The Great American Novel

The Great American Novel: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019)
Eileen R. Tabios
ISBN: 978-1-7323025-7-0
Release Date: February 14, 2019
Pages: 128
Price: $18.00
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon, Ingram, Paloma Press

Paloma Press is pleased to release The Great American Novel (GAN) by Eileen R. Tabios. Spanning two decades, GAN presents a unique vision of visual poetry. Texts and images range over asemic writing caused by fallen white hairs and tree bark, science fiction created through shed claws from the poet’s cats, an unreadable book, a disruption of Walgreens architecture, collages of randomly chosen stickers, open-ended drawings and sculptures, invented words and poetry forms, and disrupted text. Content also includes images from exhibitions not seen outside their venues in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Serbia. While classified as “visual poetry,” the works continue Ms. Tabios’ disquieting and multifaceted inquiries on the collision of English and colonialism.

ADVANCE WORDS

With The Great American Novel: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019), Eileen Tabios not only presents 19 years of her forays into visual poetry, but takes the reader on an extremely personal journey of exploration of cultural identity, the ramifications of colonialism, the functions of language and the possibilities of connectivity in love and pain where each poem acts as a poignant marker along the way. Each sequence in this collection vastly differs—from asemic chance operations composed of Tabios’s plucked white hairs let fall into place (recalling how Duchamp composed 3 Standard Stoppages) to a description of each poem-object in a destroyed mail art correspondence of sculptural visual poems. Tabios’s openness to possibility has created poems radiating with life which are as heavy as they are celebratory. If you’re looking for bubblegum, move on—here is something entirely different for your eyes to chew on.
Sacha Archer

“I write in Poetry…Poetry is its own language.” In the work of Eileen Tabios this sometimes means crossed-out lines, removal of substance to discover other, deeper, substance, thus unearthing the real in a sequence of forgotten things, abstractions, thoughts, people, moments . . . the recovery of each deliberately formed, reformed, performed. She lives the reality and potency of visual and textual poetry with equal fluency, melding the two, bringing us to them as she brings them to us.

Eileen Tabios is a human miracle of confident courage who invents and embraces the most difficult questions in rapid succession, and indwells in what erupts from each, demanding everything of the self within an infinity of other selves. By her being and her work, Eileen reveals that artistry at its most potent is self-aware. She embraces the stuff of life that might be art, and she erases the divide between discovery and invention.

Eileen Tabios takes part by taking apart then seaming beyond seeming. Commas as visuals take form, flight, shape. Real lines of once alive things plucked from hair inventing poetry without genuflection. Achromotricia re(de)fines asemia, emerging a new version of whiteness against cloth backdrops. Finding poetry as poetry is. Eileen asserts in natural form the joining of worlds by being knowing learning doing becoming fascinated by what creates itself around her as she fascinates us by what she makes herself.
Sheila E. Murphy

There is a close and multilayered connection between image and text in this book of Eileen Tabios’ selected visual poetry projects, from 2001 to the present. In some cases we have texts within the images, as well, and more than once they come from Tabios’ own verbal poetry. The images and their descriptions have a great influence on each other’s effect.

I immediately got attracted to the first images, documenting an installation titled “Pilipinz Cloudygenous.” Then I read the notes, and went back to the images. The effect got stronger and stronger. While the mobiles of say, Fischli & Weiss, are about the funny chain of causality, Tabios’ work is about a funnily represented, rather absurd, but still functioning chain—leading back to the sources. “Hanging (from a ceiling)”, roots in the sky.

In The Mortality Asemics series, I can see—and learn from the description: the two processes are always intertwined! —how eight strands of plucked out white hair transcend into a celestial constellation and, in a parallel fashion, into the “lines” of an asemic poem. In a similar sequence, titled The Outsider’s Dilemma, one hair falls apart from the others. It is doubly cut off from its source, and that is exactly why it, movingly, gets in the focus of the wordless poem.

