Saturday, February 09, 2008

2008 Chapbooks - coming up!

I am delighted to announce three new chapbooks will be appearing this year from Cherry Pie Press. We haven't firmed up the schedule yet but here are the authors, in probable order of appearance.

Erin M. Bertram is a fellow and instructor at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also plays the accordion, and edits shadowbox press. She is the author of four chapbooks: Alluvium (dancing girl press, 2007); Body Of Water (Thorngate Road, 2007) which won the 2007 Frank O'Hara Award; Here, Hunger (NeO Pepper Press, 2007) with Sarah Lilius; and micro-chapbook Wise Raven (Big Game Books, 2008). New work is forthcoming in Forklift, Ohio; Knockout, and So to Speak.

Here is an excerpt from Erin's forthcoming Cherry Pie chapbook, The Urge To Believe is Stronger Than Belief Itself. The poem is an extended and compressed meditation. It takes the form of closely linked sections of prose poem, poetry, etymology and science as it explores the hard and soft edges, the interior and exterior of relationships among mother and daughter and breast cancer.

Last night I dreamt a bat, sonorous & without charge. Her toes were to be
trusted, a row of tiny nails, the way a nail, driven into a wall, can hold many
times its own weight. She hung herself by a high branch of a conifer with the
others, her leathern wings folded just so across her matted chest.

Niki Nymark is a writer and cafe poet with a unique sense of humor. She says she often writes very personal love poetry, to the embarrasment of her grandchildren. She has been published in several anthologies and been awarded poetry prizes by some of the usual organizations, as well as some unusual ones (and so far she hasn't elaborated on what those might be!).

Here's an excerpt from Niki's poem "Saving Daylight"--

....he runs his hand
along my side,
rubs my shoulder blade
as if it were a seashell he just found,
trying to tease out the shape.

I'm sure her grandchildren are squirming, but the rest of us can enjoy the poem mightily.

And Mary Ruth Donnelly follows, indirectly, the adventurous footsteps of her mother, who skipped school to see Cab Calloway. Mary Ruth has hiked the cliffs above Chaco Canyon and retraced the Missouri River segment of Lewis and Clark’s journey, by car and partially by canoe. Her poems move out and move around – on the rivers and roads of the Midwest and the West – the woods, mountain, badlands, gardens, and cities. In her work, you'll see a search for permanence, for bedrock among the shifting post-modern mindscape and the accidents of life. You'll also see a wide variety of poetry forms, and a quietly strong and sustained voice that will draw you back, again and again.

In her “Coming Back to Mountains” she declares it's

not yet time to forget the mountains
the way they handle space
and nurture aspen
for a while
then break above them,
anthracite peaks piled on each other,
the solace of their jagged silhouette.

She's a surprising poet with a surprising range. Perhaps picking up on that heritage of slipping away to see Cab Calloway, she appreciates the art of dance in all its complicated geometries. From “Tango Pantoum”--

Your eyes are lined in red; my head turned right and down.
Tangueros keep their bodies straight as knives.
The street is dark, a dim bulb lights the narrow stairs.
The floor we rush along is smooth as Gardel’s lament.

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