February News from Rescue

Have you been wondering what the Rescue crew is up to? Here are a few updates and a bunch of new work from Rescue Press authors and editors: Marc Rahe has new poems up at Petri Press.

Madeline McDonnell’s new book, PENNY, N., will be published by Rescue this spring. You can find the first copies at this year’s AWP, where Madeline will be reading here with fellow Rescue authors Zach Savich and Mary Hickman. She’ll also be reading at Prairie Lights in Iowa City on April 16th.

Shane McCrae’s second book, BLOOD, will be released this month by Noemi Press. He will be reading at Prairie Lights on April 10th with Carmen Gimenez Smith. Check out these lovely interviews with Shane at VOLTA and PEN/America.

Zach Savich is currently judging Rescue Press’ first annual Open Prose Series with Hilary Plum. He reviews C.P. Cavafy’s “Half an Hour” here.

Andrea Rexilius is interviewed as part of “The Next Big Thing” series and at 12 or 20 Questions.

Danielle Rosen (aka Patricia Rose) continues with new research and experiments at the Institute for Species Systemization. An interview about her scientific and linguistic interests can be found in jubilat 22.

Vinnie Wilhelm’s collection of stories, IN THE ABSENCE OF PREDATORS, was reviewed at Front Porch journal.

Melissa Dickey has new poems up at Propeller magazine.

Phil Sorenson will read on April 5th at the SPECTRA reading series in the Quad Cities.

Blueberry Morningsnow reads a divination poem (as part of a collaboration with the visual artist Aleta Lanier) at jubilat 22.

Managing Editor Danny Khalastchi talks about the forthcoming R+P poetry anthology, THE NEW CENSUS, in his “Next Big Thing” interview.

THE NEW CENSUS editor Lauren Shapiro’s first book of poetry, EASY MATH, has just been released by Sarabande Books (read a poem from it at Verse Daily).

Open Prose Series editor Hilary Plum’s first novel, THEY DRAGGED THEM THROUGH THE STREETS, will be out this month from FC2; read an excerpt at berfrois.

Also, come find us at AWP at the Rescue table and this reading!!! And look for upcoming collections by Mary Hickman, Jonathan Blum, Todd Melicker, and Hannah Brooks-Motl!

Rescue, Cyber Monday, and Real Live Books:

CYBER MONDAY DEAL:  11/28 (midnight to midnight)Choose any two R+P titles and pay only $20 (+ free shipping)

Write the titles of the books you would like in the comments/notes section of PayPal or send us an email at rescuepress@gmail.com indicating which books you would like.

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Fall 2011 Catalogue & Subscriptions:

Rescue Press is excited to announce our Fall 2011 publications, all three of which are available for purchase immediately on our website (rescue-press.org) and in the next few days at Small Press Distribution (spdbooks.org). Read below for more information on the books, and check our webpage for details concerning our yearly subscription deals. Also, check back soon for news about The Black Box Poetry Prize--we will announce the winner (chosen by our judge, Sabrina Orah Mark) in the upcoming weeks.

Melissa Dickey: The Lily Will A book-length collection of poems $14, (shipping included), Purchase HERE.

Oblique, intelligent, and sad, THE LILY WILL introduces readers to a voice beautifully sustained through compressed lyrics and long, meticulous sequences. The geography of this book is one of thistles and ice, love flashed with fear, and frail bodies seeking safety in heavy weather. In its warped miniatures (here an eye, there a red leaf, seen distended through iced glass) there is a commitment to smallness, vulnerability marked by precision, and intimations, too, of the eternal: "What is earthly?/An impulse to paradise."

Melissa Dickey attended the University of Washington and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She co-edits Thermos magazine and teaches at Tulane University. She is from New Orleans.

Danielle Rosen (a.k.a. Patricia Rose): The Institute for Species Systemization: An Experimental Archive Research, Data, and Writing from the ISS $14, (shipping included), Purchase HERE.

THE INSTITUTE FOR SPECIES SYSTEMIZATION: AN EXPERIMENTAL ARCHIVE documents the past projects and ongoing experimental processes of the ISS. This groundbreaking work of research, investigative scientific studies, never-before collected data, and interpreted evidence from the Institute for Species Systemization is concerned with the psychological, literal, and linguistic spaces between animals and humans. The archive cites theories of proxemics and zoosemiotics--as well as the infamous psychological studies of Skinner and Harlow--as both precedent and provocation.

Danielle Rosen (a.k.a. Patricia Rose) was born and raised in Iron Mountain, MI and is a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Fine Art program at the University of Chicago. Language is at the core of Rosen's investigative practice, where she often employs visual poetics and letterpress techniques. She has exhibited nationally in New York, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

Patricia Rose is the head researcher for the ISS and a leading scientist in the study of linguistics and human evolution.

Vinnie Wilhelm: In the Absence of Predators A Collection of 5 Short Stories $14, (shipping included), Purchase HERE.

Shot through with dark humor, desolate landscapes, and seemingly impossible plot turns, IN THE ABSENCE OF PREDATORS is a striking collection that haunts long after the stories have reached their outlandish conclusions. Here we discover the most captivating of human forms: dreamers, liars, thieves, murderers, and lovers--characters provoked to search, and those abandoned by their own fates and identities. Wilhelm's narrative crescendos disclose the most terrifying corners of this world; there are wrecks, blizzards, asylums, agents, road trips, and an army of ghosts. IN THE ABSENCE OF PREDATORS is a masterful debut of five cracked and astonishing stories.

