Trembling Pillow Press

Tag Archive: New Orleans

I Love This American Way of Life

I Love this American Way of Life

I Love this American Way of Lifeby Brett Evans

$16.00 | April 2013

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With deliciously suggestive illustrations and daring pop-ups, pull-tabs and action mechanics, I Love This American Way of Life is guaranteed to rustle your bustle, pop your cork, and fog over your monocle.
— Joel Dailey

Brett Evans poems make me feel dirty/clean. He takes the entire subjective world that we want to un-see, opens a view to the squalor that we want to overlook, and re-upholsters it with gilded coats. I Love This American Way of Life is like shuffling a deck of cards and then pulling out the Ace over and over again. Each one a new lyric, an unapologetic delve into the psyche of our Americanness, our otherness, and full of fortune love. Evans brings the solution to light in each poem–a temporary in your face, that falls away into the crushing beauty of Americana.
— Mariana Ruiz

When he’s in a thrifty mood, Evans’ poems bob and weave like featherweight skeletons, dealing first round rabbit punch knockouts. When he stretches out a bit, the images roll at you in waves, and it’s as much fun leaning into them as Proactol letting them tumble you.
When you meet Brett, you think, “I’d like to read this guy’s poems.” When you read his poems, you think, “I’d like to meet this guy.”
— Lou Thevenot

Equal parts amusing and useless.
— Rob Cambre

About the Author

Brett EvansBrett Evans’ work has been featured in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, Another South:Experimental Writing in the South, and Poets for Living Waters. It also appears in the biography Ernie K-Doe: the R & B Emperor of New Orleans. He is a regular contributor to One, Fell Swoop, Lungfull!, and unarmed magazines. Other books of the author include Slosh Models, Ready-to-Eat Individual(with Frank Sherlock), and After School Session, as well as the chapbooks Ways to Use Lanceand Pisa Can. He is a founding member of the carnival microkrewe ‘tit-Rəx, New Orleans’ only shoebox parade, for which his “schwa solution” extracted the krewe from legal wrangles with Rex, the king of carnival. He is also a member of the bands Skin Verb and Splinter Group. He lives on the lee of the Bayou St. John levee in New Orleans, LA.

Other Books by Brett Evans:
After School Session, Subpress, 2002
Ready-To- Eat Individual (with Frank Sherlock), Lavender Ink, 2008
T. Rex Parade (with Christopher Shipman) Lavender Ink, 2015  

Photo credit: Jonathan Traviesa

Downtown

Downtown

Downtownby Lee Meitzen Grue

$15.00 | 138 pages | 2011 | ISBN: 978-0979070242

Also available from Small Press Distribution.

Lee Grue is arguably one of the finest practitioners of poetry in New Orleans’ storied history. These superb writs are equal to the upwelling of jazz itself: from Treme street corners, to the wayward French Quarter, to the carefree vibes of Bywater, all the way to back o’ town; this astonishing collection speaks from a mythic pantheon of yowls & beats as timeless as the Crescent City herself.

These poems are poetgraphs, deconstructions of the cliches associated with pictures. Lee Meitzen Grue’s poetgraphs are precise, sometimes delicate and most often power-infused renderings of a sensibility moving among people, moments of history, architecture and neighborhood spaces, flavors , the music and  epiphanies. The book must be read as a whole, as an evening of jazz improvisations.  Poetgraphs unlock the essence of design and magic in New Orleans, the spirituality of a place where community is created and reborn. The rhythms of thick descriptions force the secular and the sacred to dance in balance.
— Jerry W. Ward, Jr., author of The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery

These poems take place in the oldest neighborhoods of New Orleans, where the city’s soul is to be found: Treme, the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, and the Katrina-stricken Lower Ninth Ward. The past is mapped onto the present, as memories of an old ice house on Chartres Street and the youngest Marsalis brother “learning his trade in a bar at midnight” flash back even as “the Gray Line tourists come to see the new Pompeii” and the speaker elegizes a mounting toll of departed friends. “I brought the wrong people / to the right place,” she laments in a poem about taking three culture snobs from New York City to hear a superb local saxophonist whose name is unknown to them. But anyone whose soul truly resonates to the music of New Orleans will be grateful for this gritty, teeming, life-affirming book—Grue’s finest to date.
— Julie Kane, author of Jazz Funeral

