Thursday, May 28, 2015


Eileen Tabios' newest book,  I FORGOT LIGHT BURNS,  receives a review in New Mystics Review! Excerpt below, but you can see the entire review HERE.

The result of Tabios’s approach in I Forgot Light Burns is akin to a series of sutras—of gemlike word-meditations with endless facets, meditations on color and sound and humanity. Sometimes concrete, oftentimes abstract. The following have been chosen to show the variations in effect: 
“I forgot Red of cantaor’s voice becoming rusty nail pulling out of old board.” (1) 
“I forgot how quickly civilization can disappear, as swiftly as the shoreline from an oil spill birthed from a twist of the wrist by a drunk vomiting over the helm—” (7) 
“I forgot how gemstones can gasp—” (8) 
“I forgot the revolt of the minor key—” (30) 
“I forgot the mother snapped the umbilical cord with her teeth, strapped the newborn to her back, then picked up the scythe—” (31) 
“I forgot I wanted to make memories, not simply press petals between pages of expendable books—” (42)

Saturday, May 23, 2015


You are invited to a Poetry Reading:

June 4, 6-8pm
la casa azul bookstore
143 E. 103rd Street 
New York, NY 10029

JP Howard aka Juliet P. Howard is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Her debut collection of poetry SAY/MIRROR was published by The Operating System (2015). She curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a forum offering women writers at all levels a venue to come together in a positive and supportive  space in NY. JP is an alum of the VONA/Voices Writers Workshop, as well as a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow. She was a finalist in The Feminist Wire’s 2014 1st Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Feminist Wire, Split this Rock, Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, Muzzle Magazine, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women, The Best American Poetry Blog, MiPOesias, The Mom Egg, Talking Writing and Connotation Press, among others. JP holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. 

Christina Olivares is the author of No Map of the Earth Includes Stars, winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Book Prize, and Petition, winner of YesYes Books' 2014 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Competition. Olivares earned her MFA in Poetry from CUNY Brooklyn and her BA from Amherst College. She is the recipient of two Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grants (2014 and 2010) and a 2008-2009 Teachers and Writers Collaborative Fellowship. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2013 and 2008). She has participated in Bread Loaf and VONA writing workshops. Her work has been published in PALABRA,Tidal Basin ReviewdecomP,  and other journals. She is a native of the Bronx and of Harlem.

Born in Bloomington, Illinois, Tonya M. Foster is more accurately a native of a home that no longer is what it was (as always), a home made less familiar by time, by water, by natural calamities and socially orchestrated disasters. Home=New Orleans, or rather N’Awlins—that dike-enclosed fabrication caught among the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Gulf of Mexico, three tongues that should dictate the wills and ways of the city. Now residing in Harlem, she is a co-editor of Third Mind: Creative Writing through Visual Art and a PhD candidate at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she studies the poetics of place.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Marsh Hawk Press offers a "Three Questions" Series for its authors to discuss individual titles -- an index to the Series is available HERE.  We are pleased to present this Q&A with Jon Curley and his 2015 book:

1) What is something not known about your book HYBRID MOMENTS?

Some readers will recognize that my title has been shoplifted from a song by the Misfits (1977-1983), a band from Lodi, New Jersey variously described as horror rock, punk rock, goth rock, doom rock -- so many classifications! Hybrids indeed! The song "Hybrid Moments"  Is beautiful and brutal, at once engaging and horrifying. You can hear for yourself:

I wanted these poems to meld many features, foci and facets, secrete both marvels and mayhem, generating amusement and unease like fairy tales or a drunken uncle pointing a loaded shotgun at your face while telling jokes only he can understand. A "harmony of harm" is meant to be taken from some of these poems but also the shame of shamans shorn of seriousness and ready to tackle the reader with tricks and render the poem and reader alike as a very well proportioned riddle.

2)  Please share some responses to your book that’s surprised you, or made you happy or disappointed.  If your book is relatively new, share some of your hopes for how readers might respond or how the book finds its way in the world.

