Half Price Preorder for Fall 2017 Titles

Order September 30

Books ship in October 2017

Until September 30, if you have a mailing address in the U.S., you can pre-order Omnidawn’s upcoming fall 2017 titles for only $58, a discount of at least 50%:

Missives from the Green Campaign by David Armstrong
            (selected by Brian Evenson as winner of the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Prize)
You Envelop Me by Laynie Browne
Of Annunciations by Ewa Chrusciel
White Decimal by Jean Daive (translated by Norma Cole)
The Soluble Hour by Hillary Gravendyk (edited & with an introduction by Cynthia Arrieu-King)
Goddess of Democracy by Henry Wei Leung
            (selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize)
risk :: nonchalance by Laura Neuman
            (selected by Hoa Nguyen as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Prize)
from unincorporated territory [hacha] by Craig Santos Perez (reprinted & revised edition)
from unincorporated territory [lukao] by Craig Santos Perez
Obscenity for the Advancement of Poetry by kathryn l. pringle
Shadowboxing by Joseph Rios
Take Two: Film Studies by Susan Terris

Price: $58

Books ship October 2017

(Please note that we cannot make this half price offer for fewer than the full twelve books of this season, nor can we substitute books. The offer is only available if you order one full season of books.)

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If you’d like to receive Omnidawn’s newest seasons of books at this same discount every year, you may be interested in joining the Omnidawn Book Club. Each season, you’ll be automatically charged $58 and receive all of that season’s books, regardless of their total list price. Other perks included! Click here for details.

You can also preorder individual books at 20% off until September 30. Click here to browse individual titles.

Browse the tabs below for more about our upcoming Fall 2017 books:

  • Winner of the 2015 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Prize
    Selected by Brian Evenson

    In a future short on fossil fuels and flora, the military compels its soldiers to carry houseplants wherever they go. To allow a plant to die is treason. Hershel Boyd is by all accounts a poor soldier, a frail, overeducated believer in the fading freedoms of a dying country. The narrator, a fellow recruit, makes it his mission to protect Hershel against all dangers. From the hazings of basic training to a botched invasion of the rainforests of South America, the two men must fight for a future where hope, not savagery, still springs eternal in the human breast.

    Like a kind of environmental reworking of Matt Derby’s ‘The Sound Gun’ or Craig Padawer’s ‘The Meat Garden,’ “Missives” takes a military coming of age story and torques it into something absurd–and yet, it remains human and moving. It refuses to play realism’s game, but still offers more of realism’s payoff than most so-called realistic stories.

    Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses and judge of the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Prize

    About the Author

    David Armstrong’s story collections are Going Anywhere, winner of the Leapfrog Press Fiction Prize, and Reiterations, winner of the New American Fiction Prize, forthcoming in 2017. Individually, his stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Narrative Magazine, Mississippi Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Desert Companion Magazine, Best of Ohio Short Stories, and elsewhere. His short fiction has won the Mississippi Review Prize, Yemassee’s William Richey Short Fiction Contest, the New South Writing Contest, and Jabberwock Review’s Prize for Fiction, among other awards. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of the Incarnate Word and lives with his wife and son in San Antonio, Texas.

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                In the new century, it’s terra cotta. It’s ceramic.
                Where is your home? they ask us.
                In the earth, we respond.
                And where is the earth?
                In the clay, we say. In the clay. In the clay. Repeating it three times. Planting the idea into ourselves.
                At the barracks we sleep in long quonset huts, two rows of cots— heads on the outside, feet on the inside—with an aisle down the center and our footlockers lining the walkway. There is a small window to the left of each bed. Each window is identical: twelve inches by twelve inches of bullet-proof glass. A square foot of sunlight. Beneath each window is a plant, a sprig of green more vibrant than any of our dusty scraps of pixel- lated camouflage. Greener than even the ghillie suits worn by snipers that make them look like sasquatches lying in the bush with their manmade weapons of incredible accuracy.
          The ‘houseplants’—though no one here calls them that—beside our beds are varied in species. They are given to us when we first step onto base. Before we receive our uniforms, before we are shorn short, before we’re run ragged through the ringer, before we shed our fat or pack on
    our pounds of specialized muscle, before our bodies become homogenized limbs and heads and hearts, there is the Green Room.

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  • You Envelop Me, a book length poetic elegy, takes its title from the thirty-second psalm, and explores connections between birth and loss. How does one in mourning converse with those absent, yet ever present? These poems seek to enter that sturdy edifice of emptiness, wherein time is suspended, and one is paradoxically held by the departed. How is a motherless daughter conceived? What befalls those who succumb to waves of grief akin to contractions of birth? You Envelop Me is woven from contemplative practices which permit us to approach the unimaginable. The world with the beloved removed is permanently altered, perhaps most significantly in the way the living learn that indispensible vision occurs beyond the visible world.

    Laynie Browne’s You Envelop Me, written in the tradition of elegy, attempts to come to terms with the continuing presence of absence. The work calls to mind the recent work of Susan Howe (This That) and Cole Swensen (Gravesend) as Browne locates the departed as motion, a wave, birdlike. Mourning in these captivating poems becomes it’s own birth–a birth where death engenders new life, and changes the terms of what it means to be alive inside grief, within a word, in this world.

