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.

divine debris

out of the dead leaves, i motion myself sick before the world. little obliterated bits of god, raining down onto this globular water-logged orb. before the fornicating of subatomic fractals even started, the last ledge had already parted from the abyss, rendering a semblance of solidity out of a hologram of steam. and suddenly, the backs of all the elephants and turtles grew heavy, and the amoeba split in two until a multitude of blue lagoons began to spit up monkeys from their goo. maybe evolution ends here, where the creature turns shrewd enough to see its own doom, lets go of that last ledge he always thought would see him through, and propels himself downward into the chasm’s mouth, the floating man falling at long last toward the knowledge that there is no ‘he’ to bottle or bog down with cogs and gallows, only the sorcery of swamp and hollow, and the infinite question: what follows?

About Dylan Krieger:

Regarding the creation of her book Krieger writes, “As the titles in its contents suggest, “no ledge left to love” is a poetry project that reimagines and challenges the frameworks of Western philosophical thought experiments, especially with respect to gender categories, moral certitude, and diachronic identity. Each poem focuses on a different thought experiment in analytical philosophy, from Plato’s allegory of the cave to Nagel’s spider in a urinal. Recognizing that Western philosophy—like most all academic disciplines—has been largely dominated by wealthy straight white men, “no ledge” attempts to dismantle the reductive binaries and disembodied logic of the analytical philosophical vernacular, emphasizing instead the robust physicality and potent mutability of the bodies required to convey its lofty ideas.

Dylan Krieger is a genderqueer feminist who currently works as a trade magazine editor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she earned her MFA in creative writing at LSU and twice directed the annual Delta Mouth Literary Festival. Before studying with Lara Glenum and Laura Mullen at LSU, she lived in northern Indiana for the bulk of her young life and studied poetry with Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Goransson at Notre Dame. Her first book of poems, “Giving Godhead,” was released earlier this year by Delete Press and received an glowing review in the New York Times Book Review.

Henry Miller Memorial Library announcement of Ping-Pong Free Press poetry prize, awarded to Dylan Krieger here.

Featured image: Stewart Ferebee Photography

Apr 2 2017

When Word Came of My Mother’s Death

I had just finished an order of fried fish.
I had picked clean the spinal column, lifting it entire and whole from the meat and skin.
I had sucked the meat from the cavities of the head,
had crunched and eaten the crispy tail and fins,
leaving nothing edible;
just the way my mother would go at boiled lobster,
picking and sucking meat from every cavity, from every crevice, from every hidden chamber,
even the spiny, spindly, reed-thin legs,
leaving behind nothing, nothing but bare shell.

Poem forthcoming in the collection, White Fire, published by Ping-Pong Free Press, May 2017.

pc: Wendy Moorty

 

Professor Emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College where he taught composition, literature, public speaking and humanities for 32 years, Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts is co-editor of the college text Bridges; co-editor/co-translator of two works from the Telugu, Sudha (Nectar) by Chalam and The Selected Verses of Vemana, both of which have been accepted into UNESCO’s Collection of Representative works: Indian Series; and co-author of Bowing to Receive the Mountain: Essays by Lin Jensen and Poetry by Elliot Roberts.   His poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Ruchowitz-Roberts serves as Vice President of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation in Carmel, California. He also coordinates the Foundation’s annual Prize for Poetry and its annual reading series, and serves as a tour docent.   He coordinated the National Endowment for the Arts “The Big Read: The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers,” during which he read and performed Jeffers’s poetry at venues throughout Monterey County, including local libraries, high schools and colleges. In 2009 he read Jeffers’ poetry at two bi-lingual readings in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Poet-in-the-Schools for the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Ruchowitz-Roberts presents poetry writing workshops in high schools throughout Monterey County and coordinates the annual Monterey County High School Poetry Awards.

photo credit for featured image: Stewart Ferebee

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

Ping Pong logo red

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.