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New Releases from Červená Barva Press
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Release date June 1, 2015, Available for Pre-orders:
A World Less Perfect for Dying In by Ralph Pennel
A World Less Perfect for Dying In
by Ralph Pennel
Červená Barva Press, 2015
Ralph Pennel is the author of A World Less Perfect for Dying In, (by Cervena Barva Press, 2015). His writing has appeared in The Cape Rock, Ropes, Open to Interpretation, Ibbetson Street, The Smoking Poet, Unbound Press, Monologues From the Road and various other journals in the U.S. and abroad. Ralph teaches poetry at Bentley University and literature at Bunker Hill Community College. He has been a guest lecturer at Emerson College and served as the judge for the 2013 WLP Dean's Prize for Emerson. Ralph also teaches workshops at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and for Student Day of Poetry run by MassPoetry.org. He is a founding editor and the fiction editor for the online literary magazine, Midway Journal (www.midwayjournal.com), published out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Ralph Pennel lives and writes in Somerville, Massachusetts, and was a finalist for the Poet Laureate of Somerville in 2014.
Cover art: "Rising Tide" by Resa Blatman
In the opening poem of Ralph Pennel's debut collection, the speaker lists things he looks for in a poem: "Clear blue light / A single voice, cold, in need of fire" and "Everything I have ever buried," making a concise introduction to A WORLD LESS PERFECT FOR DYING IN—a world which is, after all, the imperfect but beautiful place where we live and die. "But I believe that we all, at the very least, should have some. Beauty, that is." That persistent belief in beauty and the simple kindnesses that one human being can offer another suffuses these poems—often filled with pain and loss—with something like light.
—Joyce Sutphen, Poet Laureate of MN, author of Naming the Stars
"I’m writing all this down," Ralph Pennel says at the end of his frightening and beautiful poem "Just Off The Hennepin Bridge": and he is writing it all down, a world haunted by both beauty and despair. Again and again Pennel returns to the theme that echoes throughout the book, "the great immeasurable hole /that only love lost can make." What a wonderful task to set yourself as a poet, to take the measure of the immeasurable as best you can and to call this impossible task—this ache you feel for the world—by its true name: love.
—Jim Moore, author of Invisible Strings
Ralph Pennel's poems situate us front and center in the speaker's intimate company. In a few humble, trust-earning gestures, Pennel can take us great, often dark, distances. "Confiding in the Prison Guard", written in the voice of John the Baptist on the eve of his execution, risks the one harrowing image after another in service to empathy far transcending them; the poem closes with a devastatingly vernacular plea. Whether he is slipping in and out of personae with the ease of a shape shifter, or serving his subjects as a caring spy, Ralph Pennel has reminded this reader that the single, irrefutable craft of poetry is graceful connection.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-7-4 | 76 Pages | In Stock
—Frannie Lindsay, author of Our Vanishing
Almost Too Much by Barbara E. Murphy
Červená Barva Press, 2015
Barbara Murphy’s work has appeared in several literary journals including New England Review, Green Mountains Review, The Threepenny Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is the recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts fellowship. Murphy has worked as president of Johnson State College in Vermont since 2001 and has been recognized for her leadership roles in higher education. She lives and works in northern Vermont with her husband Tom Garrett.
Almost Too Much both tactfully and relentlessly interrogates our human experience in these dehumanizing times. There’s not a sliver of false hope in these pages, but reading them, we catch glimpses of the paradox of our lives, that "The sound of geese /overhead, their thin cries clear /as night through the ceilings and roof / of the house, is either the saddest /sound [we] will ever know / or one of great lifting joy." Barbara Murphy’s quietly brilliant poems move us readers toward usable truth.
—David Huddle Author of Glory River and Blacksnake at the Family Reunion
Murphy’s lyrical narratives, lively and exact, speak of braveries and hesitations, fugitive beauties and stations of calm. A lifetime of truths take the reader through first games of hide and seek, the boys so far away/lost in their secret places/there was no way/they’d ever get home in time; first loves and second marriages where desire is more of a casual friend./It will not/always be there breathless and flushed; loving children and step-children with different needs in different time zones. These poems should be read aloud for their honesty and musicality. They do the heart good. Almost Too Much is a stunning debut.
