Catalog Items: Detailed Descriptions
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Evocative poems reflecting on relationships, loss, and finding one’s way
Jeff Gundy Surrendering to the Real Things: The Archetypal
Gundy’s critical insights are subtle, wry, and wonderfully funny.
Lucia Cordell Getsi No One Taught This Filly to Dance (poems)(1989) 23 pp.
“This woman is dangerous. No one comes away from Woman Hanging from Lightpole or Sunday Chicken for Mrs. Minnis unscathed. Getsi’s poetry embraces ... every possible form of human violence, separation, pain, loss. She uses language to interrogate complacencies, certainly her own, often ours, and nudge us into an emotional enlargement that might be called love. ... Because of her quiet insistence on the continuity of imagination, her readers feel, in reading her, not only newly knowing, but newly known.”
J. W. Rivers The Place of Understanding: A Poem (1994) 61 pp.
“In The Place of Understanding J. W. Rivers is a captivating storyteller. He has a gift for revitalizing history and drawing his readers into other times and places. No matter how we currently view those dramatic years from Hapsburg Central Europe’s erosion to the nineteen thirties, Rivers sparks new visions.” — David Chorlton
“Like a García Márquez of poetry, Rivers shows how persecution can evolve into mystical experience. His European Jews and Gypsies, fleeing violence and hatred, dissolve into the mist of a Hungarian forest from which their futures will emerge.” — David A. Petreman
James R. Scrimgeour The Route and Other Poems (1996) 92 pp.
“Scrimgeour’s poems are landscapes and portraits becoming each other. In them there seems a faith that the everyday details of this world, like an intricate seashell or piece of tide worn glass, contain within them marvelous discoveries. These journeys into the heart of the moment are Scrimgeour’s love poems to life.” — John Briggs
“James Scrimgeour reaches deeply into his ancestry and himself to get these new, sharp, allusive, and interesting poems which merit reading and owning.” — Leo Connellan
“Scrimgeour’s poems are unpretentious, commonsensical. No fancy curlicues in the language. No elegant foreign phrases to show off his learning. But keen observation of, and reflection on, our mutual human condition. Much of his work reminds me of the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado. Stark realism, ample description, control of the subject matter. Seemingly trivial facets of life, but ...de profundis.” — J. W. Rivers
Robert D. Sutherland Sticklewort and Feverfew (novel) (1980) 355 pp.
Received the Friends of American Writers
“Sutherland’s first novel is one of those children’s books which are not really for children. Alice in Wonderland, Huck Finn, Animal Farm, and ...Wind in the Willows are the best known examples of books that talk the language of child, indulge themselves in the high adventure and fantasy of the child’s story, but speak really to the adult reader. Like those four classics, Sticklewort and Feverfew is a fable for our times. ... Like the sixties it asserts magic, humanism, the little people, direct action, and general obstructionism against what used to be called The Creeping Meatball. I love it. I want my kids to grow up believing in it. ...Sutherland’s book ... is a delightful and a necessary reminder ... nicely written and nicely printed, a timely book of a book.” — David Pichaske
Sample illustrations from Sticklewort and Feverfew. Click on an image to see a larger version.
“Sticklewort and Feverfew ... bills itself a non-sexist ecological novel. It is. It is also a political novel. But it is much more. Sutherland is a linguist, and such a joy in words and syntax has been a rarity since Carroll’s Alice. ... And as Carroll’s vision bore the 19th Century’s philosophical concerns with perception and language as inventors of culture, Sutherland’s bears the 20th Century concern with the loss of language and thus our very creatureness to a world of machines and self-perpetuating bureaucracies. He plays with language seriously, like someone who knows that the future depends on it but who doesn’t let that stop him from having fun. ... The characters, animal and human ...never come apart or step out of themselves. Parker Packrat is true to his packrat nature and cannot help but spot the beauty in any piece of junk and cart it home to his ever-increasing junk sculpture. ... after the many tests of the human and animal spirit in the book (what greater test is there than running smack into government red-tape, mazes of bureaucratic profit-motive, and the mentality of automation), after finally taking direct action that involves everyone in the community...the novel ends with Parker’s junk sculpture, towering twenty levels into the sky, a story in used objects, a town history. ... The language enriches, the style never slips, the non-sexist values are natural. It tells a lively story, full of heart, guts, and tough and tender strength.”
