Tupelo Press

Book Review :: April at the Ruins by Lawrence Raab

April at the Ruins poetry by Lawrence Raab book cover image

Guest Post by James Scruton

Depending on the reader, the title of Lawrence Raab’s tenth poetry collection, April at the Ruins, might evoke “the cruelest month” of Eliot’s The Waste Land or a postcard from a Henry James character on The Grand Tour. There are glimmers of each here — mixtures of memory and desire as well as travels both real and metaphorical. But more often we find Raab meditating on love and loss (and much besides) with his characteristic sense of gratitude, entire lives suggested by a precise detail or turn of phrase:

… and as they crossed
the street she took his hand,
just as if everything
they hadn’t told each other
had never happened.
(“One of the Ways We Talk to Each Other”)

In “Little Ritual,” stones collected and then forgotten beside a lake become metaphysical emblems, the “zigzags of blue” in a “shiver of quartz” reminding the speaker “that some day everything / I love must be set aside, / or given away, or lost.” Amid the ruin we’ve made or witnessed of this world, Raab nonetheless celebrates an April of the spirit. “Nothing is beyond repair,” he writes. “How can there be a beautiful ending / without many beautiful mistakes?”


April at the Ruins by Lawrence Raab. Tupelo Press, 2022.

Reviewre bio: James Scruton is the author of two full collections and five chapbooks of poetry, most recently The Rules (Green Linden Press, 2019). He has received the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine, among other honors.

August 2021 eLitPak :: Perfecting the Manuscript

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An Online Manuscript Conference for Poets

Jeffrey Levine and Kristina Marie Darling invite you to join Tupelo Press’ expertly-designed online poetry manuscript conference. We will meet in small, intimate groups. You will be guided through the craft of transforming your manuscript into a book that coheres and sings! At the end, you’ll have a readied manuscript, a publication plan, and a community of fellow poets. Rolling registration.

View the full NewPages August 2021 eLitPak newsletter.

August 2021 eLitPak :: New from Tupelo Press – Open Secrets

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A Marketing Guide for Independent Authors

All authors want to get their books into the hands of as many readers as possible. Though it is a publisher’s role to aid and assist authors in marketing and publicity for every book, the role of any publisher necessarily takes a back seat to your all-important efforts. Nobody else can do this essential work as effectively as you can.

View the full NewPages August 2021 eLitPak newsletter.

Call :: Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic

Tupelo Press Call Four Quartets: Poetry in the PandemicTupelo Press has announced they are moving their Tupelo Broadside Contest submission period to the month of September. This is so they can accept folios for Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic to be published in late fall. They seek four 12-page folios of poetry. Submissions are open now through midnight on June 30. Judges for selection will be Publisher Jeffrey Levine, Editor In Chief Kristina Marie Darling, and Poetry Editor Cassandra Cleghorn. Selected writers will receive a $250 honorarium.

There is a $22 reading fee.