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FORTHCOMING IN APRIL, 2024

Cover_HearingThings
Cover_Hearing_Things

Hearing Things and Other Arts

Carlo Levy

Poetry / Collage

In this book of poems, collages, and short inquiries, the poet wonders about the source of his voices, questioning those talking in the dreamlife, in the invisible world all around us, though he suspects the dream only continues in all of our conversations. How far can his work take him if, like Alice, his queries only encourage the paradox, as if our friends too were those mad characters making and changing the rules with authority? Has the poet become a timid version of the monster in a folk song, an individual whom the town must carefully subdue, enlisting Pete Seeger and his banjo and the child with the magic wand? Can he find Peace with Sgt. Pepper’s Band and the beautiful, old baseball cards of the minor leagues, made in the time of his grandfather, the Polish tailor, or will Apollinaire’s Parisian example prevail?

Do the voices arise from a kind of divine gossip, which we all create and hear, accidentally or not, while the dreams reveal our alliances each night? The chance operations of the poet’s serpentine collages picture lost circles of dream lives, hiding strange tasks and arrangements in the wide world, without a known religion behind them. Something needs fixing though, at the center, and the poet is getting tired out and a little mad at us, though he attempts to be courteous, like honest Alice. Someone could be fooling him, and who are the demons and angels of surveillance? Who is taking notes in the tower near the fields of lentils?

Making his world into a book may have been futile, after all these years, but still, where privacy and dreams overlap maybe others will find something charming in his work, following along with curiosity. Is he reluctantly saying goodbye to his mother and the old world she helped make welcoming, the joy of belonging? As we read to the end, we may wonder, if we are skeptical, whether this poet will ever know exactly what he has gotten himself into, but we have his book to hold onto now and read again, perhaps thinking about all the questions that can’t be answered, and how our own imaginations work.

Paperback $12.00

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

Contemporary

The Offering

Salah el Moncef

 

Fiction

 

Is it possible to hold onto hope when you lose everything else?

 

Tariq Abbassi, hospitalized and disoriented, has trouble reconciling the life he imagined with the one that greets him upon waking in a trauma center. Soon enough, he realizes the reason behind his current condition: both of his beloved sons died after a horrific act of negligence. Struggling to face the dark truth, no matter the cost, he must sift through his confused memories to resolve how he got here.

 

With ravishing beauty and uncanny profundity, Salah el Moncef’s inter-nationally acclaimed novel tells a stunning story of loss, hope, and the sometimes insurmountable obstacles we face on the road to redemption. The Offering is powerful testament that there is beauty in everything—even in that which destroys us.

A Precarious Man cover
A Precarious Man cover

A Precarious Man

Stefan Mattessich

Fiction

Nick is one of that hapless tribe you hear about on occasion: an English PhD who can’t find a job. Even when he does, years later and after a second career as a hack Hollywood screenwriter falls apart, the department at a university in Auckland, New Zealand, turns out to be a hornet’s nest of paranoia, arbitrary power, and guilt by association. When his consensual relationship with a student leads not just to scandal and public disgrace but a threat of prosecution for “human rights violations,” he finds himself in an all the more confounding limbo of uncertain identity and thwarted hope. His path out of despair takes him to New York, where he slips into another limbo of drugs and sex, and then to Paris, where he helps his best friend Haley, lost in her own shadows, back from an edge of madness.

A Precarious Man tells of thirty-something Nick Moran’s struggle to find a place for himself in a world where social insecurity is the rule, middle-class aspirations are out of reach, and genuine intimacy seems an all but forgotten dream. What he’s looking for is, one might say, love in the time of neoliberalism.

Paperback: $17.99

Hardcover: $30.00

Ebook: $8.99

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

Carnet cover
Carnet cover

Carnet

Marc Fichou

Art

French-American artist Marc Fichou invites us on a fascinating journey into his creative process with this publication of his Carnet, or Notebook, one of many he has filled with the thoughts, puzzles, and lines of inquiry that have guided his work over the years in a variety of media, from video installation to sculpture and painting. This book lies in between image and text, philosophy and art, nature and artifice, the human and the technical - not to mention French and English, even diary and fiction. Do we look at it or read it? Or are we practicing both at once, wrestling with the differences between seeing and thinking, contemplation and action, beauty and truth? Fichou takes this ambivalent experience as a starting point for explorations of a personhood that, defined since Descartes as a subjective inner life (core or essence) we control and express, feels increasingly decentered, networked, and cybernetic. His book is filled with paradoxes that for him attend this spatiotemporal change: Mobius strips, infinite sets, hypercubes, Torus shapes, and feedback loops all point to the emergent possibilities that exist for people who no longer exactly know themselves through traditional categories of identity, intention, autonomy. . .and indeed art itself. 

