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Titles

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Books & Authors

Below you will find all of our titles including short descriptions of the work, writing samples from the books themselves, and short author biographies. To order our books, simply click-on the link below and you will be directed to our distributor: Small Press Distribution. Our books can also be ordered through Amazon.

 

The Green Record

Carlos Lara

THE GREEN RECORD, by Carlos Lara, is a project of "metavocal English," "allowing common words to mutate, hybridize, disintegrate...to fill up each page entirely with audiographic data via intentional mishearing." Recalling Lautreamont's famous "chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and umbrella," this book-length poem enlivens the Surreal tradition for our self-absorbed, apprehensive moment. Lara reads our everyday reality as a relentless sequence of misprision which at times, in our most adaptive naïveté, we accept as self-affirmation: "a plain begging for more tomorrows and tomorrow's skin for the sake of more skin." Or, in other moments, the concealment, erosion or even disappearance of what is known or can be known is irrevocable and complete: "I didn't think about the office or god for a month / which was actually a cradle or maybe a Manchurian mirror / it was all whalebone electronic / the stars' manifesto." 

"Carlos Lara's THE GREEN RECORD is none other than a spontaneous casting of dice across borderless imaginal terrain. It is language akin to alchemic transcription, transmuting aural tin to a state not unlike psychic translucence. His images swirl as mesmerizing thickets always advancing beyond themselves, having the effect of emboldened respiration, creating in the reader an expanded state of neurological irradiation."—Will Alexander

Author Bio: Carlos Lara is the co-author, with Will Alexander, of The Audiographic As Data (Oyster Moon, 2016). Excerpts from THE GREEN RECORD have appeared previously in Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Chronopolis, NOÖ Weekly, and Entropy Magazine. A prelude to the book, The Green Record: New Material, was published as a chapbook by Apostrophe Books in 2017. Other poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including Flag + Void, and OmniVerse. He abides in Los Angeles with his wife and two cats.

The Habiliments

Joe Milazzo

An odd paradox underlies all of the poems in THE HABILIMENTS: the 'habiliments' or 'clothing' of the title refers simultaneously to dressing and stripping bare. The accoutrements, costumes, objects, and trappings in which we construct identity are woven into a tapestry of memory, dream, forgetting, and, ultimately, grief. Milazzo uses allusion, antimeria, neologisms, conversions, and logical disruptions, as well as a deep attention to the elusive uncertainties of language to explore how words simultaneously succeed and fail to express emotion, describe reality, or make sense of our relationship with others. Quotidian reality wears a new syntactical and semantic garb as each poem seems to unravel language and a circadian rotation of "dreams": ambiguously of sleep, of aspiration, of nonsense, of the fantastic, or of the banal. If Milazzo's poems are a kind of 'dream song,' they are constructed in radically different ways than John Berryman's (though there are formal echoes of that poet's phantasmagoric layers). In these dream songs, Berryman's angst and sorrow collide with John Ashbery's metaphysics of erosion, Rosmarie Waldrop's semantic drifting, and John Yau's surreal atmospherics.

Author Bio: Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis Press). His writings have appeared in The Collagist, Drunken Boat, H_NGM_N, andBlack Clock (among others), and are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Tarpaulin Sky, and Whiskey Island. Joe co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing] and is also the proprietor of Imipolex Press.

White Noise

Tony Trigilio

Trigilio's WHITE NOISE blends the political and the personal in an unsettling amalgam of prose fragments that have been disassembled and reassembled through a variety of strategies that are almost Oulipian in their peculiar constraints and methodology. From a unique 'deformation' of Don DeLillo's White Noise to a collocation of speech culled from Usenet bulletin boards to scattered material originally posted on the web, Trigilio stitches, reassembles and re-weaves the rhetoric of fear and politics with the language of literature and personal narrative. The book examines the poignant and disturbing intersection between the underground Usenet forums existing before 9/11 and post 9/11 terroristic paranoia. Trigilio reveals that everything these forum-users were 'paranoid' about since the Cold War has, in a sense, come true. This dystopian vision is becoming an increasing reality, Trigilio shows, because we have openly accepted this bizarre and chilling world of kill lists and mass surveillance. WHITE NOISE is a quintessentially pataphysical response to our current milieu, but it is also, ironically, approached in utterly realist terms.