The book has just been launched into the cosmos and ether and early readers have complimented the volume's sense of play, which is key, so too the element of critique and dabbling with various personae, either performed or referred to. In the wild world of this tome which wishes to be too anarchic to be reasonable, tutelary spirits like Henry David Thoreau and H.D. can break bread or merge spirits or Ovid can take refuge in the advice of John Lydon a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, he of the Sex Pistols, Public Image Limited, and a vague Western Ireland ancestry like myself: "Anger is an Energy!"

The companions who have taken a glance (or a swipe!) at some of these poems have observed my tendency to drift in unfamiliar modes of address or attitude: brashness, spitefulness, sarcasm, meanness, malice, dastardly contempt, sanctimoniousness, didacticism, self-righteousness -- along with the absoluteness of complete absolution, complete sympathy, virtual amnesty, ready cooperation and compliance, benediction without reason or evidence. The best way to rid oneself of the burden of self is to break said self onto the page and allow all presumed or received notions to break apart and perhaps reconstitute or be left behind as delectable damaged goods for all to see/flee.

3)  If you had to choose a favorite poem or a poem to highlight from the book, which one would you choose and why?  

My only allergy -- and it is acute, if not astute -- is to camps, coteries, sects, divisions, binaries, dichotomies, either/or formulae, the factitiousness of diagnoses of discrete differences or the ungodly, tawdry godlike devotion we give to generalizations. Extirpate gently this gesture please, lentlemen and geadies! We theorize, categorize, theorize our categories and categories our theories until our collective eyes grow bleary, weary, myopic and yourpic. The collective soon becomes claustrophobic! Let us have an actual and imagined place where reality can renew itself in the truthfulness of its weird diversity and awesome span of energetic environments of transformation and surprise. 

So let Ovid merge with his Metamorphoses and some lewd lyrics of the delightfully despicable Misfits and also, uh, Robert Walser and you, gentle reader, grown coarse, crusty and collegial with your radical attention to how Marsh Hawks, unlike other poetic birds, fly beyond the horizon and take back from "it" the marvels of uncommon majesty, heralds of heavenly and hellish craft so needed in this world (and probably that one there and that one over there. Elsewhere?)

You hide your looks behind these scars,
O Ovid, devoted to the oracular found in
the never easy vernacular. Why welsh our
bets when, like our comrade R. Walser,
"We don't need to see anything out
of the ordinary. We already see so much."
Your face is momentary and so is mine
so let us make a new face for a new future
and proclaim the valentine of novel ways
of parceling out our days, conceptions, ways.
In hybrid moments, give me a moment
or two or three, whatever constituents
we deem to be or see or, yes, flee.


We thank Jon Curley for participating in this Q&A.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Ian Frazer's article, "Lack of Center," focuses on Paolo Javier's activities as Queens' Poet Laureate. You can see entire article HERE, but here's an excerpt:

More languages are spoken in Queens than in any place of comparable size on earth. So what and who should its poet laureate be? Well, take Javier: born in the Philippines, where he spoke English and Tagalog, and also understood some Spanish; moved to Katonah, New York, in seventh grade, when his father, an employee of PepsiCo, was transferred to the region; moved to Egypt the following year, when ditto; attended Cairo American College, an expat high school, where a teacher introduced him to the work of Robert Frost; learned some Arabic; moved with his family to Vancouver, where he discovered the work of Gertrude Stein; got a degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia; ran an experimental theatre in Vancouver; accepted an offer to teach Tagalog at N.Y.U. in 1999; and moved to Queens, where he has lived ever since. His wife is Taiwanese-American, and his two-year-old daughter understands English, Mandarin, and Tagalog.

Await Paolo's new book, Court of the Dragon (Nightboat Books)!


Eileen R. Tabios' most recent poetry collection, I FORGOT LIGHT BURNS, was reviewed by Zvi A. Sesling in Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene.  You can see entire review HERE but here's an excerpt:
...many of the poems are worth remembering. Take for example the following poem ... 
I forgot memory contains an underbrush—
I forgot the inevitability of ashes—
I forgot sentences like veins—


Congratulations to Norman Finkelstein! One of his poems, "Scribe," is the Poem of the Week over at HAARETZ.  You can see it HERE!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


[A Wall at Poets House]

Five poets allowed Marsh Hawk Press to present much of the diverse possibilities of Poetry during the vibrant Book Launch at Poets House!  Please enjoy our visual coverage below of the event which launched books and was followed by much conviviality over wine and appetizers!  THANKS to all who came and supported! (Click on images to enlarge.)

