Oasis Earth: Planet in Peril: Our Last Best Chance to Save Our World by Rick Steiner

Oasis Earth confirms that we are destroying the biosphere of our Home Planet. We know the causes, consequences, and solutions to this existential crisis, yet we’ve failed to correct it. We are out of time: this decade is our last best chance to save a habitable Earth. Rich with insights from those who have viewed our planet from space and evocative images from the U.N. Environment Program’s international photographic competitions, NASA, Greenpeace and others, Oasis Earth weaves a journey through the extraordinary diversity of life on Earth, the interrelated causes of global ecological collapse, and the path to a livable future.… Read More

Echolocation by Kristin Berger
Echolocation by Kristin Berger

From both the visible and invisible margins of life, from the Oregon forest to high desert, from lake to river, Kristin Berger’s new book of poems, Echolocation, seeks to reconcile memory and loss with a world still very much alive and beating. In a time of diminishing truth and light, this book locates beauty and holds space for its returning.

“If we have forgotten that poetry is a call sent out into the world to rediscover and name our hearts, minds, and bodies, Kristin Berger’s beautiful new book of poems reminds us of poetry’s good and necessary work. Berger’s Echolocation leads us into that work, honestly and elegantly inviting us to know our own lives and landscapes. This is a wise book that reminds us that resilience is real, is close. ‘Remember,’ Berger tells us, ‘love is a breath / we are invited to take. / Wild, fond, near.’

– Annie Lighthart, author of Lantern and Iron String… Read More

Apportioning the Light by Karen A. Tschannen
Apportioning the Light by Karen A. Tschannen

A collection of poems so compressed the page itself trembles. So brave, in dark places, the reader clutches the poet’s sure hand.

Apportioning the Light shines. It shines. “A life lived to its fullest, a craft perfected so that it seems seamless, the highest compliment I can give to any writer. I read it from its beginning to its end without putting it down. Kudos to Cirque for publishing Apportioning the Light.”

-Tom Sexton, Sexton’s latest poetry collection, Li Bai Rides a Celestial Dolphin Home, will be published in August by the University of Alaska Press.

“It’s a rare and somewhat envious feeling for those of us who work with words: to page through a book of poetry and think, ‘I wish I had written that.’ But that is my response to many, many poems in Karen Tschannen’s Apportioning the Light. Beginning with the stunningly lovely introduction and including gems like ‘Street Songs,’ ‘Each Tommorrow,’ ‘Unfinished Two-Part Invention,’ and ‘On the Importance of Detail,’ Tschannen never fails to remind us that she is in the service of language. She also has imagination—another rarity. Perhaps what I admire most though is this poet’s insistence on joy in the face of grief. Enter her world of music and light and I dare you to come away without feeling uplifted.”

-Anne Coray, author of A Measure’s Hush

“Deserving of high praise, Karen Tschannen’s meticulously crafted collection Apportioning the Light gives us poems that move through a woman’s memories, joy, sorrow, loves and wisdom. Also what it is for a writer to grapple with language: all experience mediated somewhere between eye and hand. Tschannen has lived more than 50 years in Alaska; she writes beautifully of The Great Land’s light and darkness, the fleeting seasons, the resilience of the natural world. These are poems of introspection, honesty, and hope.”

-Joanne Townsend, Alaska Poet Laureate, 1988-1992

An avid early reader of classic British and North American poetry, Karen Tschannen first tried her hand at contemporary verse when taking University of Alaska classes with Tom Sexton and Nancy McCleary.… Read More

The Lure of Impermanence by Carey Taylor
The Lure of Impermanence – Carey Taylor

Carey Taylor writes poems rooted on the road of observation. In language clear and concise, she makes accessible the catalog of daily life: growing roses, the death of a child, sexual stirrings, work, childhood, the political state of America, or her beloved landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Ultimately, these poems will merge us onto the highway we all must travel—toward the fleeting nature of all things.… Read More

Like Painted Kites & Collected Works
Like Painted Kites & Collected Works by Clifton Bates

Like Painted Kites & Collected Works by Clifton Bates draws on material from Asia, Alaska and elsewhere. Bates offers a journey into tensions and acceptance across cultures. The collection is set off by marvelous artwork that indeed paints the kite canvas that oversees the anthology. It’s reading to be enjoyed sitting in your favorite chair or under a tree outside or perhaps in a foreign cafe or bar. Take it slow. It’s not a dogsled race. It’s like a slice of pie. Take one bite at a time.