    Claudia Rankine

    Laynie Browne writes the heart of something, then exceeds this heart to write a complicated soul, both “concentration and praise.” I want to find a language that resembles both nourishment and the interior life to describe the feeling I had at the end of reading. At the beginning of reading, I oriented with curiosity to the “interim russet,” the way that “form and color” are “synonymous,” both interregnum and “passage.” Is a book a gate? You Envelop Me keeps opening to the space below gardens and before rivers. I kept walking (reading) until I reached the water, a remedy, a sparkling egg.

    Bhanu Kapil

    Laynie Browne’s You Envelop Me invites me into its dreamery— both the stuff of dreams & the place where dreams are made. “How long can this go on, her knowing everything?” As long as I read & re-read. We read these poems & see Browne’s brilliant mind at work— the song & the psalm of thought, of mourning, of living, of divination, of figuring out. “We sleep prone, like / explosives closely fitted.” You Envelop Me is in an intimate space. In this space sometimes there is a silence— in which some people arrive & others leave, in which some wait for others who will not return, in which some wait to arrive & depart & these are the same for a moment. Browne’s language is in & of that silence, disrupting & respecting it, scoring it. The music of mourning is a beautiful kind of music. We must remember that. Browne’s book is thoughtful, elegaic, musical, & urgent.

    Pattie McCarthy

    About the Author

    Laynie Browne’s most recent books include P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel 2015), Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press 2015) and Lost Parkour Ps(alms), in two editions, one in English, and another in French (Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havré 2014). Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship, the National Poetry Series Award (2007) for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2005) for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College.

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    for I have taken refuge in you

    A book —whose wings— swallow me

    Bird, created from water mixed with sand

    Uses of wings, and claws hold oil for lamps

    Conceiving a wing-ed book is beginning to sort one’s thoughts

    An egg placed under the foot of a bedframe— to steady

    Quills for writing were unknown in Talmudic times

    Birds of three hundred and sixty-five hues read

    headlines or psalms as an indistinguishable combination of

    Affliction, concentration and praise

    “Flee as a bird to your mountain.”

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  • In her book, Chrusciel maps the biblical event of annunciation onto the current migration crises. Annunciation becomes a symbol of the “yes” that we utter in front of reality, particularly confronted with exiles, strangers—in other words, the other. The book quivers on the brink between openness to the other and the terror the other brings out in us. What does it mean to say “yes” to a stranger? What implications, threats, blessings and responsibilities do “yes” carry? Can we say “yes” to a dislocated soul in order to become more fully who we were meant to be?

    Through prayer, lament, and lullaby Chrusciel attempts to give voice to the voiceless and find healing in what seems to be an insurmountable rift of dislocation.

    This new collection of poems by Ewa Chrusciel gives astonishing attention to the migrants in our world. For those who love translation, these poems read as if half-original, half-version, just as they should, being both becalmed and capsized in spirit. Transparent sea-swells carry the [submerged cries of humanity. This poet is a marvel at hearing and finding beauty where there is no good.

    Fanny Howe, author of The Needle’s Eye: Passing through Youth

    The condition of displacement has never been so widespread, or so misunderstood. In her hard-hitting new volume, Ewa Chrusciel weaves together the rich narratives of refugees across several continents, and – with great tenderness – gives us a way to hear the ‘rain inside their breathing’. Through the familiar contours of tradition, she also finds a new, transcendent language that embraces the lengths and limits of our humanity; words that teach us ‘to bless, to wound’. Against fear, against loss, Chrusciel writes: ‘We walk on eggs, / we tap on earth’. We read and follow in her steps.

    Theophilus Kwek, Winner of the New Poets’ Prize, 2016; Editor, Oxford Press

    Reading the poetry of Ewa Chrusciel is like listening in the dark to the dark and familiar vowels of the stranger, the suppliant, the Pilgrim, the immigrant, the homeless, the stateless, the refugee, the walking trees, the Other. That’s how you discover that the Other is just a mirror-hyperbole where the virtues and the fears of the Self are projected. Because migration is an integral part of the human adventure on earth, as old as humanity, religion and poetry.

    Gazmend Kapllani, author of Short Border Handbook

    About the Author

    Ewa Chrusciel is a bilingual poet and a translator. Her two previous books in English are Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn, 2014) and Strata (Emergency Press, 2011). She has also published three books in Polish: Tobołek (2016), Sopiłki (2009), Furkot (2001).

    Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the US, Italy, and Poland, such as Boston Review, Jubilat, Colorado Review, Laurel Review, Spoon River Revie, Solstice, Il Giornale, and La Freccia et Il Cerchio. She is an associate professor of creative writing and poetry at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.

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    Migrants’ Annunciation

    Stones in our mouths,
    barefoot we climb
    rocks. We walk on eggs;
    we tap the earth.

    Each foot chants dust
    we swallow. Our mouth, granular,
    sealed. Our feet rock away
    from crucifixions.

    These rocks were feathers first—
    magma and birds into earth,
    charcoal lines, into waiting

    shifting, memory
    flicks red. Pilgrims, we
    follow a spirit
    of mountain up to a cross.

