Parlor Press is pleased to announce the 2005 selections for its Free Verse Editions series. The books will be published in the Fall of 2006. They are:
Adam Clay, The Wash
Rich in river imagery, and deeply attuned to the passage of time, The Wash explores the incessant music that permeates journeys with destinations unknown. Interweaving the voices of John Clare, Audubon, Roethke, and others, the poems depict a landscape of loss in which language and images provide the only concrete platform on which to stand. Ending with an elegy for the self-portrait and an acceptance of the inevitability of decay, the speaker discovers "the stillness of frames both comforts and terrifies." Playing a lyrical voice against the limits of silence, The Wash uncovers the voices that can be made, and heard, both in and out of nature.
Thomas Lisk, These Beautiful Limits:
The poems in These Beautiful Limits delight in the transparency--and the obliquity--of language. Invested with a “jocoserious” sensibility, they explore the borders of language in order to see the ways in which language defines identity—not merely the language of meditation and philosophical inquiry, but also the quotidian language of everyday life that hovers on the edge of forgetfulness. The collection, which culminates in a long poem, “Hemp Quoits,” takes as its premise the assumption that the borders of identity are permeable with all the languages the self encounters on a daily basis. These poems value mobility and freedom, yet they recognize that we transact our affairs within borders: the body, the mind, the poem, the sentence, the phrase, the word, and that voyages of being are inevitably processes of discovery: “As long as what you write is in your hand/and my name is nowhere affixed,/ any connection will be conjectural…”
Lisk’s collection finds an aesthetics that comes with this risk taking with language, one that is affiliated with some of the major experimental traditions of twentieth-century American poetry, but not simply reducible to them. Rather than talking about the world, These Beautiful Limits listens to it, and discovers in that attentiveness, paradoxes of time, history and desire that are both comical and elegiac.
Nicolas Pesques, Physis (translated by Cole Swensen)
For over 25 years, Nicolas Pesques has been writing a homage to St. Julien, the mountain he sees out his window. In this, the fifth book of the series, he weaves philosophical reflection in and out of an encounter with the body of the mountain, the body of language, and the human body that bridges the two. The spare, precise phrasing of Physis underscores the distance on which all landscape is based, seeking to understand how humans work to make a home here on earth.
Daniel Tiffany, Puppet Wardrobe
Puppet Wardrobe is a pop-up book, surprise is in its element. In search of the “dateless lively heat” that Shakespeare sourced to Cupid, Daniel Tiffany mounts a Jarmanesque masque of punk pageantry and finds “the infamous promiscuity of things” in broad display. Here is delight in “making up”: these poems are trannies, the mind of each earning its costume through misdirection and imposture, enabling fictions that reconcile the cosmetic and the cosmic noise all in a fit. The poet may wear his “wide-awake hat,” but let him blush. It’s just a thank you to Vertigo, whose party’s not yet finished.
As watchword, you have Tiffany’s “slang for the pink redoubt,” the chummy vulgarity beneath prosody’s underthings, so where the sense is lost, canonical Paradise was unfounded anyway: say hello to the New Flesh.
For more about Free Verse Editions, visit the website: