Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lori A. May Reviews Meg Kearney's Home By Now

"Long lines that linger, short lines with emotional punch, persona and voice that capture your breath and make you crave more…Home By Now is a fascinating collection that gives so much in 60+ pages, in such an accessible style that’s zeroed in on language and emotion, it’s impossible not to recommend."
- Lori A. May

Barn Owl Review Interview + More with David Dodd Lee

Visit the Barn Owl Review to check out Nick Sturm's recent interview with David Dodd Lee about his book Sky Booths in the Breath Somewhere: The Ashbery Erasure Poems.

"These erasures were a real learning experience for me. I'm stunned I had the intelligence and good luck to allow the whole thing to take place...What happened next, really, in terms of how I wrote the poems in The Nervous Filaments, was I began “erasing” during my own composition process. Before a line could even make it onto the page I'd have cut it off at the pass (because it was predictable or too transparent or felt like the next idea one might expect in a narrative poem—that is, a narrative poem that is simply linear, and causal). I don't want poems to enact the logical sequencing of thought (made manifest in language) created by a tunnel of time. I want them to feel fractured, elliptical, impressionistic. I want to feel the disturbing logic of dreams at work."

Also take a moment to read Charmi Keranen's Gently Read Literature Review of The Nervous Filaments:

"To sit down with David Dodd Lee’s fourth full-length collection of poetry, The Nervous Filaments...Find yourself a glass of wine and prepare to be transcendently transported to a parallel sphere. Poem by poem, Lee is going to deconstruct his world, “I believe in words. One by one/they dismantle everything I have faith in” (Wildlife), and then, reader, he’s going to deconstruct your world, and hand you the pieces “in the gray-green part of your eye–/a busted out headlight” (Not A Landscape, Not A Teaspoon), every piece infused with the emotion of living in an emergent world tragically tilted, perennially askew."

Still not enough David Dodd Lee for you? Us either...

And if you missed him on Verse Daily, you can read the poem here!

Christopher Nelson Interviews Cynthia Cruz

Cynthia Cruz’s poems have been published in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review,Guernica and others. Her first collection of poems, Ruin, was published by Alice James Book, and her second collection, The Glimmering Room, is forthcoming from Four Way Books. She is currently the Hodder Fellow in Poetry at Princeton.

"The poems in Ruin are razor sharp, anorexic in style (not subject, of course—but the immense compression). I deliberately chose the least amount of words I could to say what needed saying. In Glimmering Room, I sugar it up a bit: there is more beauty, or relief, in the poems. Some of the poems are longer as a result of this. I have now completed my third collection, and these poems are even more elaborate, more words, more beauty. I am working my way away from Morse and moving toward a richer, more layered, kind of poem."

Read the entire interview at Christopher Nelson's Poetry Blog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Hope Chest" by Daniel Tobin: Valparaiso's Poem of the Week

Poem of the Week: "Hope Chest" by Daniel Tobin

The VPR Poem of the Week is Daniel Tobin’s “Hope Chest,” which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2002 issue (Volume III, Number 2) of Valparaiso Poetry Review. This poem also has been published in Poetry from Paradise Valley, an anthology of poems from the first decade of VPR, recently released by Pecan Grove Press.

Daniel Tobin is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Belated Heavens, as well as a critical study, Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney. He is the editor of The Book of Irish American Poetry from the 18th Century to the Present, Light in Hand: Selected Early Poems of Lola Ridge, and Poet’s Work, Poet’s Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art. He has received the Robert Penn Warren Award, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Widely published in literary journals—including American Scholar, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Nation, New Republic, Poetry, Paris Review, Sewanee Review, and Southern Review—his work also has been anthologized in The Bread Loaf Anthology of New American Poets, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, and elsewhere. Tobin is Chair of the Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College.

Poems and an Interview with C. Dale Young

Read a discussion about three of C. Dale Young's poems from his forthcoming book, Torn, on The Fine Delight blog, as well as an interview with Moderator Nick Ripatrazone.

From the interview:

"'Torn' is a poem that for me is filled with contradictions and doubt about humanity. That human beings are capable of tenderness and the ability to heal while at the same time being capable of incomprehensible brutality is something I have always found compelling and powerful. Many of the poems in the book deal with these dualities and doubts. I also realized that in many ways I am torn in that I work both as a physician and as a poet. I am also torn as a man who is part Caucasian, part Asian and part Latino. When I first assembled the first draft of the manuscript and read through it, the title Torn seemed inevitable."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Joel Brouwer on How a Poem Happens

Four Way Books author Joel Brouwer discusses how a poem happens with Brian Brodeur. Read the interview and one of Joel's poems here:

Daniel Tobin on Poets Out Loud

Visit Poets Out Loud to hear Daniel Tobin read his poem "A Song of the Cosmos."

