cover image Shake


Joshua Beckman, Author . Wave Books $12 (79p) ISBN 978-1-933517-00-1

Ambitious new poetry publisher Wave books was created when Charlie Wright, former executive director of the DIA Art Foundation, bought the nonprofit, poet-run publisher Verse Press (News, May 16, 2005), whose list includes recent hits like Joe Wenderoth's Letters to Wendy's (2000) and Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (2004). Rechristening the house Wave Books and giving the jackets sleek, picture-free designs, Wright retains Verse Press editor and poet Matthew Zapruder, and adds poet (and Verse/Wave author) Joshua Beckman to co-edit. In its first season, Wave will publish the three collections below, as well as a second book from Anthony McCann.

Shake Joshua Beckman . Wave Books , $12 paper (88p) ISBN 1-933517-00-X

The three long poems of Beckman's fifth collection mourn the depravity of American urban life while celebrating (sometimes with a bit of irony) the fleeting transcendence of love, sex and fun. Eschewing narrative in favor of episodic variations on the above, Beckman (Your Time Has Come , 2004) punctuates these extended meditations, comprising related poems grouped in series, with crystal-clear images rife with sad humor: "In heaven there'll be umbrellas for children (their size)." The results are subversively disorienting and emotionally precise. (Apr. 1)