This month has seen a lot of new releases in poetry and prose, both fiction and nonfiction, all of them available at your fave local bookster or to be ordered online from their respective publishers. Here follows a selection of six. More detailed reviews of all these books are easily found by clicking on respective titles.
Janaka Stucky’s just released collection of poems, The World Will Deny it For You, is the winner of the Ahsahta Press Chapbook Award 2011, and available for order online or at your favorite poetry bookseller. No piece is longer than one page and a half, while the shortest, like “Suicide Balm” or “This Is The Hour When You Learn To Love Without” tell you more in one line artfully split than some writers manage to put across in three or four hundred pages.
Ahley Ream’s newly released debut novel Losing Clementine, available at your fave local new book mart, is a darkly comic, richly detailed stunner full of captivating one liners. The title character, renowned artist Clementine Pritchard, is determined to take her own life in 30 days.Uncommonly mentally turbulent, she decides to end it all rather than live the rest of her life succumbing to the mood cocoon of prescription drugs. She has a lot to live up to before she will feel qualified to kill herself, resolving any loose ends she’s been avoiding.
New from Chelsea Green Publishing, Michael Shuman’s Local Dollars, Local Sense, part of Post Carbon Instititute’s series on community resilience, available at your fave local bookseller and for order from Chelsea Green online, is a guide explaining how to shift your money from Wall Street to Main Street and achieve real prosperity in your own backyard. From the same publisher comes Ross Jackson’s Occupy World Street, a global roadmap for political and economic reform. From the foreword by Hazel Henderson, “the oldest question for human society is reemerging: how will we balance individual freedom with communal—and now global—responsibility?”
In her darkly comic memoir, Agorafabulous!, available online or at Denve’s finest new booksellers, comedian and “Sex and Other Human Activities” podcaster Sara Benincasa turns the potentially hazardous grist of her life’s mill, inclusing bouts of depression, eating disorders, and panic attacks involving scores of witness, into an illuminating and reflexively comic travelogue (The plot makes stops in Asheville, Texas and finally New York City, where the lion’s share of residents seem equally bedeviled as our neroine, in some cases more so).
Robert Greer’s Astride a Pink Horse follows Bernadette, Cozy, and Cozy’s boss Freddie Dames as they match wits with a gallery of unforgettable murder suspects: a powerful, right-wing-leaning cattle rancher; a declining seventy-six-year-old WWII-era Japanese internment camp victim and her unstable math professor cousin; an idealistic lifelong nuclear arms protestor; and a civilian Air Force contractor with a twenty-year grudge against the murder victim. Do three amateur detectives stand a chance against these characters and the conspiracy that may be behind it all?
Rounding out our selection of new releases is something else from the small press, David S. Pointer’s MPs, Snipers and Crime takes us behind the façade of that experience into the “snarl of history” using “certain methods”, in so doing hitting on another deviation from the standard form, namely “crime poetry”with the same distinctive style he used in previous efforts like Camelot Kid’s Triggertopia, published by leading lights of underground publishing, Alternating Current Arts Collective’s Propaganda Press.