New: Veiled Spill


New: Veiled Spill

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Begun in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and European laws banning the full face veil, Jan Clausen’s Veiled Spill unfolds a meditation on the links and gaps between interior glimpses and sprawling histories, between the beauty of the moment and the terror of the plot. Bridging poetry and prose, lyric and documentary, sampling and improvisation, it tracks the brooding presence of brittle technologies, the obdurate contingencies of gender and race, the fate of religious questions in the absence of gods, and the desperate freedom of art at a time when conventional social action seems powerless to avert the wreck of the biosphere. Transfixed by the pressure of wildly cascading events that engulf the very possibility of narrative order, the sequence hints, as well, that in a world where “what is veined/is spilling everywhere,” we are already in the revolutionary situation.

Below the surface chaos of Clausen’s Veiled Spill lies a complex ecosystem of balanced binaries: between narrative and fragmentation, between spectacle and interiority, between linguistic playfulness and the major social and political issues of our time. Throughout, Clausen invents forms which perfectly place her poems at home on the page, each new structure appearing to arise autonomously and revelatory from its subject matter. Equal parts thoughtful, analytical, and passionate, Veiled Spill welcomes the reader with a handshake and a smack across the face.

—Amy King

Veiled Spill is a work of exquisite, evocative language, and frightening insight. Clausen has created a dire warning to all of us living on this planet of the dangers of extinction of life itself. Yet, somehow at the same time, she offers a lyrical tribute to the power of voices spilling over, breaking out of veils, speaking truth. Then, once again, we are warned — of the dangers of silence, the losses already incurred. I felt haunted by the imagery and musical repetitions, emotionally shaken by a sense of fear and rage at hypocrisies laid bare, the losses to which we are growing dangerously accustomed. Language itself is a metaphor — fractured and torn, then suddenly put back together, veiled and spilled, broken and gathered again. Jan Clausen is a poet I want to listen to and read as closely as I can, to understand, with heart and mind, what she has seen, what we are all faced with.

—Jane Lazarre

Jan Clausen in Veiled Spill writes of complicated vulnerability and feminist resistance and as she does this, she looks for allies and alliances with such a deep love, with such a lyric invocation.

—Juliana Spahr

Now available: Maleficae

bolden maleficae cover

Now available: Maleficae

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Incorporating language from trial records to papal bulls to incendiary theological documents, Maleficae explores the intersection of forces that led to the witch persecutions – forces alarmingly similar to those operating in American society today – in a book-length series of poems that seeks to re-create the sheer terror of the trials, while also focusing one so-called witch: her story, her wail from the center of the flames. In making the dead speak, Maleficae gives the victims of the trials a voice.

In this incantatory series of lyric poems Emma Bolden finds a new way to write about an old (though still current) subject. This book speaks in many tongues, many vivid, and living tongues.

—Thomas Lux

Emma Bolden’s Maleficae is an ambitious and powerful accomplishment. Informed by historical records of European witchcraft trials, it is wholly contemporary in its layered complexity and poetic craft. Incantatory rhythms, shifting perspectives and voices, and vividly rendered dream/nightmare imagery make these poems hypnotic and haunting. The contrast between historical content and contemporary form—between fact and imagination—intensifies the dramatic impact and reminds us that the past is, in one form or another, always present.

—Eric Nelson

Poetry Daily features Emma Bolden

emma bolden photoDamage,” a poem by GenPop Books author Emma Bolden (Maleficae, 2013), is featured today at Poetry Daily. Though not from her new collection, it’s a little beauty, a packed prose poem that features a cherub sans head and delivers the goods in just eight sentences. Originally published in Inch, “a magazine devoted to bringing you the smallest poems and the shortest fiction in a tiny package,” published by Bull City Press, “The Damage” is done (again) at Poetry Daily.

GenPop Books author Judith Baumel elected President of the National Board of Trustees of AWP

Judith Baumel photoGenPop Books author Judith Baumel (The Kangaroo Girl, 2011) has been elected President of the National Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

In a release by Adelphi University, where she is a professor of English and was the founding director of the Adelphi creative writing program, Baumel says she is “honored to represent the diverse literary family that is AWP because my own literary career was nurtured by the organization.”baumel kangaroo girl cover

I look forward to our annual conference, where I reconnect with friends, encounter and present new creative work. And I look forward to leading AWP’s many other literary advocacy projects including our prestigious books prizes, our vibrant print and online publications, our support of teachers of creative writing at all levels and in all places.

I’m honored to be working for AWP with such talented people—the organization’s staff, as well as my fellow trustees. This year’s conference is in Boston, where I lived in the seventies and eighties. That our two keynote speakers—Nobel Prize winners Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott—were in my circle then speaks to their particular generosity and to the way the American literary community makes possible diverse artistic lives. To paraphrase my teacher and friend Robert Fitzgerald, the work of AWP is a process of “enlarging the change.”

This is good news for all involved. Kudos, Judy!

Poet’s Quarterly reviews Judith Baumel’s The Kangaroo Girl

baumel kangaroo girl cover

At Poet’s Quarterly, Edan Mohr reviews Judith Baumel’s The Kangaroo Girl, which Mohr calls “a book of rare power and beauty, a look back what survives in memory and how time itself transforms and sustains us.”

Writes Mohr:

Judith Baumel’s latest book conveys both a playful nostalgia and a haunting regret. In navigating a course through personal history, the author offers a meditation on worlds and people lost…. Baumel examines the past with precision, following each thread and considering patterns that emerge.

Baumel’s subtle art is to pair lightness with gravity, touching on matters of mortality, faith, and history with extraordinary fluency….. [T]his highly personal book transcends the confines of a single life.

Read the full review, here.

John Philpin’s Bad Dog New Year Kindle Sale: $4.99

That’s right. For less than 1/3 of the retail price of the print edition, you can read Bad Dog on your Kindle.

Bad Dog is also available via the Amazon Lending Library.

The paperback edition is also available at Amazon, of course–though it’s much cheaper–and ships for free–here at GenPop Books. Check out the book page for Bad Dog.