Category archives for Books


““A generous range of thought-worthy subjects, approached with simplicity, wisdom, and a deft use of language.”

— Marilyn Nelson

The poems in Bulletproof look at the joy and dread of being alive in this world.  Even pleasurable situations hold traces of danger and threat, while  destructive or disturbing events contain the possibilities of redemption and beauty. Murrey has succeeded in using the direct and evocative powers of poetry to conjure up these contradictions—not so much to resolve them, but to dwell on and in them, to experience through language the wonder of being human.

Wishbone Moon

Wishbone Moon is a groundbreaking anthology of haiku by women in the international haiku community. As editors we consulted women journal editors and haiku leaders around the globe. We asked them for help in identifying women whose work they regarded highly. The response was enthusiastic. Our thanks to Susan Antolin, Annie Bachini, Marlène Buitelaar, Ferris Gilli, Maeve O’Sullivan, Patricia Prime, Lidia Rozmus, Lynne Rees, Christina Sng, Iliyana Stoyanova, and Irena Szewczyk. Their lists of nominations were the foundation for the anthology. We asked the nominees to give us their very best work. We did not suggest a theme or topic. We wanted to showcase work representing the haiku aesthetic at its best. We believe that is what they gave us, and we thank them. As we made our selections, reading the large body of fine submissions was truly a pleasure.”

— Roberta Beary, Ellen Compton, Kala Ramesh

The War Against the Obvious

“Cornelius Eady’s poems sing America, as Whitman’s did, but amending our national bard, they are mindful of the distance between his America and ours. Race, culture (especially music), family history, and urban life are all in play in a vibrant imagination for which “The sweet worth/ Of pushing/ Any damn wall” is both a “necessary lesson” and a credo. In language brilliantly exact, superbly rendered, by turns harrowing and humorous, it’s no wonder Eady has grown into one of the country’s most admired poets.”

— David Rigsbee


The War Against the Obvious is the second publication by Jacar Press in the Greatest Hits series. This chapbook series, founded by editor Jennifer Bosveld at Pudding House Press nearly two decades ago, was acquired by Sammy Greenspan of Kattywampus Press in 2010. Jacar Press was asked to take over the series under the careful eye of series editor David Rigsbee.

Included with the poetry book is a Bonus album download, Hanging Out with Ms. Sparkle, by the Bow and Verse Project. Words and Music: Cornelius Eady

Life Without Furniture

In Life Without Furniture ‘the whole visible world flows through one white birch.’ Sharon Fagan McDermott inhabits the spaces between the common and the uncommon: the rich landscapes between ‘A State of Un-Union’ and ‘Driving Home After Singing at Club Café,’ the ineffable sensations between ‘The Geography of Solitude’ and ‘The Hymn of Constellations.’ Even the poems’ titles signal the many resonances of Life Without Furniture. The whole world, visible and invisible, inhabits this wonderful new book.”

— Terrance Hayes


“Sharon Fagan McDermott’s Life Without Furniture is remarkable for the generosity of its attention and the precision with which its renders the objects of that attention. ‘What I Won’t Tell Myself’ begins by noticing how ‘the moon salts the sky with stars’ and then brings that gaze indoors, to where a ‘young dog twitches a dream / against my calf.’ These poems move through interior and exterior landscapes, between elegy and praise song. Through such keen observation, the ordinary is uplifted, the way that, in ‘Summer Prayer: Pennsylvania,’ the ‘beloved dead’ ‘console us with such luminous days / that we remember them all over again.'”

— Nancy Reddy

Yes, We Be

Yes, We Be is an integrated-design poetry book that connects with the Black Arts Movement, Harlem Renaissance and Afro-Futurism. Proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter, SistaWRITE, and COR AME community programs.


“Patrick Howell’s Yes We Be is affirmation and confirmation of the resilience of Black people and Black poetry. Reminiscent of Amiri Baraka’s A Black Value System, as well as Haki Madhubuti’s Book of Life and Rise Vision Comin—Black Arts meditations laying down a foundation for being.”