A city’s downtown is traditionally where the action is—it’s where people come together to work, play, compete, live.  In Lee Grue’s wonderful new collection of poems, Downtown, we witness the intricate and fascinating nature of Lee’s city, New Orleans, and we meet the people who live there in all their complex glory and joy and sadness.  Downtown is where the action truly is—Downtown is where it’s at….
—Lowell Mick White, author of That Demon Life and Long Time Ago Good

Lee Grue knows Treme, Way Downtown, Bywater, Hind Quarter, the French Quarter. She knows the poets and the jazz musicians. She sings New Orleans, and she sings it true.
— Jane Ciabattari, president, National Book Critics Circle (2008-11)

Lee Grue’s work is one of the majestic pylons that keeps New Orleans above water, a pylon woven thickly and subtly from the city’s history. Her poetry weaves her personal history to the five centuries of the city’s own, a fabric stronger than the dreams of engineers. Lee Grue holds us all on the warm open hand of her music; she emanates the love that raises the soul levees.
— Andrei Codrescu, author of Whatever Gets You Through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

If you’re missing New Orleans, and you know what that means, you need to read Grue’s book front to back, place by place, time by time, name by name, everything that breaks your broken heart and asks it to sing. A generous, loving tribute to poetry and to New Orleans.
— Dara Wier, author of Reverse Rapture

About the Author

Lee Meitzen GrueIn words I would never find otherwise, my poetry emerges from the hynagogic state near sleep.
— Lee Meitzen Grue

Lee Meitzen Grue was born in Plaquemine, La, a small town upriver. New Orleans has been home for most of her life. She discovered poetry and Edgar Allan Poe in a vault full of school books in Anahuac, Texas where she spent summers with the Meitzens. Although she writes about anything that strikes her fancy, Nijinsky and Texas for instance, much of her poetry and many of her stories have to do with place and the place is New Orleans.

She began reading her poetry at The Quorum Club during the early sixties. There she met musicians, Eluard Burt and Maurice Martinez (band leader Marty Most). Burt had just come back to New Orleans from San Francisco where he had been influenced by the Beats.The Quorum Club was the first non segregated coffee house in the South. At that time it would have been unlikely for Lee Grue to meet and work with African American musicians any place else. Eluard Burt and Lee Grue continued to work together over many years. Burt and his wife, photographer Kichea Burt came home to New Orleans from California again in the nineties, where the three collaborated on a CD, Live on Frenchmen Street. Eluard Burt passed in 2007. Kichea Burt contributed some of the photographs in this book.

During the intervening years Grue reared children, directed The New Orleans Poetry Forum workshop, and NEA poetry readings in the Backyard Poetry Theater. In 1982 she began editing New Laurel Review, an independent international literary journal, which is still published today. She has lived downtown in the Bywater for thirty-five years.

After the flood of 2005 she began teaching fiction and poetry workshops funded by Poets and Writers, Inc at the Alvar Library, which is three blocks from her house. Such fine writers have emerged from this workshop the library is publishing an anthology of their work.

Other Books by Lee Meitzen Grue

  • Trains and Other Intrusions. Poetry Forum Press, 1974
  • French Quarter Poems. Long Measure Press, 1979
  • In The Sweet Balance of the Flesh. Plain View Press, 1990
  • Goodbye, Silver Silver Cloud. (short stories) Plain View Press, 1994
  • Live! On Frenchmen Street. (with Eluard Burt) CD, 2000
  • Three Poets in New Orleans. Xavier Review Press, 2000

Transfixion

Transfixion

Transfixionby Bill Lavender

$15.00 | 120 pages | 2010 | ISBN: 9781891053115


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Bill Lavender’s sixth book continues the investigations of identity and community, language and reality, begun in the earlier books. Andrei Codrescu says brings to fruition processes and forms only hinted at previously. Endorsed by Andrei Codrescu and other vital members of the American poetry community, the book resolutely finds its own way through the current poetic fashions. The language is fresh, the insights compelling—what Pierre Joris calls “writing in tongues…”