    Blood trickles out of our mouths.
    We stare into the lines of sacrifice.

    The boat sways,
    we comb our hair.

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  • translated by Norma Cole

    Jean Daive’s book-length poem Décimale blanche (1967)—seen from its inception as a landmark in European post-World War II poetry—was initially championed and shepherded into publication by the renowned poets Paul Celan and André du Bouchet. Elliptical yet urgent, searching to invent artistic modalities capable of recovering and giving voice to the experience of historical trauma both individual and collective, Décimale blanche reimagines and extends lyric, surrealist experimental forms, casting them anew together with innovations that are the poet’s own. Starting with its virtuousic play of apparently objective, precise mathematical knowledge pressed critically against whited-out, blank, emptied and open landscape and time, Décimale blanche remakes poetic form until the poem itself becomes inseparable from—becomes a singular path into—its new moment of reckoning with recent history’s incalculable, barbaric violence. The great American modernist poet Lorine Niedecker wrote, the year before her 1970 death, that in Décimale blanche she’d found “the something else I know exists in poetry—that I’ve been wanting”: “for me this is it, ” “the height of poetry”; “nothing new matters,” Niedecker concluded, “after Daive.”

    When Décimale blanche was first published in 1967, it was immediately recognized as a shift in France’s poetic sensibility and, therefore, its possibilities. Restrained, even austere, it nonetheless managed to evoke a primordial, almost mythic, sweep while also foregrounding a material precision not previously achieved. Cid Corman translated it soon after and published the translation in Origin13, where, half a world away in Wisconsin, Lorine Niedecker read it. “Nothing new matters after Daive,” she said, and sent Zukofsky a copy. Thus it’s not only a book with a key place in the development of late 20th-century French poetry, but also one that made a distinct contribution to the French-American conversation around experimental poetics that’s been underway since Baudelaire and Poe. And, as Keith Waldrop says, while poetry may be eternal, translations have to be redone every generation or so. Given that timeline, this one may be a little overdue, but it was well worth waiting for. Cole has captured all the spare force and all the uncanny grace of Daive’s ground-breaking poetry in phrasing that renders the whole both immediate and inevitable. And it is a whole—it’s a seamless piece that, while a translation of a classic, also stands in its own right as an important work of American poetry. White Decimal is a brand-new book, and an extremely beautiful one.

    Cole Swensen, author of Noise That Stays Noise

    About the Author

    Jean Daive (1941) is a French poet and translator. He is the author of novels, collections of poetry and has translated work by Paul Celan and Robert Creeley among others. He has edited encyclopedias, worked as a radio journalist and producer with France Culture, and has edited four magazines: fragment (1970–73), fig. (1989–91), FIN (1999–2006) and K.O.S.H.K.O.N.O.N.G. (from 2013 to the present). Publishing since the 1960s, Daive is known as one of the important French avant-garde poets. Also a photographer, Daive chairs the Centre international de poésie de Marseille.

    Norma Cole’s books of poetry include Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988 – 2008, Spinoza in Her Youth and Natural Light, and most recently Actualities, her collaboration with painter Marina Adams. TO BE AT MUSIC: Essays & Talks made its appearance in 2010 from Omnidawn Press. Her translations from the French include Danielle Collobert’s It Then, Collobert’s Journals, Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France (edited and translated by Cole), and Jean Daive’s A Woman with Several Lives. She lives in San Francisco.

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    I wandered
    between refusal and insistence
    looking on the ground

    name unmakes form
    the thaw the avalanche
                                                                remakes absence

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  • Edited and with an introduction by Cynthia Arrieu-King

    In Hillary Gravendyk’s The Soluble Hour, the speaker sings with visionary passion how the beloved and dear ones will soon be without her and laments for their imminent grief. But being in extremis pulls the voice towards testimony of unquestioned love, a recollection of landscapes Californian and otherwise, and previous selves. The poet wields her deep solitude as the measure of truth and conviction, the self that accepts its own impermanence.

    The lyric here is both cry and love song. These deeply felt and precise poems cry for the beloved, knowing the beloved will soon be bereft: “I understand transformation better than death, though / I practice for it every night, with you.” Transformation in language is metaphor, the magical force that moves substance to spirit. Again and again Gravendyk enacts this magic, a gift for those who will grieve, which is all of us: “I fluttered in your chest, and was remembered.”

    Julie Carr

    What happens to the lyric voice when the air pushed from lungs through throat and mouth becomes more precious as it becomes more faint? These poems are not restrained by the illness of a poet taken from us too soon, but rather are energized by an abiding interest in the special kind of presence, of the embodied phenomenology that illness makes possible. To state this as Gravendyk’s philosophical orientation is to state a particular kind of courage, one that discovers curiosity in tragedy and renders etherial the kind of heat and density produced under the most crushing of pressures. In delicate lyrics then, these poems synthesize defiance and resignation, building toward intensities that obtain clarity at the most precarious of moments.

    Joseph Jeon

    In Hillary Gravendyk’s astonishing, posthumously published book of metamorphoses, both body and language enter into the cycles of transformation. The reader follows her keen vision into the strange and unsettling territories these poems traverse, and like some latter-day Keats she teaches us both “the downfall” and “the jubilation” inherent in the fact that we are “forever bound to our bodies,” “which flower and fail.” These are poems of relation, the I tenderly addressing a you, and they were in their composition already aware of the unfathomable distance they would ultimately have to cross. “I was a long time away,” Gravendyk writes. These final poems return her to us anew, and will bear her indelible vision far into the future.