— Tony Medina


“In the tradition of Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman, Howell writes a truly American poetry in the language of the streets, office cubes, living rooms, bars—the everyday landscape of humanity. In poems at once ecstatic and reflective, Howell celebrates his heritage while unblinkingly portraying the African American experience. A modern day hymnal for, of, and by the people, his music will reverberate long after the last page has been turned.”

— Angela Narciso Torres


“Anonymous follows vulnerable bodies impelled to service—for work, lust, purgation, and song. Even that last knells from halls where “the applause is from the whips.” This, the caustic art of Monique-Adelle’s often brutal debut: for every several of its dahlias, there also wait parasites. I wouldn’t claim the grotesques, here, amplify the beauties; rather, the one bleeds steady into the other. “No room for honeystomach,” the poet, steeled, tells us. From this exceptional collection, such a lament rings as tune and warning.”

— Douglas Kearney


“Monique-Adelle Callahan ushers forth a style/voice that is uniquely and wholly her own. This selection of poems demonstrates the complexities of fragility and strength… a fierce fusion of poetic precision and experimentalism.”

— Jaki Shelton Green


“With a jeweler’s lapidary skill, Alison Stone has fashioned a string of gemlike poems that indeed (dare I say it?) dazzle—with wisdom, wit, and brio. She’s crafted every line to a high polish, rich in metaphor and music. Wide-ranging in subjects—so much to catch the eye—this book brims with “the shimmer, the shiver, the quicksilver / flickers. The sparkle, the dazzle of poetry.” Readers, enjoy!”

— Richard Foerster


This powerful book from award-winning poet Alison Stone delves deeply into human experience. Employing both formal and free verse, these musical poems make the reader feel, think, and ultimately, come away changed from having encountered them.


To each animal its nature. Birds fly,
cats grab things that dangle. Children play. I lie.


You ask for my true, hidden self, your arms
open like wings. To my dismay, I lie.


On a stone-strewn path, I pause and kneel; recite
words of surrender. Even when I pray, I lie.


Praise for Alison Stone’s Poetry

“Stone is not a ‘literary’ poet (there are enough of them)… She is interested in a woman’s truth, and has something hard won (but won) to give her readers. This is strong poetry.”

— Allen Grossman


“Stone offers lean and sparkling poetry that invites us to join with it — poems that are, in their way, multi-faceted spaces to explore, discovering what we may, and grafting what we bring.”

— Timothy McLafferty

Ghazal Cosmopolitan

“A marvelous interweaving of poetry, scholarship, literary criticism and memoir…” – Marilyn Hacker


“…a gift that enriches our literature…” Eleanor Wilner


“”…a celebration of, and a love letter to, the language of the world…” Fady Joudah


“…a smorgasbord of aesthetic pleasures viewed through the prism of the majestic Ghazal…” Azra Raza


“…a bridge between the eastern and western traditions of literature…” Raza Rumi


“I particularly like (her) emphasis on the ghazal’s potential to adapt, and her own ghazals…” Marion Molteno

I Want to Undie You

A ritual of grace and love for what remains in memory after great loss.


I Want To Undie You is Jaki Shelton Green’s unflinching cry of sorrow at the untimely death of her daughter Imani; and Jaki’s insistence, through her grief, on the joyful remembrance and celebration of Imani’s life.


This book-length poem, interspersed with Barbara Tyroler’s photographic compilations, is printed in a limited edition art gallery version, using 80# gloss interior paper in an 8 by 10 format to better highlight the imagery of the poems and the photos.

In Case of Sudden Free Fall

“Grown-up poems for grown-ups.”


— Stuart Friebert


“I loved reading In Case of Sudden Free Fall, Deborah Bogen’s beautiful and remarkable oneiric prose poem collection. A delicious gem, it takes the reader on a soulful and transformative journey. Under Bogen’s expert guidance, we travel from enchantment to melancholy, to surprising encounters with literary and artistic figures, to loss and death, and back to wonder. I’ll keep revisiting this collection time and again.”


— Hélène Cardona


“In Ardor, Tina Kelley crafts nineteen love poems to the world, celebrating the details of the daily—a new garden, town names on an atlas, the sound of swallowing. She pays close attention to language, writing an ode to the preposition “of” and trying to find the word for “the look a woman / gives a man 20 years younger before she realizes she’s / 20 years older.” With tenderness and humor, she remembers pregnant friends, sick friends, quirky godmothers. Something new unfolds in these poems of praise every time one returns to them.”


