We are happy to report that two recent alumni from the English Department's Creative Writing MFA program have new poetry collections available from United Artists Books (Editor, Lewis Warsh).
United Artists and Shoestring Press, a fine art print shop and art space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, will be hosting a book party and reading for Toot Sweet by Daniel Owen and Shut Up, Leaves by Tony Iantosca.
Saturday, November 21, 2015, at 7 PM.
663 Classon Ave.
2/3/4/5 to Franklin (on Eastern Parkway)
C or S to Franklin (on Fulton)
A to Nostrand
G to Classon.
About the books....
Cover by Pareesa Pourian
“Like its punning title, Dan Owen’s agile first collection is playful but with a subtext of urgency. “We ask for nothing less than new / means of new streets,” he writes, but the request goes unanswered—which is what happens when poems end but whatever prompted them persists. Here, the prompts range from the cannibalism of cockroaches to the terrifying specter of ‘the Capital skull,’ from an image of ‘40 active war heads” to an intuition of existing in “a prison of safety.’ The cumulative effect is one of a quiet, persistent claim to some kind of agency against the odds. Even the puns and wordplay in Toot Sweet make for small acts of resistance, not in lieu of but in line with action in the world (‘things happen so we / take to the bridge’)—for puns also have the power to divert traffic from its prescribed course. Owen has developed a disabused but undeterred lyric mode, fit to metabolize ‘futurity’s bitty / beads of fat.’” Anna Moschovakis
“Toot Sweet, Daniel Owen’s exquisitely scaled long poem full of jaunts and song and a wry foregrounding of diction, strums delight. And values bewilderment. And acknowledges, without giving into, the power of despair. Its line--the sense of where you are in a poem--goes horizontal when you think you’ve caught its rhythm, never settles, is unmachine-like and possessed by touch. This makes for a pleasure-giving, complex, and quite beautiful read, open to anyone who looks for such qualities in this world.” Anselm Berrigan
Cover by Zachary Cummings
“Tony Iantosca's sentences sharpen all the senses at once; the heard world is as present as the seen and touched. "I’m tapping my foot to nothing much," but actually, it's the profound rhythm of elegy disguised as mundane, everyday life: street, couch, phone, heart. Something or someone is missing, it could be a dog, it could be the poet. There are rumors of Ted Greenwald and Joseph Ceravolo in these poems, amidst their self-deprecating vernacular, calling to mind William Carlos Williams when Spring and All was green. ‘Once poetry / was important I guess or at least / peripherally relevant to something / everyone else was doing.’ This is unfashionable and excellent poetry. Consider reading it to a lover so as to elicit a reciprocal feeling, ‘or whatever.’ It will work.” Matvei Yankelevich
“The poet-voyeur in Shut Up, Leaves walks his reader into a world of senseless losses and discrepancies. We go along, each poem a door to a new labyrinth of paradoxical situations, and we believe we are really heading somewhere. Iantosca’s poems are compelling in their imaginative engagement with language and emotion, and they make us rethink the way we see and live in the world. This is a necessary book.” Barbara Henning
Both books are available from the following:
Small Press Distribution, spdbooks.org
United Artists Books, www.unitedartistsbooks.com.