    Jessica Fisher

    About the Author

    Hillary Anne Gravendyk was born on Manhattan Beach, California on March 1, 1979, and grew up in the Snoqualmie Valley of Washington State, in the town of Carnation. She attended Tulane and the University of Washington and went on to get a doctorate in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2008, her chapbook The Naturalist came out from Achiote Press and in 2010, her book Harm, published by Omnidawn, was a finalist for the California Writer’s Exchange Award. In 2009, she was hired to teach 20th Century poetry at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After moving to Oakland in 2003 with her husband Benjamin Burrill, Hillary lived out most of her adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area and Claremont.

    Cynthia Arrieu-King is associate professor of creative writing at Stockton University. Her poetry volumes include People are Tiny in Paintings of China from Octopus Books, Manifest from Switchback Books, and Unlikely Conditions from 1913 Press, written with Hillary Gravendyk.

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    CominG baCk

    I was a long time away.
    The summer sky rinsed with clouds.
    Confetti rain. No one saying goodbye, no
    one waving from the deck of an ocean
    liner. Walking away like going down
    the aisle. A perfumed avenue
    of blown flowers. Anticipation streaming
    like a banner across every face. Your hand
    a prediction; my hand
    a delectation. Raspberry-lipped summer,
    I gave you up like a loose promise. Never chose
    to come back. Something like a hand
    darkening my chest. And visitations, rosy
    with care. Bound by a heavy love, I came to stay.
    The knuckle of hard belief worried to a smooth
    finish. House with its keyhole architecture
    of small spaces held apart. I tampered
    with a chambered heart, I stuffed my mouth
    with opal. I glistened at the rim of any hour,
    I turned my fingers on a burning lathe, pressed
    my skin into the sinuous heat. I
    was a long time away.

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  • Winner of the Omnidawn 2016 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize
    Selected by Cathy Park Hong

    Written in and of the protest encampments of one of the most sophisticated Occupy movements in recent history, Goddess of Democracy attempts to understand the disobedience and desperation implicated in a love for freedom. Part lyric, part autoethnography, part historical document, these poems orbit around the manifold erasures of the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong in 2014. Leung, who was in those protests while on a Fulbright grant, navigates the ethics of diasporic dis-identity, of outsiderness and passing, of privilege and the pretension of understanding, in these poems which ask: “what is / freedom when divorced from / from?”

    Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy: An Occupy Lyric is a powerful poetics on civil disobedience. The voice is both impassioned and detached, coalescing into prose passages or atomizing into words scattered on the page. Leung not only documents disobedience, but historicizes it, turns it to a global question, and asks what comes after.

    Cathy Park Hong, judge of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize

    If you want to hear faint whispers of a future poetics, give a listen to Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy. Here, a deft lyric poetry interfuses with radical democracy to compelling ends. This is a book as beautiful as it is bold, as artful in its politics as it is political in its aesthetics. Read it now!

    Mark Nowak

    In a bright lexicon of social resistance, Henry Leung has created a poignant, spirited, and ethically-considered collection of poems. The innovative debut is especially welcome in our times of tumult.

    Kimiko Hahn

    Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy tears down the wall between poetry and manifesto, offering new ways to imagine freedom. His is an original voice that speaks courageously to the fears and broken hopes of our time.

    Ruth Behar

    About the Author

    Henry Wei Leung is the author of a chapbook, Paradise Hunger (Swan Scythe 2012), and the translator of Wawa’s Pei Pei the Monkey King (Tinfish, 2016). He earned his degrees from Stanford and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and has been the recipient of Kundiman, Soros, and Fulbright Fellowships. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in such journals as the Crab Orchard Review, The Offing, Spillway, and ZYZZYVA. He is the Managing Editor of the Hawai’i Review.

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    life sentences sonnet for the Goddess

    Tiananmen Square, June 1989

    You were born in papier-mâché, a face plastered white, a thirty- three foot emolument on the fourth day, facing the portrait of the Chairman of Mao.

    Father died that year we snuck through Hong Kong for San Francisco you were not the Statue of Liberty we landed in the great quake.

    Nushen, “goddess” – not far from nusheng, “schoolgirl” – your hair cropped like Mother’s – like that girl ruling masses from a megaphone – her skinny hand pocketed – her four abortions.

    And wasn’t I the forgery of a body never meant, never mine, never mind, so that someone in the rubble would forever look like me?

    Goddess, your body was expedited from the body of a man leaning on a pole, flipped upright. Severed, his pole became your torch.

    Some people have stared at heaven’s gate for decades waiting for a sign. Some people settled, and settle for seams.
    A tank severed your hand, then the rest. You reemerged in harder mediums in tourist troves, where I was taught to lust for image, just images.
    I fell in love with love’s treasons. Which of these remain forbidden words: goddess, swallow, roam, freedom, I?

