Monday, August 31, 2009

The Plum-Stone Game by Kathleen Jesme
Ahsahta Press 2009

The pineal gland is an organ in the brain said to be the seat of insight, spirit, intuition, the mystic’s ‘house of the third eye.’ Sadly it is also said to calcify over time. Various strategies are suggested to open the pineal gland, to strengthen and purify this mysterious center of the mind. Rituals may entail various breathing practices, meditation, and a variety of other methods all purported to promote a cleansing of this sacred gland and open intuitive channels. Nowhere have I read that poetry, either in reading, listening nor writing is a pathway to opening the pineal gland as means of spiritual purification, but surely, upon reading Katherine Jesme’s The Plume-Stone Game, this book should be added to the list of detoxification options for promoting good psychic health. Jesme’s The Plume-Stone Game is a glass of soothed milk, placed to the reader’s lips, which once swallowed opens into the wonder of that ‘other world’ as a light both dividing the two hemispheres of the brain and simultaneously bridging the functions of the mind and the body: “She is like an animal, all desire—without language to staunch it//but she can’t tell that her kind are different…” Kathleen Jesme lays out the content of darkness, and will not go away into dark.
The book settles into four sections, but this is an understatement. The book swings as if through a revolving door, examining the three dimensional hologram of the lung’s interior chambers where, from a deeply dealt breath, a voices rises into the language of a fierce and distant new country. The sections unfold, archeologically, as if detailing the examinations of consciousness from the dirt inscribed under the fingernails, into the umbel blossoming of a multi-layered landscape. “Shall we examine betrayal? The small lesions on the skin that begin as ordinary…” Nothing in The Plum-Stone Game is ordinary. A reader is left to follow a pocket watch to which time will not be obedient. The hours, a relentless beauty, page after page, begin in the prose of saints, moving through sinuous lyric, cataloging the relics of a found ethnography and returning again to prose. Her movements are subtle, sparse, languid, as startling as the arrival of desert songbirds, pallid in the snow sun, those whose messages are carried alone through red hibiscus. Into the ear, the intimate distance of stars, sawdust, flecked notes.
Reader, as you move thorough The Plum-Stone Game, perhaps you will be reminded of an ancient self, what has been lost to you may return, as an exhibit, a shattered teacup glued back together. Jesme explores the synthesis of a dual body: “opens her mouth and feels my throat…” where the throat of my throat is swallowed deep into the limit of what eternal wild awakening, limitless and needle-sharp.

                                                    --Review by Maureen Alsop.

If you would like to submit a review or send a review copy query Matthew Henriksen at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Farrah Field & Jared White 6.12.09 Fayetteville

The Burning Chair Readings
present poetry
at an undisclosed location
(at 3996 N. Frontage Road #2)

Farrah Field
Jared White

Friday, June 12, 6:30-8pm
FREE w/ refreshments
Bring Your Own Date
(directions below)

Field’s first book of poems, Rising, won Four Way Books’ 2007 Levis Prize. Her poems have appeared in many publications including the Mississippi Review, Margie, The Massachusetts Review, Pool, Typo, Harp & Altar, 42Opus, La Petite Zine, Sojourn, Pebble Lake Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Fulcrum, and The Pinch. She lives in Brooklyn and blogs at

Jared White was born in Boston, and has lived in Brooklyn for about eight years, during which time he received an MFA in poetry from Columbia, as well as playing a fair amount of music, mostly on the piano. His poems have appeared journals in print (Another Chicago Magazine, Barrow Street, Cannibal, Fulcrum) and online journals (Coconut, Horse Less Review, Word For / Word, Verse). He also published essays on poetry and music, most recently in Harp & Altar, Open Letters, and Poets Off Poetry. He was awarded a University Writing Prize from the Academy of American Poets. A chapbook of poems, entitled Yellowcake, was in Cannibal Books' Narwhal compendium. His very occasional blog, No No Yes No Yes, can be found at

3996 Frontage Road #2 is just off the intersection of Joyce and College. Heading North on College, turn RIGHT on Joyce (heading East), then LEFT (North) on the access road (which is the first road to the left). It is the first building on the Right – red awnings. Faces the access road, but abuts Joyce.

It is across Joyce from the Bank of America. The access road heads toward the back of Barnes and Noble, not south toward Panera.

