By Carol / On / In Books, Print, Publishing, Supplies for readers & writers

“‘Successful’ art means something to my whole body…
[it] involves having an experience.”

— Metta Sáma

LE ANIMAL & OTHER CREATURES by Metta SámaReading * le animal * & other creatures … is visceral. Waiting for the terrors that “always find a way to enter … you turn your alarm to shiver”; we feel ‘hot slick sharp teeth breaking our flesh’; a “dry spleen” is moved; lovers hear “the grinding crunch/of pigeon bones”. Metta Sáma’s creatures are mostly unglorious: fly, spider, cockroach, human, cat, dog. Through observation, humour and the various interactions enacted in her poems she explores what is beauty and what is perceived to be ‘merely’ pigeon, and endows these unsung creatures with a magnificence of their own. We share her weeks of horror spent with the cockroach in the corner of the house, but she invites us to laugh with her at the ridiculousness of this epic battle: “You imagine a contraption akin to cat stilts and laugh until your fear hurts.” The cat she trusts is going to help her out is, finally, “belly up staring into the ceiling fan imagining you hope an end/to these terrible days.”

LE ANIMAL & OTHER CREATURES by Metta SámaSáma is acutely aware of the irony that “many of us whose ancestors helped build the institutions that kept us out are now financially supporting those same institutions.” But she wants “to transform these realities into art & into questions that are not heavy-handed … or rhetoric.” Despite the poet’s resentment of those who have access to ‘a safe world I can only imagine’, and despite the sound of necks and bones breaking that bubbles as a soundscape under her work, Sáma seems fundamentally optimistic. Rather than the “expectation of cardinals/fiery in the wintered sky”, she says, “Give me the rabid face/of the pigeon… always pointing toward the next hustle.”

*le animal * & other creatures is available to pre-order now and will ship beginning August 14.






AS BREATH IN WINTER, by William Reichard

By Carol / On / In Books, Supplies for readers & writers

William Reichard | AS BREATH IN WINTER | MIEL 2015William Reichard | AS BREATH IN WINTER | MIEL 2015


Reading William Reichard’s As Breath In Winter on a hot June day in England is rather like eating ice cream. That delicious ice cool cover; inside such visceral, urgent poems!

He had me at the opening line of the opening poem: ‘I have come all this way to see you.’ I wanted to know all his tribulations, all the aching and struggle. And then life and shadows and all our limitations get in the way: it is ‘a clumsy dance.’

Reichard knows how to nail a neat first line. I also loved the opening of ‘Oculus’: ‘To see, she opens her body’. As a woman who writes, and who is acutely aware of how the state of her body so affects her ability to see, as in, write, this image completely resonated with me.

Reichard gives us a stack of items for the librarian—the precious, the impossible and the poignant; a stranded rocket on the launch pad and a stranded conversation: ‘We finally run out of/things to say’; and the beautiful understatement of ‘There’s much to say about everyday life’: all held me as I travelled with the poet ‘through time, fires [and] houses buried.’

Carol Rowntree Jones for MIEL

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Buy As Breath in Winter now, or support the press with a subscription and get a whole year of books!

28 pp.

11 x 17 cm 
staple-bound & wrapped in a paper band
printed & bound in Nottingham, UK, by Tompkin Press Co., Ltd.