Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Cover


Cover design by David Blakesley. Cover image: © Kiki Smith and Universal Limited Art Editions, Inc. “Etc., Etc.” 1999. Photogravure on mold-made Hanemühle paper and collaged lithograph and photolithograph on handmade and machine-made Japanese paper. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licenced by SCALA/Art Resource, NY.

THE FOREVER NOTES

My debut collection of poems, THE FOREVER NOTES has just been published by Parlor Press.

Here's what people are saying:
The poems of The Forever Notes are canny and lyrical and never a word too long. Many are song-like, repeating the things that are most important to them over and over to make them stay:  “You and the trees/ Trees and the night around you.”  Others tell small stories, utterly clear line by line but elusive, almost elegiac, in their slides of feeling and shifts of thought. They feel like a life you must have lived but can’t quite remember, like a dream you try to tell even as it fades behind you. Ethel Rackin’s wistful and whimsical “Notes” and “Pictures” and “Songs” are brief glances and glancing blows, each so understated and tantalizing that it seems to call for another and another, until without quite realizing it you’ve read the book straight through. —James Richardson
Plato wrote in the Timaeus of time as the moving image of eternity. In Ethel Rackin’s The Forever Notes each of these terms finds resonance: the fleeting objects of the world are moving, and persons moved; her lyric syntax builds pictures that dissolve into song and then turn back to image again; the eternal endures in its endless transformations. “Leaves are for changing” she observes—an insight just as true of the leaves of her book. —Susan Stewart
Ethel Rackin’s lyrical sound bites have a mysterious hold. In them, the visual and the aural are inextricably linked. “Adrift in internal music,” is how she puts it. Her notes are notations that produce pictures of the real world, but those notes also create songs. “Each object has a title,” says Rackin; her poems demonstrate that each object has musical depth, too. The result is beautiful: “A song that reaches as far as an eye can see.” —David Trinidad
Everyone should read this book because it is so effective and unique. The book will make you ache, whether or not you’re an artist.  It will intrigue you.  Its objects—trees, chocolate, wheelbarrows, a ship on the sea, nightgowns, rug samples, a garden, a femur bone, cookies, a blind bird, curbs, scotch—have a relationship with the speaker and with us that is personal, moving, isolated, lonely, and longing. In a shattered world we recognize as very close to ours and also see as an exotic destination, there is a song overall as if we were hearing it in a woods, or on the ocean, or in a city, hearing it from somewhere and compelled to find it.  It’s this new, essential poet. —Arthur Vogelsang

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MCPL Celebrity Judge

If you live in Montgomery County, PA, consider submitting to the MCPL Poet Laureate Competition. I'm honored to be this year's Celebrity Judge.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Ode to a Lamp" on Zocalo Public Square

Here's one of my odes on Zocalo Public Square. Many thanks to poet and editor, Stephanie Brown, for featuring it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Poem in Evergreen Review

Honored to be included in the current issue of Evergreen Review. This is the final issue edited by founder and editor Barney Rosset.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Poems in Colorado Review

I am happy to be included in the current issue of Colorado Review! You can buy the journal here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reading with Poet James Richardson Wordsmiths Reading Series


   Friday, February 17, 2012
   7:30pm until 9:00pm
The Orangery @ Bucks County Community College


James Richardson is the author of six books of poetry and two books of criticism, including, most recently, By the Numbers: Poems and Aphorisms, which was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award. Recipient of the 2011 Jackson Poetry Prize, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Robert H. Winner, Cecil Hemley and Emily Dickinson Awards of the Poetry Society of America, Richardson has recent poems and aphorisms in Slate, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry Daily, and The Best American Poetry, among other anthologies. He is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton University.

All readings are free and open to the public and sponsored by the college Cultural Affairs Committee and Department of Language and Literature.

For the complete Spring 2012 schedule, visit: www.bucks.edu/news/culture/wordsmiths/

Contact:
Chris Bursk
burskc@bucks.edu

Dave Venditto
venditto@bucks.edu