Info: Contact Matt Henriksen @

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Burning Chair Readings
at Fayetteville Underground
present a night w/ Cannibal Books
featuring poetry from

Carolyn Guinzio
Kevin Holden
M.C. Hyland
Keith Newton
kathryn l. pringle
Amish Trivedi
Joseph P. Wood

Friday, April 10, 6:30-8 pm
Fayetteville Underground
East Square Plaza
1 East Center Street
$5 suggested donation

Handmade & other books available at a discount, w/ refreshments, gallery tours, & social hour following the reading.

Cannibal Books publishes hand-sewn literary journals and chapbooks which focus on divergent and emerging poetics. While our products fit into the category of book arts, the focus is entirely on presenting daring work from a broad range of styles. An aesthetic definition cannot define the hunger. Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 2004, Cannibal Books currently nests in Fayetteville, AR.

Visit or query flesheatingpoems AT gmail DOT com.

Author Bios
Carolyn Guinzio is the author of Untitled Wave from Cannibal Books, Quarry (Parlor Press) and West Pullman (Bordighera). Her work has appeared in many journals including Blackbird, Colorado Review, and New American Writing. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Read two poems in Typo.

Kevin Holden is the author of Identity from Cannibal Books. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Colorado Review, Ecopoetics, The Harvard Advocate, The Liberal, Parcel and Typo. He is from Rhode Island and lives and teaches in Iowa.
Read an excerpt from Identity in Typo.

MC Hyland is the author of four chapbooks: Residential As In (Blue Hour Press, 2009), The Hesitations (a collaboration with Friedrich Kerksieck and Kate Lorenz, Small Fires Press, 2006), Incantations (reject sheep press, 2006), and Lost Gospels (Ponkapoag Press, 2005). She currently lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches creative writing and letterpress through local nonprofits, and runs DoubleCross Press.
Read “Epistolary” in H_NGM_N.

Keith Newton’s chapbook Sent Forth to Die in a Happy City was published this winter by Cannibal Books. His poems and translations have appeared recently in Harvard Review, Saltgrass, and Open Letters. He lives in Brooklyn, where edits the online magazine Harp & Altar.
Read “Materialization in a Black Sea” in Typo.

kathryn l. pringle is the author of Right New Biology, just out from Factory School/Heretical Text Series. She is the author of The Stills (Duration Press) and Temper & Felicity are Lovers (TAXT). She is an editor at the literary magazine minor/american, and the co-founder of the minor american reading series. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Read The Stills at Duration Press (requires Adobe Acrobat).

Amish Trivedi’s electronic chapbooks include Selections from Episode III (Beard of Bees), The Ink Sessions (Scantily Clad), and The Breakers (Absent Magazine). His poems appear in La Petite Zine, Cannibal, Word For/Word, and Backwards City Review. He lives in Iowa City.
Read The Ink Sessions at Scantily Clad Press.

Joseph P. Wood’s first full book of poems, I & We, will be published by CustomWords in 2010. He is also the author of two chapbooks: Travel Writing (Scantily Clad Press) and In What I Have Done & What I Have Failed to Do (Elixir Press). He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Read “Anatomy of a Bullet Wound” in Typo.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Burning Chair Readings @ AWP Chicago

The Burning Chair Readings

two nights of readings in Chicago
February 11 & 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 6-9 pm
Narwhal & Projective Industries
@ Sonotheque
1444 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL

featuring poets

Kazim Ali
Maureen Alsop
Sommer Browning
Thomas Hummel
Thibault Raoult
Jared White

& music from

The Goddamn Shame

Thursday, February 12, 6-9 pm
Ahsahta Press & Typo
@ The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL

Carrie Olivia Adams
Ben Doller
Kathleen Jesme
Forrest Gander
Matt Hart
Brenda Hillman
Alex Lemon
Barbara Maloutas
Rusty Morrison
G.E. Patterson
Marvyn Petrucci
Stephanie Strickland

And we’ll be involved w/ these cool kids Friday night:

Friday, February 13th, 7-9:30 pm
No Thousands: A Small Press Reading
Black Ocean, Cannibal Books, Forklift Ohio, Octopus Books, Rope-a-Dope
@ The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL

Johannes Göransson
Joshua Harmon
Claire Donato
Kevin Holden
Russell Dillon
Alexis Orgera
Dean Young
Eric Baus
Shane McCrae
Sampson Starkweather
Chris Tonelli