The title piece is a heart-shaped red chocolate box seeming to protest through its own theatrical presence against having been dropped into a waste bin. The heart is apparently too big to be fully hidden. The work dates from 2016.

“Answers, as with the internet and diaspora, are not fixed but provided by its viewers based on their differing subjectivities.” See what you read and read what you see. Tabios’ wise and entertaining book reveals a multitude of contexts.
Márton Koppány

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experiental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Publications include three Selected Poems projects, YOUR FATHER IS BALD: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems, INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New 1996-2015 and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New 1998-2010; the first book-length haybun collection, 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML); a collected novel, SILK EGG; an experimental autobiography AGAINST MISANTHROPY; and two bilingual editions, the English/Romanian I FORGOT ARS POETICA / AM UITAT ARTA POETICA and the English/Spanish ONE, TWO, THREE: Hay(na)ku / UNO DOS TRES: Hay(na)ku. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form (whose 15th year anniversary is celebrated in 2018 with exhibitions, readings and a book launch at the San Francisco Public Library) as well as a first poetry book, BEYOND LIFE SENTENCES (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry (Manila Critics Circle). Her poems have been translated into eight languages as well as computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, drawings, visual poetry, mixed media collages, Kali martial arts, music, modern dance, sculpture and a sweat shirt. Additionally, she has edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays; founded and edits the online journals GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Engagement) and The Halo-Halo Review; founded and manages the literary arts press Meritage Press; and has exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States and Asia. More information at https://eileenrtabios.com


One, Two, Three…

One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems
Uno, dos, tres: Selección de Hay(na)kus
By Eileen R. Tabios with Spanish Translations by Rebeka Lembo

LOC Control No.: 2018943545
Release Date: June 2018
Pages: 96
Price: $16.00

SPECIAL OFFER!
Paloma Press is delighted to announce a Special Discounted Offer for One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by award-winning poet Eileen R. Tabios. The book’s release price is $12, a 25% discount from its retail price of $16. You can take advantage of this offer by ordering through Lulu or Amazon.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:
One, Two, Three / Uno, dos, tres is a bilingual English/Spanish edition of a selection of Eileen R. Tabios’ hay(na)ku poems. The hay(na)ku is a 21st century diasporic poetry form invented in 2003 by Ms. Tabios. One, Two, Three is her only available Selected Hay(na)ku volume after her first Selected Hay(na)ku collection, Your Father Is Bald, went out of print.

Since its debut, the hay(na)ku has been taken up by poets around the world, generating five anthologies and numerous single-author collections as well as appearances in literary journals. In 2018, the hay(na)ku’s 15-year-anniversary will be celebrated with exhibitions and reading at the San Francisco Public Library and Saint Helena Public Library as well as with a new anthology, HAY(NA)KU 15, which presents 128 poets and translators from 13 countries as well as eight languages.

***

Also featured is “Blue Bravura,” a hay(na)ku by Vince Gotera. Mr. Gotera had coined the name “hay(na)ku” for this poetic form.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & TRANSLATOR:
Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her 2018 poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago; MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator; TANKA: Volume 1; and the bilingual edition (English/Spanish) of One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems. Translated into eight languages, she also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as served as editor or guest editor for various literary journals. Her writing and editing works have received recognition through awards, grants and residencies. More information is available at http:// eileenrtabios.com

Rebeka Lembo has an undergraduate degree in English Literature and a Masters in Comparative Literature from UNAM. She kept the multilingual blog Ecce Mulier from 2004 to 2012. Her translations have been published in The Boy Bedlam Review, Poemeleon, Revista Fractal, The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes, etc. Her poetry has been published in Otoliths and The Second Hay(na)ku Anthology (Meritage Press and xPress(ed)). She currently lives in San Jose, California.

