"Shaughnessy's voice is smart, sexy, self-aware, hip . . . consistently wry, and ever savvy."—Harvard Review
Brenda Shaughnessy's heartrending third collection explores dark subjects—trauma, childbirth, loss of faith—and stark questions: What is the use of pain and grief? Is there another dimension in which our suffering might be transformed? Can we change ourselves? Yearning for new gods, new worlds, and new rules, she imagines a parallel existence in the galaxy of Andromeda.
From "Our Andromeda":
Cal, faster than the lightest light,
so much faster than love,
and our Andromeda, that dream,
I can feel it living in us like we
are its home. Like it remembers us
from its own childhood.
Oh, maybe, Cal, we are home,
if God will let us live here,
with Andromeda inside us,
doesn't it seem we belong?
Now and then, will you help me belong
here, in this place where you became
my child, and I your mother
out of some instant of mystery
of crash and matter . . .
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Interior with Sudden Joy (FSG, 1999). Shaughnessy’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harper's, The Nation, The Rumpus, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and daughter.
We lived under a sky so blue in Idaho right near the towns of Hunt and Eden but we were not welcomed there.
In early 1942, thirteen-year-old Mina Masako Tagawa and her Japanese American family are sent from their home in Seattle to an internment camp in Idaho. What do you do when your home country treats you like an enemy? This memorable and powerful novel in verse, written by award-winning author Mariko Nagai, explores the nature of fear, the value of acceptance, and the beauty of life. As thought-provoking as it is uplifting, Dust of Eden is told with an honesty that is both heart-wrenching and inspirational.
Rooted in meditations on contemporary neuroscience, Brain Fever takes as its subject the mysteries of the human mind—the nature of dreams and memories, the possibly illusory nature of linear time, the complexity of conveying love to a child. In one poem, "A Bowl of Spaghetti," she cites a comparison that researchers draw between unraveling "the millions of miles of wires in the [human] brain" and "untangling a bowl of spaghetti," and thus she untangles a memory of her own: "I have an old photo: Rei in her high chair intently / picking out each strand to mash in her mouth. // Was she two? Was that sailor dress from mother? / Did I cook that sauce from scratch? If so, there was a carrot in the pot."
Equally inspired by Sei Shonagon's tenth-century Pillow Book and the latest findings of cognitive research, Brain Fever is a thrilling blend of the timely and the timeless.
About this chapbook
Beyond the Scent of Sorrow delves into the challenges faced by women on a global level. The eucalyptus trees in southwest Portugalare used as an archetype to symbolically elicit the challenges women face in today's world. Boldly, the poems which are lyrical, literal, short, and succinct, profess the unkind capabilities of mankind.
Poets and Critics praise "Beyond the Scent of Sorrow"
"Sweta's poetic voice flows like water smoothing and shaping stones. With great skill she uncovers, sometimes tenderly and other times more forcefully, the shroud of fog surrounding the feminine archetype... she has created and nurtured a garden, a wordscape, in which trust and healing can flourish."
--Nick Purdon, author of The Road-shaped Heart
"Sweta Srivastava Vikram holds her work close. Fold it one way, a poem of loss appears. Fold it yet again for a poem of longing. Her work is as structurally sound as the elements. It soars with anticipation. Vikram reveals lovely and powerful poems that will long linger."
--Doug Mathewson, Editor Blink-Ink
Learn more at www.SwetaVikram.com
From the World Voices Series at Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com
POE005060 Poetry: American - Asian American
SOC028000 Social Science: Women's Studies - General
SOC010000 Social Science: Feminism & Feminist Theory
Sherry Quan Lee believes writing saves lives; writing has saved her life.
Acclaim for "How to Write a Suicide Note"
"How to Write a Suicide Note is a haunting portrait of the daughter of an African mother and a Chinese father. Sherry dares to be who she isn't supposed to be, feel what she isn't supposed to feel, and destroys racial and gender myths as she integrates her bi-racial identity into all that she is. Through her raw honesty and vulnerability, Sherry captures a range of emotions most people are afraid to confront, or even share. Her work is a gift to the mental health community."
--Beth Kyong Lo, M.A., Psychotherapist
"Sherry Quan Lee offers us, in How to Write a Suicide Note, a deep breathing meditation on how love is under continuous revision. And like all the best Blues singers, Quan Lee voices the lowdown, dirty paces that living puts us through, but without regret or surrender."
Wesley Brown, author of Darktown Strutters and Tragic Magic
"I love the female aspects, the sex, and the strong voice Sherry Quan Lee uses to share her private life in How To Write A Suicide Note. I love the wit, the tongue-in-cheek, the trippiness of it all. I love the metaphors, especially the lover and suicide ones. I love the free-associations, the 'raving, ravenous, relentless' back and forth. Quan Lee breaks the rules and finds her genius. How to Write a Suicide Note is a passionate, risk-taking, outrageous, life-affirming book and love letter."