Vinnie Wilhelm was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the recipient of literary fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wilhelm's fiction has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Philadelphia.

Danielle Rosen (Safety Book #14)

R+P is excited to present a Safety Book interview by Danielle Rosen (a.k.a. Patricia Rose)--author of The Institute for Species Systemization: An Experimental Archive, which will be released on October 1st!! 1. Could you tell us the name of a book that you love and why?

The Doorman by Renaldo Arenas (...particularly when read in conjunction with The Open: Man and Animal by Giorgio Agamben, but that relationship probably needs the space of a dissertation. It’s still worth noting the odd symbiosis.) It is a story of a true political revolutionary, but not without the poetry, play, breathtaking sensitivity and meaningful fictions that such narratives, once stripped to the bare bones of fact, often lack. Juan (the main character) is devastatingly optimistic about his ability to find the “true door to happiness.” A bored, wise orangutan, a persnickety dog named Cleopatra (who truly lives up to the icon, with sharp elegance, meticulous steps), Mr. Skirius, a man who systematically replaces his body parts with junky mechanical contraptions, and other characters play an integral role in Juan’s utopian pursuits. It is such a richly visual text with dark humor and a tragic ending, that in a very dramatic way, reinforces my fervent pursuit of a societal “door to happiness,” a portal that if we open ourselves up to others, allow ourselves to be caught in a wave outside of everyday busyness, we just might plummet into.

2. Where were you when you first read or saw or heard of this book?

A friend recommended it to me and I have always liked Arenas’ work, but this piece is (to use her words) “a gem.” It is also the first book that Arenas wrote after fleeing to America from Cuba where he was imprisoned for “ideological deviation,” and his openly gay lifestyle. Those facts certainly influenced my reading.

3. Did this book influence your own writing, thinking, sense of the world or work?

Sometimes being committed to ideologies and practices that are constantly being pushed aside as naive or faddish, utopian, unworthy of time, or even just far too difficult to be enacted, frankly, is very disheartening. Art is often dismissed as politically incompetent, detached from any meaningful basis in reality that isn’t about empty replication or simulacra. To a certain degree it is, but only because the power of content is being discounted or limiting assumptions are being made about what the function of art is or should be. (Particularly in America, or in capitalistic societies where people don’t have or take the time to participate. Where many work a few jobs or one very trying job, to stay afloat and go home to watch television because they are, understandably, inordinately, tired. Ai Weiwei is a real political threat but in a country with different politics and considerably less focus on the individual—which of course prevents and creates its own problems). Granted, sometimes art is an empty, fashionable, consumer driven endeavor (which is endlessly frustrating because it reinforces those harmful, and what I consider to be inaccurate (un)aesthetic definitions) and sometimes audiences aren’t doing their share of the work. But, Juan! Juan, works as a doorman, all the time. He doesn’t allow the fact that he is sapped and “dying from grief” to stop him from letting this need infiltrate his daily activities, to bring his ideologies into practice at any cost (including imprisonment in a psych ward, alienation, displacement). His job as a doorman and his pursuit of a more real door than any mechanism that caters to human practicalities, merge. So, this book was a wellspring to me, a reinforcement, a companion, and Juan, a compatriot.

4. Give us a line or excerpt from the text that intrigues engages mystifies inspires disgusts or transforms you. Discuss… 

Oh, to choose! ...

“Now, he began thinking, or even saying aloud to himself, not only did the salvation of all the people in the building depend upon him, but also the salvation of all the animals. The fact that Cleopatra herself had invited him to participate in their assembly indicated (as has been mentioned) that in the end they had to reach an agreement, and he, the doorman, would have to approve it or veto it... Besides, after the rest of the animals had their say (there were still four more to go), he, the doorman, would have to speak too; and his speech about salvation would have to be new even to him, since it would not be addressed to human beings as before. But I can’t forget those human beings either, I am one of them, he would tell himself. Again he would begin to pace the lobby, muttering to himself and gesturing nervously... The situation demanded from him a total change of perspective...”

“And as he thought of the animals, the image of the Great Door came back to him, though by now he didn’t know who should be the first to go through it.”

“’This is very important, for one day you shall be the intermediary between them and human beings. And you should know,’ and here the dog lowered her voice as if she did not wish the rest of the group to hear what she was going to say, ‘even the most insignificant objects, or things, as humans call them, are constantly transcending their supposed limitations as ‘things.’... This has been going on forever but human beings cannot perceive it.’”

The tenuousness with which characters, objects, others, non-humans, and whatever ineffable air fills the space in this book are dealt, raises questions, like: What it is that we as human beings allow ourselves to be perceptive to and what classifications, simplifications, etc. attenuate that richness? For what purpose? Who are we serving? And if, like Juan, we are trying to find some middle space, how do we even begin to deal with the epistemological shift that implies?

5. Who did you send this book to, why?

Mark Anderson because I know he will appreciate the nuances, hilarity and lush language of the Doorman. (Also to show him that he doesn’t need to worry about me because he “maybe... read catcher in the rye too late in life”). And Rescue Press, because we are in the same boat and its a really good boat to be in.

***

Bio: Artist, hoping to affect my audience’s way of seeing.

Find out more about the Institute for Species Systemization here.