Spiritual Exercises traces a journey of temptation and devotion in pursuit of the divine. Not trifling in ambiguity but diving headlong into it, these poems wrestle with popular gods as much as with personal ghosts. From autism to eroticism, from sin to salvation, and from grief to gratitude, this book lays bare a full spectrum of emotional life, showing us how grace can be as playful as it is sincere.
Interviews from the Edge presents a selection of conversations, drawn from 50 years of the international journal New Orleans Review, that dive head-first into the most enduring aesthetic and social concerns of the last half century. From reflections on the making of literature and films to personal accounts of writing inside racial divides and working against capital punishment, the writers, poets, and activists featured in this book offer not only a fresh perspective on our present struggles but also perhaps a way through them-for writers and readers alike. Interviewees include James Baldwin, Anaïs Nin, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Gaines, Valerie Martin, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Sister Helen Prejean, and Bertrand Tavernier, among many others.
Airplane Reading is one of the most original collections of essays I’ve read. Each has a distinctive take on traveling, and even the less riveting narratives offer interesting, sometimes amusing, sometimes serious perspectives. What an entertaining companion for above the clouds or below. — Valerie Wieland, New Pages
The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes is both crystal clear and unfathomable—its voices are both as familiar as a next door neighbor’s voice and as alien as a next door neighbor’s life, and the comforts the poems offer are impossible comforts: “I look down and feel / Like a weed // A wind slips through.” The Dangerous Book of Poetry for Planes speaks to the impossible world the world has become. – Shane McCrae
Honorable Mention, Prose Awards, Association of American Publishers
Irreverent and often profound pronouncements define Mark Yakich's Poetry: A Survivor's Guide, which seeks to bridge the gap between those haughty academic treatises on verse (such as Ezra Pound's ABC of Reading) and those quaint, but ultimately limited, workbooks brimming with writing exercises ... A light yet bountiful read, Poetry: A Survivor's Guide offers concise, practical advice for those who yearn to hone their craft and deepen their appreciation for poetry's strange majesty. — Plume
National Book Critics Circle, #1 Small Press Highlight for Fiction
Yakich is an award-winning poet — a designation that arouses suspicion when such a writer attempts a novel — but this book, written entirely in the second person, is a hard-won gem. — Rigoberto González
Winner, 50 Books/50 Covers Award, Designer Observer
A trove of poignant observations and thoughtful reflections on that strangest of modern experiences: commercial flight. — Patrick Smith, Salon
Finalist, Poetry Center Book Award, San Francisco State University
This bold second collection is profane, political and humorous in its engagement with what it means to live, especially as a poet, in terrible times. — Publisher's Weekly
A poem for nine voices in unison. Illustrated by the author.
Winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Award, Selected by Mary Ruefle
Yakich’s debt to Nabokov’s Pale Fire is obvious and well earned. Like Pale Fire, this book reminds us that authorship is a fiction loved too much to be abandoned. The fictive idea of singular, proprietary authorship endures as something necessary and exacting, as another moment when “[e]ach writer limits herself to the story of her own execution” (“The Teller is the Only Survivor of the Fairy Tale Ending”). It is too easy to misread Barthes’s “The Death of the Author” as a form of critical homicide. Thankfully, Yakich enacts what Barthes’s essay actually argues: the “death” of the Author produces the simultaneous “birth of the Reader.” — Tony Trigilio
Winner of the National Poetry Series, Selected by James Galvin
Yakich's poetry radiates an aura of fresher imaginative possibilities that is invigorating in politically literal times. — San Francisco Chronicle
Mark Yakich is a poet, novelist, painter, and the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. He is editor of New Orleans Review, and is co-founder and co-editor of Airplane Reading, a media venue dedicated to collecting travelers' stories about flight.