Friday, August 19, 2011

Exquisite Craps

Exquisite Craps was published in the summer of 2010 and has been pretty much under the radar since then. I threw it together in an evening and an afternoon late last August. It's a collection of poems that the Washtenaw County Women's Poetry Collective and Casserole Society wrote together after The Feeling Is Mutual but before they all moved their separate ways away from Michigan (one stayed in Michigan, two are in Philly, one in SF, one in Warsaw).
I was going to try to assemble this chapbook myself, but it was only two days before my move across the country, so I was busy learning how to collapse the seats of my rental van into the floor of the van and stuff like that. I caved and took the manuscript to the copy shop and they did a nice job. There are some excellent poems in here. There's a small typo on the last page. The cover is an exquisite corpse drawing we did of a teacher with a horse head throwing a curve ball.

Exquisite Craps was distributed at a party in Ann Arbor and that was about it. So, there are a good number of copies remaining. Please get in touch if you'd like one. It's a breezy yellow late-summer read.

-- Amy

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another belated post about a review of The Feeling Is Mutual

Tyler Gobble reviewed our book on his blog.

Here's an excerpt:

Moments like these abound in this collection, poems that pull on the edges of emotions before bringing the whole stack down. Like in the Retelling poem “The Odyssey: Color,” the poets take the familiar and connect it with emotions, new and bold. Just look:
I have to pretend that I miss my home,/that I miss my wife. My son/would certainly want me to miss him./ But out here on this boat things feel more infinite./The last tree I can see is not the last tree there is.

When I read those lines, I just blinked and blinked, like “What?” → “Woah” → “Wo-woah.” Yes, we have heard of longing, we have learned of the difficulties of space, but continued, continued, this poem does the length of the page, concluding “[b]efore Cyclops/I was a different guy—/my beard had no gray in it. But now/I know better than to account for color.”

While the emotions are familiar, yes we all feel them, the way these poets carve them into these words is just a glowing light. “The Space Between Stars” is one of those poems that hits you with ideas that are incredibly bold, emotional, purposeful. “Stars don’t shine bright, but they could always start/shining brighter” is cute and hopeful, okay, we get it. But then, it unfolds, unloads: “I spelled/your name wrong but I’m not sorry,/since you were kind of a dick/when you shout that clay pigeon I loved/and turned the rest loose in my aunt’s yard.” I’m thinking, HARSH BUT COOL. For real, think about the feeling, the dare-I-say-it fresh feeling here.