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Books

Rafetown Georgics. Garin Cycholl. 2008. ISBN-13 9780978644024. $12.95.

Praise for Rafetown Georgics

There’s much to be learned here. At this long moment—this book—in Garin Cycholl’s continuing project the prairie’s a verb (“light cracked and/ prairied”), the landscape of the Midwest “a haggard trophy”; these pages tangle exquisitely with the varieties of distance and from South-of-70 to the city of the big shoulders and beyond, the work teases belief out of chrome, tours the nature of vipers, and traces (and burns) the blue in green. Rafetown Georgics is a confidence of practical matters (rural and otherwise), a jukebox of voices telling wonders, an astonishing book.

— C. S. Giscombe

Garin Cycholl’s georgics are the rustic songs and ditties of those who work the earth. (Geo = earth; ergon = work.) Obsessive listing of the objects of the earth—from its plant names to its place names to the makes of the automobiles that its laborers crisscross it with—is Cycholl’s mode in Rafetown Georgics, from out of which he represents American landscapes with a perfect, weary, and witty clarity, “a field, / planted with stones, even the words broken, me / a lingering god.” This is holy, ancient poetry.

— Peter O’Leary



The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century. Eds. William Allegrezza and Raymond Bianchi. 2007. ISBN 0-9786440-1-8 and ISBN-13 978-0-9786440-1-7. $22.95.

This anthology brings together a sampling of some of the best poets working in Chicago and the surrounding region. From all corners of the city, these poets are crafting a voice for Chicago literature in the new century.

The book contains work from the following poets:

Jennifer Scappettone * Suzanne Buffam * Srikanth Reddy * Robyn Schiff * Nick Twemlow * John Tipton * Eric Elshtain * David Pavelich * Peter O’Leary * William Fuller * Michael O’Leary * Mark Tardi * Erica Bernheim * Michael Antonucci * Chris Glomski * Garin Cycholl * Luis Urrea * Kristy Odelius * Lina Ramona Vitkauskas * Simone Muench * Lea Graham * Ed Roberson * Arielle Greenberg * Tony Trigilio * Shin Yu Pai * Dan Beachy-Quick * Maxine Chernoff * Kerri Sonnenberg * Jesse Seldess * Paul Hoover * Michelle Taransky * Robert Archambeau * Bill Marsh * Larry Sawyer * Cecilia Pinto * Johanny Vázquez Paz * Ela Kotkowska * Jorge Sanchez * Joel Craig * Daniel Borzutzky * Joel Felix * Raymond Bianchi * Cynthia Bond * William Allegrezza * Jennifer Karmin * Tim Yu * Laura Sims * Roberto Harrison * Brenda Cárdenas * Stacy Szymaszek * Chuck Stebelton.

Praise for The City Visible.

When Carl Sandburg asked in his Chicago Poems, close to a hundred years ago, for "a voice to speak to me in the day end, / A hand to touch me in the dark room / Breaking the long loneliness," little did he know his city would be so fully and livingly answered and so honored. Chicago is again transformed by poetry. Here in these myriad acts of imagination, the poets of The City Visible give to it again, in Shakespeare's terms, :a local habitation and a name."

Peter Gizzi

The most exciting and satisfying anthology I’ve acquired in the past month is The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century . . . It not only is easily the best anthology I’ve ever seen that tried to capture the lively scene of the Second City, but it’s a worthy companion to Stephanie Young’s Bay Poetics, which for my money is the gold standard in contemporary poetry anthologies, especially ones that offer a regional focus.

Ron Silliman

There's a lot of fantastic writing here . . . there s a diversity of expression that makes it a fantastic sourcebook.

Simon DeDeo

The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century is a prudent investment for any reader of contemporary poetry . . . the book is a nice, hearty, earnest sampling of interesting poets.

Olivia Cronk, Bookslut

Time Out Chicago lists it as one of the 5 best Chicago poetry books.





Michelle Noteboom's Edging. ISBN 0-9786440-0-X. 2006. $12.95.
Formally innovative and playful, drawing on personal experience and research, Michelle Noteboom’s first collection of poems weaves together obsessions about skin and body, desire and violence, science and sensuality. Here, edges are blades as well as boundaries. They are horizons and frontiers between physical and mental territories; frames of what is seen, felt, grasped. Noteboom takes us on a poetic exploration of skin as border between self and the world, of language as limit between self and meaning. This is writing that maps and migrates, transgresses and erodes in a constant collage of exchange between the inner and outer realms. While remaining firmly rooted in a real sense of physicality, Edging little by little catapults us into a futuristic outpost "on the outskirts of something", where identity blurs and our bodies become “a new kind of language".


Praise for Edging.

We're all insiders when it comes to the skin. Michelle Noteboom's Edging wants to turn that inside out. This is skin as the material of ever-changing identity. The vibrations, pressure points, scrubbing and shedding-- various, curious, tragic, sensual, and exact. William Burroughs thought language was a virus, reading Noteboom one suspects it may be a masseuse. Here, in our skin, to "sink into seemingly insurmountable become."

Rod Smith

In this deeply moving first collection, Michelle Noteboom takes a rigorous, relentless, and compassionate look at the body in its most vulnerable moments. Focusing on skin---as a wave in which the body breaks against the world, as a screen on which our most intimate communications are written---she probes human possibility, revealing how it can betray humanity, but also, how, ultimately, it returns to it.

Cole Swensen

Michelle Noteboom’s poetry traverses boundaries, created and imposed, with a fierce inquisitiveness that unearths our constant physical and psychological vulnerability in spite of, but also because of, our agency in the marking and manipulation of the human form. Edging, as both process and object, flirts with that tenuous space between objects, bodies—that shape-shifting realm where one can only “touch it now, then awake.” Noteboom’s poetry holds the ‘surrogate self’ under examination, and the future of the body is suddenly, urgently drawn close. This is a fearless and captivating debut.

E. Tracy Grinnell