Announcing the 2017 Free Verse Editions

Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Series Page:

Bruce Bond, Dear Reader
In his single-poem sequence, Dear Reader, Bruce Bond explores the metaphysics of reading as central to the way we negotiate a world—the evasions of our gods and monsters; our Los Angeles in flames; the daily chatter of our small, sweet, and philosophical beasts.  In light of an imagined listener and the world taken as a whole, Bond sees the summons of the self in the other and the way the other in the self informs our sacrifices and reckoning, our speechless hesitations, our jokes and our rituals of loss.  Every moment of personal and political life, interpretation holds the page of the human face, not far but far enough, and all the while, beneath our gaze, the subtext that is no text at all, where the old argument between universals and particulars breaks down, exhausted, and the real in the imagined is, by necessity, renewed.

Bruce Bond is the author of sixteen books including, most recently, For the Lost Cathedral (LSU Press, 2015), The Other Sky (Etruscan Press, 2015), Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (University of Michigan Press, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, University of Tampa Press, 2016), and Gold Bee (Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Three of his books are forthcoming:  Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU Press), Sacrum (Four Way Books), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, Parlor Press).  Presently he is Regents Professor at University of North Texas.

Josh Booton, The Miraculous Courageous [New Measure Poetry Prize Winner, selected by Jon Thompson]
The Miraculous Courageous is a fractured epic, a sequence which seeks not to explain but to evoke the mind of one boy and his experience with autism.  In the tradition Carson's Autobiography of Red, Booton constructs a landscape both familiar and uncanny, a territory where our inner workings burn with the luminosity of jelly fish and "darkness turns the lighthouse on." These poems are agile, slippery, glancing at the camera then quickly away, skewing the boundaries between lyric and monologue, vignette and scene.  These poems are a bridge.  And through their deft conflation of inner and outer worlds, the self and the other, The Miraculous Courageous marks a rich and startling immersion in the mind of autism. 

Josh Booton's debut collection, The Union of Geometry & Ash, was awarded the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and published by Bear Star Press.  His poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Hayden's Ferry Review, Iron Horse and elsewhere.  He works as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Elizabeth Robinson, Rumor
What is the dividing line between ugly and beautiful, aggressive and resigned?  How does one demarcate the fluid boundaries of gender?  Between the idiosyncratically local and the universal?  In Rumor, Elizabeth Robinson spins out the narrative line of a series of unsolved Victorian murders.  Here, what cannot be known, what can only be rumored, emerges as the greatest ethical challenge.  These poems undertake the transgression of the irresolvable.

Elizabeth Robinson is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Counterpart (Ahsahta) and Blue Heron (Center for Literary Publishing). Her mixed genre meditation On Ghosts (Solid Objects) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Robinson has been a winner of the National Poetry Series, the Fence Modern Poets Prize, and grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Fund for Poetry.  In the fall of 2016, she was a fellow at the Dora Maar House in Menerbes, France.  Robinson works for Boulder Municipal Court as an advocate for homeless defendants.

Simon Smith, Day In, Day Out
Day In, Day Out is a book of journal poems mapping the time period between 11th April 2012 and 27th June 2014 – on the track of American poet/translator Paul Blackburn – between San Diego and Brooklyn, with stop offs in New York City, London, Vancouver, L.A. and Glasgow.  Each poem is in the moment of its detail and the materiality of its experience, which only these foreign eyes passing through and about and around those distant places can realise.  Its pacing is breakneck and nonchalant, hysterical and insouciant, blurred, with a pin-sharp focus. This is poetry fully alive to its particular time and place, steeped in the precision of its perceptions and the act of perceiving.  This is a book that telescopes the long-distance of the past into the talismanic immediate, articulating and attending to particularity over generality in the process. It is a book that explores and interrogates the world by plane rather than road, tips straight ahead, attuned to attention itself. 

Simon Smith's latest collection is More Flowers Than You Could Possibly Carry: Selected Poems 1989-2012 (Shearsman Books, 2016).  Salon Noir, a new book of poems, from Equipage, has just appeared. The Fortnightly Review and the Los Angeles Review have carried essays on his work.He is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Kent in England.

Felicia Zamora, & in Open, Marvel
& in Open, Marvel grapples with wonder in everyday existence. A sense of quietness through seasonal change threads the interlaced contemplations in the collection, which approach the twice-removed space we occupy from the physical world. The act of mind and body is experienced as a journey for both writer and reader. How we are all elements in fall. How we are all purpose. How what makes us connects us. How there are lovely works beyond us, which in turn, include us. How we plead to ourselves, See…just see.

Felicia Zamora is author of Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame 2017). She won the 2015Tomaž Šalamun Prize (Verse), authored two chapbooks, is an associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review, and holds an MFA from Colorado State University. Her poems are found in Columbia Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Meridian, North American Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, The Adirondack Review, The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Verse Daily, Witness Magazine, West Branch, and more.