Paperback: $18.99

Hardcover: $47.00

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RBcoversmall_edited_edited.png

The Riverbed

Stefan Mattessich

Fiction / Fantasy

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Fox is the teenage son of a single mom who has grown up poor and transient until he arrives in Orange, California, with his first chance at a sense of belonging. There he meets Axel, an eccentric loner with a hyperactive imagination who introduces him to the fenced off no-man’s land of a riverbed that winds through the suburban neighborhood where they live. There fantasy and reality collide in the stories they invent, the games they play, and the powers they resist. 

When Axel gets into trouble with the authoritarian pastor of his church, he runs away both for real and into his own fantasies. Fox goes looking for him in more ways than one, accompanied by his friend Angel, a Latinx girl with a critical mind and a singular sense of justice. What they all end up finding is the courage to be themselves and to care for one another in a world that doesn’t much value either.

The Riverbed tells the story of three intelligent young people coming to learn about the darker sides of the suburban dream they call home. Written in a fabulating style but with a realist’s eye for the details of place, history, and nature, it combines the moral seriousness of J. D. Salinger with the playfulness of a Wes Anderson movie. It will be loved by readers of all persuasions - those with their heads in the clouds no less than those with their feet on the ground.

Paperback: $16.00

Hardcover: $25.99

Ebook: $7.99

Contrapasso
Contrapasso

Forthcoming in 2024

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

Young Ultraista
Young Ultraista

Understanding Madness

Carlo Levy

Memoir / Poetry

What were the books I read when I was young, the fantastic, weird lands of adolescence where I travelled? When I read them again details, tempers and themes reappear and I understand how time worked the stories into dreams. What I forgot haunts me. Words reach my sanctuary, simultaneously jumbled in the little forest on the map of an imaginary world, puzzling my sense of distance. Strange characters look out, floating through the Author, their voices sounding inside me like overheard, accidental logic becoming familiar, just other people like me.”

Carlo Levy has lived in seven different neighborhoods of Seattle, where he was born in 1961. He is the author of a book of poems entitled The Radio Factory, also with original collages. In 1998 he received the first annual Nelson Bentley Award given by the editors at Fine Madness, for his poem, The Old Music of Heraclitus. He is married to Rebecca Alexander, a painter, poet, librarian, and gardener.

Paperback: $10.00

Ebook: $

Understanding Madness

Carlo Levy

Memoir / Poetry

What were the books I read when I was young, the fantastic, weird lands of adolescence where I travelled? When I read them again details, tempers and themes reappear and I understand how time worked the stories into dreams. What I forgot haunts me. Words reach my sanctuary, simultaneously jumbled in the little forest on the map of an imaginary world, puzzling my sense of distance. Strange characters look out, floating through the Author, their voices sounding inside me like overheard, accidental logic becoming familiar, just other people like me.”

Carlo Levy has lived in seven different neighborhoods of Seattle, where he was born in 1961. He is the author of a book of poems entitled The Radio Factory, also with original collages. In 1998 he received the first annual Nelson Bentley Award given by the editors at Fine Madness, for his poem, The Old Music of Heraclitus. He is married to Rebecca Alexander, a painter, poet, librarian, and gardener.

Paperback: $10.00

Ebook: $

Understanding Madness

Carlo Levy

Memoir / Poetry

What were the books I read when I was young, the fantastic, weird lands of adolescence where I travelled? When I read them again details, tempers and themes reappear and I understand how time worked the stories into dreams. What I forgot haunts me. Words reach my sanctuary, simultaneously jumbled in the little forest on the map of an imaginary world, puzzling my sense of distance. Strange characters look out, floating through the Author, their voices sounding inside me like overheard, accidental logic becoming familiar, just other people like me.”

Carlo Levy has lived in seven different neighborhoods of Seattle, where he was born in 1961. He is the author of a book of poems entitled The Radio Factory, also with original collages. In 1998 he received the first annual Nelson Bentley Award given by the editors at Fine Madness, for his poem, The Old Music of Heraclitus. He is married to Rebecca Alexander, a painter, poet, librarian, and gardener.

