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The Pushcart Prize XXXIV 2010

Author : Bill Henderson
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A collection of short stories, essays, and poems, culled from small presses and literary journals

2010 Pushcart Prize XXXIV

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A collection of short stories, essays, and poems, culled from small presses and literary journals.

Bukowski in a Sundress

Author : Kim Addonizio
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“Somewhere between Jo Ann Beard’s The Boys of My Youth and Amy Schumer’s stand-up exists Kim Addonizio’s style of storytelling . . . at once biting and vulnerable, nostalgic without ever veering off into sentimentality.” —Refinery29 “Always vital, clever, and seductive, Addonizio is a secular Anne Lamott, a spiritual aunt to Lena Dunham.” —Booklist A dazzling, edgy, laugh-out-loud memoir from the award-winning poet and novelist that reflects on writing, drinking, dating, and more Kim Addonizio is used to being exposed. As a writer of provocative poems and stories, she has encountered success along with snark: one critic dismissed her as “Charles Bukowski in a sundress.” (“Why not Walt Whitman in a sparkly tutu?” she muses.) Now, in this utterly original memoir in essays, she opens up to chronicle the joys and indignities in the life of a writer wandering through middle age. Addonizio vividly captures moments of inspiration at the writing desk (or bed) and adventures on the road—from a champagne-and-vodka-fueled one-night stand at a writing conference to sparsely attended readings at remote Midwestern colleges. Her crackling, unfiltered wit brings colorful life to pieces like “What Writers Do All Day,” “How to Fall for a Younger Man,” and “Necrophilia” (that is, sexual attraction to men who are dead inside). And she turns a tender yet still comic eye to her family: her father, who sparked her love of poetry; her mother, a former tennis champion who struggled through Parkinson’s at the end of her life; and her daughter, who at a young age chanced upon some erotica she had written for Penthouse. At once intimate and outrageous, Addonizio’s memoir radiates all the wit and heartbreak and ever-sexy grittiness that her fans have come to love—and that new readers will not soon forget.

Revertigo

Author : Floyd Skloot
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One March morning, writer Floyd Skloot was inexplicably struck by an attack of unrelenting vertigo that ended 138 days later as suddenly as it had begun. With body and world askew, everything familiar had transformed. Nothing was ever still. Revertigo is Skloot’s account of that unceasingly vertiginous period, told in an inspired and appropriately off-kilter form. This intimate memoir—tenuous, shifting, sometimes humorous—demonstrates Skloot’s considerable literary skill honed as an award-winning essayist, memoirist, novelist, and poet. His recollections of a strange, spinning world prompt further musings on the forces of uncertainty, change, and displacement that have shaped him from childhood to late middle age, repeatedly knocking him awry, realigning his hopes and plans, even his perceptions. From the volatile forces of his mercurial, shape-shifting early years to his obsession with reading, acting, and writing, from the attack of vertigo to a trio of postvertigo (but nevertheless dizzying) journeys to Spain and England, and even to a place known only in his mother’s unhinged fantasies, Skloot makes sense of a life’s phantasmagoric unpredictability. Finalist, Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction, Oregon Book Awards

Words for Empty and Words for Full

Author : Bob Hicok
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“As always with a Bob Hicok book, fascinating and a book you sort of can’t help but pick up and suddenly, two hours later, find yourself having read straight through. I can think of just about no contemporary poets who publish such consistently great work.” —Corduroy Books “Bob Hicok's poetry is a fleeting comfort, a temporary solace from the chaos of the world. Smart, honest, powerfully inventive, his writing asks the biggest questions while acknowledging that there are no answers beyond the imposed structure of the page.” —Los Angeles Times on This Clumsy Living “The most potent ingredient in virtually every one of Bob Hicok's compact, well-turned poems is a laughter as old as humanity itself, a sweet waggery that suggests there's almost no problem that can't be solved by this poet's gentle humor.” —New York Times Book Review on Insomnia Diary

The Architect of Flowers

Author : William Lychack
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The stories in William Lychack’s dazzling new collection, The Architect of Flowers, explore the dear and inevitable distance between people in loving relationships and find hope in dark situations. With tiny, precise details, Lychack observes the overlooked moments of everyday life—the small failings between parents and children, the long-held secrets in married life. A small-town policeman brings himself to shoot a family’s injured dog; an old woman secretly trains a crow to steal for her; a hybridizer’s wife discovers the perfect lie to bring her family magically together again. Lychack’s characters yearn to re-enchant the world, to turn the ordinary and profane into the sacred and beautiful again, to make beauty serve as an antidote to grief. From ghostwriter to ghost runners to ghosts in a chapel, these stories are extraordinary portraits of life’s tender humiliations as well as its sharp, rude jolts.

Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty

Author : Diane Williams
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In Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty, Diane Williams lays bare the urgency and weariness that shape our lives in stories honed sharper than ever. With sentences auguring revelation and explosion, Williams's unsettling stories—a cryptic meeting between neighbors, a woman's sexual worries, a graveside discussion, a chimney on fire—are narrated with razor-sharp tongues and naked, uproarious irreverence. These fifty stories hum with tension, each one so taut that it threatens to snap and send the whole thing sprawling—the mess and desire, the absurdity and hilarity, the bruises and bleeding, the blushes and disappointments and secrets. An audacious, unruly tour de force, Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty cements Diane Williams' position as one of the best practitioners of the short form in literature today.

What is the Grass

Author : Mark Doty
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Mark Doty has always felt haunted by Walt Whitman’s bold, new American voice, and by his equally radical claims about body and soul and what it means to be a self. In What Is the Grass, Doty – a poet, a lover of men, a New Yorker, and an American – keeps company with Whitman and his mutable, landmark work, Leaves of Grass, tracing the resonances between his own experience and the legendary poet’s life and work. What is it, then, between us? Whitman asks. Doty’s answer is to explore spaces tied to Whitman’s life and spaces where he finds the poet’s ghost, meditating on desire, love, and the mysterious wellsprings of the poet’s enduring work. How does a voice survive death? What Is the Grass is a conversation across time and space, a study of the astonishment one poet finds in the accomplishment of another, and an attempt to grasp Whitman’s deeply hopeful vision of humanity.

Space in Chains

Author : Laura Kasischke
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"Space, in Chains" speaks in ghostly voices, fractured narratives, songs, prayers, and dark riddles as it moves through contemporary tragedies of grief and the complex succession of generations. In her eighth book of poetry, Laura Kasischke has pared the construction of her verse to its bones, leaving haunting language and a visceral strangeness of imagery. by turns mournful and celebratory, Kasischke's poetry insists upon asking hard questions that are courageously left unanswered."--Cover, p. [4].

In Beauty Bright Poems

Author : Gerald Stern
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“The work of an American master.”—World Literature Today The lyric poems of In Beauty Bright, although marked by the same passion and swiftness as Gerald Stern’s previous work, move into an area of knowledge—even wisdom—that reflects a long life of writing, teaching, and activism. They are poems of grief and anger, but the music is delicate and moving. from "In Beauty Bright": In beauty-bright and such it was like Blake’s lily and though an angel he looked absurd dragging a lily out of a beauty-bright store wrapped in tissue with a petal drooping, nor was it useless—you who know it know how useful it is—and how he would be dead in a minute if he were to lose it though how do you lose a lily?

Beautiful Country

Author : Robert Wrigley
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A powerful new collection from an award-winning poet. At the heart of Robert Wrigley's new book are the fears that find us at the darkest times and the hopes we rise to each morning. These poems explore that point where the sacred and the profane come together, that place of beauty inside the grotesque and the grotesque inside what is beautiful. The laws of nature, the commandments of capitalism, and the rules of war are transformed into songs of longing, patriotism, and dissent; we are also reminded of the grace residing in the glimpse of a horse under a full moon or the preserved lock of a lover's hair. Elegiac and lyrical, playful and angry, Beautiful Country offers a vision of a country that is unflinching, demanding, and generous.

Maggot

Author : Paul Muldoon
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In his eleventh full-length collection, Paul Muldoon reminds us that he is a traditional poet who is steadfastly at odds with tradition. If the poetic sequence is the main mode of Maggot, it certainly isn't your father's poetic sequence. Taking as a starting point W. B. Yeats's remark that the only fit topics for a serious mood are 'sex and the dead', Muldoon finds unexpected ways of thinking and feeling about what it means to come to terms with the early twenty-first century. It's no accident that the centerpiece of Maggot is an outlandish meditation on a failed poem that draws on the vocabulary of entomological forensics. The last series of linked lyrics, meanwhile, takes as its 'subject' the urge to memorialize the scenes of fatal car accidents. The extravagant linkage of rot and the erotic is at the heart of not only the title-sequence but many of the round-songs that characterize Maggot and has led Angela Leighton, writing in the TLS, to see these new poems (on their earlier appearance in Plan B, an interim volume which included several of the poems in Maggot) as giving readers 'a thrilling, wild, fairground ride, with few let-ups for the squeamish.'

