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PEARL BOOKS

Pearl established its press, Pearl Editions, in 1989 in conjunction with the Pearl Poetry Prize, an annual competition for a book of poetry. More than a dozen winning collections have been published since then, selected by some of the more well-known contributors to Pearl. Pearl Editions also publishes a limited number of poetry books and chapbooks by invitation only, and does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.



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BOY SINGING TO CATTLE
by Mark D. Hart
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-41-8
$14.95. Publication date: March 1, 2013
WINNER: 23rd ANNUAL PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Boy Singing to Cattle is at once a moving elegy for a lost parent, a portrait of a way of life, and of the landscape and community tied to it, and a reconciliation with that past. It is remarkable for its wisdom, for the generosity of its spirit. These poems continue to haunt me—in their grittiness, their loveliness, their eloquence; for the heart which informs every poem. Boy Singing to Cattle renews and refreshes the tradition of poetry about the land and those who live from it in ways I would not have thought possible in the 21st century."
Andrea Carter Brown, Judge

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN VIETNAM
by Jerry Neren
104 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-40-1
$14.95.
Publication date: March 16, 2012
WINNER OF THE 2010 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


In verse as lyrical as it is unflinching, Jerry Neren has penned a cautionary tale for the twenty-first century. Before our recent military adventures in the Middle East, there was Vietnam—the longest and most futile war in American history. Taking us back to that "fungal fairyland," Neren follows an idealistic young man fresh out of college into combat where so much is lost to him—not only his life-long friend and brother-in-arms, but his sense of reality and purpose, and ultimately, his mind. Once Upon a Time in Vietnam is an unforgettable tale of the anguish and suffering inflicted by the unseen wounds of war.

 

WILD DOMESTIC
by Tamara Madison
88 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-39-5
$14.95


"Read Wild Domestic cover-to-cover then tuck it into your backpack or purse and carry it with you everywhere, open at random, and read every time you need a bit of wit or comfort. To borrow a metaphor from the vanishing world of vinyl, every poem is an A-side. Tamara Madison is a poet equally at home in the world of flesh and the world of ideas, both worlds apprehended with intelligence, grace and humor."
         
                     Donna Hilbert

sample poems

 

ANIMAL MAGNETISM
by Kim Roberts
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-38-8
$14.95. Publication date: January 10, 2011
WINNER OF THE 2009 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"In Animal Magnetism, Kim Roberts investigates, in language as rich, complex, and nuanced as the body itself, the unlit interiors of physical and emotional anatomy…Borne out of the author's own deep searching following a serious illness, each poem, each line, feels deeply earned…While these poems are beautifully-made and sometimes funny or painful, they are also brimming with information…Here the narrator functions as a trained docent, leading the reader on a private tour of the wonders and curiosities that document the early explorations of medicine and anatomy, in which the inner workings of the human body were first opened to the human eye."
Debra Marquart, 2009 Judge

sample poems

 

SEE HOW WE ALMOST FLY
by Alison Luterman
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-37-1
$14.95. Publication date: September 30, 2009
WINNER OF THE 2008 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Unified by the restless, shape-shifting, insatiable, photographic, harmonic, deeply and broadly human consciousness of the poet, the core unit of Alison's poetry is simply The Poem. The title of her first book, The Largest Possible Life, encapsulates for me the capacious, striving sensibility of this remarkable poet." —Gerald Locklin, 2008 Judge

"If I could take just one book to a desert island, this might be it...Here you'll meet up with a scrawny urban rooster, a dying jazz singer, an old Arab man in a corner store, a small bully on the school playground, a child gymnast in the Olympics, an Ethiopian janitor, a transvestite violinist, an Alaskan moose, Saddam Hussein —and many more characters besides...Deeply thoughtful, passionate, ethical, unflinching, funny, sexy, world-traveling...these poems enchant me with their lush avalanche of images, their honest, wry gaze, their full, breaking, open heart." —Ruth L. Schwartz

 

