April 2010

April 2010 Newsletter

 

Dear Reader,

As you may know, April is National Poetry Month. Come on by and pick up a poem at the counter for you to read on the spot, or put in your pocket to read throughout the day. Margaret has made a sweet array of poems for your delight and edification. Alongside our special poetry events happening in each of our stores, we decided to do even more this year to celebrate poetry. We've dedicated this entire newsletter to poetry. Also, each day we will be posting a new poetry video on our website. Read, chosen, and recorded by your favorite Diesel booksellers, they show a wide range of poetic (and visual) styles. They will also be available on our YouTube channel. While you're on our site, don't forget to check out our blog, called Chatter, with posts by all of us, but especially Anna. Also, don't forget, those of you who read on computers, e-readers, iPhones, PDAs, and iPads - you can gracefully, easily, and immediately download e-books off of your local independent bookstore's site: ours! Why undercut the culture by supporting sites that are anti-community, anti-publisher, anti-culture? Support indies on the internet!

Happy Reading!
John & all Dieselfolk

 

Staff Pick Logo
The Rattle Bag: An Anthology of Poetry Cover Image
By Seamus Heaney (Editor), Ted Hughes (Editor)
$24.95
ISBN: 9780571225835
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 17th, 2005

Imagine asking two poets in your personal pantheon to select their favorite poems for an anthology - no limit to number, no balance as to type or theme, the sole criterion being poems they love. What makes this anthology unique (and in print since 1982) is not just the stellar poets who chose the poems but also their method. In the introduction, Heaney describes this collection as having amassed itself like a cairn, picked up one by one and left in situ without much thought given to the poems already in the pile. To preserve its special serendipity, the poems are presented in order of first line, not artificially grouped. The Rattle Bag is the ultimate desert island collection and one I return to year after year. -- Margaret Simpson


Staff Pick Logo
Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems [With CD (Audio)] Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781582435411
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 2009

Counterpoint has just published a 50th Anniversary Edition of Gary Snyder's epochal Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems. Along with Turtle Island and Mountains and Rivers Without End (also generously published by Counterpoint), Riprap is the classic Snyder which has permeated our culture, our counterculture, our ideas about nature and ourselves, and our now very American Buddhism. This edition is beautifully wrapped in a dust jacket graced with Tom Killion's beautiful artwork "Foxtail Pines, Big Arroyo" and includes a CD of Snyder reading all of the poems. It is a stunning edition, slim and powerful - like the man. -- John Evans


Staff Pick Logo
Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century: Selected Poems 1961-1985 Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781566892384
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - September 2009

This updated edition of Thirsting For Peace in a Raging Century, which won the National Book Award in 1988, is a masterpiece of expansive writing. While Edward Sanders is (rightfully) celebrated as a counterculture hero, he's much more than that - his background in the classics gives his writing some of the epic weight of Homer and Virgil, and his explorations into ancient Egyptian culture allow him to draw some striking, and surprisingly effortless, parallels between 1960 BC and 1960 AD. The poems draw from a vast stable of characters and scenes: Ginsberg, Olson, Pound, Wordsworth, Sappho, and Plato, along with Nixon, Charles Manson, angry pharaohs, drug dealers, crooked cops, poetry readings, plane rides, Egyptian death-boats, psilocybin trips, obscene trysts both real and fantasized, and nearly everything else under the sun. For an example of Sanders' range, start with "Sappho on East Seventh" - it's one of my favorite poems of all time. -- John Peck


Staff Pick Logo
Let's Not Keep Fighting the Trojan War: New and Selected Poems 1986-2009 Cover Image
By Edward Sanders, Joanne Kyger (Introduction by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9781566892346
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - September 2009

This volume picks up where Thirsting For Peace in a Raging Century leaves off, and it doesn't miss a step. While some of the poets who came to prominence in the middle of the 20th century may have foundered somewhat in the modern era, re-dressing their old poems in ill-fitting modern clothes, Ed Sanders has only come more and more into his own voice. The horrors and sadness of the modern day - 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, ever-dwindling arts funding - are all present, and each is given its due, but only insofar as it plays its part in the greater current of history. To Sanders, each war is just another battle in the great Trojan War, which has never really ended: "Aeschylus knew how the people can boil/ but can they boil toward aught but war?" This book is a balm for our times, simply because, in an era of increasing impatience and distraction, Sanders inspires with his unwavering focus on (and love for) humanity. -- John Peck


Staff Pick Logo
William Blake on Self and Soul Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780674035249
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Harvard University Press - January 2010

Claimed by Atheists and Christians, Romantics and Idealists, Gnostics and Revolutionaries, even Druids, William Blake stood (and stands) at a crossroads of the Western soul. He bravely pointed down a path few have taken, leaving his work a challenging anomaly for most readers ever since. Much has been written, some of it brilliantly, attempting to parse his vast and difficult poetic works and translate them for new generations. The University of California's The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake is a wonderful place to start, and A Blake Dictionary is an excellent supplement to reading the works themselves. Quinney's new book has provided one of the clearest and most concise articulations of what is perhaps Blake's central concern: the salvation of the human soul from the distortions of social, scientific, cultural and religious history. By confining, and refining, her subject, Quinney has opened up a revelatory window into the arc of his prophetic books and the evolving psychology they articulate. Fascinating as cultural history, as contemporary commentary and critique, and as poetic deep reading, it is surprisingly accessible, without compromising the depth of its analysis and the profundity of its subject. -- John Evans


Staff Pick Logo
Sight Map: Poems Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780520258761
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: University of California Press - March 2009

In his recent book of poetry, Sight Map, Brian Teare embraces the role of lead cartographer. Writing with confidence and precision, he charts the manifold connections between a gritty yet graceful material world and its mystical counterpart. We quickly discover that the poet's perceptions of flora and fauna, of lovers lost and found, of cityscapes, fields and cosmos are all beautifully intertwined. The book's lush, powerful, and wide-reaching vocabulary further blurs the boundaries between nature, sex, philosophy, and prayer. These poems are daring and lyrically complex, and Teare employs a variety of exquisite forms. Each page delivers a carefully crafted meditation that reminds readers of the many ways language can seduce and comfort and challenge us. -- Steffi Drewes


Staff Pick Logo
The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel Cover Image
By Don Marquis, Michael Sims (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143039754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 2006

Archy is a cockroach poet. Mehitabel is an alley cat who claims to have been Cleopatra in a previous life. Don Marquis is the writer who put these two oddball characters together for a truly unique and eccentric poetry experience. Archy and Mehitabel is made up of philosophical musings, misanthropic epithets, and even some ironic commentary on animal cruelty, all told through the free verse poetry of a cockroach jumping on the keys of Marquis's typewriter. Immensely entertaining with spectacular and unexpected moments of profundity, Archy and Mehitabel is an obscure poetic classic that should no longer be overlooked. -- Geo Ong


Staff Pick Logo
If There is Something to Desire: One Hundred Poems Cover Image
By Vera Pavlova, Steven Seymour (Translator)
$24.00
ISBN: 9780307272256
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Knopf - January 19th, 2010

I'm not a flowery verse kind of gal. When this book first arrived, I gravitated to it, perhaps because of the simple cover, the title's opening line in red that sets it apart from the poems' blue body. I opened it and began to read, not stopping until I finished all 100 poems. Pavlova's bare bones verse is raw, honest and straight to the point. She has a way of capturing those fleeting moments that allows the reader to linger, and the luxury to recall memories. -- Cheryl Ryan