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Morning Rites | Reed Bye

Morning Rites is a great-hearted new collection of verse by pioneer of contemplative poetics, Reed Bye. Here, the poet catches the world mid-whirl by formally accepting the most disparate details of human life—“hoodies and whitewash, google, Shakespeare and cigarettes”—as expressions of consciousness, the inborn song-and-dance of ourselves.

“[Reed Bye] explores the poetics of love, of bureaucracy, the mundane and the profound, and peels back with the realization that there is no space between the two, there is no spectrum; they are one." (Sally Seck) “Sometimes incantatory, often humorous, and always surprising,” Bye’s poetry is an exercise in communion, showing us a way through language into sheer living. (Maureen Seaton)

 
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Poetic Faith | David Mutschlecner

Poetic Faith is a singular study of timeless themes in the poet's practice. With disarming clarity and compassion, Mutschlecner celebrates our “radical contingency,” the “active mystery of what most vitally informs the world.” Gazing with the author through the lens of theopoetics, we see poetry shine a radiant and forgiving light into theology, cleansing it of dogmatism while nurturing inclusivity.

"These terse essays fearlessly take on the most daunting subjects: beauty, signification, revelation, presence, relationship. His inquiries transpire inside the clearest language and progress with a guileless, un-ironic depth of care and commitment.… Suddenly, the reader finds herself in the midst of a universe that peels back its skin to reveal its living core.” (Elizabeth Robinson)

 
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The Last Neoplatonists |
Theodore Sabo

When the philosopher Proclus died in 485 he was succeeded, as the leader of Athenian Neoplatonism, by Marinus; but the greatest of Proclus’ pupils, according to Damascius who knew the pupil but not the teacher, was Isidore. Damascius thought that all the wisdom of Athena dwelled in Isidore’s eyes which were “an unimaginably harmonious combination of opposites,” “the true images” of the philosopher’s soul or rather of “the divine emanation dwelling therein.” Isidore was eccentric…

 
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Hallbjorn's Dream | Joanna Ruocco

He crosses a red field, a red field because the sheep are bleeding, because there are roses there. He fills his basket with rosehips. He peels apart rosehips. He enters the croft. He takes down the black pot and sets rosehips to boil. The croft smells like blood and mushrooms...

 
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O Moon (as sung by Jehovah) |
Trent Walters

Fair Moon,
Round Tire,
bier of sweetest smoky incense,
the work of fingers in the firmament,
smitten not by night,
stand [one glory] in the valley of Ajalon
light the darkness called night
for signs of seasons, of seasons for signs, established for
the ever faithful

 
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On Poetic Faith | Elizabeth Robinson

The word “genius” comes, etymologically, from the Latin for “to beget,” and was originally a word that meant “tutelary spirit attendant on a person.” In Poetic Faith, David Mutschlecner becomes our genius, a tutelary spirit that guides us into the plenitude of poetry. David Mutschlecner’s meditations demonstrate the mutual suffusion of metaphysics and poetics. His terse essays fearlessly take on the most daunting subjects: beauty, signification, revelation, presence, relationship...

 
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Remembering Jack Collom

November 2015: Jack Collom (1931 - 2017) presents his work from The Lune—and guides us all into the joyous collaborative heart of poetry—at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Café. Here is the second video by Joshua Koerner in a two-part series covering the event. Thanks, as ever, to the Innisfree Community. Jack: We miss and love you.

 
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Radical Contingency | August 2018

The word 'celebrate' implies assembly and comes from the Latin celebrare, "to publish; sing praises of; practice often." This could be the crux of poetry: The coming together that constitutes an awareness of interiority and exteriority, and that initiates an appreciation of the balance between part and whole. How might celebration admit of suffering and grief without indulging the divisions they imply? How might we move from radical contingency to radical embrace?