Read excerpts or complete text of poetry books & chapbooks by some of the nations most exciting contemporary poets. The Poets Press has a distinct leaning toward powerful, neo-Romantic writing with clear meanings, powerful emotions and humanistic values. In other words, poetry worth reading!
This press was founded by Brett Rutherford in 1971 in New York City, and has now published more than 162 titles. The reading list from our archives includes full text and/or excerpts from some books which are still currently available in print editions. Other books which are out of print are presented here to help promulgate the work of these important poets.You may read these texts for your enjoyment, or even save the HTML or Acrobat files and print out poems. But please respect the copyrights of the authors and do not republish, perform or otherwise use these works without our knowledge.
The press currently publishes a few print books a year, plus e-book and web publishing. We are now concentrating on print-on-demand paperback editions for some works, and CD-ROM and e-book publication for others. Although we welcome "guest poets" to submit material for the web site, we are unlikely to take on any new print authors for some time.
A large part of our energies are also devoted to preserving and promulgating dead Poet's Press authors, most notably Emilie Glen, Barbara Holland and Annette Hayn. Contributions to the archives for these poets are welcome, in the form of undocumented poems, photographs, and personal reminiscences.
The press is now located at 65 Hope Street/ Providence, RI 02906
The complete poetic cycle, Crises of Rejuvenation, originally published in two volumes in 1973 to 1975, is now expanded and annotated by Brett Rutherford. To read or download the FREE Adobe Acrobat PDF edition of this book, CLICK HERE. The book is also available as a Microsoft Reader (LIT format) e-book — CLICK HERE to download. The print edition of this significant poetic cycle from the 1970s is available now -- CLICK HERE TO ORDER. (To learn more about Barbara Holland and her poetry, CLICK HERE.
This month, THE POET'S PRESS also issues a new facsimile edition of Barbara Holland's long-out-of-print 1980 chapbook, Autumn Numbers. CLICK HERE to read or download this free Adobe Acrobat (PDF) e-book.
One of the early books from our press in New York City was D.H. Melhem's wonderful Notes on 94th Street, a powerful portrait of the vibrant but gritty Upper West Side of Manhattan by a long-time resident and community activist. D.H. was then embarking on her brilliant academic and creative writing career, which has included poetry, novels, and plays. Notes on 94th Street was published by The Poet's Press in 1972, and the sequel volume, Children of the House Afire/ More Notes on 94th Street, was published by Dovetail Press in 1979. We are thrilled that Syracuse University Press has issued a new, 184-page paperback edition combining both volumes into one, titled New York Poems.
D.H. writes about the two decades portrayed in her book: "[E]ach year and decade has shaken with its own turbulence. The 1970s ... were not halcyon days for the City. ...[W]e resided in a White, middle-class enclave on the Upper West Side, surrounded by poor Puerto Rican, Black and White neighbors. Some of them were crowded into SROs (Single Room Occupancy, city-supported hotels). We also lived with whores, pimps and crazies who were being dumped out of overcrowded mental institutions into the streets, along with angry, sometimes neglected children who occasionally preyed on others for money." The poems from Notes on 94th Street include unforgettable character portraits from the troubled years when urban renewal, gentrification, and racial and ethnic tensions played out over a rapidly-changing urban landscape. So why did New York not go the way of Detroit and Los Angeles and many other cities where black and white, rich and poor wound up in segregated, warring enclaves? Perhaps it is because people like D.H. watched, listened, and responded to their neighbors, including rather than excluding, and resisting the faceless forces that would have pushed aside a diverse population to make room only for the wealthy. They did not succeed in this, for the Upper West Side remains as diverse as ever. As the author notes, "While these poems witness another era, they celebrate the dynamics of urban change, the raucous vitality of this great City." She dedicates her book to "The City of New York, embattled, gallant, enduring."
Our first new book for 2006 promises to be one of the most startling books of poetry since Baudelaire. Joel Allegretti, author of The Plague Psalms, has been up to no good since his first book, and this new books goes darker and deeper still, delving into such delicate topics as The Juggernaut, Mother Julian of Norwich, Eurydice as Greta Garbo, Nico, spiders, the Gallows Tree, the horrors of 9/11, and "Billy the Whore: An Encomium in 9 Infections." This 72-page paperback book is now for sale for $13.95 from our on-line bookstore. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
EMILY AND WALT, WALT AND EMILY, JOHN BURNETT PAYNE'S COLLECTED POEMS, NOW AVAILABLE.
John Burnett Payne (1919-1986) was a well-known New York poet, active in the Manhattan poetry scene in the 1970s and 1980s. His sometimes gritty, sometimes wistful portraits of New York range from a fantasy about Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman passing one another on crosstown buses (one hurlting to a poetry reading, the other fleeing one), to a stark depiction of the run-down movie theaters where the film Taxi Driver was shot. This book includes the full text of Payne's long-unavailable chapbooks, Ghosts Scare Tito Rosa; Tell Me That You Love Me, Con Edison; and At the Corner of Third Avenue and 14th Street. The volume has a foreword by Dennis Barone and an afterword and some annotations by Brett Rutherford. To download or read the FREE PDF e-book version, CLICK HERE. The 104-page paper print edition is now available from our e-store for $14.95 — CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
Visit our BOOKSTORE CAFE. The Poet's Press has become an Amazon.com Associate. Visit our BOOKSTORE CAFE for one-stop shopping for great & important books, CDs & DVDs, all selected by The Poet's Press & its readers. Join in the fun and recommend or add reviews to books, CDs & DVDs. Our areas of interest are poetry, poetics, Rhode Island authors, H.P. Lovecraft and Poe, horror and supernatural literature, classics, classical music, and everything dark, strange and wonderful. Think of this as your selective gateway into Amazon.com's great prices and affordable (and sometimes free) shipping. Best of all, when you jump to Amazon from one of our listings, The Poet's Press gets a teeny commission, which will help us keep on publishing and giving away poetry. Every little bit helps. We're open for business, so some on in. (The opening selection is limited, but we'll be adding books constantly, including Brett Rutherford's forthcoming selection of the Top 100 classical CDs.) As this bookstore grows, it will be spit up into multiple pages, but right now it's all in one place. CLICK HERE to enter!
Joel Allegretti's dark and Gothic collection of poems, The Plague Psalms, has gone through two editions — a hand-bound edition, including some copies on exotic hand made papers (the black "Dominican" binding was popular, second only to the flesh-toned "human skin" binding) — followed by a deluxe hardcover binding done by Acme Bookbinding in Boston.
A new, third, paperback edition has been issued, and has been added to our bookstore. You can read selections from this book now in our free PDF sampler. To order the print edition, CLICK HERE for our e-store.