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Selected Responses to the Hay(na)ku:
Watching the birth & evolution of a new form is fascinating. And, unlike flarf, which is a process, hay(na)ku is a form. But what kind of form is it? Poem or stanza? Again, I think the answer lies in looking at the quatrain, which is more stanza than finished work. That, ultimately, is what I think this first generation of hay(na)ku writers have created–not a poem, but a stanza, simple, supple, elegant, capable of considerable variations. That’s quite an accomplishment.
—Ron Silliman

…a way of revealing…a “thinking” form–emotional as well as intellectual thinking. By allowing a lot of space on the page it keeps things tight and loose. Hay(na)ku creates or pushes certain syntactical structures, potentially disruptive through its arbitrariness. Forms aren’t games, or just games–they are ways of paying attention.
—Jill Jones

…an elegantly minimalist form (a bit like the tip of an Oulipian “snowball”)
—Michael Leong

The diasporic nature of the hay(na)ku attracted me from the very beginning because it allowed me to express myself in English without being a native speaker…I feel the hay(na)ku is a form that grants a common space for poetic practice in different languages; a way of writing in English without completely obliterating one’s “mother tongue.” Instead of the conquest and influx that has defined English in relation to other “less powerful” languages, the hay(na)ku is open and flexible, an invitation to share different ways of thought and writing.
—Ernesto Priego


In “My Haiku Pond”

One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by Eileen R. Tabios (Paloma Press, 2018) A review by Neil Leadbeater (MHP, June 2019) This bilingual (English / Spanish) selection of hay(na)ku poems and their variants contains explanatory notes about the hay(na)ku as a form of writing, an essay on its history, a poem by a guest poet,Continue reading “In “My Haiku Pond””

Close Apart

CLOSE APART
Robert Cowan

Published by Paloma Press
ISBN: 978-1-7323025-0-1
Library of Congress Control Number: 2018942360
Pages: 84
Release date: April 2018
Price: $16.00

Paloma Press is delighted to announce the release of CLOSE APART by Robert Cowan.

Close Apart explores states between lovers and friends, parents and children, gangsters and Robert Cowans. Between Manhattan streets, Italian hilltowns, and Siberian forests. Between will, determinism, re-memory, re-death. Between fireplaces and hallways, expansion and condensation. Between us.

From Denver Butson, author of the sum of uncountable things (Deadly Chaps), “In Robert Cowan’s moving and spanning debut collection of poems, Close Apart, the numerous lightning flashes (the blackouts and terrorist—and otherwise—attacks, the love for a daughter, the deaths of parents and friends) and their corresponding thunder crashes (the pangs of remembering them years later) come both near to one another and as surprises a long time after. Unlike the “scientific” predictablity of thunder and lightning that we learn early (and some of us still practice later as storms approach), the messy, joyful, devastating unpredictability of life itself, as we are reminded in these poems, is uncountable. Thus, the storms can be right here on top of us at any time, the dead can be “extra dead” as they are on Sunday nights, and we can be extra alive for recognizing them in their absence and for allowing ourselves to welcome the presence of everything else.”

From Donna Masini, author of 4:30 Movie (Norton), “Close Apart begins on a subway, in a community of passengers, with a child in distress, a city in blackout. It’s a generous, deeply empathetic book filled with characters, stories and a remarkable tenderness—for the suffering and vulnerability of children, for the flawed adults they become. A father’s delight in his daughter’s wacky imagination finds a surprising echo in Cowan’s brainy, sophisticated and witty speaker who can move from quantity theory to all manner of magical thinking and numerical rationalization in his restless questions, his attempts to make sense of a chaotic and troubling world.”

From Tom Sleigh, author of House of Fact, House of Ruin (Graywolf), “Like James Schuyler, Rob Cowan has found a way to make ordinary speech into a marvelously supple instrument for recording his love of the city and city life. His curiosity about other people is matched by his affection for their foibles and quirks of character that he so keenly reveals. Wide-ranging in feeling and form, these poems invite you in with their intimacy, directness, and generosity of heart.”