THROUGH THE GLORIETA PASS
by Lavonne J. Adams
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-36-4
$14.95
WINNER OF THE 2007 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Through the Glorieta Pass is like no other collection I've read before. Conceptually, the book is a union of voices: Adams's straight forward and lyrical one, and the voices of women who braved the journey across the Santa Fe Trail. In poem after poem, Adams lets the dead speak to us—and their stories are harrowing. Deadly winter storms. Men crushed by wagons. A woman's breasts carved away by an Indian's knife. It's an apocalyptic view of the Old West where disease was rampant, the innocent were scalped, and buffalo carcasses rose from the landscape 'like trail markers.'"
—David Hernandez, 2007 Judge

"Lavonne J. Adams's mesmerizing Through the Glorieta Pass weaves a chorus of women's voices into a poetic tapestry through which human longing, determination, and landscape itself speak to us. With authority and integrity, Adams has brought both the beauty and the danger along the Santa Fe Trail to life in her poems. On this journey westward, transformation was inevitable. The ways of the Apaches and the Mexicans mingled with the lives of the settlers. Out of that medicine bag of history has come poetry that speaks to the heart." —Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina Poet Laureate

sample poem

 

HAMMERS AND HEARTS OF THE GODS
by Fred Voss
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-852248-46-8
$15.00, published by Bloodaxe Books, Ltd.
AVAILABLE FROM PEARL!


"Most of the poems are vivid vignettes of factory life, but they are also much more. They comprise a wide-ranging social-political commentary that exposes class conflict, racial tension, and social injustice. The poems also deal knowingly with male woundedness, insecurity, alcoholism, grief and shame...In all the poems there is an earthy compassion that reflects a true spirituality." —Tom Fulton, Poetry Review

sample poems

 

JOAN’S OWN GOOD-4-YOU COOK BOOK
Recipes & Poetry Written 1950–2007
by Joan Jobe Voss
264 pp., plastic comb binding,
ISBN 978-1-888219-34-0, $30.00


“No world class cook, though a wee bit world wise, I’ve showcased, to honor within these many pages the expansive time-spanning Kitchen Encomium as I’ve known and read it, a gustatory genealogy and cultural conga line of Food: the great, essential human unifier: Food: the eternal eclectic reward, bounty and feast of all the families and friends I’ve knoshed and swapped recipes with beginning with my great-grandmothers’ Texas food...” —Joan Jobe Voss, from Introduction

sample poem & recipe



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DENMARK, KANGAROO, ORANGE
by Kevin Griffith
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-33-3
$14.95
WINNER OF THE 2006 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"There is something risky, random—even precarious—about this collection that flirts with ars poetica, nostalgia, and mortality...we see the familial and familiar in a strange radiance: unusually perceptive children; dead spouses at ease in the afterlife; a grown man finding himself in a toy box...The eerie, the comic, and even political gestures all seem to find their sly ways into these prose poems...Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange is a rich, startling, and magical romp." —Denise Duhamel, 2006 Judge

"Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange possesses the comic inventiveness that makes the prose poem a beloved form of trickster-poets, but it also possesses the astute and open hearted vision that only a poet of Kevin Griffith's skill can offer. He blends humor and contemplation, dream and domesticity, song and story in poems that manage to be simultaneously intricate and accessible. These are poems of relentless charm." —Terrance Hayes

sample poems

 

THIS BIG FAKE WORLD
by Ada Limón
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-35-7, $14.95
WINNER OF THE 2005 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"This big fake world is not a mere nosegay of poems but a solid world (as real as it is fake, as any good work of art should be), a poetry of story and voice, a narrative of fracture and repair, that through its art becomes a whole—and a whole new thing."
—Frank X. Gaspar, 2005 Judge

"Part domestic fairy tale, part urban grit, part exposé of how making a living and making a life are often pitted against each other, this big fake world is a sophisticated exploration of manners, marriage, and the fragile bonds that desire both creates and destroys...the lives and language of this book are radiant emblems of a truly discerning mind and heart." —Tom Sleigh

sample poem

 