—Dzvinia Orlowsky Author of Silvertone and A Handful of Bees
Deeply intimate, each line a breath. In flashes of brilliance against a landscape of existential dread, these poems flare up and stare down this given world until it surrenders its grace.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-3-6 | 70 Pages | In Stock
—Nancy Mitchell Author of The Near Surround and Grief Hut
some words suicidal by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu
Červená Barva Press, 2015
Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, Ph.D. in French Language & Literature, is the author of numerous collections of poetry published in the United States, Romania and France. She writes poetry in English, French and Romanian and her poems have appeared in Laurel Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Wallace Stevens Journal, Seneca Review, Pleiades, Rhino, Louisville Review among others, as well as in a variety of literary magazines in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Québec and Romania. She is the winner of several International Poetry Prizes awarded for her French books, including the Prix Amélie Murat (2013) and the Grand Prix de la Francophonie (2014). A collection of her New & Selected Poems is forthcoming from Orison Books Press. At the present she lives in Chicago.
Cover Art: Icône en confidence by Michel Bénard
Poetry is the record of hidden things in commerce with one another, and only that mystery allows us to live. Stella Vinitchi Radulescu's poetry is an alchemy, a magic of restraint and exposure, revealing the machinations of our invisible feelings, motives, appetites and fears. That she is a master of her condensary goes without saying, for this is a consummate language shaped with remarkable skill, and the voyages that these poems take are brilliant excursions into our inner lives, secret things pushed into the subconscious, broken promises and whispered asides. I have long admired Radulescu's bilingual ability to bend sentences to her will and those constructions are filled with a cross-cultural understanding that is consistently transcendent, that builds bridges into the landscapes of our shared interior lives.
—Keith Flynn, author of Colony Collapse Disorder
Some Words Suicidal, Stella Radulescu's newest poetry collection, is all at once experientially effusive and parsimonious, and is bravely so, both on and off the page. The meditative remittance of these works reminds us just how language means. Radulescu is not afraid to insist her readers subsist on the unnamable, in the spaces between ideas. The poems here thread rather purposefully through dimensions, all the while rending artifice's will without the prudence of architecture, where "words are bees stars ants roaming / on the page / beyond understanding" into truth. Radulescu takes nothing and everything for granted, and at her behest, every word, every line, every stanza and poem reminds us we should too. And, yes, every time, with absolute devotion.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-1-2 | 100 Pages | In Stock
Until It Does Us In by Myles Gordon
Červená Barva Press, 2015
Myles Gordon’s book-length book of poetry, Inside the Splintered Wood, was recently published by Tebot Bach (Huntington Beach, CA), as winner of the press's "Patricia Bibby First Book Competition." His chapbook, Recite Every Day, was published by Evening Street Press (Dublin, Ohio) in 2009, as winner of the press's "Helen Kay Chapbook Competition." He is a past winner of the Grolier Poetry Prize, and honorable mention for an AWP Intro Award – Poetry. He currently teaches English in a Massachusetts high school.
Praise for Until It Does Us In
Myles Gordon's ambitious and affecting sonnet sequence not only conveys – sometimes with beautiful formal understatement, other times with bitter directness – the horrors of Jewish history, but also, heartbreakingly, how those horrors infiltrate the present. In Until It Does Us In, moving sonnets about the suicide of a hip, pot-smoking, peace-sign wielding older cousin function as continuations and repercussions of what is captured in this exquisite final couplet: "the Jews of Brest Litovsk; the German gun./The shadows dwindled, thinned. Then there were none."
—Jacqueline Osherow, Author of Whitehorn
The humanity and sense of loss in Gordon’s poems is so forceful and fresh, we feel like rising up and saving each other.
—Yehoshua November, Author of God's Optimism
This little book of sonnets startles and reaches the reader in ways that no other medium can. It is the naked truth, the full story, condensed in a few lines. It weaves the horror of the Holocaust through the fabric of generations, linking past atrocity to present day tragedy, laying bare all pretenses and deceptions that are attempt to disguise it.
