Emergency Press is the imprint of the Emergency Collective.
A New York non-profit organization, the press is also a member and grant recipient of The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and a participant in the Green Press Initiative. Every year the press requests manuscript submissions from collective members who published work in The Emergency Almanac the previous year. A voluntary group of judges composed of collective members then selects one or more of the manuscripts for publication in the following year.
"Jayson Iwen's Six Trips in Two Directions is a stunning first book, joining private and public experience more effectively than any volume of poetry I've seen. This is just the sort of wide-ranging and lyrically astute writing that is needed in our post-911 period. It tells the truth on the personal and historical levels with grace and unrepentant openness, with the vitality and sass of Iwen's own true witness. Six Trips is an astonishing tale of living history in real time, in a dangerous and ancient place. It opens to history in a way that makes a purely lyrical poetry seem puny and irrelevant."
"In Jayson Iwen's rich and absorbing Six Trips in Two Directions, fragments of perception and thought, shards of philosophy, science and mathematicsWittgenstein, Newton, Aristotle, Kuhn, Leibniz, Mill, the disorientations of the desert and the chaos of Beirutare fused together by the forces of both attention and inattention into a powerful monument to the experience of passing time."
Excerpts from Six Trips in Two Directions appeared in a number of issues of The Emergency Almanac. Elsewhere, Iwen's work has recently appeared in New American Writing, Clackamas Literary Review, KNOCK, Fence, The Cream City Review, DIAGRAM, Poetry Motel, Southern Indiana Review, Onthebus, The Marlboro Review, Third Coast, and REED. Iwen teaches at The American University of Beirut.
September 2006 / paperback / ISBN 0-9753623-2-1 / 5" x 8" / 120 pages / Poetry / $15.00 (U.S.) $18 (CAN)
Emergency Press will donate 10% of the proceeds of this book to the Young Women's Institute for Global Studies.
Among many, Emergency Press would especially like to thank Stephen Bitterolf, Nellie Bridge, Chad Faries, Chris Fink, Kevin Gallagher, Steven Gillis, Jason Gitlin, Christopher Grimes, Tom Hansen, Anastasios Kozaitis, Ernest Loesser, Jerry McGuire, André Pretorius, Francis Raven, Dayana Stetco, Bryan Tomasovich, Henry Williams, and Scott Zieher for helping to make possible the publication of Six Trips in Two Directions.
from Six Trips in Two Directions...
rolls through her memory washington
wants us to leave
wants dead sometimes
before light or word arrove
what they replaced
He points in my direction and shouts to someone out on the street
'To run a mile takes about 1,600 steps, at a cost of about 100 kilocalories for a human weighing about 150 pounds'
Aristotle says motion is the mode in which the future belongs to the presentthe joint presence of potentiality and actuality
The end of the alley seems an eternity away and my footfalls infinite divisions of that eternity, and I run faster than I thought I could, to prove I can get to the end
"The Border Will Be Soon is a compelling meditation on the ways in which the wars in the former Yugoslavia have seared themselves in the modern consciousness. Varied in its formal schemes and rhetorical strategies, bold in its approach to material distant form the concerns of most American readers, and surprising in its depth of understanding, this book announces the arrival of a strong new voice in contemporary poetry."
Christopher Merrill, author of Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars
"Faries opens himself to the land he's from, the land he goes to, and the swollen, sharp, and lovely words he learns and becomes in between. Urban sounds scrape against remembered bird calls, while the embodied tectonics of culture shock, human gentleness, and unassimilable sights are held together by a strong prose-poetic energy and vulnerable attention."
Lisa Samuels, author of Paradise for Everyone
Faries's poems, essays, photographs, and interviews have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Post Road, Mudfish, New American Writing, and The Cream City Review. He has lived and taught extensively in Central Europe.
September 2006 / paperback / ISBN 0-9753623-3-X / 6" x 9" / 92 pages / Poetry / $15.00 (U.S.) $18 (CAN)
Emergency Press will donate 10% of the proceeds of this book to PEN International.
Among many, Emergency Press would especially like to thank Nellie Bridge, Chris Fink, Kevin Gallagher, Steven Gillis, Jason Gitlin, Christopher Grimes, Tom Hansen, Jayson Iwen, Anastasios Kozaitis, Ernest Loesser, Jerry McGuire, André Pretorius, Francis Raven, Dayana Stetco, Bryan Tomasovich, Lisa Torrens, Henry Williams, and Scott Zieher for helping to make possible the publication of The Border Will Be Soon.
from The Border Will Be Soon...
