RUNNERS-UP (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
HONORABLE MENTION (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
RUNNERS-UP (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
HONORABLE MENTION (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
Deborah Rosch Eifert in her masterful book of finely honed poems, Sewn from Water, has managed to do the most magical thing. By conjuring up the help of Owls and Jackdaws, the Coyote Goddess, Ocean and River, Balsam and Angelica Plant, all things that fly and crawl and gallop and run and by applying an artisan’s refined skills to her poems, the poet has enlivened everything with beauty. The book is just so beautiful. The poems astound you with their spare but exuberant language, with their deftly pointed but elaborate imagery, with their painfully clear, often terrible, stark but complex revelations.
Sewn from Water has at its fulcrum a fundamental paradox. How can beauty be so painful? How can a thing be beautiful that arises out of abuse, illness, loss, and loneliness? The superficial answer to this question may be, it cannot. A thing is either ugly or beautiful and cannot be both. It is fortunate for her readers that Deborah Rosch Eifert has not accepted this facile dichotomy. We are presented with a broad spectrum of experience which includes heart-warming and heart-rending, which buoys us up with optimism and buckles our knees with the terrible realities of life, which devastates us and rejuvenates us at our core. If you want superbly artful insights into what can happen and what can be done, if you want to experience artistic triumph in pure form, if you want to see how an artist, the poet, arranges the gorgeous and the awful fragments of experience into something beautiful, you must read this book. You may be a little weakened by what you find in Sewn from Water; conversely, you may also be strengthened by what you find in this book; without a doubt, you will be enthralled, you will be enlightened, and you will be moved deeply. You will be transformed.
Sewn from Water
$20 Book + $1.20 MD Sales Tax + $5 Shipping
WINNER – FRONT COVER EVERYONE WILL HAVE THEIR DAY by ZAI PACARDO
FIRST RUNNER-UP (BACK COVER) – SOULS BIRTHING INSIDE THE SQUARE OF A DAY by LAWRENCE BARRETT
Review by Daniel Lassell, The Florida Review
Farewell Clay Dove is the second book of poetry from Sophia Falco published by UnCollected Press.
“Sophia Falco is a talented, imaginative, driven, raw, crafty, and original poet whose writings overcome and transfigure the stigma and challenges of bipolar disorder in well- crafted poetic forms that communicate and manage the heights and depths of her being-in-the-world. Farewell Clay Dove tracks the levitations and journeys, the loneliness, terrors, illness, as well as the poetic wonder of her journey to health, autonomy, and bliss in imagery of, crimson doves, golden hours of sunset, shrinking stars, hospitals, rocket ships, radiant horses, sheer mania at noon. It is a work of wholeness, honesty, psychic quest, and probing intelligence.”
—Rob Sean Wilson, University of California at Santa Cruz
Farewell Clay Dove
$15 Book + $.90 MD TX + $6.00 Shipping
I am woefully behind in announcing Jason Gerrish’s exceptional and peerless book OLD STATE ROAD. I am so far behind, because I have been struggling mightily to do it justice. I have felt strongly that this book requires an announcement that approximates the elegance, refinement, and uncompromising commitment to as pure and unadulterated an artistic aesthetic as I have come across in my 40+ years in publishing. This is just such a good book and on so many levels. The poems are the product of an artist, two artists – poet and photographer – who clearly know how to coerce beauty into words and images with patience and passion and finely-honed tradecraft.
Jason Gerrish’ poem, Cello Suite, is included in this book. Cello Suite is the winner of UnCollected Press’ Charles Bukowski Prize for Poetry. The contest was gratifying for the editors at UnCollected Press/The Raw Art review because of the numbers and the quality of the entries. There were so many good poems to read. Cello Suite emerged from the many exceptional poems as the most moving, artfully wrought and important poem that we read. It is entirely possible, I still do not know after reading the book many times, that Cello Suite, may not be the best poem of the bunch. There are a lot of other poems that shift, unsettle, and move me at my core. I go back to individual poems as they return to my memory while washing dishes, or reading something else, or nuzzling my pup, or walking on the Trolley Trail. I go back to Jason Gerrish’ poems all the time. I remember them often, individually – a poem must be powerful and impactful – a searing radiance in the dark background – for that to happen so often.
The poems are juxtaposed and balanced, appearing in counterpoint with the equally fine and moving photography of Brad Daulton. Brad Daulton’s photos, like Jason Gerrish’s poems, are individually fine works of art. They are also the product of an artist opening himself to the depths of understanding for inspiration. Brad Daulton’s photos find that thing – the largely indescribable thing at the heart of a moving piece of art. And, like Jason, Brad has the expert tradecraft skills to transform his discoveries into artwork, photos, that are breathtaking in their artistic expression.
In OLD STATE ROAD, each poem, and each photo stands firmly on its own as a sublimely finished work of art. Every poem and every photo also have been integrated into a book that articulates dazzling beauty, forceful impact and penetrating import, and perhaps that most evasive of achievements, true relevance – pure meaning. Poems and photos alternate, and the counterpoint and contrast, juxtaposition and compliment, work beautifully in harmony.
We are including in our announcement the back cover image, so that you can read what some of the finest artist-editors out there have said about this book. Hopefully, we can all convince you to buy OLD STATE ROAD and to experience this rare and shining work of art.
PLEASE NOTE: Because this book demanded the best of materials, it has been printed on very fine cover stock and coated paper. In addition to the refinement of the artistic creations, UCP/RAR has selected materials for printing that are an attempt to do the refinement of the artwork justice.
OLD STATE ROAD
Book $20 + $1.20 MD Tax + $6 Shipping
I would like to address the prevailing show me don’t tell me wisdom with a particular whim and whimsey I am feeling today. As you may have already discerned or may soon discern, we lose track of conventions at UCP/RAR. We like to claim this to be a matter of principles (or willful lack thereof), but it is probably just the wind. We don’t like dogma whenever it blows in. Today, the weather is full of show-me-don’t-tell me bluster.
Today, (perhaps just-today, perhaps not), it seems to me show me don’t tell me is an argument, sometimes invert and backhanded, for photo-realism. It demands an ultimate approximation of what you see (from the prison of your own skull) in a manner that is as close to what is actually there (whatever that means) as you can make it. Assuming the variance of your arbitrary filter and the relative scope of your powers of discernment, there must still be something consistent from all pens and minds – a final standard of sameness to strive for that some will reach and some will not.
So anyway, feel free to tell us – tell away. If you want to lay in a line of abstract impulse, that is presumably yours and only yours, that’s fine – preferably something over the top – rich and purply please. We desire your effusive, hopeless, emotional, personal expression to be be liberated. We want what issues forth from your bewildered and deranged cognition. Please please please have at it without stricture. It’s fine to get the morphology geeks foaming and fulminating. That, in itself, is a precise and perfect morpheme. Oh wait should I compose a picture? Nevermind, of course you can compose your own.
As always, I do not apologize for any dazzling typos – Henry.
I am an unrelenting, completely immersed, hopelessly addicted consumer of the poetry of John D. Robinson. The fix I get is exquisite. When I read a John D. Robinson poem, I so often experience a powerful rush of the most potent concoction – a mix of uncompromising honesty and painful empathy; a sweet and deadly solution of brutal expose and unconditional love . John’s poems deliver to me what I am always, without apology, and with admitted compulsion, seeking from life – truth and love. The poems in these books, like the poems in every John D. Robinson book, are dangerous. Prepare yourself. Make sure you have uncovered your most courageous self. The one that is willing to see things as they are and to feel the most penetrating anguish at their state. Find and sharpen the only weapon that will get you through Johns’ books whole to the other side – Love. If you can do this, you will be following after the author. John is fearless. John is courageous. John does not compromise. His books are not decorative art. His books are not the exercise of the commercial artisan. His books are stripped of 21st century consumer bullshit. His books are a way in to what matters. Getty ready to deep read. It is going to hurt. And you will love it.
2 BOOKS BY JOHN D. ROBINSON
2 BOOKS + MD STATE SALES TAX + SHIPPING
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