Meet Me in Botswana: What is BLAST PRESS?

BLAST logoLets start with what BLAST PRESS is not. BLAST PRESS is not a community. It is not a community-building venture. It is not by, about, or for the people. Unlike the pretentious anthologies that weigh down the shelves and slander the individual by gluing him into some historian’s scripted story, BLAST PRESS is not a collection of individual voices expressing the vibrancy, meaning, and tradition of the creative community, nor of any community. In this respect, BLAST PRESS, as it critics have bitterly asserted, is nothing at all. Continue Reading >>

Our Recent Books

  • The Changing Room by Carrie Pedersen Hudak Changing_Room_HudakA girl loses sight of her three sisters while shopping at the mall. She will stop at nothing to find them again, but will it be enough? “The Changing Room is full of underground rivers we feel but cannot see. It’s a book for all the siblings of the world.” —Peter Sís, MacArthur fellow and three-time Caldecott honoree whose many books include Tibet through the Red Box and The Conference of the Birds
  • Hellgrammite by Mathew V. Spano Hellgrammite by Mathew V Spano“Hellgrammite” masquerades as a humble book of fishing poems and tales, but it is much more than that. It is a mythological multi-legged creature, creeping and crawling with vivid nature poems, ink drawings, sensitive haiku and two remarkably crafted short stories. By turns terrifying, tragic, witty and surreal, author Mathew V. Spano serves as the reader’s guide, turning over river rocks of the unconscious and inviting readers to reach down into the wet darkness to probe mysteries of Mother Nature and human nature.
  • Palisades, Parkways & Pinelands palisades-parkways-pinelands-thumbnailAs the title "Palisades, Parkways & Pinelands" implies, the book at hand has grown from New Jersey roots. More specifically, it is an outgrowth of the Pier Village Poetry Festival, held in view of the Atlantic in Long Branch, New Jersey, on the Fourth of July 2015. For that event, organizer and Long Branch Poet Laureate Emanuel di Pasquale called together some twenty poets from the far-flung New Jersey poetry tribe. A sampling of their work, along with that of others who could only be present in spirit that day, is included in the present volume. As its genesis and development suggest, "Palisades, Parkways & Pinelands" is meant to be a celebration of contemporary New Jersey poetry and a continuation of a long poetic tradition in the Garden State that stretches back to colonial times.
  • Grasmere: A Book of Days by H. A. Maxson THUMBNAIL_IMAGEIn 2007-2008, I concocted an experiment I called the Quotidian Project in which I wrote the first draft of a new poem every day for a year. In fact it went beyond a year and I wrote 411 new poems in 389 days. Much was dreck—as would be expected—but many poems, revised, were better than I could have expected. To jumpstart a poem-a-day I came up with a number of prompts—some more successful than others. One that yielded some very interesting poems came from borrowing passages from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal, excerpts of which appeared in a textbook I was using at the time. ~~H. A. Maxson
  • Collected Poems by Gabor Barabas gabor-barabas-thumbnailAs this earth marches toward another twilight ravaged by greed and ignorance, I write these poems to convey to the besieged generations to come, those that will preside over the final plunder and irrevocable destruction of our once green planet, to provide a sense of what was once best in man. I do this so that we will not be judged and remembered entirely for our failed guardianship and conveyance of the unearned riches that were once bestowed upon us, but also for the occasional and rare flickerings of nobility that animated some of our kind.
  • A Raven’s Weight by Gregg Glory ravens-weight-thumbnailFrom the introduction: Emotional suffering gives us access to the real world in a way that ideas, and even love, cannot attain. We turn death and generation into a fable of sacrifice. Plants are buried and honored in their going, the Crop King is executed, and from his everlastingly renewed body the spring stalks arise to be culled again. His death is willingly embraced by him, or by his stand-in chosen from among the farmers–and this freely chosen death is overcome, in the Christian story, by God’s intervention. Or the sacrifice is invested with meaning by the very act of undertaking the self-imposed burden of sacrifice. Perhaps by the pagan anti-wish-fulfillment of tragedy–their heroes marching off-stage with a chin-lifted "tragic gaiety."
  • West of Home by Joe Weil and Emily Vogel west-of-home-thumbnail"West of Home" is a collaborative book of poetry which reflects the present and ongoing sentiments of Joe Weil and Emily Vogel. It includes 14 "responsorial" poems (call and response), between the two poets, as they respond to one another’s themes and ideas, as well as two sections of poems, one for each poet’s individual work.
