It is a phenomenal thing to be paid to write books, and I am thankful every day for this. The business of book commissions and editing takes every ounce of my braingoo so I almost never have time to write in my own voice for my own reasons. But right in the midst of GTS’ing something for a project, this popped up… was 2016 really the the last time I even tried?
Seaver Creative is very proud to announce the release of Charles Masner’s new book of poetry, Truths in Verse.
I’ll be the first to admit that I learned more from his deep dive into verse forms than I contributed as its editor. Here’s a “Venus and Adonis Stanza” (a six-line ababcc form) in iambic pentameter that I particularly like:
We search for words of truth to speak and how. Of life and death and love and beauty proud. And all the truest words our hearts can vow. And speak silent for all the world out loud. And know by truth all voices could be heard. If truth could find a voice for every word.
And here is even more praise for Truths in Verse . . . Charles Masner’s new book sparkles with passion, thoughtfulness, and ambition. In particular, his commitment to exploring the great traditions of meter and lyrical form bear fruit in line after memorable line. From his introductory essay, where he argues that “even air has a form,” through the panoply of forms in the book, to his useful glossary, Masner seeks to connect his own life to the life of the art. He even endstops most of his lines, audacious in our time, and yet frequently makes many of them sing: “Mountains die and rivers fountain.” “The tattoos I can see are feathers she’s laid bare.” “No poet’s star can shine without God’s night.” It is a pleasure to find a poet so purposefully shining and singing in such a night, spinning vitality and craft into words. – David J. Rothman, author of My Brother’s Keeper and former Poet in Residence, Colorado Public Radio
If words are our best weapon, then Denise Miller’s Ligatures is a full frontal assault on the nation’s apathy. You cannot read this elegiac chronicle of the indifferent, haphazard yet legal murder of black people without knowing in the veins of your conscience that we are all bloodstained. Miller cites and channels: victim and cop, reporter and spectator, medical examiner and mother. And because she is a great soldier of words, we follow Denise Miller straight into battle. We feel “born brown then broken, born brown then bent—born brown then esophagus-threaded through handcuff born brown then bracketed by [hashtag & period].” We see what we have tried so hard not to see—“those people”—the “black and brown bodies that have been named from auction blocks to blogs” who are not us . . . except they are. Ligatures binds us viscerally in an unconscionable, incongruous place where we cannot “scroll past as if this story isn’t ours.” So read it. – Leeanne Seaver