THE FARMGIRL POEMS
by Elizabeth Oakes
72 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-30-0, $11.95
WINNER OF THE 2004 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Elizabeth Oakes' first book of poems is the work of a mature craftsman. A memoir in poetry, it does not make one false step. It is filled with strong sentiment, but never the sentimental. Memory and the imagination weave past and present into a whole cloth. After Wordsworth, we can easily say of The Farmgirl Poems, the child is mother to the poet here." —Joe Survant, Poet Laureate of Kentucky, 2003-2005

sample poem

 

EARTH'S ENDS
by Andrew Kaufman
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-27-0, $11.95
WINNER OF THE 2003 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Andrew Kaufman's Earth's Ends is not a ‘travel' book. It is a terrifying and powerful book about the world by a lone American poet who sought out some of its bleakest (in every sense of that word) and most beautiful places. Often understated, always unflinching, this book and its people are unforgettable." —Thomas Lux

sample poem
 

HOW JFK KILLED MY FATHER
by Richard M. Berlin
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-24-6, $11.95
WINNER OF THE 2002 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"How JFK Killed My Father introduces to us an important new voice in contemporary poetry and offers us a rare, poignant glimpse into one doctor's world through poems that are honest and unflinching, gentle and brutal at once.... Here we have a doctor who admits that to 'save a life' is to pretend, a doctor who knows 'it's just a postponement.' Read Richard Berlin's poems; they are the salve. They are the music we hear while we wait." —Lisa Glatt, 2002 Judge

sample poem

 

TRIGGER FINGER
by Micki Myers
72 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-21-1, $11.95
WINNER OF THE 2001 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Trigger Finger introduces a fresh, quirky voice to American poetry. Or, more accurately, a range of voices, for Myers is able to inhabit a wide array of characters in her work. The characters are real, and the poet's compassion for these characters is genuine." —Jim Daniels, 2001 Judge.

sample poem

 

FROM SWEETNESS
by Debra Marquart
94 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-19-X, $14.95
WINNER OF THE 2000 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"These are poems of a world rendered specifically, characters lovingly articulated, landscapes redolent with possibility and life. I'm drawn to their honesty and vision and the sounds of their making, a music that's particularly American." —Dorianne Laux, 2000 Judge.

sample poem

 

FLUID IN DARKNESS, FROZEN IN LIGHT
by Robert Perchan
70 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-17-3, $11.95
WINNER OF THE 1999 PEARL POETRY PRIZE


"Fluid in Darkness, Frozen in Light contains some of the best prose poems I've read in years. Poetry is, or should be, memorable speech, and not what Robert Bly has called ‘the chat rooms of poetry.' And this book has memorable speech, page after page. How could one not love a poet who says 'To call a fetus an unborn child / is like calling an old man an undead corpse.' Robert Perchan is in the same part of the poetry ball park as Russell Edson, Bill Knott and Dean Young, but is very much his own person. I suspect that he won't be invited to the White House for Poetry Month celebrations, but that's okay, we have him in print now, and any sensible person will read this book." —Ed Ochester, 1999 Judge.



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ALSO FROM PEARL EDITIONS ::::::::::::::::::::::::::


MAKARS' DOZENS
by Robert Peters, Paul Trachtenberg & Barbara Hauk
120 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-32-7, $11.95


"The importance of Robert Peters' poetry rests on the fact that it modifies poetic language and breaks new artistic ground . . . . By fully exploiting the metaphor of the body, its epidermal shape and vulnerable interior, he has provided a fresh code for the expression of feeling." —Billy Collins

"I'm attracted by the quippiness, the diction—which jangles and contracts with all sorts of musical possibility—and the air of nonchalant gravity that Paul Trachtenberg puts over everything he writes. It is quite unlike any recent poetry I have read." —Paul Christensen