    G.O.D. in Hong Kong means Goods of Desire, a fashion brand which sounds like jyu hou di: “live better.” Does anyone say “God” except at first mistaken sight? Goddess of—

    One day, my heartbeat quit its symmetry. An EKG said A.Fib and asked if I’d had heart attacks before this? I died of—

    A place can be a people, just as grammar is the making of a religion. Why does this language only desire nouns and noun states and not move? Body of—

    Listen: that year we were two eggs from one hen, dipped in black ink. We were thrown at the portrait of the Chairman of Mao. A thunderstorm washed us clean, washing the aberration.

    But I’ve never had heart failure. But the machines insist. The machines insist.

    What I mean is: we were the aberration. What I mean is: Let me be your country. Let me be nothing for you.

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  • Winner of the 2016 Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Prize
    selected by Hoa Nguyen

    Seeking a trans poetics in encounter’s work, the interlocking poems in risk :: nonchalance ask: what more do you want me to risk for our art practice? Gesture originates in bodies moving — no, citation — no, on the page — no, on the bus. In wacky, asymmetrical scale, embodiment’s impossible questions hang on fragments of schema, meta juice bogs down tiny lines, and line breaks signal perceptual shifts through which individual and collective gestures rotate. This is a break-up book, if what is breaking up is the notion that there is a lover or a reader or a non-essentializing feminism waiting faithfully outside the poem, immune to its machinations. The poems document two dance process the author participated in, in Philadelphia and Toronto, during the spring of 2016.

    A queer and queered series of love poems, risk:: nonchalance carries forward questions about love, art, and philosophical questioning. Contemplative, roaming, loving, wondering, the poems offer pathways even as it offers contradictions, “a map that never stops”.

    Hoa Nguyen, judge of the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Prize

    Laura Neuman’s risk :: nonchalance goes for everything, and the discrete — that is, the writing has the breadth of vision to see the whole moving vibratory insane social structure we over-populate andthe humor to refuse its feints of distillation. Her poetry doesn’t override its questions with control, knows you can’t replace singularity with a bigger one just to play at consolation, gets truly right in-close to being-with as a place the dance comes out of, & has a working playful definition of failure akin to most people’s definition of completion. I love the way this work turns in on itself without alarm & comes out funny and strong, linked to observation in a way that lets wanting “to take you / somewhere so / specific it doesn’t / matter where we / go” be exact and wise and wide open as sound.

    Anselm Berrigan

    About the Author

    Laura Neuman is the author of Stop the Ocean (Stockport Flats 2014) and The Busy Life (Gazing Grain 2012). Her/their poems have appeared in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Chax Press and Nightboat Books), and in the journals The Brooklyn Rail, EOAGH, small portions, Tinge, X Poetics, Fact-simile, La Norda Specialo, and The Encyclopedia Project. They live in Philadelphia and teach creative and critical writing and literature, variously, at Temple University, Community College of Philadelphia, and The College of New Jersey. The recipient of an award from The Fund for Poetry, they hold an M.F.A. from Bard College Milton Avery School of the Arts, and an M.A. in poetry from Temple University.

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    I will misunderstand for a long time
    “the costumes make me really mad”
    “pissed off about not doing the practice”
    a pushing, a pushing away from
    your very nauseous intercostals
    hook and sink her.
    in the wake of failure’s queerest passion
    nonchalance is a sinking ship
    and you want words that are social for our movement
    (the pleasure of love):

    well, this text is a body too
    don’t say, your work makes me sick
    say, your work gives me a physical sensation
    i associate with nausea.

    the way we can put
    a magician inside the dance and a
    book in a book
    compliment a sweater then
    slide hood over face…
    how does writing become a poem but
    disaster and a failed sea map.
    and if failure is when a process ends
    and we are left wanting more?

    I want to give up this
    poor definition of feminism as
    approximate nausea.

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  • Reprinted with a new afterword by the author

    from unincorporated territory [hacha] is the first book of native Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez’s ongoing series about his homeland, the Western Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). Perez weaves avant-garde, eco-poetic, indigenous, documentary, multilingual, and abstract expressionist modes to tell the complex story of Guam’s people, culture, history, politics, and ecologies. Since its original publication in 2008, [hacha] has received positive reviews, and it has been taught in universities throughout Asia, the Pacific, the United States, Canada, and Europe. Several scholars have written essays about Perez’s work in American Literary History, The Journal of Transnational American Studies, The Contemporary Pacific, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticsm, Literary Geographies, and The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry. This new and revised edition aims to bring the book to a new generation of readers.

    The act of remembering is the art of recovery, and the art of reclaiming a past that has never been hidden only silences is an act of responsibility. Craig Santos Perez has arrived to give voice and meaning to the unheralded narratives with his fierce debut from unincorporated territory [hacha]. At once a palimpsest and an archive of “retrievable history,” this book of poems is sure to place Guam on both the literary and geographical maps. This poet of consciousness, of communal memory, and of political fury, has undone the callous erasure of imperialism and empowered his people’s folklore, stories, and journeys. Craig Santos Perez is a poet with a mission, and with the skill and battle cry to do it right.

    Rigoberto González, author of Unpeopled Eden

    Perez’s deft first book delivers a Guam outside the story of the ‘nation,’ reminding us who and what is ‘from’ his island through the biography of touch, and the intermingled military and colonialist histories brought to the Chamorro people from far across the ocean.