—Dr. Dori Laub, Founder – Fortunoff Video Archive For Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University
How is it we evolve from violence? Myles Gordon asks then answers in 25 tightly controlled sonnets. Compassionate and unflinching, Until It Does Us In seeks to answer one of the most heart-wrenching of questions: How is it that someone whose family was nearly murdered out of existence ends up taking his own life?
—Catherine Sasanov, Author of Had Slaves
Myles Gordon directly confronts the afterlives of the Holocaust through this deftly woven family saga, crossing continents and centuries. Gordon maps the "DNA of tragedy," determining the difference between what we inherit and what we control, forever searching for the legacy of the Holocaust to end.$7.00 | ISBN: 978-0-9861111-0-5 | 35 Pages | In Stock
—Alyssa Pacy, Archivist – Cambridge Public Library
Jews by Sami Shalom Chetrit
Červená Barva Press, 2014
Teacher, poet, writer, filmmaker, and scholar Sami Shalom Chetrit was born in Morocco, raised in Israel, and lives in New York City. He has been writing and publishing poetry for thirty years, with five books in Hebrew: a new book, Broken Times, is due out from Bimat Kedem (2014); this was preceded by Yehudim (Jews), from Nahar Books (2008). Chetrit’s Shirim BeAshdodit (Poems in Ashdodian) became a bestseller in Israel where a popular musical, based on the poems, was produced. He has published countless poems in literary magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and anthologies, as well as several performing shows with leading Israeli musicians. There is a growing body of critical work on his poetry in both Hebrew and English and a generation of younger poets and artists have been inspired by his work. He was recently included in a list of the top 40 Modern Hebrew poets. Though a selection of his work appeared in Ammiel Alcalay’s Keys to the Garden, this is Chetrit's first full-length book of poetry in English.
Chetrit’s novel Doll's Eye came out from Hargol Am Oved in 2007, and in English from Xlibiris in 2013. His groundbreaking study, Intra-Jewish Conflict in Israel: White Jews, Black Jews, was published by Routledge in 2011.
Producer and director of three documentary films, Chetrit’s latest film, Shattered Rhymes: The Life and Poetry of Erez Bitton, depicts the renowned Moroccan born poet, an inspiration to Chetrit's generation. The film came out in January, 2014, appearing in festivals as well as broadcast on Israeli television, and is available in English.
Chetrit is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Middle Eastern Studies at Queens College, CUNY, and is on the faculty of Middle East/Middle East in America Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Cover Art: "A painter without words" water on canvas, 2014
by Igal Fedida
With unflinching courage, clarity, and wit, Sami Shalom Chetrit has gone places no contemporary Israeli Hebrew poet has dared venture. These are places in which the brutality of separatist ideology, enforced identity, militarism, and military occupation, have attempted to blot out the ethics of memory and human relations. It is in these ruins that Chetrit's rage, irony, and compassion create new ways of imagining realities we thought had reached a point of utter saturation. This collection finally allows English readers a chance to hear Chetrit's vital and inspiring voice.$17.00 | ISBN: 978-0-692-33628-1 | 100 Pages | In Stock
—Ammiel Alcalay, professor of comparative literature Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center
Poetry With Legs An anthology of Sin
by J. Edwin Whitelaw and Friends
Červená Barva Press, 2014
These pages that connect fourteen poets whose chance encounters with one who is no longer with us make fifteen. J. Edwin Whitelaw, obscure to all but those who knew him, provided a connection between those whose works and comments appear within, and to whom this anthology is dedicated.
Born in the Arkansas Delta near Helena in 1953 Whitelaw escaped, however the South’s influence upon him for good and bad played an important role in all aspects of his life until his death on Christmas Eve in 2006. Near his death, he described himself as “a slightly older man” who had become a mere caricature of his former self.
His poetry ran the spectrum from bitingly cruel as you will find in “An Acute Friendship” to the painfully romantic “Icarus Dreams Of Aphrodite” that appear in this collection. And so say his ex-wives and lovers. Once asked for an explanation of his paradoxical approach to poetry, he would not give one.