Paperback: $10.00

Ebook: $

Young Ultraísta

Mario René Padilla

Non-fiction / Poetry

This book aims to broaden Borgesian scholarship by presenting the ignored and suppressed juvenilia, 1919-1923—the poetry, essays, manifestos and criticism—of a “literary genius” who, two decades later, would become one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated authors. Borges aficionados, upon reading this book, will have to accept that the introverted, half-blind, erudite author of Ficciones (1944) and El Aleph (1949) was once a young, passionate, aspiring ultraísta poet reveling in the streets of Madrid with comrades and brothers, rebellious and impulsive, conspiring to direct the course of Spain’s poetic consciousness. Reproduced within these covers you will see the early works Borges published in avant-garde magazines that give a glimpse of the twenty-one-year-old posting manifestos on walls and café windows, reciting poems out loud in cafés, engaging in nightly literary discussions, wandering the echoing bannered streets, tipsy and boisterous, declaring Ultraísmo the new and Dario’s Modernismo the old.

 

A secondary purpose of this book is to explore the phenomenon of fiction writers such as Borges who began their career writing poetry but shifted to prose fiction. You will learn how Borges achieved the “overlap” of his poetry with his pseudo-essays and literary criticism to create the unique narratives for which he is beloved. Also included are plates showing covers of the magazines of the 1920s in which Borges published, all in an effort to bring you as close as possible to the spirit and age of Vanguardismo—the Modern age of literature.

Paperback: $17.00

Hard cover: $32.00

 

Cover_Hearing_Things
Hearing Things

Hearing Things and Other Arts

Carlo Levy

Poetry

In this book of poems, collages, and short inquiries, the poet wonders about the source of his voices, questioning those talking in the dreamlife, in the invisible world all around us, though he suspects the dream only continues in all of our conversations. How far can his work take him if, like Alice, his queries only encourage the paradox, as if our friends too were those mad characters making and changing the rules with authority? Has the poet become a timid version of the monster in a folk song, an individual whom the town must carefully subdue, enlisting Pete Seeger and his banjo and the child with the magic wand? Can he find Peace with Sgt. Pepper’s Band and the beautiful old baseball cards of the minor leagues, made in the time of his grandfather, the Polish tailor, or will Apollinaire’s Parisian example prevail?

Do the voices arise from a kind of divine gossip, which we all create and hear, accidentally or not, while the dreams reveal our alliances each night? The chance operations of the poet’s serpentine collages picture lost circles of dream lives, hiding strange tasks and arrangements in the wide world, without a known religion behind them. Something needs fixing though, at the center, and the poet is getting tired out and a little mad at us, though he attempts to be courteous, like honest Alice. Someone could be fooling him, and who are the demons and angels of surveillance? Who is taking notes in the tower near the fields of lentils?

Making his world into a book may have been futile, after all these years, but still, where privacy and dreams overlap maybe others will find something charming in his work, following along with curiosity. Is he reluctantly saying goodbye to his mother and the old world she helped make welcoming, the joy of belonging? As we read to the end, we may wonder, if we are skeptical, whether this poet will ever know exactly what he has gotten himself into, but we have his book to hold onto now and read again, perhaps thinking about all the questions that can’t be answered, and how our own imaginations work.

Paperback - $12.00

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

Understanding Madness cover
Understanding Madness

Understanding Madness

Carlo Levy

Memoir / Poetry

In this small but distilled memoir the poet makes his invisible headquarters the old downtown Seattle Public Library, which was torn down many years ago. He imagines the investigation of his schizophrenia will be tricky and may remain unsolved, so why not believe there is simple magic in the world? The bookstores he haunts distract him, and the Radio of Worry. What role is he performing on this obscure show? His father, a hedonistic but scholarly Marxist, who does have concern for his son, dies before being able to share the secrets of the Great Project he has been writing all his life, but now his cats in Mexico are speaking up. The poet’s opera loving mother is still teaching children how to read, and is still singing, in her last years at the retirement home, but she is forgetting more each day, as her brave soul becomes luminous, if sleepy and quiet.

He catches glimpses of strange, illustrated books in dreams, and the old woman next door, who may be a witch, is writing her own answers down in a long poem that somehow includes his own story, but she moved away long ago. He remembers fondly his old poetry teacher’s community of angels, the spirits of Blake, Roethke, and Harpo Marx, who appeared to this visionary eccentric, but he is also gone, and belonged to another world.

