Nación Nómada / Nomadic Nation by Rubén Medina

softcover, literature, $15
Cover Art: Inda Sáenz, “Zócalo de Oaxaca,” 2015. Óleo sobre tela, 50 x 39.5 cm.
ISBN 978-0-9846568-7-5
LCCN 2015944838

medinaThis expanded edition of Rubén Medina’s 2010 Nomadic Nation / Nación Nómada includes a new introduction by the author about his poetics as well as new translations of work originally written in Spanish. Composed in English, Spanish and Spanglish, these important poems reflect on the lives of immigrants/ emigrants, our restless spirits, and the human journey: “We are at the periphery of the center / and at the center of the periphery / at the same time.”

Writes Medina in “Una poetica norteada”: “There is no purity in language. There never has been. … Interference can at times simply end up increasing the vocabulary of a dominant language, or provoke changes in structure and meaning, but quite often it also reveals a double voice or double consciousness. Spanglish marks the on-going tensions between assimilation and difference for the migrant subjects. It points also to the cycle of nation formation once again or to nation de-formation. … I called my poetics, una poética norteada, alien, nomadic. This term, norteada/o, describes a person who is lost while pursuing a destination. To be lost is of great artistic, political and existential value, since that lost person seeks a way out knowing in the process that getting on the right road is not necessarily a destination.”

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Local Ground(s)—Midwest Poetics: Selected Prose Verse Wisconsin 2009–2014

softcover, 428 pages
non-fiction/poetry criticism
Cover Art: C. Mehrl Bennett
ISBN 978-0-9846568-6-8
LCCN 2014952090

localgroundsFor six years, Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse co-edited the hybrid poetry magazine Verse Wisconsin working on laptops out of local coffee shops and libraries. Over 13 print and 15 online issues, they published the work and words of writers from around the corner and around the globe. Including poetry, essays, book reviews, interviews, verse drama, spoken word, visual poetry, and other poetic forms in print, image, audio, and video, they sought to build the audience for poetry and the community of poets, while working to define and re-define what community might mean.

Over the years, the mission of Verse Wisconsin underwent significant shifts, as editorial emphasis moved from a simple publication model toward creating conversations, activisms, and transformational circles, seeking to invite diverse voices into these conversations, to define and to redefine what a poetics of the Midwest might be, and to point the way towards what such a Midwest poetics might become. This volume represents another iteration of an ongoing conversation, as the voices of Verse Wisconsin’s editors weave in and out with those of other poets, once again reframing the questions by selecting work from over the years and placing pieces in new context.

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I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: Three Decades of Hispanic Writing (third edition)

edited by Oscar Mireles

Above: Authors from I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin at the Madison book launch. Front row: Nydia Rojas, Leana Nakielski, Oscar Mireles (editor), Nayla Chehade, Margarita Dumit. Back row: Dominic Ledesma Perzichilli, Angela Trudell Vasquez, Tomy C. Tepepa-Carmona, Moisés Villavicencio Barras, Sara Alvarado, Rubén Medina

softcover, literature
Cover Art: Ben Seydewitz
ISBN 978-0-9846568-5-1
LCCN 2014947554

mirelesTwenty-five years ago Oscar Mireles published the anthology, I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Hispanic Poets. This third volume in the series includes the work of more than thirty authors of poetry, essay, memoir, and fiction and demonstrates once again the breadth and depth of Latino/a writing and literature in Wisconsin. Not strangers, not new arrivals, these authors represent an important part of the region’s cultural and social fabric. Written sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish, and sometimes in a dynamic mixture of both languages, Mireles’ anthology helps to extend many narratives: not only of what it means to be Latino/a in the Midwest, but also what it means to be Midwestern.

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Echolocations, Poets Map Madison

echolocationsedited by Sarah Sadie Busse, Wendy Vardaman & Shoshauna Shy

ISBN 978-0-9846568-4-4, softcover, poetry
November 2013
also available as a Kindle book
Group Discussions: Download pdf of questions and promts

Proceeds benefit the Madison Poet Laureate Fund. Read more about the Madison Poet Laureate programa volunteer position overseen by the Madison Arts Commission.

Here’s a literary block party filled with both echoes and locations, as more than 100 poets share poems that refer to specific Madison places. Long-time residents live next door to writers who passed through for only a while. Local streets intersect with myth, history, personal narrative and ecology. More than geography, more than chronology, what emerges is something akin to the shifting psyche of a city. Poem by poem, a new map evolves, folds back upon its own stories, and rewrites itself over and over through its sounds and its silences, taking into account a variety of perspectives, a multitude of voices. In the end these poets ask us, How many Madisons are there?

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Sister Satellite by Cathryn Cofell

softcover, poetry
available as a Kindle book
Cover Art: David Graham, Eternal Flame
ISBN 978-0-9846568-3-7
LCCN 2013933909

cofellIn Sister Satellite Cathryn Cofell writes with power and a hard-earned, wide-ranging scope. As poet Oliver de la Paz writes, “the language of Cofell’s debut collection shimmers in amplitudes of love.” Love, yes, but hers is an engaged love that won’t let us go easily. Her poems provide an answer to the politics and pressures of our times, as Cofell wrests the microphone for herself, turns up the volume and the heat and writes about women’s lives and bodies in lines which are funny, bold, defiant, angry and celebratory. Married love and unvoiced lust, pregnancy, miscarriage, adoption, abortion and aging all figure into the mix.

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Luz de Todos los Tiempos / Light of All Times

88 pages, softcover, poetry
also available as a Kindle book
Cover Art: Heteo Pérez Rojas, Alas y Hojas/ Wings and Leaves.
ISBN 978-0-9846568-2-0
LCCN 2013933908

Read an Interview with Moisés Villavicencio Barras

villavicenciobarrasIn this bi-lingual collection of poems, Luz de Todos los Tiempos / Light of All Times, Mexican poet Moisés Villavicencio Barras explores the idea of crossing from a multitude of perspectives, and comes again and again from his various journeys, back to the central figures of his parents. This is a book of love and homage, as well as a tender but honest exploration of what it means to grow into adulthood and reconcile oneself with the past.

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Unexpected Shiny Things by Bruce Dethlefsen

104 pp, softcover, poetry
ISBN 978-0-9846568-0-6 (paper)
Cover Art: Diwas Sherchan

dethlefsenAvailable as an e-book for Kindle & Nook.
Visit Dethlefsen’s Amazon author page.

Reading Unexpected Shiny Things with a group? Classrooms, reading groups, & community reads may want to start with discussion questions written by the author and editors of Cowfeather Press.

Read an Interview with Bruce Dethlefsen by Sarah Busse.

In his second, full-length collection, poems of innocence and experience take readers from the schoolyard to the trout stream, from birth to death. Dethlefsen’s familiar, folksy voice acquires new depth and darkness.

As Max Garland notes, “there’s clarity that’s not to be confused with naiveté or simplicity.” Dethlefsen chooses to speak in a plain voice that makes room for the lyrical in these poems, using a common vocabulary and an understated tone of voice. While his previous collections have hinted at darker tints to life, this book allows the darkness its due, paying attention to death, to loss, to grief, and to anger. The people in this book, including the poet/speaker, are conflicted and multi-dimensional: failing, trying again, and, in the meantime, loving as best they can.

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