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Roberto Harrison is the author of the poetry collections Os (subpress, 2006), Counter Daemons (Litmus Press, 2006), bicycle (Noemi Press, 2015), culebra (Green Lantern Press, forthcoming 2015), Bridge of the World (Litmus Press, forthcoming 2017), as well as of many poetry chapbooks. With Andrew Levy he edited Crayon magazine from 1997 to 2008. He edits the Bronze Skull Press chapbook series and is also a visual artist. Check out more of Roberto Harrison's poetry on the Woodland Pattern blog.
A book of transformation, Roberto Harrison’s bicycle proposes the incredible two-wheeled velocipede as the newest vehicle of enlightenment. The lines of the verse are spokes, the stanzas the strokes of the thighs as they peddle through a recurrent but new teaching. At once subtle and earnest, bicycle is magically perceptive and gentle and wise. There is nothing else like it. Harrison is a master.
Eric Elshtain is a homemaker and teaching poet whose poetry, reviews, and interviews can be found in McSweeney's, Skanky Possum, Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, Fact-Simile, and other print and on-line journals. The author of several chapbooks including The Cheaper the Crook, the Gaudier the Patter (Transparent Tiger Press, 2004) and Here in Premonition (RubbaDucky, 2006), Elshtain has a full-length book of poetry, This Thin Memory A-ha from Verge Books. He is also the editor of Jon Trowbridge's on-line Beard of Bees Press.
Through the non-profit arts education organization Snow City Arts, he is the poet-in-residence at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Univerisy of Illinois Children’s Hospitals where he conducts poetry and art workshops with patients ranging in age from six to 21. He also teaches literature at Ascension Catholic School in Oak Park, Illinois and the Better Boys Foundation in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago, writing a dissertation about the relationship between poetry and speculative science in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This Thin Memory A-ha is a singular, sonically, and rhythmically rich book of poems. Its imperatives—‘keep teeth inside a hailstone; / howl spirals into little deserts / or hypnotize what has fallen / into your hands’—challenge us to re-envision and experience our world, where we must ‘take this light / under which we have nothing not to see.
and no one hears
for the penetrative
for the feet
of the fern.
with their removed
and a worn door
Fifth Last Word
I’ve sinned sense to slow gold
soaking turns love took
so a king could scoff at prophets,
lost sabbaths I gived no cloven huff to.
Larceners hung on either side of the Christ
you psalm are out-ranged by a mother’s
measure—a woman waking desert’s ands
and rock’s rent body’s crave to be hyssop held up
and stayed against a bare record. It’s song
from then on and palm fronds
wrung for centurions overturned by thunder
tumbling lances from who just thirsted.