    Robert Sullivan, author of Star Waka

    In Craig Santos Perez’s from unincorporated territory [hacha] we hear the movement of the Pacific Ocean; turning each page we hear the oars of the people navigating this ocean. This is a smart, formalistically rigorous, and unapologetically political collection of poetry. Personal, tender, and tough, Perez’s poems, collages of text and images offer a necessary critical, historical perspective on American ownership. Western tourism, and simultaneous erasure of the island of Guam. from unincorporated territory [hacha] rejects the blank space on American maps and in American consciousness.

    Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Poeta en San Francisco and Diwata

    About the Author

    Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamorro from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam), co-edited three anthologies of Pacific literature and authored three poetry books: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008), from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010, PEN Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize recipient), and from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014, American Book Award recipient). He holds an MFA from the U of San Francisco and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. He is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa,

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    from lisiensan ga’lago

                            geographic absence ~

    “the old census records show”

                because who can stand on the              reef
    and name that below water          and sky

                imagined territory ~

                            “a spanish baptismal name and”

                                        burnt villages

                                                    archipelago of

    “chamoru last names drawn from
                the lexicon of everyday language”

                                                    carved word

    “it is possible they changed
                their last names throughout their lives”

    remade : sovereign

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  • from unincorporated territory [lukao] is the fourth book in native Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez’s ongoing series about his homeland, the Western Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam), and his current home, Hawaiʻi. He utilizes eco-poetic, decolonial, diasporic, indigenous, documentary, epic, and avant-garde modes to weave stories of creation, birth, migration, food sovereignty, and parenting. This work not only protests the devastating impacts of colonialism, militarism, and environmental injustice across the Pacific, it also expresses a vision of a sustainable and hopeful future.

    Perez writes “Hinasso” (imaginaton, thought, memory, or reflection) painted forwards+backwards and out-scribed in multiple dimensions. Yes, it is true and possible in the land of the Chamorro, in the terrain, mind, culture once colonized, “kidnapped,” and now re-called and re-created by its own will-spirit walk here, in this “procession,” in this knowledge-song, carved Chamorro walk-talk-map. There is birth, incision, interview, and voice-with-voice and the ripping out of origin charters faked and overlaid over the roots of Guam. As pilgrimage steps are drummed with sacrifice and vision-life, you too must walk these lines that Perez offers. An impossible sacredness in this book, drawn from the collective-body-cartography, is written. Ground-shaking, delight of breath and ecstatic heart. Mahalo, Craig Santos Perez, Mahalo for lifetimes.

    Juan Felipe Herrera

    This fourth collection, unincorporated territory [lukao] by Craig Santos Perez, marks a dramatic shift in this “unincorporated” series. Four marks stability, a coming of age, and these poems map a kind of ceremonial establishment of a person becoming in his/her community. This book is an essential creation story, which is about the birth of a daughter, who is also the ocean, who is evidence of ancestors and ties back to the beginning. Therefore, the poet, family, ocean, earth, and readers are in procession to understanding, despite environmental assaults that include ubiquitous consumption of Spam, and the poisoning of food and the ‘aina in indigenous communities for money profit. This collection is also praise song of becoming for a daughter, so that she knows who she is and where she comes from—What a gift!

    Joy Harjo

    [lukao] is the fourth in Craig Santos Perez’ brilliant series, from unincorporated territory, a lyric fusion of languages sung both forwards and backwards into ancestral and diasporic histories of the Chamorro; the birth of the poet’s daughter (wherein the poet generates a form commensurate with labor and birth); the disappearance of birds (wherein a fledgling kingfisher hatched inside an incubation machine is fed by keepers from tweezers protruding beneath the beak of an oversized kingfisher hand puppet); and, with fierce humor, meditations on the consumption of spam (wherein the poet harrowingly reveals how that canned meat gets made). With his other hand, Perez deftly provides helpful maps and island histories of colonization and militarization (wherein rain clouds baptize guam/in strontium-90 fallout). It’s all here. The island of Guam has been renamed Guahan which means we have, as in we now have in our hands the work of one of the most magically original poets writing among us.

    Carolyn Forché

    About the Author

    Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamorro from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam), co-edited three anthologies of Pacific literature and authored three poetry books: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008), from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010, PEN Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize recipient), and from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014, American Book Award recipient). He holds an MFA from the U of San Francisco and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. He is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa,

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    ginen understory

    (first trimester)

    [we] are watching a documentary
    about home birth when [you] first feel

    [neni] kick // if our doctor recommends
    a “c-section” \\ if [we] cut open

    the bellies of whales and birds,
    what fragments will [we] shore //

    plastic multiplies, leaches toxins, litters
    the beaches of oʻahu : this gathering

    place, this embryo \\ plastic is the “perfect”
    creation because it never dies // i wish

    our daughter was derived
    from oil so that she will survive

    our wasteful hands // so that
    she, too, will have a “great future”

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  • Obscenity for the Advancement of Poetry is both manifesto and tragedy. It carves up the shallow misperceptions of being [queer; female; human; other] and exposes the viscera of perpetual becoming that is who we are and what we mean to each other—as individuals, as citizens, as bodies. Sardonic and sincere, Obscenity questions your intentions—and your digressions—and hopes you do, too.