Excerpt:


Review by Eileen Tabios:
“Robert Cowan’s first poetry collection, CLOSE APART, opens with a dramatic, visceral tug at the reader; experience it for yourself through the opening lines of its first poem “Hot and Black Out”:

When the southbound 6 train stops underground
it’s dark-blue for a long time. The chubby brown
girl across from me has an asthma attack, gasping

squeezed as she lurches forward. Her mother is
silently hysterical, mumbling, sniveling in empty
space, as the girl wheezes audibly. Our still sweat

crystallizes in collective fear.

“You don’t so much read the poem as feel yourself in the stranded train with the others in the poem, a testament to the poet’s descriptive ability…”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

cowanRobert Cowan is a literature professor and dean at the City University of New York. He’s also the author of The Indo-German Identification: Reconciling South Asian Origins and European Destinies, 1765-1885 (Camden House, 2010) and Teaching Double Negatives: Disadvantage and Dissent at Community College (Peter Lang, 2018). This is his first collection of poetry.

CLOSE APART is now available in select bookshops and online retailers (Bookshop, Amazon and other Ingram retail partners). For more information, please email editor@palomapress.net.


peminology

PEMINOLOGY
by Melinda Luisa de Jesús

Published by Paloma Press
Release Date: March 2018
Pages: 80, full-color
Price: $27 (before discount; eBook, $5)
Distributor: Paloma Press

In honor of International Women’s Day, Paloma Press is proud to announce the release of PEMINOLOGY, a first poetry collection by Melinda Luisa de Jesús, a feminist of color who teaches and writes about critical race theory, girlhood and monsters, and believes, “as did the ancients, that a poem can change the world.”

Excerpt:

Jealousy

1.
Wanting to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed,
small-boned and delicate

ivory-complexioned, sweet and ladylike
a fairy princess,

or green-eyed and red-haired
like a mermaid

Anything but brown-skinned
brown-eyed

black-haired
loud

big
fat

different.

2.
I love your poems

I hate your poems
I want to lick them,

chew the paper they’re on
savor each line

then
swallow them whole

make them mine.

3.
Wishing I felt more connection

Planted in American soil
wilting

bleached
I long to be coconut, carabao brown.

Advance words:
“Melinda Luisa de Jesús’s debut collection of poems comes from a space of longing, rebellion, grief, love, poetics and politics. Bold, unafraid and uncompromising, peminology carves out a space for de Jesús’ vision and her generation of Filipinas in immigrant America. She speaks in multiple voices and registers, as a daughter, to a daughter, as a mother, to a mother, as a storyteller, drudging up a past and confronting fiercely the present. peminology is poetic auto ethnography. It must be read. It must be heard. It must be listened to. This is Asian-America. This is post-Trump’s America. This is the America we live in.”
—Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, author of The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant

peminology is bold, raw, and honest. Weaving between past and present, de Jesús creates a narrative of traumas that connect girlhood to womanhood. Charting the intersections of racial and feminist awakenings, these poems offer avenues for shame and rage to become strength and resistance. “The Tractor,” “Patriarchy,” and “Imagine That” are but a few examples of the timely critiques—anthems, even—that de Jesús situates amidst her chronology of oppression and opposition. Her experimentation with form, including the hay(na)ku, the hay(na)ku sentence, and the pantoum, interrupts Western poetic conventions as much as the language and imagery itself. The stand out poem—“Bellies”— followed by “Pantoum for Eloisa,” explores the heartbreaking complexities of brown women negotiating motherhood and white imperialism. This collection will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and empowered, ready to rise out of your seat to demand recognition, and sit down with your child to nurture self-love. A must-read for 2018.” —Linda Pierce Allen, co-editor of Global Crossroads: A World Literature Reader and Questions of Identity: Complicating Race in American Literary History

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Asian American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States.


My Beauty

MY BEAUTY IS AN OCCUPIABLE SPACE: 37 Prosed Sonnets
by Anne Gorrick & John Bloomberg-Rissman

Published by Paloma Press
Release Date: February 19, 2018
Pages: 44
Price: $16 (before discount)
Distributor: Paloma Press

Paloma Press is delighted to announce the release of MY BEAUTY IS AN OCCUPIABLE SPACE: 37 Prosed Sonnets by Anne Gorrick and John Bloomberg-Rissman.