"Virtually all of Barbara Hauk's poems are marked by an intense awareness of ‘propriety' and all its nonsensical hypocrisy. Her sense of the absurd and inability to conform are so acute and persistent that rebellion (either actual or imagined) becomes her instinctive response." —Marilyn Johnson

sample poems

 

TRAVELER IN PARADISE: New and Selected Poems
by Donna Hilbert
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-25-4, $11.95


"Donna Hilbert's poems ache with the wish to be safe in the world, and also with the knowledge that the world is irredeemably unsafe. On that edge her poems balance, offering their taut musicality, their knife-edge imagery . . . At every turn, this poet surprises with her beguiling wit, and then the sudden plunge into depths . . . As I was reading these poems, I kept thinking of Emily Dickinson's mandate, ‘Tell it slant.' Dickinson, I believe, would recognize a kindred spirit in these poems." —Janet Sternburg, author of Phantom Limb and The Writer on Her Work

sample poem

 

TRANSFORMING MATTER
by Donna Hilbert
64 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-14-9, $10.95


"Just over a year since Donna Hilbert's husband was tragically killed comes the amazing Transforming Matter. This collection examines faith, grief, the after-life, and most poignantly, how to love the ones who are no longer here." —Denise Duhamel

"Seen in retrospect, Death hovers over the sensual landscape of Hilbert's marriage, shaping the ‘plot' of her life, as it does for all os us if we could face it. This poetry reaches the heights, but at what a price!" —Edward Field
sample poem

 

SHELTER
by Lisa Glatt
64 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-13-0, $10.95



"By turns hilarious, wise, sad, horrifying, these poems are the real thing. If you think that we're living in the puritanical 50's, a time when politics, religion and most public art are tailor-made by and for fools: you need this book." —Ed Ochester

"Lisa Glatt is the best kind of bad girl: brave and vulnerable, grieving and tough. These poems hold up the female experience to a shard of mirror; look closely and take heart from the searing tenderness of her knowing, sensuous work." —Kim Addonizio

sample poem

 

MONSTERS AND OTHER LOVERS
by Lisa Glatt
96 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-00-9, $11.95


". . . clearly a woman's voice writing about women's experience, not safely, not at a distance, not with Olympian detachment, and surely not solely to be read with approval by men sitting in judgment . . . These poems are stinging; they tell us that women's bodies are still terrible and lovely, still secret, but they name those feelings in a loud, un-flinching voice." —Marjorie Roemer, Hurricane Alice

"Lisa Glatt writes about sex in as funny and convincing and touching a manner as any woman I have ever read." —Gerald Locklin

sample poem

 

ORAL HISTORY
by Anne-Marie Levine
48 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-29-7, $10.00


In the tradition of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye, Anne-Marie Levine takes us back to the 1940s to bring us an American boy's coming-of-age story. Thrown into the world of the hard-working, hard-drinking, hard-loving men of the Texas oil fields, and in thrall to their free-wheeling individualism, the boy embraces their macho life style with eager, reckless abandon, telling his story with the singular, unjaded innocence of the very young. A verse monologue in the voice of a male narrator, Oral History has often been performed as a solo theater piece. Published here for the first time, this distinctive volume is sure to delight new audiences.

"Anne-Marie Levine's Oral History utterly captivates. It moves with a delicate ease that is hard, true and enviable." —Tim Blake Nelson

sample poem

 

BUS RIDE TO A BLUE MOVIE
by Anne-Marie Levine
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-22-X, $12.00


"Bus Ride to a Blue Movie is as hilarious as it is endearing, as witty as it is often heart-breaking. Anne-Marie Levine has her finger on the pulse of the nation as it exists here, now—at this moment. Again and again, the reader chuckles with little shocks of recognition, as if to say, 'Yes, that's how it is for women today.' These are poems to savor and remember for a long time." —Marjorie Perloff

sample poem

 

A NECESSARY FIRE
by Marilyn Johnson
64 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-01-7, $9.95



