WHAT ARE WE DOING?
The books of this Kickstarter project perfectly display what we do here in Tucson Arizona and send out to the world beyond. Pierre Joris’s Meditations on the Stations of Mansur Al-Hallaj, Maureen Owen’s Edges of Water, Lisa Samuels' Anti M, and Linh Dinh’s gathering of Vietnamese poetry titled The Deluge, extend and deepen the work of Chax Press in ways that will excite readers and contribute to the developing field of poetry in our time. These four are writers of cultural and poetic diversity who are creating humanistic, challenging new work.
ABOUT THE BOOKS & AUTHORS
1. MEDITATIONS ON THE STATIONS OF MANSUR AL-HALLAJ
- Pierre Joris’s Meditations on the Stations of Mansur Al-Hallaj provides 40 meditations, brief and extended, often surprising. It explores manners and matters, of heart and being, with wit and deep caring.
with you standing there
in the desert?
Take your hands out of
which is no excuse for your lack
when it comes to sharing this
last pinch of
hot sand & mica
hides as lint
in the pockets of
Pierre Joris was born in Strasbourg, France in 1946 and left to live in the U.S. when he was 19. He has also lived in Great Britain, North Africa, and France. He is a poet, translator, anthologist, and essayist. He teaches poetry and poetics in the English department at the university of Albany. Joris has published over 40 books. Joris' own poetry has been collected in two volumes, Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999, and Breccia: Selected Poems 1972-1986. He is one of the foremost translators of Avant Garde Poetry into both French and English.
2. EDGES OF WATER
- Maureen Owen has long been one of the great messengers among us, creating works that give us sustenance through their necessary combinations of humor and piercing vision. Edges of Water brings us another chapter of her persistence poetic practice.
millions of teacups of rain came down in torrents
clustering traits harpsichordist it’s all like high heels
kept in one place
rendering faithfully the noise alone
not surprisingly what we have often very personal elements
speak carbonated pendulum so many cross over
not knowing where it comes from
after others before us
Maureen Owen is a poet from Minnesota with experience living in a variety of places around the world. From California’s horse-racing tracks to Japan to New York, she has learning and teaching experiences of great breadth. As a publisher she has been a large part of many projects. She was co-director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York and later the Program Coordinator as well as a member of the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines. She publishes and edits for Telephone Books press and magazine.
3. ANTI M
- Lisa Samuels' Anti M presents a life as it develops in place and time, among matter, manner, and spirit, among family, love, and a contextually open poetic environment. Included photos provoke thought in visual as well as literary directions. With Samuels' Anti M we may not be in Kansas anymore, but we are turning in a constant state of transition.
She wants her strange on waves
she was as having smiles, tender looks. Sometimes she
kissed many children through
her only sister.
But they don’t equal human.
Lisa Samuels has a PhD from the University of Virginia and currently teaches literature and creative writing at The University of Auckland in New Zealand. She publishes essays and edited work on poetry, theory, and critical practice. She is the author of four chapbooks and six books of poetry, including The Invention of Culture, Throe, Tomorrowland, Mama Mortality Corridos, and Gender City. Her current projects include an essay collection, Modernism Is Not Enough, an audio recording of Tomorrowland with soundscapes, and a modular novel experiment, Tender Girl. Having lived in various parts of the United States, as well as in Sweden, Israel / Palestine, Yemen, Malaysia, and now New Zealand / Aotearoa, she is interested in transculturalism, especially as embodied in language and the digitas.
4. THE DELUGE
- Linh Dinh is a ground-breaking author of many books of short stories and poetry, who himself was exiled from Vietnam as a boy. In his upcoming book The Deluge, Dinh has compiled and edited significant works of contemporary Vietnamese poetry.
“Sitting” by Thanh Tam Tuyen
Towards evening strolling to the cemetery.
Low hanging autumn weather no scent but the raw grass.
Inside red-flecked eyes a corner of the summer sky smolders.
Rows of snaggly tombstones behind me on the lush fading lawn.
At the foot of the hill a neighborhood behind thin woods.
Sitting to watch. Sitting to reflect.
A cool breeze blowing chunks of my mind away.
Sitting as if planted by the gods. I plant this meat sack.
Sleeping wide-eyed without knowing it.
Linh Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1963, came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two collections of stories, Fake House and Blood and Soap, and four books of poems, All Around What Empties Out, American Tatts, Borderless Bodies and Jam Alerts, and a novel, Love Like Hate. His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004 and 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present and many other places. He is also the editor of the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam and Three Vietnamese Poets, and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao. Blood and Soap was chosen by the Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. He has also published widely in Vietnamese.
Risks and challenges
We can overcome any risks and challenges we might face with this project in a simple way: with your help!
Truthfully, succeeding as a literary press is hard work. Though Chax Press has existed and put out books for nearly 30 years, the past few years have brought a difficult funding climate. We have made it through and are embracing a bold program, but we really do need your help, as we seek more ways to support this work we believe is critical as well as beautiful and mind-expanding.
Each book costs approximately $2,500 to edit, design, and publish in a trade paperback edition that is then distributed through Small Press Distribution, Amazon.com, library networks, and on our web site at chax.org, as well as through our ever-growing web of social networking. We need to raise at least $1,500 per book to support these publications, thus have set our Kickstarter goal of $6,000. We cannot do this without your help! With success in this Kickstarter drive, soon these books will be available to you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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