    “Little truth happens.” Little truths happen. Sometimes little beauties happen, too. One name, maybe the best name, for such happenings is poetry, where careful emphasis on the littleness of these truths and beauties, on their fragile particularity, preserves them in musical dispersal so, critically, we can dance. “Each step is carpeted” by hesitation. “Trepidation. Ecstasy.” This is kathryn l. pringle’s vantage and advance. Pierced, piercing, she writes what it feels like “to care about humans.”

    Fred Moten, author of The Service Porch

    I am a devout fan of kathryn l. pringle and this is without a doubt one of the best books of poetry lodged in my forehead, “my skin a shoreline forever giving way.” pringle’s taut language is not only an absolute pleasure to read, it pilots the breath of self-discovery, quietly leaving you in the middle of yourself with a clarity and care that will surprise you. I was surprised over and over with its treasure map, and you will also love finding yourself in this book, it’s my new favorite promise!

    CAConrad, author of ECODEVIANCE

    Poetry advances against the feel-canceling effects of whiteness and our urgency to apply staging retroactively to scenes of chaos vertigo. Poetry advances through the crises of eco- everything, tolling its mud-and-wine-wild bells. In loss we are vast, no longer fear the lurch. Because we can sense pain, we wager we’re not dead. In this treatise, a limbic system swells and shallows in the mirror of antagonist and beloved just the same. It’s OK. Carefully set us back down on the splintered ground askew enough to apprehend movement. Bare foot greet splintered wood at the ecotone of toxins environmental and natural. Advancing, poetry sides with raw grit love and I’m not sorry to greet, also, the doomed sunrise with kathryn l pringle. That is: when I suffer with my sister I’m not only I.
    as endorsement, I could just say:
    This book is a saving fucking grace.

    Danielle Pafunda, author of The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

    About the Author

    kathryn l pringle is the author of Temper & Felicity are Lovers (Lost Roads Press, 2014), winner of the Besmilir Brigham Award; fault tree (Omnidawn, 2011), winner of the Omindawn 1st/2nd Book award; and RIGHT NEW BIOLOGY (Factory School, 2009). In 2013, she was awarded a grant from the Fund for Poetry and was also a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Raised in So Cal and schooled in the Bay Area, kathryn now makes her home in Durham, NC.

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    The White Room

          The woman sought an explanation for her location. She fashioned her surroundings into a room. But she had no clue as to how she traveled to the place that she was in. She had no memory of where she was before that moment. Who she was before that moment. She was able to accept the room, staircase, and her own body draped in white and glowing light, but unable to accept that nothing but the future or the present was before her. Perhaps her reason for not bounding up the stairs toward the other light was reticence. She wanted to know who she was. What she would be ascending the staircase from. Some part of her wanted to know truths.
          The woman placed her right foot on the first step. The step felt solid and more real than her own flesh. She looked behind herself. All she could see was darkness. She listened for a sound that was not there. A sound that—for a reason she did not recall— she missed, not because it was especially lovely but because she had always known it to be there. Instead she heard nothing. It made her feel colder, somehow. Forlorn.
          The thought occurs to her, and she cannot dismiss it, that there could be anywhere now that here was anywhere. She knew she was in a new place. Could that place be so entirely new that she was without referents—all referents being applicable only in her former, forgotten-but-for-sound, place?
          She looked at her naked foot on the step.
          She lifted her foot and placed it in one violent motion.
          She felt the pressure of it.
          It made no sound.

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  • Borrowing the poetic language found in boxing lore and in the Rocky films, Shadowboxing pieces together a poetic portrait of Josefo, a Chicano adolescent working and becoming a poet in the farm territories of Central California. Rios confounds the relationship between author, speaker, and subject within various forms and, at times, across genre. He employs the lyric, the epistle, the dialogue, and various impersonations to challenge the boundaries of what we call poetry or theater and our understanding of high and low culture. He challenges the usefulness of poetry and stands upon oral histories to demystify California’s overlooked labor class. Rios invites the reader to enter Josefo’s world of memory, experience, and talk. It is a world of packinghouse mentors, storytelling grandmothers, parable sharing plumbers, smooth talking truck drivers, and infinitely patient literature professors.

    “Voice” and “epic” are words that are distributed loosely in the poetry world. But I use them with all heat that I can muster. Joseph Rios does for Xican@ poetics what Jean Toomer’s Cane did for the Harlem Renaissance: he radicalizes it into an undeniable modernity. And like Toomer, Rios uses all the genres at his disposal. He uses the epistle, the dramatic dialogue, epigrams from popular culture, and even has a Romantic touch. Pablo Neruda hoped for a poetry that could feed us with the bounty of bread. Rios’ audiences, his carnales, want to know if poetry can fix a broken down Cherokee. That is what the poet, in the shadow of machismo and financial pragmatism, is up against.