Sharon Doubiago, author of Body and Soul, Hard Country; and other works
Learn more about the author at www.SherryQuanLee.com
Book #2 in the Reflections of History Series from Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com
Modern History Press is an imprint of Loving Healing Press
“Sze’s poems seem dazzled and haunted by patterns.”—The Washington Post
Quipu was a tactile recording device for the pre-literate Inca, an assemblage of colored knots on cords. In his eighth collection of poetry, Arthur Sze utilizes quipu as a unifying metaphor, knotting and stringing luminous poems that move across cultures and time, from elegy to ode, to create a precarious splendor.
Revelation never comes as a fern uncoiling
a frond in mist; it comes when I trip on a root,
slap a mosquito on my arm. We go on, but stop
when gnats lift into a cloud as we stumble into
a bunch of rose apples rotting on the ground.
Long admired for his poetic fusions of science, history, and anthropology, in Quipu, Sze’s lines and language are taut and mesmerizing, nouns can become verbs—“where is passion that orchids the body?”—and what appears solid and -stable may actually be fluid and volatile.
A point of exhaustion can become a point of renewal:
it might happen as you observe a magpie on a branch,
or when you tug at a knot and discover that a grief
disentangles, dissolves into air. Renewal is not
possible to a calligrapher who simultaneously
draws characters with a brush in each hand;
it occurs when the tip of a brush slips yet swerves
into flame . . .
Arthur Sze is the author of eight books of poetry and a volume of translations. He is the recipient of an Asian American Literary Award, a Lannan Literary Award, and fellowships from the Witter Bynner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in New Mexico.
from “On Deceit as Survival”
Yet another species resembles
a female bumble bee,
ending in frustrated trysts—
or appears to be two fractious males
which also attracts—no surprise—
a third curious enough to join the fray.
What to make of highly evolved Beauty
bent on deception as survival—
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a multi-genre writer and marketing professional living in New York City. She is the author of "Because All Is Not Lost" from Modern History Press and the co-author of "Whispering Woes of Ganges & Zambezi" (Cyberwit 2010). Her work has appeared in six countries across three continents. Sweta has held recent artist residencies and workshops in Portugal, Ireland, and several within USA. She is a graduate of Columbia University.
"In this innovative series, Sweta Srivastava Vikram re-appropriates color. Cultures and mythologies collide along the way, and the result is a chapbook that feels like a quest. In the end, the colors are a map to identity. The child's pink tonsils or the bride's red sari are not symbols, but rather mile markers. Like Vikram's poems, they lead toward understanding"
--Erica Wright, Senior Poetry Editor, "Guernica"
About the Chapbook
The book delves into the implication and philosophy of colors from a Hindu woman's point of view, from birth until death. The color she adorns herself with almost depicts the story of her life. Expressed through different poetic and verbal forms, each color in the book has its own tone and is specific to different age groups.
Learn more at www.SwetaVikram.com
From the World Voices Series at Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com
As she carries us through the seasons when her marriage was ending, Olds opens her heart to the reader, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love’s sight; the surprising physical bond that still exists between a couple during parting; the loss of everything from her husband’s smile to the set of his hip; the radical change in her sense of place in the world. Olds is naked before us, curious and brave and even generous toward the man who was her mate for thirty years and who now loves another woman. As she writes in the remarkable “Stag’s Leap,” “When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up. Even when it’s I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side of the leaver.” Olds’s propulsive poetic line and the magic of her imagery are as lively as ever, and there is a new range to the music—sometimes headlong, sometimes contemplative and deep. Her unsparing approach to both pain and love makes this one of the finest, most powerful books of poetry she has yet given us.
Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New-York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a late-in-life hunger for passionate experience. In Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller took a secret lover, a young officer in the Roman Guard; she wrote dispatches on the brutal 1849 Siege of Rome; and she gave birth to a son.
Yet, when all three died in a shipwreck off Fire Island shortly after Fuller’s fortieth birthday, the sense and passion of her life’s work were eclipsed by tragedy and scandal. Marshall’s inspired account brings an American heroine back to indelible life.
The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.
In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.
A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND KIRKUS REVIEWS
“A thrilling journey full of twists and turns, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies
“A complex tale of powerful industry, local politics, water rights, epidemiology, public health and cancer in a gripping, page-turning environmental thriller.”—NPR
“Unstoppable reading.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Meticulously researched and compellingly recounted . . . It’s every bit as important—and as well-written—as A Civil Action and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”—The Star-Ledger
“Fascinating . . . a gripping environmental thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An honest, thoroughly researched, intelligently written book.”—Slate
“[A] hard-hitting account . . . a triumph.”—Nature
“Absorbing and thoughtful.”—USA Today
From the Hardcover edition.