Author Bio: Tony Trigilio's most recent books include Books 1 and 2 of THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD) (BlazeVOX [books], 2014 and 2016), WHITE NOISE (Apostrophe Books, 2013) and HISTORIC DIARY (BlazeVOX [books], 2010). He is also the editor of ELISE COWEN: POEMS AND FRAGMENTS (Ahsahta Press, 2014) and author of the critical monograph Allen Ginsberg's Buddhist Poetics (Southern Illinois University Press). He hosts the poetry podcast Radio Free Albion and plays in the band Pet Theories. He is a member of the core poetry faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where he is Interim Chair of the Department of Creative Writing.

Remains To Be Used

Jessica Baran

Jessica Baran’s ekphrastic poems challenge the way we encounter the aural, visual, and textual artifacts of artists and thinkers as varied as Sergio Leone, Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Hitchcock, and Hank Williams. Strange and intriguing, Baran is a voyeur who provides heuristic glimpses into new aesthetic experiences. These poems peek into the tangling and untangling complexities of a performance by Jan Bas Ader, a poem by Wallace Stevens, or a video installation by Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Baran is as wildly adept in her investigations of the filmic gaze in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as she is in her poetic misprision of Derrida’s Specters of Marx or in her inhabiting of a song by MeJtallica. REMAINS TO BE USED invites and disorients, changes lenses, and ultimately trespasses the interior worlds of objets d’art.

Darling Beastlettes

Gina Abelkop

“A murder / glided in last night, nested / in your bouffant, stayed / for months.” This mix of violence and humor offers just a glimpse Apostrophe Booksof Abelkop’s poetic vision whereby in poem after poem she explores the gritty and sometimes sinister side of sexuality in mock-romantic and surrealist fashion. With a biting wit she takes aim at shattered domesticity, while also exploring the often bizarre and disturbing realm of gender politics. This is an ominous, sometimes Gothic universe where the jagged terrain of the human body becomes a canvas for uncanny scenes full of perversity and complexity, beauty and brutality. Each poem feels like a collage made from snapshots, memories, or the fractured mise-en-scène of wives and women – historical, imagined, mythological, fabulist, and cinematic. While grappling with fear, desire, lust, and uncertainty, the frenzied inhabitants of Abelkop’s world oscillate between prayer and cannibalism, love and violence, laughter and sex.


Author Bio: Gina Abelkop’s recent work can be found in Action, Yes, Encyclopedia Vol. II: F-K, Everyday Genius, Delirious Hem’s “Seam Ripper” series and Octopus. She is the founder and editor of Birds of Lace (http://birdsoflace.wordpress.com), a DIY feminist press started in 2005, as well as co-editor of the online journal Prayers for Children (http://www.prayersforchildren.be). She blogs regularly at The Moon Stop (http://themoonstop.blogspot.com).

Be sure to check-out Gina’s own webpage for a glimpse of the various inspirations for the book, as well as some intriguing visual, textual and musical references.