The poet wonders why he became so frightened years ago when telepathy appeared and demanded his heart. He can still visit his mother, and call her on the phone though, and with her, fall asleep, a book in his hands, after reminiscing about the old dogs he and his wife have lived with. How much time must he spend in the waiting room of the clinic near his mother’s old apartment house? His patient and discreet counselors try to understand his troubles, but he seems more interested in recalling walks on the old paths of the obsolete naval base down by the lake, while he becomes wound up in mystical monologues about his boyhood in Santa Monica and his mother’s old gardens.

Perhaps it is time to get to work and solve the mystery of his abandoned manuscript about his days as a homecare worker, or why he was cursed by his lover from the old days, but he needs to apologize to her, and to his readers, embarrassed about his efforts to write at all. If only the dreamers of Seattle could make a little room for him in the city, where he is no longer innocent, but where he still seeks their sympathy, hiding in the old library when he is at home in the garden with his memories, listening to that peculiar radio show, like a hummingbird tuning into a sweet song of experience.

Paperback: $10.00

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

A middle-grade novel of a spoiled young lord in medieval England who learns how to make friends and care for others under the
A middle-grade novel of a spoiled young lord in medieval England who learns how to make friends and care for others under the

Bobby, Lord of Acton Waters

William Smock

Middle Grade Fiction

Do you secretly admire kids who talk back, who break the rules and defy their elders? Meet Bobby, age 11. He rules a castle and all the lands around it. No one tells him what to do. He refuses to go to school, eat spinach, or even take a bath.

One thing eludes Bobby. He can’t order people to like him. One day a wandering minstrel comes to town – Fahd, from faraway North Africa. He sings for small change and cures minor ailments. He has no possessions, but he quickly acquires a hundred fans and friends. What’s his secret?

Bobby vows to find out. He hits the road, destination unknown, as Fahd’s assistant. Travelers, as they walk along, tell about their lives, and Bobby starts to feel a new sympathy for his fellow humans. He and Fahd then quit the music business and launch a grand risky scheme to make the world a better place.

Paperback: $14.00

Hardcover: $25.00

Ebook: $7.9

  

  

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

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RedCoverX4_edited_edited.jpg

Disintegration and other poems

Jeff Fort

Poetry

“Jeff Fort’s Disintegration is like a mysterious peacock’s plumage: from the start you are swimming in strange beauty, as you slowly recognize that it has many eyes. The book has one eye on the experimental traditions of modernist invention, one on the catastrophe of the present, another eye on dreams, another still with a precise eye on language. But finally it has all eyes on something else: ‘what matters is pure utopia,’ as it reminds us, against forgetting, against blindness.”

        —Joshua Clover, author of The Totality for Kids (UC Press) and Red Epic (Commune Editions)

Disintegration is a ‘thinking thing,’ a ‘thinking kind of thread.’ A ‘murmur,’ it says of itself, or a buzz or a rattle. I would say it’s a song, mostly muffled, with an on-and-off beat, at the tail end of human life on earth. It’s ‘the call of all that’s left.’ You can see as well as hear it in letters that come apart, change places, drop out and misspell the words that try even now to gather up the whole business, remember, and return someplace. Home? They ring with a hollow ring that is a ring nonetheless—a strange, unfamiliar sound, for all its obsolescence.  The ‘call of all that’s left’ is something unexpected; it is new.”

    —Ann Smock, author of The Play of Light: Jacques Roubaud, Emmanuel Hocquard and Friends (SUNY Press)

Paperback: $16.00

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

CarnetII_coverA_edited.jpg
CarnetII_coverA_edited.jpg

Forthcoming in 2024

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

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An_Open_Mouth_Cover_edited_edited.png

An Open Mouth

W. Yusef Doucet

Poetry 

When did he steal your soul, zombie?

What wicked sorcerer drained you?

Poured your soul out, a libation

And offering, slow, sweet and black

For the dead who eat the dead and

Never grow full, some dark rum for

The bloodless devils that live in

The emptiness left within you?

Zombie, look at you. Can you see

Your reflection in a pool of rain

Water or a mirror when your

Stolen soul is not your own soul?

Does a dead man watch from the glass?

Can he see you fade into ash?

What rider drives your head, zombie

And makes you think you alone drive?

An open mouth...open to bear witness, to show what lives inside, to share what must come forward: the poems in this collection add one more voice to the human chorus that sings as proof of life – funky, messy, soulful, struggling, exhilarating life.

Paperback: $10.00

Hardcover: $23.00

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

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Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

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LastMancover2_edited_edited_edited.png

Contrapasso

Diana Engelmann

Poetry

Classics

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