Review on Exquisite Corpse

Review on Pierre Joris’s Nomadics blog

Bill Lavender deploys here the weapon he’s hesitated to use until now: the “I,” in its most bitter-sweet reflexive lethal mode. The barrel is pointed at a mercilessly dissected self that it fires at with compassion and a wealth of sportive detail. This book is an amazingly beautiful collection of (self) hunting notes.
—Andrei Codrescu

Each word has two meanings, it’s regular meaning and the other one: let’s rejoin the hoopla till “the onrushing host loops thought as a green sprig”.
—Bernadette Mayer

This is sharp swish writing in tongues forked twixt Horace and Lorca and everyman & woman you have or have never met. I call it a gift that keeps giving ‘to see, to understand or think immediately.’ Keep smiling, keep reading, all your friends are here and then some, though the “ground of imago is fear / a paranoid metropolis” — but we know a paranoid city is a city knows the facts — and why worry, there’s a hospital of grammar copulating beneath a full moon. For Bill Lavender is the doctor of present experience, be that in oddly populist states, rich republics or cities emerging from the water, like Atlantis spelled backwards.
—Pierre Joris

About the Author

Bill LavenderBill Lavender is the publisher at Lavender Ink.

His most recent book of poetry is Transfixion, published in 2009 by Trembling Pillow and Garret County Presses. Poems from this book have been published online in E*Ratio and Fieralingua, and in print in YAWP, Fell Swoop, and Prairie Schooner. Books also include I of the Storm (Trembling Pillow 2006), While Sleeping (Chax Press 2004), look the universe is dreaming (Potes and Poets 2002), and Guest Chain (Lavender Ink 1999). He is currently editing a volume of creative responses to Arakawa and Gins, has been a guest editor at Exquisite Corpse and Big Bridge, and has edited an anthology, Another South: Experimental Writing in the South, from University of Alabama Press (2003). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous print magazines including Praire Schooner, Jubilat, New Orleans Review, Gulf Coast Review, Skanky Possum, YAWP, and Fell Swoop, and web publications including Exquisite Corpse, E•ratio , CanWeHaveOurBallBack, Moria, Big Bridge, and Nolafugees. He has published scholarship in Poetics Today and Contemporary Literature.

Other Books By Bill Lavender

  • Memory Wing (Forthcoming Black Widow Press)
  • A Field Guide to Trees (Foothills Press, 2011)
  • 31 Poems: The Katrina Series (Lavender Ink, 2006)
  • Another South: Experimental Writings from the South (Editor), (Univ. of Alabama, 2003)
  • While Sleeping (Chax Press, 2004)
  • Look The Universe is Dreaming (Potes and Poets, 2002)
  • Guest Chain (Lavender ink, 1999)

Ethereal Avalanche

Ethereal Avalanche

Ethereal Avalancheby Gina Ferrara

$12.00 | 70 pages | 2009 | ISBN: 978-0979070228

Also available from Amazon.

Poems at Big Bridge

Artist Statement: The lush, semi-tropical landscape of Louisiana figures prominently into my work.  I explore themes of loss and redemption while looking at how the self repsonds to personal circumstances and larger, coexisitn ones.  I am also interested in writing ekphraistic poems that are inspired by paintings and other art forms.

About the Author

Gina FerraraGina Ferrara works as an educator and lives in New Orleans near Bayou St. John. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. Her chapbook, The Size of Sparrows, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals includingPoetry East, The Briar Cliff Review, and Callaloo. She was awarded a grant from The Elizabeth George Foundation and was recently published in The Poetry Ireland Review. She currently coordinates Poetry Buffet, the monthly reading series sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library. She has work forthcoming in Louisiana Literature.

Other Books by Gina Ferrara

Olympia Street

Olympia Street

Olympia Street

by Michael Ford

$10.00 | 86 pages | 2008

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Hear Michael Ford read

one scientific method of divination is a song whistling between the ears along a footpath, an ancient mixture of aperture and sound, the seeing ear the hearing eye, taking its walkabout here comes cornetist Buddy Bolden & radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden the trumpet and its antenna of leaves beginning at the end as all things do IN NEW ORLEANS a sonorous wave of busted hourglass one cut nightmare one cut dreamcast these violets found on Olympia Street.
—Trembling Pillow Press

About the Author

Michael FordMichael Ford, a long time resident of New Orleans, is currently pursuing a doctorate in U.S. literature at the University of Georgia in Athens. In addition to Olympia Street, he is the author ofCarbon (Ugly Duckling 2006) and a chapbook, Where We Expect to See You Soon, which is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse.