Robert D. Sutherland The Farringford Cadenza. A Novel (2007)
“Robert Sutherland's The Farringford Cadenza is written with wit, devious charm, and a disdain for all forms of ingrained American stupidity, particularly, in this case, the novel of intrigue and conspiracy. But it is much more than a spoof of a pulp novel. Sutherland's best criticism of the pulp novel is not parody, but the intricate development of its own richly imagined world."— Curtis White, novelist and cultural critic
“My goodness, what pithy, fast-paced fun Sutherland’s latest novel is. The Farringford Cadenza mixes surprise, satire, slapstick, and the absurd. Underneath the genteel veneer of the classical music world thrive greed, vanity, and lust—the makings of a roaringly funny read.”— Robert D. Day, critic
“A continuous improvisation on a theme which has been heard only in the distant past, The Farringford Cadenza takes the reader from interrupted cadence to interrupted cadence in a flow of imaginative counterpoint. At the arrival of the final cadenza, I was eager to give the composer a standing ovation.”
“Sutherland’s amazing Sticklewort and Feverfew is a tough act to follow, but the lost-found iterations of The Farringford Cadenza open a vortex: the missing cadenza becomes mystery, legend, dream, obsession, passion, love, death. It is the nothing of Lack, the everything of Desire, a crucible in which the powerful become weak and the weak become, momentarily, powerful as they contend to shore up their shortcomings, fill up their emptinesses. In Sutherland’s hands, the cadenza becomes a fountain of language in the seedbed of metaphor, the missing referent that, like the music, can only be described and never possessed. The Farringford Cadenza will keep you page-turning to the end—or rather, the beginning.” — Lucia Cordell Getsi, poet; author of Intensive Care
“Pianists need page-turners, but this tale of mystery and music is a page-turner on its own. It rings true! A musical cadenza requires creativity and bravado, and The Farringford Cadenza has it all. As a musician, I couldn't put it down.”— Maribeth Gowen, concert pianist
“A musical mystery about the mysteries of music to inspire our highest aspirations or to fire our lowest desires. Psychology and art, spirit and base motivation conspire to create a story that is knowing, surprising, and—best of all—lots of fun to read.”— Bradford Gowen, concert pianist
J. W. Rivers From the House of War (poems) (2009) 20pp.
“James W. Rivers is a poet whose keen psychological insights pierce straight to the marrow of human experience. The poems in this final collection, assembled and edited by Rivers shortly before his death, expand on themes that have concerned him throughout his writing life: courage and fortitude in the face of adversity, the enormity of coping with personal loss, and the ironies inherent in the perceptions of reality by divergent worldviews. Rivers accomplishes his poetic affirmations with wit, brilliant metaphor, and a consummate economy of means.” — Robert D. Sutherland
Charles Reynard The Utility of Heart Break (poems) (2010) 23pp.
Contents: “Alone in the Garden”
“…These beautifully composed portraits of the neighbors he encounters in his courtroom and on the streets of his town confront us with dramas as richly detailed as anything we’d see on a stage….” —Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Cora Fry’s Pillow Book
“These are deeply humane poems, where submission and surrender lead not to loss, but to illumination and connection….” —Stephen Young, The Poetry Foundation
“…Reynard’s poems remind us of ‘the utility of heartbreak’ and the necessity of change. They speak in a variety of voices, measured and wild, about how to live in the world, how to make and resist important choices, how to live with and beyond both choice and happenstance….” —Kathleen Kirk, author of Living on the Earth
“…To read these poems is to keep company with a grown-up poet trying to live well in a broken world. They will challenge your mind.” —Bill Morgan, author of Sky with Six Geese
The PIKESTAFF REVIEW #1 (summer, 1979) $2.00 + $0.85*
Poems: Joseph Bruchac, David Citino, Harrison Fisher, Larry D.
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Poems: Peter Brett, R Bartkowech, David Citino, David L. Elliott,
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