Mata Hari Blows A Kiss

Mata Hari Blows A Kiss

Mata Hari Blows A Kiss by Lisa Dominguez Abraham

“These are poems that celebrate the many selves we contain within the body. Lush poems of lineage and what is passed down, along with poems of the heart’s incessant needing, this is a poetry made of wonder and acceptance. Here are poems of magic and sheer will.” —Ada Limon

Where the Torches are Burning

Where the Torches Are Burning by Pos Moua

Where the Torches Are Burning by Pos Moua

“The poet is a survivor, a lover, a young father. And he is an immigrant who has already made his own deep connection with the landscape. Pos Moua’s poems are at the beginning of a writing life of heart and craft, and they are intended for all of us.” —Gary Snyder

Blood Transparancies

Blood Transparencies

Blood Transparencies: An Autobiography in Verse is a brutally honest narrative of coming-of-age in a unique American family. Told in a series of poetic vignettes, it details life with a father who believes John Muir’s words more essential than the Bible, often leading his ”tribe” on harsh quests into America’s wildernesses.

The tale is both humorous and heart breaking. Imagine Odysseus returned from WWII to teach his son the subtle art of bone breaking

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before sharing hot cocoa and opera. This is a family as at ease with nurturing abandoned wild animals as around a campfire rapt to ancestral stories of cannibalism. Throughout the book there is an occasional photographic relic, or Neolithic scrawl to memorialize the breadth of this human story. There are echoes here too, like the ”transparencies” of the title, of mythology and tall tales, an oral tradition transcendent of the printed page. Blood Transparencies is a stunningly fresh glance back, far back, from whence we’ve all come.

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To Live Here

To Live Here

To Live Here is a triumph: a pure and graceful portrait of the poet from Sky Mountain and the Dragon River, as a young man in the United States Army, and as a parent and poet in Fresno. Part emotional cartography and pure mastery of the craft, this vital glimpse into the Hmong American experience is a heart, a history, and a gift of hard-earned wisdom. Each poem is an artifact, a piece of art, and an important addition to American literature. This is poetry built to last. You will not forget it.

–Lee Herrick, Fresno Poet Laureate

How Do I Begin?

How Do I Begin?

Hmong history and culture can be found in the form of oral stories, oral poetry, textile art, and music but there is no written account of Hmong life, by a Hmong hand, passed down through the centuries. As an undergraduate, Burlee Vang experienced this void when he received valuable advice from his English professor: “Write about your people. That story has not been told. If you don’t, who will?”  How Do I Begin? is the struggleto preserve on paper the Hmong American experience. In this

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anthology, readers will find elaborate soul-calling ceremonies, a woman questioning the seeming tyranny of her parents and future in-laws, the temptation of gangs and drugs, and the shame and embarrassment of being different in a culture that obsessively values homogeneity. Some pieces revisit the ghosts of war. Others lament the loss of a country. Many offer glimpses into intergenerational tensions exacerbated by the differences in Hmong and American culture.

How Do I Begin? signifies a turning point for the Hmong community, a group of people who have persevered through war, persecution, and exile. Transcending ethnic and geographic boundaries, it poignantly speaks of survival instead of defeat.

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Using your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace

Using Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace

When I was a kid in California, driving behavior was legendarily civilized. Children were safe in crosswalks from Mexico to Oregon, and people whose turn-signal bulbs had burned out

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opened their windows even in the rain to use their hands. My relatives in Massachusetts talked about this with awe.

Unfortunately, those courtesies have gone the way of the triceratops. Most drivers are still able to make themselves wait their turn at four-way stops in my rural county, but in cities, forget about it. And you take your life in your hands today crossing any California street.

The funny thing is, I think this has everything to do with world peace. I think world peace could be achieved by more people using their turn signals…

“Smart, savvy, delightfully sassy…” Steve Baker, Program Director, KVMR

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Saunter

Saunter

Joshua McKinney’s debut collection of poetry, Saunter, shows immense devotion to and passion for language in all its aspects. He intensely attends to words and delights

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in the play of accidental connections and complications. Such amusement and playfulness with oppositions is evidenced in lines like: “an opening / a cello scales / some stairs. Risen, / a thought falls.” McKinney’s awareness of the complex resonance of literary history and current issues of language comes through in his dedication to making the appearance of language, not just its sound or its relative meaning, an integral aspect of his poems. Meanwhile, the subject matter is often surprisingly mythic and mysterious, championing absolute freedom and wildness. His intricate verse is sincere in its observations while turning inward on itself, sauntering in designed indirection.

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Blow Drying a Chicken

Blow Drying a Chicken

Poets notice what other people miss. Nationally-known poet Molly Fisk’s singular perspective on love, death, grammar, lingerie, small towns, and the natural world will get you laughing, crying, and thinking.

Novice Mourner

Novice Mourner

Poetry. Winner of the Dorothy Brunsman poetry prize. “These handsomely-crafted poems are remarkable–not only for their intelligence and use of language, but for their blend of sensitivity and strength. On his journey to recover the ‘lost child,’

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Joshua McKinney’s belief in innocence never wavers. At the same time, he gives dignity to boyhood’s time and place, and those who inhabit it…THE NOVICE MOURNER is an achievement in that it truly demonstrates how grief can give way to a celebration of life”

–Judith Minty.

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The More Difficult Beauty

The More Difficult Beauty

Molly’s voice is crisp and decided yet relaxed and just close enough somehow … and the pieces all are impeccably shaped and written. Fearless, clear-eyed work. – John Updike The inimitable Molly Fisk, known for the quirky warmth of her radio essays,

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revered as the mentor-coach of the on-line Poetry Boot Camp, is a poet who writes with her whole heart, making her second volume a tour de force of sensuality and hard fact. The More Difficult Beauty returns emotion to the American poem with its supple lines, tempering the difficult – death, and love – with the zinnias of bright, ebullient imagery. Fisk is luminous and loud, lucid and soft, driven and wandering. Candor and humor are her hallmarks in these poems, marvels of sheer whimsy and broad, wicked observation. – Molly Peacock Whether coming to terms with middle age, an abusive childhood, or pondering the ‘conspiracy’ of the Truckee River’s ‘ten thousand drops’, Molly Fisk’s careful eye takes it in. This poet braves the more difficult places and in doing so reveals the world’s simple truths.

– Dorianne Laux

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Mad Cursive

Mad Cursive

The poems in Mad Cursive move gracefully between beauty and destruction, the essential real locale of poetry in our times. A mad swordsman inside a poet-seer, McKinney dares to locate what resembles, in my reading, spirit laid bare.

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In this truly elegant book, the remnant of our language negotiates a shadow world-that space between life and death-which is life on this earth. “Inside sword we find word,” indeed. A truly courageous book.

-Claudia Keelan, author of Missing Her

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