We prepare our cameras by cutting out this special film
and fit it over the
Colors dissolve in the mouth of black noon. One huge square
eye dominates the composition. A frame within a frame and in that dark
eye I can see god. The mask suspends her and she is holding on, her knives
all flashing. The cutlery of her hands, basked in the light of an obscured
moon, claw at halogen. Her wrists are the texture of a waxed swan wing,
waterproofed with that frightening neck, twisted back, buffing feather
with an oily bill. A half knot of beauty. Oh to look so good and clean
after an immaculate war.
"Ouisconsin is not straight poetry; it is neither narrative prose nor dreamy, lyric riffing. It is a beautifully realized piece of deep history, showing how the vectors of family, legend and national history intersect."
Barry Wightman, Vital Source Magazine
"By weaving fragments culled from the land, from the sky, from myth, Bryan Tomasovich has given us an immigrant's song of America. Read these incantatory poems to trace the arc of poetry from Whitman to Ginsberg to now, and be dazzled."
Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Blind Huber, and Some Ether
"These poemsthis one long poem, perhapsare lovely and sustained, a luminous feat of literary archaeology. Ouisconsin is an investigation of sky and ground, place and history. Not entirely verse nor journalistic chops, this collection hovers attractively between poem and essay, between innovation and the mining of tradition, or possibly beyond all of this genre wrangling. It is something new and good. There is much pleasure here."
Ander Monson, author of Other Electricities and
Vactionland, and editor of DIAGRAM
Poems from Ouisconsin appear in the summer, 2004 issue of The Emergency Almanac. Elsewhere, Tomasovich's poems can be found in The Massachusetts Review,ISLE, 5 Trope, DIAGRAM, Jubilat, and Nimrod. He teaches at Antioch University Seattle, where he is faculty editor of KNOCK.
February 2005/ paperback / ISBN 0-9753623-0-5 / 6" x 9" / 120 pages / Poetry / Author portrait: André Pretorius. Cover painting: Gregory Klassen / $15.00 (U.S.) $18 (CAN)
Emergency Press will donate 10% from the sales of Ouisconsin: The Dead in Our Clouds to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation. This contribution is part of a larger initiative at Emergency Press to give a portion of our sales to progressive organizations that align with the central theme of each book we publish.
In as much as Ouisconsin: The Dead in Our Clouds reports on immigration, we wish to promote the work carried out by the ACLUs Immigrants Rights Project.
Emergency Press would like to thank Lorna Belkin, Michael Belkin, Aaron Belz, Jason Gitlin, Christopher Grimes, Jayson Iwen, Gregory Klassen, Ander Monson, André Pretorius, Scott Zieher, and Henry Williams for helping to make possible the publication of Ouisconsin: The Dead in Our Clouds.
from Ouisconsin: The Dead in Our Clouds...
Milwaukee is connected to Chicago and St. Paul. The name
I approach the big man from the direction of his feet;
The man's chest, no matter how large
His hair and brain tangle in one another,
cannot soak into the inadequate scalp and the bloodied hair
But I am the interpreter here. When I mention the blood, the picture
I mean to tell where I spent a minute
There was none of my saliva in anything I tasted: instead, the shale
I carry a heavy hardbound book
I am tired of the direction I took to meet with a mangling such as this.
Because, in the book Odysseus rests
I once rode the knees of other big men...
But I'll not touch this invitation, this man's body
Start at the man's feet. They seem two levers that released his bowels
will call out to our child with the right accent, for its name
I would need to travel back in time to pronounce it just so
but the language the child knows from birth
and the countenance of those ancestors
Great-Grandpa Krist...his first wife, before Katerína, died in
Day by day he watched his wife
Somewhere in Milwaukee lies a rotten hull of a ship
My wife asks me to feel the baby inside
Then a beautiful rain of hiccup
Krist, I got a family coming now, and we are going
What was your baby's name to be? You brought danger
Even now we are warned
of how bad people
They have in mind, Krist, us godforsaken immigrants.
"Scott Zieher's long poem, Virga, is a compelling long poem and an exciting first volume of poetry...we will likely witness Zieher develop into a formidable poet."
Milton L. Welch, The Believer, August 2005
"Zieher makes hundreds of precise, tiny licks of sense in so-crazy-it's-sane Virga. Intellect, sensation, music, grief and rank beauty connect and detach repeatedly in these strange linked cells. Encrypted emotions zip to the surface and find a wormhold into expression. Light as air and as heavy as six feet of earth. Chase this book and see how it runs. "
Brenda Shaughnessy, author of Interior with Sudden Joy
"Virga is at once a gregarious, elegiac, and noble book...a poetry
as in love with yesterday's details as it is overjoyed by tomorrow's probabilities.