Reading at NYU: Megan Staffel, Monica Youn, and C. Dale Young

Three Writers from Four Way Books: Megan Staffel, Monica Youn, and C. Dale Young
February 18, 2011, 5 p.m.
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th Street, New York, NY
Megan Staffel’s latest book is Lessons in Another Language: A Novella and Stories (2010). Monica Youn’s most recent book of poems, Ignatz, was a 2010 National Book Award Finalist. TORN, C. Dale Young’s new book of poems, is due in 2011.
Sponsored by NYU Creative Writing Program

Review of Ignatz in the Boston Review

Pick up a copy of the January/February 2011 issue of the Boston Review to read, among other wonderful things, a review of Monica Youn's Ignatz:

"Monica Youn's second collection is tied together by the world of Krazy Kat, a comic strip that spanned both World Wars as it serialized the unrequited love of Krazy Kat for Ignatz, an enraged mouse who ended most strips by chucking a brick at the forlorn Kat. The comic's endless repetition of this formula--ardor, disgust, brick--gives Youn the license and confidence to enter the endlessly repeating world of the love poem, a license she uses to mix generic expressions of desire--"She thought to brush her hand against his thigh. / She thought to trace the seam of his jeans with her thumbnail"--with those inspired by the comic strip's surreal southwestern landscapes. The latter find Youn at her best, as do her brief, elegant sketches of the motions and countermotions of the book's sweet-cruel affection: "O my dear devoir / O my dour devour." The sense of lightness and play is just a shell in Ignatz, and Youn drills through it until the characters achieve the gravity of real life and the dimensionality of real bodies. There are no glib, one-off jokes in this collection: "running from Ignatz and the night / like a drumskin and her heart like someone // locked in the trunk of a car and if there were / only time god she would spit it out." Even so, there is a charge of sheer pleasure--that of poetry, not comedy--when the narrative hits its apex, and our constant, cyclical pursuit hangs exposed, crystallized: "Her head / reared back // in an animal / posture-- // Ignatz / as always // obliged.""

--The Boston Review

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Belated Heavens makes Salt Publishing's Books of the Year List

Salt Publishing's "Horizon Review Contributor's Books of the Year" names Daniel Tobin's Belated Heavens among them.

Chosen by Aidan Rooney: "Daniel Tobin’s fifth collection of poetry, Belated Heavens (Four Way Books), for poems that sidestep the lyric self to larger, metaphysical and historical concerns..."

See this and the rest of the list at Salt Publishing's blog.

Joel Brouwer in Slate

Visit Slate ( to read Joel Brouwer's "Lines in Memphis. Tennessee" or to listen to Joel read it to you!

Spring 2011 Author Joni Wallace on Verse Daily

Read the poem "Valentine with saints and sharps" from her forthcoming debut collection, Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, selected by Mary Jo Bang as the recipient of the Levis Prize in Poetry, due out in April.

Ignatz Review from Zoland Poetry

Even the two or three poems that escaped this reader’s understanding are forgiven for the sprightly mischief and intelligence of the entire volume. The poems as a whole capture the poignancy of human relations and, at the same time, enact the cyclical folly of a constant search and a constant frustration with the search. In many ways they—and Ignatz-- illustrate Puck’s famous observation, “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

Reviewed by Jacquelyn Malone

Read the review in its entirety at

Readings by Current and Forthcoming Four Way Authors!


April 22, 2011
7:00 p.m.

Copper Colored Mountain Arts (CCMA) in red barn
7101 West Liberty Road
Ann Arbor, MI

& TIMOTHY DONNELLY (from the Sun Journal)

FARMINGTON — On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Farmington Public Library will host a poetry reading by Patrick Donnelly and Lee Sharkey.

The reading will include Donnelly’s co-translations of classical Japanese poetry and a multi-voiced performance of Sharkey’s “American Rose.”

The 7 p.m. reading is free.

Donnelly is the author of "The Charge" and "Nocturnes of The Brothel of Ruin," forthcoming from Four Way Books. He is an associate editor of Poetry International and has taught writing at Colby College, Lesley University and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Sharkey had written "A Darker, Sweeter String" and is the author of two other full-length collections, "Farmwife" and "To A Vanished World," and six chapbooks.

She co-edits the Beloit Poetry Journal and has taught writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, Unity College, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Bread Loaf Young Writers Conference, and as a visiting artist in public schools.

Sharkey received the 1997 Rainmaker Award in Poetry and was the Maine Arts Commission’s 2010 Fellow in Literary Arts.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lightning Flash Poetry Reading at AWP with Four Way Books and Persea Books

The 2011 AWP conference is fast-approaching, and we've got a great offsite reading planned! If you will be in the DC area for the conference, come hear Four Way Books poets read with Persea Books poets at Grand Central Bar in DC on Thursday, February 3rd:

Four Way Books readers: Debra Allbery, Ellen Dudley, Sydney Lea, Sara London, Collier Nogues, Kevin Prufer, Daniel Tobin, and Joni Wallace

Persea Books readers: Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Patrick Rosal, Anne Shaw, and Sidney Wade

Thursday, February 3rd @ 7pm
Grand Central DC bar
2447 18th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 986-1742

And don't forget to come visit our table at the Book Fair!

Review of Ignatz in BOMB

Check out the review of Monica Youn's Ignatz in the December issue of BOMB Magazine:

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Tyranny of Milk Review in Poets' Quarterly

Read the review of Sara London's The Tyranny of Milk in Poets' Quarterly!