— Zeina Hashem Beck


Two of our most celebrated poets, Dorianne Laux and Joseph Millar, weave together poems about music in a chapbook that riffs on the theme of the title; the poems move forward on unnumbered pages, two voices singing.
Two covers too – so when you order email us to let us know which one you want – the blue, or the red and yellow.

Duet is the ­ first publication by Jacar Press in the Greatest Hits series. This chapbook series was founded by editor Jennifer Bosveld at Pudding House Press nearly two decades ago. It was acquired by Sammy Greenspan of Kattywampus Press in 2010, and will now be published by Jacar Press under the editorship of David Rigsbee.               



“After experience is done teaching us just about everything it thinks it needs to teach us, we come back to desire, the one thing worth knowing.  This time around desire shows up as a wild calm, dead center of whatever picture in which we find ourselves.  These marvelous, subtle poems go deep, deep, deep into that wild calm.  So subtle, so moving!  I don’t believe anyone but Cynthia Huntington could have written them.”
— David Rivard

An Elegy

“Difficult as it is to describe honestly the spectacle of living, to describe death and dying is to go almost where language can’t: past knowledge, experience, or the reliable image. Yet what An Elegy achieves, through its own assured music, is this very contradiction: to go ‘in places where you never were,’ to honor the dead as well as to reimagine them, knowing that grief is as much the mind’s ‘calculus of human work’ as it is the heart’s. Here are words worth their urgency.”

— Rickey Laurentiis, Boy with Thorns, winner 2016 Levis Reading Prize

A Dog’s Life

ADL-front-coverWinner 2016 Jacar Press Full-length Contest


A Dog’s Life is a delightful romp through Americana by way of ‘real’ America with sly, politically engaged poems. Though this poet issues a rallying cry against ‘siren songs of entertainment,’ his poems are completely entertaining but, at the same time, completely wise. He takes on true love, extinction, our fragile environment, war, technology, porn, aging and our fight against it, cancer, nursing homes, and death. A Dog’s Life is an enlightened look at Doritos, Carson Daly, Walmart, McDonalds, theme parks, and, of course, dogs.”
    — Denise Duhamel
“The real singers – whether lamenting or praising – give us a sense of life as larger than we could have expressed before they arrived. With an explorer’s curiosity and drive, Adam Scheffler turns his poems into a treasury. He speaks of the value and wonder in small and large things, and like a dog (the dog he’d have us believe his soul is), meets the world with undisguised exuberance. These poems are spiritual in the way poetry is best suited to be: they articulate our good fortune to be alive.”
    — Bob Hicok

Raising the Sky

RTS cover  (1)

Raising the Sky is unpretentious, attempts no lofty poetic experiments with heavy themes but rather surges with philosophy caked on the sneaker bottoms of young slickster/trickster wannabes, and top-shelf gold standard prose shuffled across army fatigue blankets. Howard Craft allows the reader to perceive the moments, landscapes, and particulars of his own brand of Southern urbanism. He takes us there. Place. Physicality. His poetry becomes the hushed drum carrying the meter of persistence, racial identity, and invocations of the immensity… in which the unavoidable are saddled hip to hip to joy and revelation.
These poems remind us that our ancestors continue to whisper in our ears, remind us that we are at the helm steering ourselves, on our own terms, through yet another Middle Passage.”
    — Jaki Shelton Green

Threshing Floor

TF front cover

Threshing Floor is a serious book of poems in series.  These retellings of the Biblical Naomi are compelling and soulful.”

— Denise Duhamel

Threshing Floor tells the story of three women, their vulnerability and displacement; it will grip and hold women.  But, please God, may the book also be read by men—lots of men—because these poems are models of empathy in a world that sorely needs it.”

— Jeanne Murray Walker, author of Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems

Dante’s Anteroom

DA-front-cover“Margaret Rabb’s career in poetry was a romance with words…This descendant of Confederates, this servant of transvestites, cloud- chronicler, bibliophile, Anglican and Romantic, knew that the distance between the searcher and the bookshelf was intercontinental and yet intimate, that the time it took to find the special poem, the one addressed to the reader (and written by that same reader), was a lifetime and yet an instant.”

