Jeff Friedman’s new collection of poems and prose writing, Floating Tales, includes surreal, enlivening mysteries where power reversals reign supreme. A tongue bullies its owner. A woman teaches a parrot to fly. Puppets revolt. These tales provide the opposite of closure: they burst open, bloom outward, revealing multiple new ways of relating to so-called reality.
A contributing editor to Natural Bridge and Anthem Literary Journal, Friedman lives in West Lebanon, NH, with the artist Colleen Randall and their dog Ruby. He is the author of seven collections of poetry including Pretenders, Working in Flour, and Black Threads. His poems, mini-stories, and translations have appeared in many literary magazines.
“These are poems of sheer imagination and beauty. Once I started reading them, I couldn’t stop. … Jeff Friedman is a fantastic fabulist who draws his readers into a parallel universe where the lines between fantasy and logic disappear, and wonder begins.” — Nin Andrews
The three interrelated sections of poetry in Susan Barba’s first book, Fair Sun, explore the primary importance of connection, both with other human beings and with the natural world. The poems are set in childhood and in adulthood, in Armenia and New England, exploring the proximity of life and death.
Barba's poems have appeared in many literary publications including Poetry and The Yale Review. She recently received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in poetry. Working as an editor for the New York Review of Books, she lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and two children, and has extended family here in Norwich.
“Susan Barba creates an eerie mix of delicacy and terror. ‘How close they are to one another, / the garden, the fire pit, the dark groves,’ she writes, and they are close indeed in these poems that remember the genocide her Armenian grandfather barely survived, and honor the subtlest quiet details of daily life. Her poems are chalices.” — Rosanna Warren
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Late genius of the form Russell Edson stated that prose poetry can create "a beautiful new animal." Jeff Friedman's Floating Tales earn that honorific description. These compact, surreal, enlivening tales strip experience down to its most fertile mysteries.
Three interrelated sections of poetry which explore the primary importance of connection, between humans and with the natural world. In the first section, the poems are wide-ranging, exploring the acquisition of language, the ways in which the experience and distance embedded in language darken and threaten the qualities of a childhood spent close to the natural world.