"Marilyn Johnson is one of those transitional women who reached womanhood during the tumultuous '60s when all the old roles were rejected and new ones not yet formulated. Finding herself in the '90s . . . she writes what she sees and feels—showing us through her refreshing, almost painful honesty and her subtle wit, how it once was to be a woman and how it is today." —Catherine Lynn, Small Press Review

"Johnson is a terrific lyricist, elegiac in tone, smooth in her cadences, and celebrates relationships with an honest, and often harrowing, sensitivity." —Robert Peters, Small Press Review

 

TATTOOED WOMAN
by Carolyn Evans Campbell
130 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 1-888219-05-X, $11.95

WINNER OF THE 1998 COLORADO BOOK AWARD



In two long poems—"Reflections of a White Bear" and "Gathering Ghosts"—and a collection of selected poems, Carolyn Campbell speaks to the seasons of a woman's life and demonstrates her intense range of mood, memory and spiritual metaphor. Readers new to her work will discover a genuinely brilliant and compelling poet . . ."I do not know of another poet writing today who brings me closer home to myself." —Grace Cavalieri, National Public Radio

 


::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: CHAPBOOKS:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

A MERCIFUL BED
by Lisa Glatt and David Hernandez
32 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-18-1, $8.00


"There is much which is dazzling in the work of Hernandez and Glattan easy and unembarrassed intimacy and an immediacy of expression . . . At their strongest, they demonstrate that poetry is to be found in everyday experience, in ordinary lives. Their shared focus on relationships, family, sex and worka focus on universalspresents a strong contrast to those who tend to write from the perspective of individual estrangement." —Maggie Hannan, Critical Eye

 

MAN CLIMBS OUT OF MANHOLE
by David Hernandez
48 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-15-7, $8.00


"If you read one poem from David Hernandez's new book, Man Climbs Out of Manhole, you'll have to read them all. And his imagination, humor, and the felicity of his metaphoric gift will bring you back to them again and again." —Ron Offen

 

CITY BY THE SEA
by Judith Florence Grammel, Margaret Ann Towner
& Regina Nervo
60 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-31-9, $10.00
WINNER OF THE 2005 JANE BUEL BRADLEY CHAPBOOK AWARD


"The three poets whose debut collections comprise City by the Sea present a fitting tribute to Jane Bradley: Judith Grammel, a trenchant observer of social interaction and well-schooled in the natural history of Long Beach; Margaret Towner, whose love of family and the natural world suffuses every page; and Regina Nervo, whose talent has not been tamed, only tempered by her amazing skill." —Donna Hilbert

sample poems

 

THE BELLY REMEMBERS
by Tamara Madison
40 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-28-9, $8.00
WINNER OF THE 2004 JANE BUEL BRADLEY CHAPBOOK AWARD


"The poems in Madison's debut collection reveal her wit and keen eye for social observation and arise as much from muscle and sinew as from gray matter. Her poems are as taut as a well-toned body, lively as a well-toned mind." —Donna Hilbert

sample poem

 

BUKOWSKI BOULEVARD
by Joan Jobe Smith
48 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-10-6, $10.00

"The poems of Joan Jobe Smith have the reality of force properly put down on paper . . . a strange woman, a strange, good, basic woman." —Charles Bukowski (1975)

"Whether or not these poems would delight you, I'll never know. However, they do tell another point of view about you, that from the periphery, the innocent bystander, the passive Bukowski watcher who loved you, admired you, was inspired and encouraged by you . . . and is now grateful to the poetry gods who blessed me with your acquaintance . . ." —Joan Jobe Smith

sample poem


DR. INVISIBLE & MR. HIDE
by Charles Harper Webb
40 pp., saddle-stapled, ISBN 1-888219-09-2, $8.00



"Charles Harper Webb has a wild inventive energy, a quirky, at times even manic wit, and a deep sense of wonder at the world." —Edward Hirsch

"This collection of nineteen brilliant pieces runs the gamut from fishing to introspection dazed by regret, all written with emotion that cartwheels through love and derision, optimism and realism, comedy and error." —Tim Grobaty, Long Beach Press-Telegram



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