[Family Affair: MHP Managing Editor Sandy McIntosh with 2014 MHP Poetry Prize Winner Christina Olivares 
along with Christina's Mom and Aunt.]

[The crowd begins to fill up the room, eventually to become packed wall to wall as attendance would exceed a hundred.]

[MHP Board Member Thomas Fink performed Introductions.]

[Jane Augustine read from her book KRAZY.]

[Jon Curley read from his book Hybrid Moments.]

[Basil King read from The Spoken Word / The Painted Hand from Learning to Draw.]

[Christina Olivares read from No Map of the Earth Includes Stars.]

[Mike Heller chats with Sandy McIntosh during post-reading reception.]

[Some of the crowd during the reception.]

Eileen Tabios was present but not visible above as she cheerfully served as photographer.


Yellow Field, a wonderful little -- but not small -- magazine out of Buffalo, N.Y. includes the following review of Eileen R. Tabios' SUN STIGMATA (Sculpture Poems) by the magazine's "collator," Edric Mesmer:

"The roses have emptied their vase" (45) leaves reader to fill in the quest: what's poem's corpus? After the authorial, author revisiting her earlier work: digs into -- not persona per se, but -- the residue of persona, found in a former self's poems. These well-lit wounds are revealed to the latter-day author through the artifact of her earlier collection Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (Marsh Hawk Press, 2002): "What if the block of stone was a block of prose?" (11) she asks, in preface. Like their sculptural trope, the poems rework an image set (flagpoles, kneeling, the symbolic tautology of white); watch the color red revealing itself "bitter- / sweet, bloodshot, blooming / blush, brick, burgundy, cardinal / carmine, cerise, cherry, chest- / nut, claret, copper, coral, crime- / son, dahlia, flaming, florid" (70) -- an alphabetic chiseling! What lies beneath all its myriad opacity might just be meaning, that vase now decanted of rose. Ineffably, the task at hand is as untrue as materials: "For the present / is thin, and the past thick..." (86). Tabios is a poet who needn't reinvent herself; rather the span of her expression is wide, and this booked enfold takes on a more narrative aspect than other collections, often sensuous in its rend: "I'd give you / the ripest plum, ready to split / apart from a thought. I still / would be folded about your tongue" (61); other times, anguished: "familiar with departures / the loosening of embraces / the forfeiture of birth places" (60); and once more, philosophically political: "the unanswered question / will be, "Might Justice / be colored white?" (84). Remember, future reader: there may be poems more within these poems.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


You are invited to Marsh Hawk Press' Spring Book Launch, with bounteous wine and appetizer reception, at the wonderful Poets House.   Launch details:

Poets House
New York City
May 15, 2015
7 pm
Free and open to the public

The launch will be for books released during Winter 2014-Spring 2015:

Christina Olivares: No Map of the Earth Includes Stars 

Jon Curley: Hybrid Moments

Jane Augustine: KRAZY: Visual Poems and Performance Scripts

Basil King: The Spoken Word / The Painted Hand from Learning to Draw / A History

Eileen Tabios: SUN STIGMATA (Sculpture Poems).

(Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 8, 2015


Paul Pines' newest book, Message From The Memoirist, receives a moving review by Louis Proyect at COUNTERPUNCH.  You can see the entire review HERE but here's a excerpt:

"... Paul Pines, ... will always symbolize for me what was best about [Bard], its ability to attract brilliant minds not content to fold into the complacency of American society and chase after the almighty buck. As long as Paul keeps writing poems in the great American tradition that goes back to Walt Whitman, I will feel that my experience there was worth it since it connected me to those who matter most—those who have an insatiable desire to make the world a better place either through the arts or by saying no to a system that would crush us underfoot."