Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora Edited by Christopher Nelson Green Linden Press, September 2021
Published by the non-profit Green Linden Press, The Essential Voices series intends to bridge English-language readers to cultures misunderstood and under- or misrepresented. It has at its heart the ancient idea that poetry can reveal our shared humanity. The Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora anthology features 130 poets and translators from ten countries, including Garous Abdolmalekian, Kaveh Akbar, Kazim Ali, Reza Baraheni, Kaveh Bassiri, Simin Behbahani, Mark S. Burrows, Athena Farrokhzad, Forugh Farrokhzad, Persis Karim, Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Sara Khalili, Mimi Khalvati, Esmail Khoi, Abbas Kiarostami, Fayre Makeig, Anis Mojgani, Yadollah Royai, Amir Safi, SAID, H.E. Sayeh, Roger Sedarat, Sohrab Sepehri, Ahmad Shamlu, Solmaz Sharif, Niloufar Talebi, Jean Valentine, Stephen Watts, Sholeh Wolpé, Nima Yushij, and many others. Introduced by Kaveh Bassiri.
Recently, I have been reading chapbooks, partly as a happy result of submitting my own poetry to small presses. So it was my good fortune to select Radio Static by James Hoch, whose work is new to me. I can’t stop reading it now.
In this sparse book, Hoch writes of his brother who served a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. (Hoch’s brother served from 2003 to 2021, and is now living in Idaho.) In one gorgeous poem entitled “Afghanistan,” the poet transforms his brother “into a Pashto prayer for what he has done” and Afghanistan into “a cough I clear.” In another poem, “Martins,” Hoch hears the “wind whistling through my brother.” The reader senses the truth of what brothers are, and the horror of what soldiers do and are left with.
Every war creates its own brand of bitterness, its own unfinished business, and its own poetry. America has quit Afghanistan, but these poems will remind us of the men that war created and forgot. Radio Static will become part of this war’s legacy.
Radio Static by James Hoch. Green Linden Chapbook Series, December 2021.
Reviewer bio: Carla Sarett’s recent poems appear in Pithead Chapel, Quartet Journal, Neologism, and elsewhere. Her novel, A Closet Feminist was published in February 2022 by Unsolicited Press. Carla lives in San Francisco.
Under a Warm Green Linden Issue 11 is live! Read new work by 21 astonishing poets and translators. Work by Hasan Alizadeh, James Dott, Payam Feili, Emily Franklin, Dennis Hinrichsen, and others. See a list of more contributors at the Under a Warm Green Linden website.
Deadline: November 30, 2020
The Wishing Jewel Prize honors a manuscript that challenges expectations of genre, form, or mode while engaging the rich possibilities of lyrical expression. Named for an essay in Anne Carson’s innovative book Plainwater, we look forward to work that questions the boundaries of what poems and books can be. Contest awards $1,000 and publication. All finalists considered for publication. Reading fee: various. For more information visit our Submissions Manager.
Green Linden Press is currently open to chapbook-length poetry manuscripts. Chapbooks will be published in Fall 2020. Deadline to submit is March 20. There is a $12 reading fee to support their green mission. Learn more…