Anne is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of six books of poetry including An Absence So Great and Spontaneous it is Evidence of Light (The Operating System, 2018) and The Olfactions: Poems on Perfume (BlazeVOX Books, 2017). She is President of the Board of Trustees at Century House Historical Society, home of the Widow Jane Mine, an all-volunteer organization (www.centuryhouse.org) and site of the annual Subterranean Poetry Festival. Anne lives in West Park, New York.

John calls himself a mashup ethnologist. He has spent the last dozen years or so working on a long project called Zeitgeist Spam. Parts published so far: No Sounds of My Own Making (Leafe Press, 2007), Flux, Clot & Froth (Meritage Press, 2010), the text (as remixed by Lynn Behrendt) in A Picture of Everyone I Love Passes Through Me (Lunar Chandelier Press, 2016), and In the House of the Hangman (Lauching/Ouch/Cube/Publications, 2017). You can find him online at Zeitgeist Spam (www.johnbr.com). John lives in San Diego, kitty-corner across the US from Anne.

Excerpt:
Sonnet 1 – My beauty sounds like itself
My beauty is not a story. My beauty is not free speech. “Twenty-three, with black, straight, shoulder-length hair / and tight T-shirt and jeans, my beauty looked like it could be a Ramone, The bartender / thought so; before the show, he kept / serving it free drinks.” My beauty is a Last Chance Beauty Queen. She’s restless for an Ikea rodeo, wears sushi bar sandals, stale green light, Styrofoam skin care products, government faucets, formaldehyde iPhones, my beauty is reading this to find out how you can get free stuff, Evanescence edits my beauty. You lied about the number of atoms in other elements. Go photograph a deck of cards and separate them from your other nouns. I’m injecting my eight-year-old son with Botox. ‘Tis ma belle (mah bel), my beauty, an indexical. The night I met Einstein. Ah, Whitney, après la deluge! My beauty sounds like itself. Is my beauty base or superstructure?

Advance words:
“These ‘sonnets’ fizz and sparkle, full of ideas and insights from writers who clearly inspired each other. There is a baroque richness to this text which ranges from ideas about “beauty” to social injustice, gender politics and much else besides. An ongoing delight for the reader, this text is an improvisation, the poets riffing off each other to capture the mind-boggling fractures of twenty-first century communication and turn them into art.”
—Alan Baker, author of Hotel February

“I’ve been trying, for two weeks, to write a few blurb-lines about this book, but every time I dip into it I end up making some new poems instead. This is a very alive poem space to exist in, think through, make out of. This morning my beauty is a study of the microbiome with some thoughts about wild yeast production. I’m looking forward to what it knows tomorrow.”
—Jen Tynes, author of Hunter Monies

Humors

HUMORS by Joel Chace

Copyright © Joel Chace
Release Date: January 2018
Paperback, 58 pages
Price: $16 (before discount)
Distributor: Paloma Press

Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Joel Chace’s HUMORS.

“…Humors speaks of the world in front of our eyes and the world hidden within that landscape/mindscape, coloring in the shadows with history, theology, ideology, and human relations, which achieve a realism beyond doubt or faith. This is the complex muddle of life with all its curves and wobbles, ascents and descents. It is a canny and lovely journey filled with “language that births soul/…and/voice /breathing fire in/the crowded theater.”
Maxine Chernoff, author of Without and New Faces of 1952

For review copies or for more information, please email editor@palomapress.net.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JOEL CHACE has published work in print and electronic magazines such as The Tip of the Knife, Counterexample Poetics, OR, Country Music, Infinity’s Kitchen, and Jacket. Most recent collections include Sharpsburg (Cy Gist Press), Blake’s Tree (Blue & Yellow Dog Press), Whole Cloth (Avantacular Press), Red Power (Quarter After Press), Kansoz (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press), Web Too (Tonerworks), War, and After (BlazeVOX [books]), and Scorpions (Unlikely Books).