—Jerry McDonnell, writer, actor, educator… Read More

Athabaskan Fractal by Karla Linn Merrifield
Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North by Karla Linn Merrifield

Mystical and visual—Karla Linn Merrifield’s latest volume of poems, Athabaskan Fractal, takes the reader on a monumental journey across the Far North of the American continent. Here is a collection that is surprisingly beautiful. Here is a reverence for nature where lush descriptions abound. Here is life in all its extravagance and austerity conveyed in poems of intimate details of texture and form and set against the vast sweep of endless space from sea to shining sea. You’ll quickly discover why Merrifield is widely regarded as a supreme observer of the Earth’s majesty.

“In poems of intimacy and celebration, elegy and generous mythologizing, Karla LinnMerrifield’s new book is teeming with the ‘minute particulars’ of her Alaskan travels. Here you will find that the fir trees, the mists, the creatures, the stones themselves come lovingly alive. But in our 21st-century world of ecospheric drama and disarray, the ‘field guide’ reveries are shot through with the stark realities of our desecrating human footprint. Athabaskan Fractal will take you places that Frommer’s and Lonely Planet can only dream of!”

– Ralph Black, Professor of English, The College at Brockport (SUNY), and author of Turning Over the Earth… Read More

Holy Ghost Town by Tim Sherry
Holy Ghost Town: Poems by Tim Sherry

Tim Sherry’s latest volume of poems, Holy Ghost Town, tells the story of a place in the wilderness that is more than trees. In plainspoken language, he takes the reader to Holden Village, an abandoned mining town turned into a Lutheran retreat center in the North Cascades of Washington state. And there he explores the balance between faith and doubt, escape and reality, history and hyperbole, the serious and the hilarious – in the wilderness, a place to find answers beyond the questions of everyday life.

Holy Ghost Town is a remarkable book-length evocation of a very special place. In the genre of place writing, it compares to “Paterson” by William Carlos Williams. Whereas Williams focused on the city in the person, Sherry gives voice to the community in the person, the community that embraces its interrelatedness with the other-than-human world. I admire how these poems honor and enact grace, ecology, hilarity, and diversity. As they seek divinity, they do not shy from religious language and ritual. At the same time, the wisdom offered here tells us that sometimes we need to skip church and follow our feet into the woods where stillness, silence, and attention become prayers in the divine mystery of wilderness.

–Derek Sheffield, author of Through the Second Skin

Tim Sherry knows the perils of belief. Anyone who writes poems today about a wilderness Bible camp has already leaped well above the high bar for risk factor. Marry that to the occasional stubborn doubt, the nagging question, and you have a faith forged in gnarly fires, one that puts boot to both internal and external trails. Whether assessing his own god-like nature in a mirror or marveling at a girl whose t-shirt says Religion Sucks Sometimes Too, in this paean to his beloved Holden Village and the wild lands that birthed it, Sherry keeps adjusting the scales as he seeks the sweet spot of balance. Don’t let the plainspoken style of Holy Ghost Town deceive you. Its depths mirror Lake Chelan, the water he travels to access this remote Cascade retreat. Take the plunge. Come up cleansed, yes, but also with more chuckles than you have any right to expect.

— Peter Ludwin, author of Gone to Gold Mountain

In Holy Ghost Town, Tim Sherry tells the story of a place in the wilderness that is much more than beautiful landscape. In words clear and full of tenderness, he describes an abandoned mining town turned into a Lutheran retreat center that I and all who go there know as a place of reflection and transformation. Sometimes he puts words to what I have felt and couldn’t express on my own. Other times he sheds light on something I have seen differently or not at all. It is poetry in which I can lose myself and find myself. Sherry’s poetry reflects balance between faith and doubt, escape and reality, history and hyperbole, the serious and hilarious, that all who have been there know to be Holden Village, “a holy ghost town, a metaphor in the mountains.”