Other books by Michael Ford

  • Swing One Hand, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003
  • Carbon, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006

I of the Storm

I of the Storm

I of the Stormby Bill Lavender

$10.00 | 85 pages | ISBN: 978-0979070204

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Review on Galatea Resurrects

Interview with Bill Lavender

Expansive, autobiographical, philosophical, farcical, musical, utterly engaging, Bill Lavender proves in this book his kinship (great-grand-nephew?) with France’s immortal Jacques Prevert. Makes one laugh and cry and sometimes both at the same time. A one-man chorale of invincible life, rising out of floods and exiles and returns.
—Anselm Hollo

…abuzz with language or like a lake’s surface running at night with 6-inch waves.
—Skip Fox

It’s as if a Greek chorus had found its way into the mouth an everyman in the local bar of the mind, recounting the inner life of America from the assassination of Kennedy to catastrophe of Katrina.  I of the Storm is a talk poem of  the long dark night of the soul. Lavender’s unrelenting colloquial yarn weaves a spell in breathlessly extended lines of vivid verse that refuse to give up, against all odds.
—Charles Bernstein

I of the Storm is Bill Lavender’s brilliant personal aftermath mayhem of disconnected thought blowing off teh charts, all bubbling, frothy boards and nails and mental debris overflowing the body of poetry, which examines itself for signs of liife, while continuing to row through cold black water towards a solitary stranger stranded on a roof.
—Charles Borkhius

The Storm questioned every I with its devastating Eye and how this I met that gaze is the story we are all going to write for a long time to come. Bill Lavender’s centrifuge spins his I in his own lyric and indispensible language.
—Andrei Codrescu

Bill Lavender’s poetry is at once in and on and from and for the current storms: Katrina, the Bush administration, the new bar on the block. A mongrel mix of juicy gossip and Slavoj Zizek, southern yarn is sizegenetics spring loaded and New York school irony, paranoia and anti-pastoral, rootedness and road trip, drunkenness and sheer sobriety. There could be no better I than Bill Lavender’s to assimilate so much raw, often rank, detail. This is a crucial, home-made poetry of witness; miss it at your peril.
—Susan M. Schultz

About the Author

Bill LavenderBill Lavender is the director of the Low Residency Creative Writing program and Managing Editor of UNO Press. He is adjunct Assistant Professor of English.

Mr. Lavender’s most recent book of poetry is Transfixion, published in 2009 by Trembling Pillow and Garret County Presses. Poems from this book have been published online in E*Ratio and Fieralingua, and in print in YAWP, Fell Swoop, and Prairie Schooner. Books also include I of the Storm (Trembling Pillow 2006), While Sleeping (Chax Press 2004), look the universe is dreaming (Potes and Poets 2002), and Guest Chain (Lavender Ink 1999). He is currently editing a volume of creative responses to Arakawa and Gins, has been a guest editor at Exquisite Corpse and Big Bridge, and has edited an anthology, Another South: Experimental Writing in the South, from University of Alabama Press (2003). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous print magazines including Praire Schooner, Jubilat, New Orleans Review, Gulf Coast Review, Skanky Possum, YAWP, and Fell Swoop, and web publications including Exquisite Corpse, E•ratio, CanWeHaveOurBallBack, Moria, Big Bridge, and Nolafugees. He has published scholarship in Poetics Today and Contemporary Literature.

Other Books By Bill Lavender

  • Memory Wing (Black Widow Press, 2011)
  • A Field Guide to Trees (Foothills Press, 2011)
  • 31 Poems: The Katrina Series (Lavender Ink, 2006)
  • Another South: Experimental Writings from the South (Editor), (Univ. of Alabama, 2003)
  • While Sleeping (Chax Press, 2004)
  • Look The Universe is Dreaming (Potes and Poets, 2002)
  • Guest Chain (Lavender ink, 1999)