    FRom the FoRewoRd by willie peRdomo

    Shadowboxing: Poems and Impersonations is the most original, charged, exciting debut I have read in years. Joseph Rios redefines fearlessness with a signature talent and unapologetic conviction. The agile flurry of his storytelling is dazzling: Zapata and Lorca, Shakespeare and Borges, Rocky Balboa, family and Tias, and the brown bodies of East Oakland and West Fresno are all part of this dance, this poetry as shadowboxing. This is duende and fire, language as pugilism. This is a new poetics at the next level, part theater, full urgency, fist-waving resistance, memory and homage, with so much vitality and velocity these poems tremor and shake. Trust when the poet writes, “I reach for the dial and discover I can bend the moonlight.” Rios is ahead of the curve. This book is simply brilliant and unforgettable.

    lee heRRick

    Joseph Rios pulls no aesthetic punches in this knockout debut. Within the ring of each page, Rios throws combinations of lyric, narrative, playwriting, and avant-garde techniques. Despite the originality of this work, it is situated at the crossroads of the Chicano and Fresno poetic traditions (Larry Levis, Philip Levine, Juan Felipe Herrera, Alfred Arteaga, and José Montoya). Throughout, Rios bobs and weaves through many traditions, voices, forms, and languages in order to shadowbox all the unfinished and impersonated versions of the self. After the sixteenth round of this book, the decision is unanimous: the poet goes the distance.

    cRaig SantoS peRez

    About the Author

    Joseph Rios was born in Clovis, CA. Joseph’s work has appeared in: Los Angeles Review, Huizache, New Border, Southern Humanities Review, Poets Responding to SB1070, and bozalta. He is a recipient of the John K. Walsh residency fellowship from Notre Dame. Joseph is a VONA alumnus, a Macondo fellow, and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Los Angeles.

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    Think abouT The fighT

    This is the sum of many Sundays
    And Eighteen Art Laboe dedications
    Never aired in towns called Wasco
    Coalinga Sanger McFarland & Fowler
    Where we’re taught to be negatively capable
    Criminal kil[liminal] Eye tee why

                Neither One of Us Ready To Die
                Suevecito Gladys Bootsy
                War Lighter Shade of
                Say It Loud
                I’m Brown & I’m Proud

    Ask around
    (I’m a crate diver’s dream)

                            [In this place discovery of source
                                        prefaces all understanding]

    And besides
                (Chitlin’ blues
                  Women have all the answers)

    My brother    His open window    The cold

    highway ninetynine    Pink oleander bushes

    clipped at the knuckle    Dried    Blown

    Raked    swiftly into thirty-two-gallon buckets

    Tossed over shoulders    into trailer    Stomped

    under jagged Timbs We must believe the cholo

    version of Rapper’s Delight still exists in Dad’s

    two-door Honda Accord    Wherever that may be

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  • Susan Terris’ Take Two: Film Studies is a series of dazzling poems about pairs who are heading in one way or another for trouble, disaster, or death. Each poem is a kind of filmic scene, which has a few movie terms embedded as parenthetical script directives. The text spins back and forth in time from the era of Beowulf to that of Jacqueline Kennedy. There are traditional couples like Abélard & Héloïse or Bonnie & Clyde. But many of the pairs are unexpected: Sancho Panza & his donkey Dapple, Mary Shelley & her monster, Picasso & a portrait of Dora Maar, or Lady Macbeth & King Duncan. Expect the unexpected in this volume. No matter what you think you know about a pair, you may be in for a dark surprise.

    It takes two sticks to burn says the folk adage, and Susan Terris has found the incendiary potential in these stylistically inventive, wildly assorted and mostly disastrous duos—each pair of “takes” revealing the ways we are undone by one another. And if there’s an icy wind fanning these fires, it may be the passage of an unseen avenging angel, driving phrases like knife thrusts across the spaces ‘til: lights lit masks off champagne [it’s a wrap]

    Eleanor Wilner

    There seems to be no limit to the range of experience and empathy in the far-reaching poems of Susan Terris. Her wisdom, dazzle of language, and amazing appetite for risk and “dark surprise” make us treasure her work.

    Shirley Kaufman

    About the Author

    Susan Terris’ most recent books are MEMOS (Omnidawn Publishing) and GHOST OF YESTERDAY: NEW & SELECTED POEMS (Marsh Hawk Press). She is the author of 6 books of poetry, 16 chapbooks, 3 artist’s books, and one play. Journal publications include The Southern Review, Colorado Review, and Ploughshares. A poem of hers from FIELD appeared in Pushcart Prize XXXI. A poem from MEMOS, first published in the Denver Quarterly, was selected for Best American Poetry 2015. She’s editor of Spillway Magazine and a poetry editor for Pedestal Magazine. http://www.susanterris.com

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    Take Two: Tears

                                        I violate    self-satisfied

    by the perfection of distortion    [abstract]    her three

    breasts    round hole in a childless body    she is

    butchered    crying    I love the blurred tracks from

    eyes too close together    yes    a nose for an ear

    a doormat    some women are    and the other Dora

    thinks I left for Françoise    women are machines

    for suffering    but the real Dora Maar    [alternate ending]

    my muse    is here    the woman in tears    always

    two-dimensionally mine    so each day    in one way

    or another    I back her against a wall    gaze at those

    bank-fish eyes    crazed body    [angle]    and hang her

    then    boldly slash her with my name    Picasso

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