Listening Long and Late

Author : Peter Everwine
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“What a rich array of music lies within Listening Long and Late. With refreshing authenticity, Everwine weds playfulness to practice, lyricism to narrative, pathos to the ordinary. Indeed, he has listened ‘long and late’ to the music of such venerable masters as Tu Fu, the hidden genius on the street, and the anonymous Aztec poets of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Everwine writes with the same ‘deified heart’ that divines the mystery of his quotidian subjects in a language that is at once plain and poetic. His own work seamlessly segues into his translations from the Hebrew and Nahuatl, as if all the poems belonged to the same poet, which they in fact do, as the glorious multitudes of Peter Everwine, one of the masters of our age.”—Chard deNiord

Figures in a Landscape

Author : Gail Mazur
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A new inclusiveness, a heady freedom, grounded in the facts of mortality, inform Gail Mazur’s recent poems, as if making them has served as both a bunker and a promontory, a way to survive, and to be exposed to, the profound underlying subject of this book: a husband’s approaching death. The intimate particulars of a shared life are seen from a great height—and then there’s the underlife of the bunker: endurance, holding on, life as uncompromising reality. This new work, possessed by the unique devil-may-care intensity of someone writing at the end of her nerves, makes Figures in a Landscape feel radiant, visionary, and exhilarating, rather than elegiac. Mazur’s masterly fusion of abstraction with the facts of a life creates a coming to terms with what Yeats called “the aboriginal ice.”

By the Numbers

Author : James Richardson
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National Book Award Finalist Book of the Year honors from Publishers Weekly "As if hurled from a pitching mound, James Richardson's aphorisms and images approach the reader like fastballs, only to curve at the last second, painting the corners of the reader's mind with wisdom and delight. In By the Numbers Richardson dips into an expansive repertoire of approaches and shows excellent command, as he illuminates the commute between the ordinary and the mystical." —National Book Award finalist, Judges' Citation “[O]ne of America’s most distinctive contemporary poets…a powerful and moving body of work that in its intimacy and philosophical naturalism is unique in contemporary American poetry.” —Boston Review “James Richardson’s Interglacial, a poetry finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, is like a beautiful river, under the thin surface of which rushes an intensely felt life and a never quite lost yearning to belong.” —NewPages “James Richardson’s poetry is…unusual, quirky, personal, and profound.” —The Threepenny Review “James Richardson is…a poet who earned his reputation as a master of imagery and concision.” —The Christian Science Monitor James Richardson is the author of six books of poetry and two critical studies. His poems appear frequently in The New Yorker, Slate, and Paris Review. He is a professor of English and creative writing at Princeton University.

A Galaxy of Verse Vol 34 No 1

Author : Barbara Blanks, editor
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A Galaxy of Verse Literary Foundation is a non-profit 501-c (3) organization that publishes member-submitted poems, hosts cash-prize contests, and aims to produce two issues of its anthology each year. Finances are the final determination. Patronage is greatly appreciated to help fund printing, postage, and other expenses. Many of GOV's members are, or have been, award-winning poets, with a few Texas poet laureates thrown into the mix. Membership is $20/year. Members receive two anthologies, and may enter contests at no additional charge. (Non-members may enter contests for $5 each. Winners are published, but anthologies must be purchased.) For complete information about A Galaxy of Verse, please visit www.barbara-blanks.com, and click on the appropriate links.

Imaginary Logic

Author : Rodney Jones
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A collection of 35 new poems that will reinforce Rodney Jones's reputation as one of America's most versatile narrative poets.

National Treasures

Author : Charles McLeod
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A man puts pieces of his life up for auction. An antique chess set played with a troubled brother ($99.99), number plates from a crashed stolen car ($20), Chuck Taylor trainers worn in a riot in Seattle ($8.99). Along with a short description, he tells their stories, how they fit into the tapestry of his life. In National Treasures men and women measure out their lives in tattoos, sharpened fragments of a moose’s hoof, autumn leaves, scribbled phone numbers, the red eyes of a heron. This is the America we never see – it’s not in the movies, or on the news. National Treasures is about people trying to get by and get on. These can be tough lives of tough love and tough luck but they are full of poignancy and intensity, and Charles McLeod writes about them thrillingly.

The Other Walk

Author : Sven Birkerts
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Other Walk is a series of autobiographical pieces by the master of reflection and slow time Throughout his life, Sven Birkerts, one of the country's foremost literary critics, has carved out time for himself—to walk, to swim, to read, to contemplate. Now in his late fifties, he has clocked up many thousands of hours of reflection. It shows in his prose, which proceeds at a refreshingly deliberative pace as it draws the reader into his patterns and rhythms. In this deeply appealing and engaging collection of essays, Birkerts looks back through his own life, as well as at the generations before him, and ahead at the lives of his children. We read how the writer witnesses his son's frightening sailing accident, how he feels when he encounters his own prose from many years ago, how finding a cigarette lighter or a lost ring releases a cascade of memories. The objects he sees around him—old friends, remembered places—are excavated, their layers exposed. But most winning of all is the emerging character of Birkerts himself. We come to have great respect for this competitive but deeply loyal friend, the caring father who respects his children's independence even as he tries to connect with them, the traveler, the onetime bookseller, the writer at all stages of his writing life, and throughout it all, the attentive, passionate reader.

Braille Books

Author : Library of Congress. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
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