    — David Rigsbee, author of School of the Americas, Not Alone in My Dancing:  Essays and Reviews, and The Red Tower: New and Selected Poems.

Resisting Arrest

“One of the Ten Best Poetry Books of 2016″*

Proceeds go to a scholarship fund for African American youth,
administered by the Urban League in Washington, D.C.

Resisting ArrestPolice killings of citizens of color are becoming an American past time way past its prime. But one thing we can depend on in this hour of chaos, confusion, clarity, outrage and sorrow: America’s media will certainly be there to insinuate itself, however crudely, however clumsily and rudely, into the sickness of the American psyche.


No need for me to further enumerate the endless trail of police violations, brutalities, killings. I’ll let the poets sing their names. I’ll let the Tradition say, Amen! For the great and socially committed poets assembled herein have been engaged in call and response; bearing witness to the maladies of a nation whose so-called founding begins with brutality and policing; begins with genocide, confiscation and death in the name of profit, greed and expansion.


The poet-witnesses in this collection distill the horror and let in the light of our common humanity. They remind us of a universal hurt, grief, anger, rage, shame and love that we all can recall when confronting the blunt reality and the savagery of abuses associated with corrupted power, indifference and intolerance.


This is not a catalogue of death and despair. This is a work of resistance and resilience. These poets sing songs of love, which is what this book is, essentially.



— Tony Medina

Poems by, in order of appearance –
Martín Espada, Joel Dias-Porter, Afaa Michael Weaver, Sonia Sanchez, Camille Rankine, Patricia Spears Jones, Rae Paris, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Roger Bonair-Agard, Kwame Dawes, Nile Lansana, Keith Gilyard, Ana Castillo, Jabari Asim, Derrick Weston Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Venus Thrash, Kelly Norman Ellis, T.J. Anderson, Reuben Jackson, Phillip B. Williams , giovanni singleton, Jericho Brown, Ching-In Chen, Niki Herd, Metta Sáma, Frank X Walker, Khadijah Queen, Danny Simmons, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Jaki Shelton Green, Raina Leon,Veronica Golos, Marilyn Nelson, Kenji C. Liu, Marilyn Singer, Adam Falkner, L. Lamar Wilson, Jon Sands, Cornelius Eady, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Quincy Scott Jones, Douglas Kearney, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Howard Craft, Malcolm Friend, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Brian Gilmore, Lynne Thompson, Kim Roberts, M. Askia Toure, Mitchell L.H. Douglas,Ricardo Nazario y Colón, Tara Betts, Jamaal May, Rashidah Ismaili, James E. Cherry, Quraysh Ali Lansana , Bao Phi, devorah major, Khadijah Queen, Yusef Komunyakaa, Abdul Ali, Allison Joseph , Reuben Jackson, Minal Hajratwala, b: william bearhart, Jane Alberdeston Coralin, Esther Iverem, Jerry W. Ward, Jr., Ishmael Reed, Howard Craft, Quincy Troupe, Thylias Moss, Haki Madhubuti, Everett Hoagland, Tennessee Reed, Onam Lansana, Marvin K. White,  Zeina Hashem Beck, Lauren K Alleyne, Rita Dove, Mark Doty, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Ross Gay, Joy Harjo

*Beltway Poetry Journal         

Creeks of the Upper South

COTUS-front-cover“The poems in Creeks of the Upper South rely on call and response—both within individual poems and from poem to poem—which seems fitting, given the collaborative nature of the collection. At times, the  voices and personal narratives are alive and burgeoning, and at the same time fragile. Other times, primal and colloquial language fuses into a lexicon of ecological anxieties and understandings. This collection calls us to take off our boots, roll up our britches, and follow the creeks and voices meandering and forking through these poems.  We can’t help but respond.”  

    — Adam Vines


“Creeks of the Upper South is collaborative poetry at flood-surge. It is a braided stream, the skitter-flight of water fowl, a storm event of vowels, childhood as rocky shoals, cut-bank in language’s flow. Amy Wright and William Wright walk back the postmodern idea that word and place, signifier and signified, can’t roil the same deep channel.”

