Poetry Makes the Season Bright by Jeni Stewart

So for part two in our Please Buy Books and Support Writers and Publishing series, we are focusing on poetry.  We’ve got something old, something new, and something scandalous, so surely in this list there’s something to wow you or your poetry and/or book loving friends.  You know who they are.  The ones who spend way too much time in coffee shops and know the meanings behind most of our Arcane Words of the Day 🙂

Guinevere in Baltimore – I love the concept of this book.  Poet Shelley Puhak reimagines Camelot as a corporation in present day Baltimore.  Its sexy, its fun, and its major-poetry—prize-award winning.  We’re going to have a more in depth review soon here at Burlesque Press, but rest assured, this is one book worth stuffing in anyone’s stocking.

The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus – Who’s the sexiest, maybe even smuttiest poet of them all?  Why Catullus of course.  And this new translation by Joseph Bienvenu doesn’t shy away from, well, the sexy stuff.  This volume is good for lovers of poetry and, well, sex.  That its written by someone who lived so long ago we couldn’t even count the generations back on one hand is pretty fun too.  And the best part?  This one’s illustrated.

To Die Next To You: This book is both a visual art book and a haunting poetic journey.  It’s a collaborative effort between Rodger Kamenetz and artist Michael Hafftka.  You can check out some reviews of the book here, and even better, you can hear the authors discussing the work with Susan Larson as part of the WWNO series The Reading Life.  Don’t know The Reading Life?  Sharing that link alone with a budding (or budded) author is enough to make them smile.  This interview will make you want to buy multiple copies of the book.  Metaphysics, Jewish mysticism, the relationship between images and words – whats not to love?

The Oblivion Atlas – Ok.  So this one isn’t poetry.  It’s a collection of short stories, a collaboration between Louviere and Vanessa (L + V) and Michael Allen Zell, but like our last recommendation, its illustrated, and lushly so.  This book actually feel almost like a poetic journey, so I had to include it here, because I think if you’re looking for something with crossover appeal, this might be just the ticket.  This book is also a rich representation of New Orleans, and Lousiaina, so could be a great gift for anyone interested in the area, or for anyone looking to get away to someplace from the safety of their blankets.

And finally, Donna Vorreyer’s A House of Many Windows, published by Sun Dress Publications, presents in meticulously constructed lines poems of longing and ruin. “You have hidden more than this,” one poem tells us, “You now rule all tides and cycles, and you have learned to be hard.” Slowly, the theme of the collection becomes explicit: infertility, the speaker’s discovery that she cannot conceive. The metaphors of city and soil develop into a matter of fact commentary on childlessness, its appearances both in poetry and normal life, before the collection changes again, concluding with dreamlike visions of an adopted son, a beloved boy who which each poem grows older and more distant.  This book is sure to stick with you – or whomever you give it to!

And finally, if you haven’t found anything here to your liking, consider giving that bookish friend a manuscript consultation, or a registration to our Hands On Literary Festival and Masquerade Ball this New Year’s through our GoFundMe Campaign.  We’re hoping to raise enough money to publish more authors this coming year, but we need help to do it – your help!

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