reading from their new poetry
The Odicy a book of poetry by Cyrus Console
Last Verses by Jules Laforgue, as translated by Donald Revell
Three Novels a book of poetry by Elizabeth Robinson
all published by Omnidawn Press
The Odicy, Cyrus Console's second book, uses pentameter in an attempt to take the measure of our epoch's cultural and ecological crises. Tracking a mysterious central character named Tony, the book combines the end-time rhetoric of contemporary fundamentalism with meditations on artificial color and the rise of fountain drinks, revisiting Dante's animus for the counterfeiter upon the purveyors of NutraSweet. It attempts to come to terms with social continua on which sugar substitutes are manufactured by pharmaceutical giants, or where weaponized defoliants like Agent Orange evolve into bestselling agrichemicals like Roundup. Console's English is straight out of 21st century Topeka, while his deployment of canonical meter posits the sustainability of verseform over a longer
Last Verses of Jules Laforgue is the first full-length collection of free verse published in the French language and, in many ways, it remains far in advance of any free verse innovations conjured in the past one hundred years and more. Laforgue, in his famous Complaints and Harlequinades, was a profound influence upon such Modernist poets as Eliot and Pound. Yet in his Last Verses he set a precedent which no one as yet has managed to emulate or to advance. Why should this be? Simply put, Last Verses does not reject poetic formalism but, rather, projects it into uncharted and unvoiced regions of spiritual and sexual extremity. The freedom of these poems rests entirely in the purity of their despair, a purity not to be measured by any extant means. This music is made by no instrument but itself. This music is made on the farther shore of death.
Three Novels revisits the terrain of the Victorian novel, entering that world with a particular affinity for the feminine within its social and physical landscape. Taking cues from three different novels, these poems show the intimacies that make "adhesive relation" through troth, kin or links to landscape. Who owns this body, this estate? Where does the woman hide and what is the empowering eros of her role? Three Novels proposes "disguise as clairvoyant," and here the wily female body is resistant to ownership as it slips through the hidden paths and plot twists, through the downy lawns, the nocturnal byways, and the gritty train stations into the "accounts most accurate to the invention.
Cyrus Console is from Topeka, Kansas. He is the author of Brief Under Water (Burning Deck, 2008). He teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute and University of Kansas. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
Donald Revell is Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing programs at UNLV. Thief of Strings is his tenth poetry collection, published by Alice James. Donald Revell's previous translations include The Illumninations by Arthur Rimbaud, and A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud, both of which were published by Omnidawn. A Season in Hell won the PSA translation award. His books of essays include Invisible Green: Selected Prose, published by Omnidawn. He serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review.
Elizabeth Robinson is the author of eleven books of poetry. Her most recent books are The Orphan & its Relations (Fence Books) and Also Known As (Apogee Press). Robinson was educated at Bard College, Brown University, and the Pacific School of Religion.She has been a winner of the National Poetry Series for Pure Descent and the Fence Modern Poets Prize for Apprehend. The recipient of grants from the Fund for Poetry and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Robinson has also been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her work has been anthologized in the Best American Poetry (2002) and American Hybrid, along with many other anthologies. Robinson has taught at the University of San Francisco, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Naropa University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She co-edits EtherDome Chapbooks with Colleen Lookingbill and Instance Press with Beth Anderson and Laura Sims.
Omnidawn Publishing was founded by wife and husband team Rusty Morrison and Ken Keegan to create books that are most closely aligned with each author's vision, and to provide an interactive and rewarding publishing experience for poets and writers. We encourage authors to participate at every point in the decision making process of book design and book production, and thus far all have taken an active part, deciding on or providing cover art and assisting in the design of the interior of the books. Omnidawn has been publishing poetry since 2001, with Fabulist and New Fabulist Fiction added in 2006.