a correspondence between two woman, Letters and Found Poems expresses the mystery of their intimacy in their quotidian existence in rural New York. The complexity of Chloe’s affairs creates a damaging separation that brings a tragic turn of events. A collection of poems each had written to the other serves as a supplement to the story.
2012 | 85 pages
Steve Lewis has written one of the most bewitching characters to come along in contemporary literature. Not since Scarlett O’Hara has there been such a lovable vixen. He writes such pleasurable prose, it may take some reflection to realize how much wit and wisdom he shares with his readers. In the end, I was as smitten as his hapless grad student hero. Seasoned with insider’s spice on the book business.”
—Laura Shaine Cunningham, Sleeping Arrangements, A Place in the Country“In Loving Violet, Steve Lewis takes us to a prestigious liberal arts college, New York City, the beaches of Long Island, and Costa Rica with young writers pushed and pulled by extraordinary passion and abiding love. How do we choose—can we really choose—who we love and what we make of this life? Questions of the price of that love and what we invest in the art we make along with that love—heart-wrenching and deeply thought-provoking in this extraordinary novel.”
—Jimin Han, A Small Revolution“Loving Violet is an irresistible novel about the powers of love and art. Steve Lewis limns the inevitable progression from the heady infatuation of youth to a more settled love in later years. All the characters are vividly drawn and the writing has the clarity and grace that is characteristic of Lewis’ work.”
—Angela Davis-Gardner, Butterfly’s Child: A Novel
2017 | 192 pages
This book is a collection of essays that try to relate two distinct areas of human knowledge: the mystical cosmology of G.I. Gurdjieff, based on ancient wisdom, and the discoveries and theories of modern science. Christian Wertenbaker, M.D. bases this study on three basic convictions: First, given the lucidity of G.I. Gurdjieff’s descriptions of the human condition, it is necessary to give credence to his ideas about the universe, man, and about their relationship. Second, that the method of modern science is a valid way to arrive at truths about the world, with one caveat: because science tries to be objective and to bracket the subjectivity of the observer, its findings apply only to the external world, leaving the inner world of consciousness to another realm of inquiry. Third, that there is nevertheless only one world, and so all truths about it must be compatible and related. These principles have guided these essays, some of which have been published in Parabola magazine over the last fifteen years. They represent a personal quest for a more comprehensive truth about the nature of reality. To reconcile Gurdjieff’s ideas and modern science, Dr. Wertenbaker went to medical school and to postgraduate training in neurophysiology, neurology, neuro-ophthalmology and ophthalmology. He also became a member of the Gurdjieff Foundation, devoted to exploring Gurdjieff’s ideas.
2012 | 200 pages
Seeing/Molding the Human Face as Meditation In this compact, visually powerful book, author and artist Frederick Franck offers his contemplations on the mystery of the human face. Inspired by the rediscovery of a series of small clay faces, which he had molded and fired over the course of many years, Franck reflects on the deeper meaning of what it means to be truly human. Paired with texts from great wisdom teachers such as Hui Neng, Dogen, and Angelius Silesius, as well as Franck's own words, each evocative, archetypal face conveys the frailties of the ego-driven personality as well as the eternal essence of that which lies hidden behind the mask. With a bold design featuring over forty striking black and white photographs by Luz Piedad Lopez, this book speaks clearly to the questions that have preoccupied many seekers over the centuries: Who am I? Who are you? "Drawing, modeling faces, I seem to touch my model's ancestral, even its pre-human, hominid past, that first hint of human Existence--of just being here, that Mystery of mysteries. Buddhism speaks in a minor key of Sunyata, Absolute Nothingness, an Emptiness, however, replete with potentialities, referred to in more positive terms as Tathata, Suchness. "Behind each personality, each mask, there is the irreducible Reality of Sunyata, of that all-transcending Emptiness or Nothingness from which all that is emerges in its Being/Non-Being."
—from Ode to the Human Face
2004 | 98 pages
"These poems require us to approach with an uncorrupted humanity. The poems insist on dignifying us. They have an almost theological ambition in that they love us, not in spite of our imperfections, but because of them and in so doing they shock us into our better selves and guarantee us salvation. This is a book to be grateful for. Its generosity elevates us."
—Vince Cioffi Winner of the 1999 Stegner Fellowship in PoetryBen Mitchell's "Only the Sound Itself" reminds us to think about the experiences that made us who we are. This poetry acts as a wake up call to make us realize how hectic and crazy our lives have become. The theme of nature throughout the collection allows one to see the peace and serenity that used to exist and how the simplicity of life is lost as we take on responsibilities, fall in love, and eventually grow into adulthood.
2010 | 45 pages
A Love Story By Frederick Franck "Here insights that clash in the chill of the brain seem to fuse easily in the warmth of the heart and beget a religious orientation to life as such, to Existence as the Mystery of Mysteries."
—from Pacem in Terris: a love storyThirty years ago, Frederick Franck, author of The Zen of Seeing, Angelus Silesius, and a dozen other books, began work on a property he and his wife Claske had acquired in Warwick, New York. Originals of his world-renowned sculptures found their home on the grounds. The sacred nature of his artistry has attracted the attention of pilgrims of all walks in life and from all continents. Pacem in Terris has become the meeting place of many wisdom traditions, all in search of what Franck calls "the all-too-human." In Pacem in Terris: a love story, Franck relates the remarkable history of his monumental undertaking—to create a sacred site open to peoples of the world—from its impoverished beginnings to its triumphal present. The material obstacles and artistic challenges of this true story of human love remind us of the forgotten power of a personal search for meaning and the extraordinary help and recognition that are drawn to a simply human effort. "Franck's words are thrilling, especially as evidence of his vocation as one who brings things together.... When Pacem in Terris was opened in 1966, Franck wrote: 'May the spirit soar and make us humans see our unity.' By purchasing, reading, and sharing this paperback treasure, you are doing just that!"
—Spirituality and Health"For the pilgrim in each of us who would journey into Eastern and Western spiritual traditions to chart a path in this troubled time.... Wise, witty, compassionate observations jolt us awake to the wealth of our planetary heritage."
—Joanna Macy, author of Widening Circles and World as Lover, World as Self
2000. 128 pages