Coming Soon: Threnody by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Coming Soon from Porkbelly Press

Threnody explores the figure of lady-death, an icon come to life in these poems about the death cart, the death kiss, and a narrative dance with death. This is a collection of linked micro fictions & vignettes. They read like prose poems, too, which is part of the beauty in them—these small works live in a liminal space, somehow between poetry and prose, but also an almost-dream state between life and death. Sometimes versus too. | pre-order

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Threnody is one kickass, wailing dirge that has death driving shotgun, “more hold you than break you apart,” luminous, pulsating poetry that defies fear and denial. —Meg Tuite

If you’d like to hear Wiseman read one of her poems from the chap, you can follow the audio link: here. This is a contemporary dance with death, set in modern day. It’s also a bit of a ghost story about what might follow you home from el museo.

Below is the piece Laura’s reading in the audio file, an excerpt from the late-middle of Threnody:

Kissing Death

The lady of death gives me the kiss of death. I don’t know why. I was just standing in jeans and a ribbed tee, my belt hard and black, the metal clasp opening, warm in my hands. She appeared in my room, looked up at me from those dark sockets—her body all rib bone, clavicle, pelvis flair, hands and fingers as delicate as cages of dead birds. I didn’t want the kiss of death. We both stared at it for a while, crawling and scooting on the cement floor. I grabbed an empty coffee cup and trapped it, but when I knelt to slide a piece of paper beneath the edge, it was gone. I looked up at death, but she shrugged and reached into the space where her heart had been for another.

About the Author

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her recent books are American Galactic (Martian Lit Books, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), and the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins. She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, and Feminist Studies.

pre order

Wiseman’s chapbook is available for pre-order via Wicked Little Heart. Pre-orders ship first, hot off the press!

The Eighth Phrase, LB Williams (poetry)

The Eighth Phrase (LB Williams) is a chapbook of poetry exploring New York as it existed decades ago. It takes a look at the streets of Queens and other areas, the New York Public Library, revels in the sunken fog outside yellowing windows, the messy bustle of a city teeming with joy, bikes, attic windows, high heels, lusty sunlight, and plastic fruit. It may seem a strange list of items to string together, but this chapbook does it beautifully, painting a portrait of child-life and a sense of place so vivid that you can almost taste the ice cream and night air. Available via Wicked Little Heart‘s Etsy Shop. | $7

An excerpt from another poem, number 4, “Unreal City:”

Windows yellow soaked in sunken fog
Downstairs a woman in a black coat
dark sunglasses leaves food for pigeons.
On white sills they enter.

And below is one more sample from the chapbook, an excerpt of poem 14:

A few weeks before, he told me, I’m not afraid to die.
I was in World War II, you know what they said then.
If the bullet had your name on it, it was your time to go.
My father filled up the entire coffin.

This chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. It features a painting by Angie Reed Garner as cover art (“Homes for the Displaced,” mixed media, 24 x 48 inches). The cover is produced via inkjet on professional matte photo paper. Each book is handbound, trimmed, and features a hand-cut title flag typed old school style.

What others are saying about The Eighth Phrase:

Lisa Williams trains her spotlight on the furtive glimpses and flickering moments out of the past, preserving them under shattered glass before they disappear forever. Up close, revelatory, charged with erotic beauty and grace, her poems are like doors opening into a world of disclosure. The Eighth Phrase is a force of nature, a dissolving fabric, a template for making it all real. —Lewis Warsh

L.B. Williams’ poems are full of the delightful particulars of life. The Eighth Phrase is a lovely meditative sequence of scenes: melancholy at the core, and precise in detail and melody. —Lisa Jarnot

About the Poet:

L.B.WILLIAMS is the author of the memoir Letters to Virginia Woolf (Hamilton Books, 2005), She wrote the critical study The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf (Greenwood Press, 2000). Her poetry has appeared in such publications as Washington Square, The Mom Egg, Sunrise from Blue Thunder (A Pirene’s Fountain Anthology) and For She is the Tree of Life: Grandmothers Through the Eyes of Women Writers. She has also published a poetry chapbook, Sky Studies, (Finishing Line Press Fall, 2014). She is Professor of Literature at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

About the Artist:

Angie Reed Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky.

via Wicked Little Heart‘s Etsy Shop.