Zieher is sensitive to a long urban memory, a very American poetic memory.
Every street, sparrow, and brown river serves to reminds the reader of
what was lost to gain these words. Name it: Woebegone manhood; the end
without resolution; of flesh to the ether-that's where art, after all,
Lee Henderson, author of The Broken Record Technique"
An excerpt from Virga appeared in the winter 2004 issue of The Emergency Almanac. Elsewhere, Zieher's poetry has recently appeared online at Eleven Bulls, Flaneur, Slurrymagazine, and DIAGRAM. He and his partner, Andrea Smith, own ZieherSmith Inc., a contemporary art gallery featuring artists in all media and located in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
April 2005 / paperback / ISBN 0-9753623-1-3 / 5" x 8" / 96 pages / Poetry / $15.00 (U.S.) $18 (CAN)
Emergency Press will donate 10% of the proceeds of this book to the ALS Association in the name of Sally LaVonne Zieher.
Emergency Press would like to thank Derek Ayres, Chad Faries, Chris Fink,
Jason Gitlin, Christopher Grimes, Jayson Iwen, Jeff Ladouceur,
High bells, highballs, tall trees
thumping the doozie dry
As does the tenor’s tone
so does the noodle in glasses
on the telephone at the end of the bar that curves in wallops
(Keeping us all corrupt and belly up)
With a seamless stride and trumpet and drums
(The trio ends unfinished)
Whence to stare?
(There is no wind herein)
only dust all abustle
And men who’ve painted our corner pink
(just bodega-colored now flesh-tint and garish as before)
Summer unofficially prances into prominence
(turning off the spout-bright sprinklers)
Rain falls on cicadas in Kansas City
(whence the quince tree?)
Where did he go that little ray of Idaho?
(rain falls on under-muscled orioles in Baltimore)
Old ice is replenished with new ice
(radio plays something Spanish)
Diamond shapes erase a trace of dust on dormant doorsteps
The Detroit radio laughs again Calypso-toned
And as for today, this day
are we hearing voices
Or seeing things?
Look anew (at least) at the tallest building in view
While cocktails clank on a tenement toilet tank
(atop the porcelain pater familiar)
Mason boys mumble many strains of wheat and small-worn graces
Enter the Baron with snap white shoes and an Arizona haircut, tantrums
And thrums past good gams, heels and high hat
beer sign, bass line, solid dollop solo
(a little more in the middle)
The girls are as bare and buxom as the boys are dapper and handsome
Bald guys, big girls, everybody shivering
(goodwill in arrears)
Shanghai talks to Fredericksburg regularly
(essence of lemon)
Metropolitans drop to their concrete knees
(nothing is not not there)
That explains the static
(Olive ribbons and fruit-hung harvest boughs in antiquated corn)
All the thirsty students with Longfellow haircuts
giving language leave
Broom stick, book brick and deliberate blue ribbons
The day turns raising neck hairs and back bumps
(goose alphabets through city drizzle in sunshine)
The day is a river
refreshing—however brown and unbecoming
However paisley green with spots of algae and mossy
Rocks on which undesireables and maidens cut their feet in fables
(we swim with a fist)
And walk west
Strong brown train of a river belches as heaving cemeteries pass
Geese pass, dead as a hardware factory backside
Outside Skyline Chops
(outside Greek delirium)
Hebrew Jubileria and Louis Prima
Did there come a time whence we witnessed the warm, soft glow
Of vernal goodness encroaching across the rain-smeared macadam?
Or tasted world-famous tomato aspic with home-made mayonnaise?
(exit the Baron again)
Fluid draining down the spine, soft as feldspar
Hard knocks in slow report smeared
Beckoning bells and tropical nimbus clouds on fire across the river heavily traveled under
That platinum blast
(worthy of a ballet bullet)
Near a billion men marching north to Larchmont, Yonkers, Bronx
Here is the steel skeleton and the smell of fish oil
This is the box that makes the chest a heart
(this is the rounding that mixes up a face upstairs)
(this is the wiggly perimeter edge-wiped)
Sweat-puckered fingers clutching green quart bottles
magenta napkins flapping along the avenue
Jackpot rattling with charcoal
beats of two ton tom toms
Genuine men in Chinese tee shirts
(the pounding window pauses)
Bangles, tambourines, tangles
Cocktails or highballs, the long and short of it—
We end as fog
God bless this obnoxious country