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2013-14 O Balthazar Book Catalogue 

cover

incantation inarticulate

by Valerie Hsiung

Paperback – 71 pages – Poetry – $12.95 (retail) / $10.95 (direct from us!)

ISBN 978-0-9897344-0-0

Release date: October 7, 2013

Available here:

Preview Image

The first book of poet Valerie Hsiung is a tragicomic collection of musical scores, surreal elegies and artifacts, great escapes, mysteries, necropastorals and soundscapes with marionettes, “nuclear birds,” and all the holy freaks of nature.

On incantation inarticulate:

“Flecked and bedazzled with the most beautiful sense of language, Valerie Hsiung’s wild poetry never ceases to mesmerize and delight.  I am amazed at how whole and deep this poetry is, and I feel honored to be in its presence.  This is poetry I will go back to again and again.  I believe that Hsiung is America’s new boldest poetic voice, and I just love her work.” –Noelle Kocot (author of Soul in Space)

“A spell at work on our minds to see the world anew is the best possible poem. The dream Valerie Hsiung plugs us into with her book has rooms with many different incantations to drink.  She has created a trance vehicle with clowns, rats, with a way of accessing each reader’s unique lens for sharp observations upon our culture, and on our own lives within the cultural framework.  The only poems I want to enter are those as magic spells, like these very poems by Hsiung.” –CAConrad (author of Ecodeviance: Soma(tics) for the Future Wilderness)

Praise for the author:

“Valerie Hsiung is a very prolific writer whose poems have great tonal, mood, vocal scale – that lower limit speech upper limit music of which Zukofsky spoke. She can also express exasperation and alacrity in the space of a single short poem. Too wise to be innocent and too fresh to be gnarly, she eases you into her bold stances. She is one of those poets you wish were more populous for they pull you up by the hair roots and remind you living is serious business, and the whole world is in our dirty little hands.” –C.D. Wright (National Book Critics Circle Award and Griffin Poetry Prize Winner)

Excerpt:

great polar bear

On one side is the right eye On the other is the left Switching back and forth
once Keeps the decoy alive

The first and only confirmed spy emerged again
The spy said you must cry in order to get the woods
out of your eye

Great polar bear
He doesn’t speak with genitalia the way
He does
He doesn’t handle

No interest in the physical world
Have such people faces, bodies,
Outlines that say I am a person?
He gives
pure meaning
he gives pure meaning
for my eupepsia to exist

On one side is the right eye On the other is the left Switching back and forth
once Keeps the decoy alive

you were the most exhausted one living
you were not profiting from or worth
once ports decoyed All the taxis were
filled Standing you could be refilled

Here the exiled spy appears to us as if we were dreaming when is perfectly in
tune with what is real

And the near arctic humidity forces the poorest of them into faith

Author Biography:

Valerie Hsiung’s debut books of poetry–incantation inarticulate and under your face–were both published in 2013 by O Balthazar Press. Her first full-length song record–IS, or The Moon is Not Safe–will be out by end of 2014 with an EP premiere at Shapeshifter Lab in November. Latest and notable poetry and writing can be found or is forthcoming in print and digital with American Letters & Commentary, Apiary, Denver Quarterly, Diode Poetry Journal, EOAGH: Journal of the Arts, Hayden’s Ferry Review, LOVEbook by SPZCE, Mad Hatters’ Review, Moonshot, New Delta Review, the PEN Poetry Series, RealPoetik, VOLT and elsewhere. A child of the Bluegrass hills of Cincinnati and the Mojave desert of Las Vegas, Hsiung is now based out of Brooklyn and Louisville.

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under your face

by Valerie Hsiung

Paperback – 116 pages – Poetry – $14.50 (retail) /12.50 (direct from us!)

ISBN 978-0-9897344-1-7

Release date: October 7, 2013

Available here:

Preview Image

The second book of poet Valerie Hsiung is a cyclical work composed of eight multinarrative chapters whose elements meet at the intersection of war, memory, possession, greed, and even pleasure.