  • Self-Symphonies by Daniel Weeks self-symphonies-thumbnailInspired by listening to the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms, Daniel Weeks’s Self-Symphonies explore the landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes that are the backdrop to a life lived on the New Jersey shore. The four long poems in this collection provide meditations on family, inheritance, and loss, society, nature, and culture, and stasis and change all of the elements that Coleridge said bething the individual self.
  • Surfing for Jesus by Susanna Rich surfing-for-jesus-thumbnail"Surfing for Jesus" is a 3-D IMAX picaresque where J.C. Penney is the tabernacle; Walter Cronkite, a confessor; and drivers express their "Lordy-Lord" perfections by hugging the speed limit (exactly). These poems variously mourn, moon, lampoon, side-step, meditate, bash, tweak, and imagine their way through the thickets of contemporary commerce and religiosity-to find meaning with the Dalai Lama on the basement bowling alley of a defunct Jesuit seminary; with a sand dolphin and mermaid on a New Jersey beach; and with Jesus resurrected as a Laotian drag queen. Ultimately, "Surfing for Jesus" celebrates that the personal lyric is both a vehicle for and the destination of spiritual authenticity.
  • Knowing the Moment by Emanuel di Pasquale knowing-the-moment-tumbnailThere is something elemental about the poetry of Emanuel di Pasquale, an immediacy that comes from a direct and visceral relation to whatever he is writing about-whether nature or human interaction. It is the kind of directness that di Pasquale admires in Whitman and Dickinson-evidence that he, like them, has more than an academic acquaintance with the world and its changes. He has experienced them and understands how to make us experience them, too, through words.
  • The Pilot Light by Gregg Glory pilot-light-thumbnailWe live in a mist of continual whispers. And these whispers bring us news of the world, and arm us, Galileo-like, with telescopes to view our inner landscapes: our pasts, our nattering presents, our dreams and desires-all at once, or in a movie-montage series that takes on the serried wheels of the kaleidoscope for its deployment and re-deployment of pattern in the search for meaning. Childhood faces, lovers breathing intensely close, the lick of an insistent pet, all compete for their place in the panorama, their time in our arms at the square-dance of selfhood. What fiddler calls the tune? Will we always respond, stomping in time to the quibbling ifs that life presents? This is all process, the creation of context from which our daily self emerges: the hourly display of faces from which Shakespeare chose his masks, and where Dickens lived amid Pickwickian semi-visionary laughter.
  • Les Symbolistes by Daniel Weeks les-symbolistes-thumbnailMy purpose in making the translations which follow was simply to better understand these important poems and to practice reading French. In the process, I consulted some other translations, notably Roger Fry’s beautiful work on Mallarm, some translations of other Symbolist poets by C.F. MacIntyre, and the prose translations Carol Clark made of Baudelaire. I decided to do a poetic translation of my own whenever the French original touched an emotional chord for me and when I thought I could contribute something beyond what others had already done in their English renderings.
  • Wild Onions by Gregg Glory wild-onions-thumbnailThese poems occur within the punctuation of a pause, in the incompleteness of a phrase broken across the spine of several lines of verse. Like the tense energy of a bullwhip that gathers to a crisp crack that then echoes in the listeners ears….
  • Assembling the Earth by Gregg Glory assembling-the-earth-thumbnailA victim of depression during the composition of these verses, I noticed an inability or unwillingness to assign purpose within myself-I was lax and ready to suffer unmitigated disasters with little more than a shrug and a tear. This is really a rather hopeless state of affairs-as a number of the poems outline. I remained staunchly impressed, however, with Dame Nature’s capacity to excite the recognition of meaning within myself. As meaningless and adrift as I may have been, I could not help but notice that Nature still evoked in me the wry acknowledgement of a more masterful hand in the pictures I kept seeing-both before me and within me.
  • Of flares, of flowers by Gregg Glory of-flares-of-flowers-thumbnailFrom the Intro: This assemblage of sonnets is neither a trumpet of blind praise, nor a morose ogling of the pains of passion. It is more on the order of an exploration of the situation of love. Of being subjectively in love, and, more objectively, of loving someone besides oneself. So, there are eager rehearsals of coming joys and somber reappraisals of old impious passions both in this collection. The biographical circumstances are simply that I had an intuition that I was on the cusp of some new union with love; there was a dating service, fresh faces and swaying ladies; a kiss occurred, other details.