After leaving the South he began working as an analyst for the Security Service, a branch of the National Security Agency during the early 70’s in San Vito, Italy. “Cooling his heels from the Vietnam Era”, as he put it, he developed a distrust of all things governmental. He later entered teaching on both the preparatory and college level. He held a doctorate from the University of Arkansas, and viewed his colleagues as “boors and pompous asses.”
During the Bush Eras, he found an increasing and alarming distrust of Americans abroad. “This unholy alliance between the Patriots of the Religious Right and the Republican Party will push this country to the fascist brink. But hey, look on the bright side, oppression has always been good for poetry.” according to J. Edwin.
He retired from teaching in the late 90’s. Having lived in three foreign countries, he was conversant in five languages, and later worked as an independent consultant to international firms seeking to do business in the United States.
Divorced more times than he cared to discuss in detail, he once said he was destined to die alone surrounded by his books unless his large dog outlived him. It was a statement that proved to be prophetic. His dog in fact did not outlive him, and he was found dead in his rented flat in the Trastevere District of Rome on Christmas Day 2006 having apparently died the evening before quite alone.
In putting this collection together one contact led to another tied with the common thread of poetry. For his enumerable faults, defects and sins all of which he freely confessed, he with a few exceptions managed to salvage his broken relationships converting them into strange forms of friendships that included me.
Another acquaintance, who asked not to be identified commented to me, “J. Edwin had his share of baggage, but I have to say it was the Louis Vitton of emotional baggage. He suffered from potential.” Not a religious man by any measure, he had somewhat of a distorted moral code that had at its core a disdain of hypocrisy. His take? “By and large self-professed born-again Christians have no sense of poetry, reflection or self examination. Show me one, and I will show you someone who gives Jesus a bad name.”
Fittingly in his honor this anthology is subtitled “An Anthology of Sin” and dedicated to an extraordinary ordinary man.
GISELA FALABELA$16.95 | ISBN: 978-0-9910091-9-0 | 121 Pages | In Stock
Victory over the Sun The First Futurist Opera
by Aleksei Kruchenykh
Translated by Larissa Shmailo, Edited and with an introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky
Červená Barva Press, 2014
Victory over the Sun, one of the most important events in Russian Futurism and in the avant-garde in general, is not well recognized in the West. Now in a new edition of Larissa Shmailo's brilliant translation of the text, with a lively introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky, readers can appreciate the significance and innovativeness of the 1913 play. Using Shmailo's translation and Malevich's pathbreaking stage designs, the play was reconstructed and staged in 1980 to great acclaim and remains a signal accomplishment in the history of the avant-garde.
—Gerald Janecek, Author of Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism (UCSD, 1996) and Sight and Sound Entwined (Berghahn Books, 2000)
Velimir Khlebnikov, literally, missed the train on co-penning this one, contributing only a poem to Kruchenykh's libretto. Staged alongside Mayakovsky's Vladimir Mayakovsky, A Tragedy, the 1913 original production of Victory is remembered primarily for Kazimir Malevich's costumes, lighting, and set design, instigations for the Suprematism and Constructivism still to come in 1915 and 1919, respectively…. Nothing is more fitting for this centennial of "Russian Futurianism" than a celebration of Kruchenykh's great contribution to poetry, his Zaum, and not just for its verbal play – the inventive neologizing and the épater-le-bourgeois utopianism – but for the underappreciated antilyricism of his verse, as well. In communicating to us his musicality in English, Larissa Shmailo has done a remarkable job in conferring on Kruchenykh his true due as a poet.
—Alex Cigale, Translations Editor of MadHat Lit
A century ago, Aleksei Kruchenykh was the way out writer's most way out writer. If publishing today, he still would be.
—Richard Kostelanetz, Author of A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (Routledge, 1993)
Featured in Russia Beyond the Headlines: http://rbth.com/literature/2015/01/21/the_enduring_appeal_of_russias_avant-garde_43039.html$16.00 | ISBN: 978-0-692-30231-6 | 56 Pages | In Stock