Refrains / Unworkings

Paul Foster Johnson

Refrains/Unworkings is Paul Foster Johnson’s first book of poetry. Juxtaposing Romantic ideology against a postmodern disregard for “found” or “authentic” meaning, where “everybody’s ontological investigation/ is guided by anticipated findings,” these poems explore the social space of sound and rhythm and rhetoric. These are love poems, too, paeans so private and so simultaneously public, they evoke a contemporary return to Hart Crane’s White Buildings. Yet, the speaker here resists the totalities of lyric history and their familiar arguments of selfhood: Romantic Man of Taste, revenant noisemaker of the New York School, vatic observer of the Republic, gay poet. Every new utterance is already old—already within limiting quotation marks. Johnson’s clever answer to the problem is a complex recapitulation and revision of lines, phrases, sounds, and images, where even entire movements of a poem are “refrained” but re-contextualized in later poems. Nowhere is this more evocative than in the bookends of Refains/Unworkings. In the first poem, “Rhythmicon,” there is only the voice “without anchor,” a “birdsong of institutional being,” a voice wherein art is without purpose even while the urban bourgeoisie search for new theories of art. In the last poem, “Art of the Cities,” the same sentences of “Rhythmicon” form new lines within the context of polis and socius— post-9/11 New York City— where new construction ultimately leads to monumentally empty glass buildings and memorials to grief, perseverance, and failure.

A New Quarantine Will Take My Place

Welcome to Johannes Goransson's "private genocide," ground zero for figurative language. Put on your best pig smile and meet the gratuitous martyrs, Kublai Khan, Colin Powell, the jackle-hearted masses, Herman Melville, Egyptian dogs, and the Coca-Cola Cowboys. They're all in the burning barn at the Big Dance where the Ballad of the Pig Circus plays like a torso full of "October of birds." Beauty becomes "a riddle doused in gasoline" in this Postmodern epic that mixes surrealist impulses with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E-esqe prosody. Notions of genre are demolished and language itself seems relegated to a wildly impossible epistemological space that is something akin to "whispering in hammers" or "speaking in silhouettes." If this sounds confusing, don't worry, the poet has sewn it all together with a "travesty of stitches," and he has "left his body inside the allegory." The poet satirizes, prods, pastiches, and "grotesquerizes" until every assumption we have, cultural or personal, crumbles in a bizarre and re-invented idiom.

Tonight's the Night

Catherine Meng

In the Author’s Note, Meng explains that the poems inside “began as an experiment in repetition after reading biographies of both Neil Young and Glenn Gould.” “In this poem, the camera spectates on what to do with a darkness/ so overwrought the hand can’t steady it. The kind/ that furiously dwindles until it cancels its mouth/ & the tongue thumps grotesque & unhinged/ Unhinges each blad of grass, unhinges the pasture from the wire/ & fence posts that hold cattle from the road. Swiftly, swiftly,/ it unhinges both road & cattle. Where canyon was cut from rock/ by water, a wind moves, so the voice goes/ rising as darkness does, wildly undocumented./ The voice unhinges from the country it springs from–“–from TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT. Meng’s poems have appeared, among other places, in The Boston Review, Crowd, JUBILAT, FENCE, and Fulcrum.

There Are No New Ways To Kill A Man

Amy Wright

In the fifth poem from There Are No New Ways To Kill A Man, Amy Wright tells us “Lao says be alive to difficulty.” This is one way to read Wright’s work—staying keenly aware of complexity in language, thought, and image—as she moves deftly between moments of extreme density and moments of simple, deadpan candor. She follows Lao’s urging with a forthright assertion: “Being alive is difficulty. / I’d rather be strangled / than so awfully disappointed / / But then I’ve never been strangled.” Wright’s words have a “sort of bloom” that quickly—using her words—dissolve into “a bubbling rust” at once unsettling and dazzling.


There Are No New Ways To Kill A Man is currently are only chapbook. Please contact us directly via email to order: editor@apostrophe.com.

Author Bio: Amy Wright is the author of two poetry books, one collaboration, and five chapbooks.  Her work has been awarded with two Peter Taylor Fellowships to the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop, an Individual Artist Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her writing has been anthologized ten times, most recently in Waveform: Anthology of Women Essayists, and is published or forthcoming in Brevity, Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, and other journals. She lives in Tennessee where she teaches writing and co-edits Zone 3 journal and Zone 3 press.