Ahsahta Press offers our entire 2012–2013 season of eight books for $88 by subscription, a more than 40% discount from the list price. Shipping is free. You’ll get our books upon publication in September, January, March, and May.
Subscribe for yourself and give a subscription as a gift! Ahsahta Press books remind you why you love poetry.
Work from Memory by Dan Beachy-Quick and Matthew Goulish
“Work from Memory attempts to touch the fount of all effusions. Similar to the first testament, story and lyric are swept along together by an epic tendency toward no definitive (disingenuous) conclusions. I will recall passages from this book like the stanzas of songs I heard on the radio during my childhood, word for word at the most unexpected times. Or, I will forget the words of this book entirely only to experience what the book describes—all of my faculties working together simultaneously unaware that they are each part of a cosmos. Let us navigate this multi-verse by appending the names of favorite authors to newly discovered constellations. Let us imagine that each book we’ve read is the same book, one read to us long ago by a beloved caretaker who satisfied our every need before we could recite the alphabet. This book.” —Gregg Bordowitz, author of Imagevirus: General Idea (Afterall, 2010) and Volition (Printed Matter, 2009).
Counterpart by Elizabeth Robinson
“For twenty years Elizabeth Robinson has been making language do new things, and for a wonder she’s never afraid of that shadow of words we call affect. In Counterpart, her precise ear and sense of line sustain a poignant austerity of gesture. She knows that the real dark is the one we keep inside, and her lines scratch at the shell. Her exuberant imagery is chastened here, focused—image names meaning. The book is exciting in its silverpoint tracing of the complexity of our ‘dubious desires.’ She probes macabre spaces, golems and hells and devils, but not the ones our culture knows—these are the proper monsters of her self-encounters.” —Robert Kelly
Young Tambling by Kate Greenstreet
Young Tambling resonates with Greenstreet’s relentless exploration of what it means to need to feel, to be human, to make art. Memory, in this book of “experimental memoir,” works something like the narrative tactics of a traditional ballad—“alternate leaping and lingering,” in one formulation. Greenstreet does not dabble in teleological platitudes: the lives crosscutting these poems are not singular but plural and sublime, full of sacrifice and empathy for the lost. In Young Tambling, a life’s meaning is born of its poet’s song, and a memory cannot reveal its truth until it finds its ballad. “For her fine, homemade metaphysics, smartly deadpan cosmology, and redemptive, lyrical humanity, Greenstreet is strictly essential reading.” —Scott Wilkerson
Sonnets to the Humans by T. Zachary Cotler
The 2012 Sawtooth Poetry Prize winner, selected by Heather McHugh. “This is a wizard’s handiwork …. Sonnets to the Humans stands as one unstoppered bottle for a host of genii, lightning-Nimrods, angel-demons, Ænglisch as demotic, ash as egg. It’s a brilliant, intimate, intricate, careening, calibrating, strangely moving collection of 49 poems—pieces introduced and linked by patches of the prose narration of ‘a fictional poet, who lived in the 21st century’ and bore the name of Vishvamitra…. Thus we embark, in part, on an old story—but one re-generated here in ways unheralded, unheard-of. It becomes a futuristic lover’s lyrical lament and a recapitulation (or enactment) of the Babel tale; (even thus largely to restrict its scope can only be reductive: it’s a book with a very long half-life).” —Heather McHugh
Cloud vs. Cloud by Ethan Paquin
“Pow, bam, bang, kerplunk my god, from where do I get this anger, kid?” Paquin takes issue with nothing so much as the death of beauty in his fourth book, where human relationships persist in a world not only post-pastoral, but post-art. Irony and garishness take over from sincerity and quiet in this version of America, and the world’s the worse for it, according to Paquin’ narrator. “i am the most important pest of my generation i will cut any man disagrees / into 198,000 pieces, i will starve him for 563 days i will make salt of his loins….” “Paquin can’t seem to help himself. He indulges joyfully in the beauty of words, and for that, his audience will be thankful.” —Alexis M. Smith
Forty-one Jane Doe’s by Carrie Olivia Adams
Here you will find those familiar women who are known only by the colors of their dresses as they cross the city. Each is on a quest for the solution to her own mystery, her own encounters with fate and grace. These women ask questions they aren’t supposed to ask. Is Pandora a Jane? Is the elusive aviatrix? While Adams isn’t quite writing narrative poems, the sequences together build a story of Janes known or wished to be known or who may become known soon. The book comes with a DVD of movies Adams made to accompany the text.
The Year of the Rooster by Noah Eli Gordon
The Year of the Rooster offers in its title work a kinetic, convulsive, epic poem that explores and explodes through slippery, circumspect pronouns expectations of gender, the authority of artifice, the act of looking, and the action of thought. Is the rooster a trope? Is he a trooper? Maybe he’s a she and she’s the expectation of masculine bravado he’s trying to unmask. Part action painting, part abstract estrangement, part enactment of the artist’s uncertainty about all things art, the weird world of this poem is forever in flux, off-kilter, unanswerable. Planting bullets in the flowerbed of the sonnet, “Diminishing Returns” and “Returning Diminishments,” two extended, meditative yet humorous suites, bookend the title poem.
Noise Event by Heidi Lynn Staples
The state of mind here is Florida, its flora and fauna and beaches and high schools, and Heidi Lynn Staples is hearing it all, from birdsong (“shrill killy killy” to “harsh kak kak”) to boyfriends (“a really wonderful time in 7th period Stay unique! Maybe you won’t want to marry me anymore”). A masterful listener and music-maker, Staples’ homophonic translations echo throughout the poems with a noise more joyful than any poet’s made of language in recent memory. “Of the language-powered poets on the poetic landscape, Heidi Lynn Staples is one of the only ones whose heart powers the machine.” —Mary Karr