    — John Lane


This book is being published collaboratively with Unicorn Press.

After the Three Moon Era

ATTME-CoverWinner of the 2015 Jacar Press Poetry Book Prize

In After the Three Moon Era, Gary Fincke keeps returning to the missing, the vanished, the disappeared. The speaker of his sharply-etched poems is a man in late middle age, caught between a grandchild who whirls unafraid on an open staircase and a disheartened father of ninety who asks, “What’s next?” Fincke brings a penetrating gaze and an elegiac tenderness to the telling “news items” he discovers in a world haunted by intimations of mortality.
— Chana Bloch, author of Swimming in the Rain, New & Selected Poems, 1980-2015


Gary Fincke’s sweeping After the Three Moon Era is a razor-edged investigation of our modern reality: its wars and chemical plants, its familial aches and obligations, its daily reminders of mortality’s inescapable pull. These poems see clear-eyed into the darkness, but maintain an abiding wonder at the mysteries (the earth’s once-upon-a-time three moons; sinkholes’ habit of appearing on Thursdays) that grace our mundane lives so that they, like these poems, quietly glow. Incisive, empathetic, and arresting, this is an absolute knockout of a book.
— Catherine Pierce, author of The Girls of Peculiar and Famous Last Words

How Small, Confronting Morning

How Small, Confronting Morning
Lola Haskins, How Small, Confronting Morning.

W.S. Merwin believes “Haskins writes with the startling freedom and grace of a kite flying, and with the variety and assurance of invention that reveal, in image after image, the dream behind the waking world.” In this, her 14th collection, she focuses on the natural world of inland Florida, writing poems “close to plein air” experiences.  The winner of 2 NEA Fellowships, as well as 4 Florida Cultural Affairs fellowships, “Haskins latest collection is as beguiling as the Florida creeks, tupelo trees and wading birds that grace its pages.” Cynthia Barnett. Publication date January, 2016.

Astonished to Wake

Astonished to Wake
Julie Suk, Astonished to Wake.

“The poetry of Julie Suk is at once deceptively spare and metaphorically rich, and the sensual mystery of her perfectly pitched and etched lines is haunting, elemental, and wild,”  says R. T. Smith.  In her 6th collection, Suk continues to write poems that are deeply sensuous and unflinching. Her awards include the University of Arkansas Poetry Competition, the Roanoke-Chowan Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine. She is a former  managing editor of Southern Poetry Review. Publication date January, 2016.



IntimacyIntimacy is a state of closeness that transcends explanation. It is a feeling of being at home emotionally and physically, a biological need so severe that when we don’t have intimacy with those who are most significant in our lives, the effects can be devastating. When we do find intimacy, it can be transcendent.  


This collection brings together poems that explore intimacy between lovers, friends, parents and children, people and their pets, humans and the environment, and more. Work by dozens of writers including Chana Bloch, Maxine Chernoff, Toi Derricote, John Balaban, Thylias Moss, Leanne O’Sullivan, Richard Jackson, Kathryn Stripilng Byer, Jaki Shelton Green and over 70 more poets.


Disquiet“The philosophy and emotional pulse moving behind the words—that and the flawless lineation of the music—just wouldn’t let me go.”
— Jamaal May, Hum (Alice James Books) American Library Association Notable Book Award


“Kelly Michels’ collection takes us to an amazing elsewhere that is both palpable and magical, incantatory, tragic, and beautiful. Beneath the swirl of linked images and the muscular movement and music of the language, throb the stories these poems undertake, not confessional, not pain style, not complaint, not even recounted but instead revealed in a voice with its own clarity and the logic of metaphor holding, even as the real becomes surreal. The images catch the light as they turn together in unlikely yet nearly perfect partnership.


The journey taken here is harrowing, perilous, darkly graceful, and bears truths beyond boundaries. I would follow these designs on the world, these honed knives, these desperate memories anywhere. The journey ends with Tonight in D minor, and I raise my head from these poems with Mystery ringing in my ears. These phrases occur to me: dazzlingly original, deft and wildly successful gamble. Let’s just say that Disquiet is a truly remarkable gathering by a very gifted new poet.”
— Betty Adcock

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