Recommendations

Poetry. Art. “This collection is obsessed with the miracle of words and the mouths that say them, the bodies that carry them out and back in, deliciously, deliriously. FOOTNOTE reminds us that the act of saying is something we may never fully understand–and that is cause for whirling joy.”–Chen Chen

Paperback, 44 Pages, Lithic Press, December 2017

Billy Collins’s new collection brings together more than fifty poems and showcases his deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made him one of our country’s most celebrated and widely read poets. Here are poems that leap with whimsy and imagination, yet stay grounded in the familiar, common things of everyday experience. Collins takes us for a walk with an impossibly ancient dog, discovers the original way to eat a banana, meets an Irish spider, and even invites us to his own funeral. Sensitive to the wonders of being alive as well as the thrill of mortality, Whale Day builds on and amplifies Collins’s reputation as one of America’s most interesting and durable poets.

Paperback, 144 Pages, Random House, September 2020

A relatively unhinged mashup of standup comedy, absurdist poetry and Dadaist nonsense, Comedy Album delivers a blast of humor without the aural distraction (which would also be a great name for a band.). Author Dan Hendrickson says, “Comedy is all about timing. And while some people might say now is the perfect time for such an offering, others would be quick to say, ‘No, Dan, that’s a really terrible idea.’ Those two points of view and where I’m at form a nearly perfect triangle.”

Paperback, 126 Pages, Flat Sole Studio, September 2020

“From floating lanterns at Hiroshima to the unstoppable petal storm of cherry blossoms, Mariko Kitakubo’s vivid imagery tugs at the full range of our emotions-from the horror of war to the joy of a new love, from redwood forests to dreams of Betegeuse, Indigo is a highly recommended journey you will never forget.” —Deborah P Kolodji, California Regional Coordinator, Haiku Society of America

Paperback, 152 Pages, Shabda Press, April 2016

“Matt Sedillo’s poetic work is full of history, struggle, tragedy, anger, joy, despair, possibility and faith inthe struggles of working class people to overcome the forces of capitalism and racism. If PatriceLumumba, Rosa Luxembourg, Emiliano Zapata and Ella Baker were alive today, they would all be readingand sharing Matt Sedillo’s work with their comrades in service of organizing the next revolution. He istruly the poet laureate of struggle.” – Paul Ortiz, Author of Emancipation Betrayed and Director of theSamuel Proctor Oral History Program

Paperback, 128 Pages, FlowerSong Books, December 2019

A collection of contrasts: 85 poems ̶ some erotic, some gritty, each of them mining the eccentricities of small moments, and making the common-place memorable. With remarkable photographic images by Jeffrey O’Connell.

Paperback, 137 Pages, Garden Oak Press, March 2019

Coffee House Confessions is a collection of poems written in and about coffee houses throughout the world.

“I know no one else who manages to combine quantity of poems with quality the way Ellaraine Lockie does. She is a font of creative ideas and brings the ultimate in craft and experience to the realizing of those products of inspiration, observation, and research. I admire her work immensely.” GERALD LOCKLIN, Professor Emiritus of English at California State University, Long Beach

Paperback, 44 Pages, Silver Birch Press, February 2013

Nearly ninety years after its first publication, this celebratory edition of The Weary Blues reminds us of the stunning achievement of Langston Hughes, who was just twenty-four at its first appearance. Beginning with the opening “Proem” (prologue poem)—“I am a Negro: / Black as the night is black, / Black like the depths of my Africa”—Hughes spoke directly, intimately, and powerfully of the experiences of African Americans at a time when their voices were newly being heard in our literature. As the legendary Carl Van Vechten wrote in a brief introduction to the original 1926 edition, “His cabaret songs throb with the true jazz rhythm; his sea-pieces ache with a calm, melancholy lyricism; he cries bitterly from the heart of his race.

Paperback, 128 Pages, Knopf, February 2015

Founded in 2009, the Second Sunday Poetry Series has become one of the leading poetry events in the Los Angeles area. This anthology collects 54 of the more than 100 poets who have appeared over the last ten years–from L.A.’s unofficial poet laureate, Brendan Constantine, to the spiritual and complex Meg Day, to the late Nita Donovan, converted from a Stepford Wife to published poet and spoken-word artist. This is an indispensable cross section of the poetry scene in L.A. in the second decade of the 21st Century.

Paperback, 115 Independently Published, November 2019

In his new collection, Jeffrey McDaniel confronts the insular and expansive qualities of loss. With electric language and surrealistic imagery, McDaniel’s poems deliver the quotidian elements of middle-age life while weaving us in & out of childhood and adulthood alongside body and mind. The tragic and life affirming share the same page and the same world, reminding us how close corruption can be to innocence; domesticity to fantasy; aging to youth.

Paperback, 65 Pages, Pitt Poetry Series, February 2020

In these poems, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Beginning in a hotel room in the dark of a distant city, we travel through history and follow the memory of the Trail of Tears from the bend in the Tallapoosa River to a place near the Arkansas River. Stomp dance songs, blues, and jazz ballads echo throughout. Lost ancestors are recalled. Resilient songs are born, even as they grieve the loss of their country. Called a “magician and a master” (San Francisco Chronicle), Joy Harjo is at the top of her form in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.

Paperback, 160 Pages, W. W. Norton & Company, January 2016