Aug 12 2017

Dylan Krieger’s collection, no ledge left to love, is the recipient of the Ping-Pong Free Press poetry prize of 2017, chosen by judge and poetry badass, Brian Henry. It is my extreme pleasure to share with you a sneak peek–one of my favorite poems out of this fascinating and essential collection, release date: December 1, 2017. Read More >

Apr 2 2017
Aug 21 2016

We are happy to announce Jameson O’Hara Laurens as the winner of the Ping-Pong Free Press Poetry Prize 2016: Judge, Melissa Broder. Her collection MEDÆUM will be published Fall of 2016, here is a poem from this upcoming collection. Congratulations Jameson!

INVILE

In my back patch
blackberries coagulate through sticky skins
You can’t pick them without drawing blood.

Each year the house hidden at the far end in the bramble
slinks an inch farther away.
What is the opposite of an exile? An invile?
Sweeping the clay with her robes,
curing swaths of shorn grass
with a train of her grieving?

Not yet alive are the hills with their howling.
The sky scowls.

Three dogs told me in a dream.
A bird opened the Bosphorus for his crossing.
A bird flew into the house.

History about as light as a loadstone.
The soul of the proprietor is worn thin.
The partriarchs are dying off
but no one can pull the keys from their clutches,
rigor mortis crisps, & their
lips & gates smack shut.

I see them here outrunning
what they didn’t know still ran in their veins

Outrunning sleeves they forgot they were wearing
so long they spill over their limbs and to the ground.

 
Don’t try to affect airs.

 
Get out of my light.

Jamie #7666 B&W

pc: P. Bouclainville

Regarding the creation of her book, Laurens writes that she was already working on a series of persona poems when she discovered that the voice of Medea rang especially true to her: “I felt that it needed to speak through one of my characters. [Moreover,] what if we recognized that her crimes are metaphorical?… Like any enemy, Medea was easier to label as a murderess than she was to truly understand as a character who transformed from ingenue to warrior, to outcast, to mother, to sorceress, to murderess.”

The result, Laurens states, is: “a manuscript on misbehavior. Its intention is to investigate with empathy the peculiarity and rage that inhabits the Medea of Greek mythology. It also allows for the uncomfortable notion that she is incarnate today in women who,… caught between duty and true nature, are faced with impossible choices.”

Jameson O’Hara Laurens completed her MFA in poetry and translation in 2014, and has collaborated with artists, choreographers, and translators. She is fortunate to call a bilingual secondary literature classroom her professional home, and has recently received research sabbatical and leadership grants for teaching projects. Having grown up in the West, she has an ongoing concern for the natural world, and for all things apiary. She became a feminist writer by necessity. Her work has appeared in Enclave, Alexandria Quarterly, Hawkmoth, and Poet Republik. MEDÆUM is her first collection.

Mar 19 2016

Ping-Pong Free Press is proud to publish as our first book, a collection of the finest Russian poetry in dual-translation: Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Daniil Kharms, Polina Barskova.
Praise for Katie Farris’ and Ilya Kaminsky’s translations:

“Words flicker — strange, elegant — a Russian evanescence. Heat lightning pulses between lines.”

— Dana Jennings, The New York Times

“A voice of stunning originality”

— Publishers’ Weekly

“These translations are a live-wire joy to read”
— Alicia Ostriker

“Taught, lively translations that earn their place as poems in English”
— Marilyn Hacker

“In these pages we find unassailable courage coupled with the dizzying beauty”
–Sonja James, The Journal of West Virginia

Translators’ Note from the book, by Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris: All English versions in this book are just that: versions, notes in the margin. One should not read them as exact, authoritative translations. They are two poet’s sketches, responses, shadow- plays, homages.

To purchase a copy go here: Henry Miller Library Virtual Store

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About Ping-Pong Free Press

Ping-Pong Free Press was founded in 2016 by Ping-Pong journal EIC and Library president, Maria Garcia Teutsch. It is an imprint of the Henry Miller Memorial Library. The press is dedicated to free speech and promoting those writers in the legacy of Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin. The Henry Miller Memorial Library champions poets, writers, singer-songwriters, filmmakers and artists who often remain at the peripheries of the mainstream. Miller existed in these peripheries of American literature, but his sources and his influence extend far beyond this country, to the international literary avant-garde. It is in these peripheries where we find our truth both within and outside of our borders. We are committed to truth in all of its horror and beauty. Miller was not a pretty writer, and everything that will be published by Ping-Pong Free Press will not be pretty. The work published by Ping-Pong Free Press is not written for the market, but for the ages. It is challenging, it asks much of its reader. It’s not easy. It is, though, a vital continuation, and contribution, to Henry Miller’s literary legacy.