— Elaine Harrison, assistant to the directors at Holden Village

The story of Holden Village told in Tim Sherry’s Holy Ghost Town is one you might call serendipitous, though the visitors who come each year to the old mining town, now an ecumenical Christian retreat center in the north Cascades, know it as a place to shed worries, make room for peace of mind, marvel at the beauty of God’s wilderness, and live the core values of the Holden community. It is a stirring history of the grand dreams, the love of wilderness, and faith in God that every morning herald a bright new day when one out hiking at Holden might imagine being “right at heaven’s door” around the next bend in the trail.

— Marjorie Rommel, 2016-17 Auburn poet laureate… Read More

Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly
Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly by Kerry Dean Feldman

“An offbeat Tom Robbins-esque romp that stands tiptoe on the brink of erotica and oozes with sexual energy and honesty that will skip your heart, cause a belly laugh, and have you ponder exactly what the fairy dust of love-lust is really all about. Throw in a little mystery, raw hunger, irony, friendship, eggs and toast, God Angst — you name it, and you’ve got a quirky book that will charm the pants off any heretofore reader, frigid or non.”

– Monica Devine, author of Water Mask

“For the characters that haunt this provocative collection of stories and poems, Love is their god, its pursuit their religion. They do so with reverence, abandon, and, best of all, with humor. Prayers are answered, as prayers often are, in most unusual ways. Hopes are dashed, with cruelty, and with kindness. Feldman offers a tasty platter of tales of arousal, lust, longing, loss — sprinkled, from time to time, with a good belly laugh.”

– Don Stull, coauthor of Slaughterhouse Blues

“There is not only sex and beauty in Feldman’s Drunk on Love, but trouble and plenty of it. Young love grows old and disenchanted, romance merges with cruelty, and people change and then change again. The characters in these beautifully crafted stories are both familiar and surprising, and for all the hard-won wisdom within these pages, Feldman could very well have titled the collection Drunk on Life.”

– Martha Amore, author of In the Quiet Season and Other Stories

”Through an anthropologist’s eye (and heart) Kerry Dean Feldman offers us vivid stories of love, whatever that might mean in these postmodern times. We find more laughter than tears here and a proper dose of sensitivity and tenderness, and that’s how it should be. Feldman writes intelligently and compassionately, as well as passionately. We even encounter a delightful first kiss along the way.”

– Ron McFarland, author of The Rockies in First Person: A Critical Study of Recent American Memoirs from the Region… Read More

Silty Water People by Vivian Faith Prescott
Silty Water People by Vivian Faith Prescott

Silty Water People is a collection of poems exploring the effects of assimilation on contemporary Tlingit/Scandinavian families in Wrangell, a small island community in Southeast Alaska.

Two hundred and twenty years after colonization began, through the complex themes of intergenerational trauma, identity, racism, and history, Prescott uses mythology, geological time, and a deep connection to place to weave Silty Water People.… Read More

Wide Open Eyes by Paul Haeder
Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam by Paul Kirk Haeder

Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam – a collection of braided tales by Paul Kirk Haeder (fiction).

What radiates from every page of Paul Haeder’s Wide Open Eyes – Surfacing from Vietnam is a journeyman’s gift for showing the ties that bind ordinary people to their own crystallized struggle with “their Vietnam War baggage.”

These 17 fictional stories confront estrangement war veterans and their families have dredged through lives which are heroic because they all are survivors. This is a collection of stirring interlinked stories of reclamation from the perspective of the walking wounded.

The characters are colorful inside Haeder’s cauldron of quirky visceral story-telling. Lost souls are deftly moved from plot to plot as this writer shows a wizard’s sense of life’s absurdity. There is sinew and heart sculpted into myriad of protagonists.

— Ordinary people are scrawled into this atmospheric collection, yet Haeder seeks to explore the devastation of heartache by deploying black humor and leafy poignancy. From an old Army colonel lamenting rotting teeth getting yanked, to a hard-boiled street person humping it in the West flailing at his own demons from America’s War with Vietnam, this is funny, stirring stuff from a talented writer.

— Coupled with his imaginative story-telling and eye-watering vernacular, this collection comes with arresting photographs anchoring each story. Eighteen photographs are an added creative touch to his fiction. The writer was in Vietnam – after the war – as his preface sets the stage for the first casualties of war.… Read More

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