On under your face:

“From its optical title page to its draining final line directing us elsewhere, under your face attempts to clear a ‘dead center’ in the middle of contemporary noise where a new kind of thinking is pieced together from reconstituted shreds of noise itself. Noise like nori you can make electricity from: ‘balloon grandifloris/boardwalk rotundifolia/flower licorice latex gloves’. This volume delivers surprise akin to reading the Imagists for the first time:  the poem leaps up in the room of the page. Then the poem goes someplace else.  As ee cummings wrote, ‘my sonnet is a light goes on in’.” –Joyelle McSweeney (author of Percussion Grenade)

Praise for the author:

“Valerie Hsiung is a very prolific writer whose poems have great tonal, mood, vocal scale – that lower limit speech upper limit music of which Zukofsky spoke. She can also express exasperation and alacrity in the space of a single short poem. Too wise to be innocent and too fresh to be gnarly, she eases you into her bold stances. She is one of those poets you wish were more populous for they pull you up by the hair roots and remind you living is serious business, and the whole world is in our dirty little hands.” –C.D. Wright (National Book Critics Circle Award and Griffin Poetry Prize Winner)

Excerpt:

candid summer

i am counting on you on you i am forbid
i am counting on you on you my goodriddance
i am counting dreadful dreadful of union
i am counting on a forbidden forbidden onion
on you i am counting forbode on–

zzzZZZZzzzZZzzzzZZZ
and
the shooting star sucker
zzzZZZZzzzZZzzzzZZZ
then

it’s where i live now
and stick
it’s where i live now
and pickle
it’s where i live now
soudre soudre pour soudre

once it was so quick, winged, zZZZ…
now it’s more bittersweet the air around the wings is incomparably slower more nimble but that is not for the air

                                                          to enliven or leaven
the bread rises in our sleep

I am… I do not know I weep.
I am… convinced otherwise I weep and hence weep!
counting on you i am forbid in this union
I am… starting to believe you could never let me love you
and I know what that demands of me.

Author Biography:

Valerie Hsiung’s debut books of poetry–incantation inarticulate and under your face–were both published in 2013 by O Balthazar Press. Her first full-length song record–IS, or The Moon is Not Safe–will be out by end of 2014 with an EP premiere at Shapeshifter Lab in November. Latest and notable poetry and writing can be found or is forthcoming in print and digital with American Letters & Commentary, Apiary, Denver Quarterly, Diode Poetry Journal, EOAGH: Journal of the Arts, Hayden’s Ferry Review, LOVEbook by SPZCE, Mad Hatters’ Review, Moonshot, New Delta Review, the PEN Poetry Series, RealPoetik, VOLT and elsewhere. A child of the Bluegrass hills of Cincinnati and the Mojave desert of Las Vegas, Hsiung is now based out of Brooklyn and Louisville.

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2015-16 O Balthazar Book Catalogue 

The Body Theater by Rebekah Bergman (poetry/play; 2015)

Cabinet of Cynics (Endure, The Future, A Revolution) by Ioana Jucan (poetry/play/dance; 2015)

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O Balthazar Press is committed to minimizing our production impacts as much as possible. We will only use socially and environmentally responsible paper (FSC-certified) and biodegradable inks and chemistry. We are open to discussion and collaboration with other publishers and printers in order to lessen further damage to the climate, endangered forests, and indigenous communities most affected by the book industry.

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You can find O Balthazar titles at the following bookstores & libraries:

Ada Books (Providence, RI)

Atomic Books (Baltimore, MD)

BookBar (Denver, CO)

Casa Libre en la Solana (Tucson, AZ)

Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe (Boulder, CO)

The Laurel Book Store (Oakland, CA)

Pegasus Books (Oakland, CA)

Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)

Symposium Books (Providence, RI)

University of Arizona Poetry Center (Tucson, AZ)

2 thoughts on “Catalogue

  1. Pingback: 2 book drop by enfant-terrible poet Valerie Hsiung | O Balthazar Press

  2. Pingback: Two Poems by Valerie Hsiung | MadHat Lit

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