Lip Prints : Tanka and Other Short Poems 1979–2007 by Alexis Rotella Published by Modern English Tanka Press
Looking for a meaty book of tanka that will feed your soul? Lip Prints is it. Poet-scholar Michael McClintock writes: “Sophisticated and witty, classical and contemporary, Lip Prints is a subtle and scintillating collection. . . . Alexis Rotella is a poet of resilient and unblinking intelligence.” These poems will take your breath away and inspire you to write some of your own.
Baltimore, Maryland – September 12, 2007 – Modern English Tanka Press is pleased to announce the publication of Alexis Rotella’s Lip Prints : Tanka and Other Short Poems 1979–2007. Alexis Rotella has been writing haiku, senryu and tanka since her late 20’s. She is one of the most accomplished American writers and is able to write seemingly effortlessly in all three genres. She discovered haiku while working on an undergraduate thesis on zen at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Michael McClintock writes, in his Preface to Lip Prints: “So carefully have these poems been anchored in the universals (that open sea!) of human psychology that one can almost feel the heat-waves rising as historical, social, cultural and linguistic boundaries evaporate. This kind of intimacy and breadth is no small achievement, especially in short form poetry. Though only five lines each, there is little or no sense of minimalism here, no sense of the lacunae. These poems are full of life and are, for all their brevity, fully expressed. Lip Prints today, right now, has no equal in American tanka literature.”
Praise for the book:
“Lip Prints by Alexis Rotella is her most beautifully crafted and imagistic book to date.” — Maria Mazziotti Gillan, editor of Paterson Literary Review and author of Italian Women in Black Dresses (Guernica Editions)
“These poems are full of life and are, for all their brevity, fully expressed. Lip Prints today, right now, has no equal in American tanka
literature. About the anxieties that plague daily life—our relationships, the food we eat, the jobs we work, the displacement we
experience—these poems deliver not so much a culmination but an indispensable, immensely valuable reason to relax our angst, draw
away from our clutching fears, and get on with our lives. This book is, then, an invocation, a kind of Book of Life, full of truth that
grants us forgiveness and a release. To the great increase of our joy, with release comes closure.” — Michael McClintock, President of the Tanka Society of America
“Poetry is often defined as distilled language. In Lip Prints, Alexis Rotella shows us how small pieces of a lifetime of experience can be made vivid in five distilled lines. The natural world with its mustard field containing a plum orchard in full bloom, a vanished white cat whose light still shines in every room, a blue flower from childhood. And the ambiguities and complexities of relationships, typified by the couple who, though made of starlight, still quarrel. These poems too seem made of starlight.” — Jeanne Shannon, Poet, Editor/Publisher, The Wildflower Press
“Alexis Rotella brings us Lip Prints featuring nearly thirty years of tanka, both published and previously unseen work. Rotella is a master of romantic tanka of the real world sort: the heartaches of love found, lost, won, betrayed, forgotten, and fulfilled; but her skills go beyond that to touch on all sorts of love. Her mother, brother, church, friends, neighbors and rivals all appear in these pages with the adroit brevity of a master sketch artist. Although we have never met them, we cannot fail to recognize the young women disappointed to discover the object of their crush is a priest, or the selfish man with chocolate in his pocket—but not for us. Rotella is alert to the nuances of human behavior that tell us who we really are, but she also has a wry sense of humor that never fails to bring a surprised laugh at the foibles and follies of the very human people who populate her world.” — M. Kei, Editor of Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart
“Alexis Rotella has been writing free-form tanka with a lyrical, confessional voice exploring a wide range of emotions, feelings and insights. Her tanka, though firmly grounded in the American landscape of experiences, follow the ‘no subject off limits’ approach championed by the famous Modernist Japanese tanka poets, Akiko and Hirsohi Yosano (Tekkan). Alexis has the ability to capture a relationship in a phrase and deepen the moment of insightful feeling with surprising attention to details that tell us ‘the rest of the story.’ Her new collection, Lip Prints, is an opportunity for tanka readers to enjoy a rich body of work drawn from over thirty years of being a very alive writer.” — Randy Brooks, Editor Mayfly Magazine, Professor of English, Millikin University
Alexis Rotella served as President of the Haiku Society of America (Japan House) in 1984 and edited Frogpond, Brussels Sprout and The Persimmon Tree. Her haiku, senryu and tanka have won many awards and recognition. Her work appears in numerous anthologies including Global Haiku (Twenty-five Poets World-wide), George Swede and Randy Brooks, Mosaic Press; How to Haiku, Haiku Moment, both by Bruce Ross, Tuttle; Beneath a Single Moon (Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry), Johnson and Paulenich, Shambhala; The Haiku Anthology 3rd ed., Cor van den Heuvel, Norton; Haiku I (Poesies Anciennes et Modernes) Jackie Hardy, Editions Vega; Haiku for Lovers, Manu Bazzano (MQP); Czeslaw Milosz/ HAIKU (Krakow, Poland); Synesthesia in Haiku and Other Essays, Toshimi Horiuchi (University of Philippines Press) and Haiku in English, Hiroaki Sato (Simul Press, Japan).
Rotella’s longer work and Japanese related poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and magazines including The New York Times (Metropolitan Diary), Christian Science Monitor, Family Circle, Glamour, New Letters, The Paterson Literary Review , Chiron Review, Blue Mesa Review, The Madison Review, Lynx, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Simply Haiku, Red Lights, and Bottle Rockets.
Rotella is author of the poem Purple which appeared in numerous publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Love, Magic and Mudpies by Bernie Siegel, M.D. (Rodale Press).
Alexis Rotella lives in Arnold, Maryland where she is a practitioner of Oriental Medicine.
For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with the author, contact: Alexis Rotella: by e-mail
at a.rotella (at) att.net. Publisher information at: www.modernenglishtankapress.com.
This book is available from http://stores.lulu.com/modernenglishtanka and from major booksellers; or from the publisher. Complete information and mail order form are available online at www.modernenglishtankapress.com.
Price: $21.95 USD. ISBN 978-0-6151-6501-1. Trade paperback. (Also, $35.95 USD, ISBN 978-0-6151-6502-8. Hard cover with dust jacket.) 160 pages, 6.00" x 9.00", perfect binding, black and white interior ink, full-color exterior ink.
About Modern English Tanka Press:
Modern English Tanka Press is an independent equity publishing house in Baltimore, Maryland, dedicated to producing books and periodicals of lasting literary value. Our publications are produced using modern print-on-demand production and distribution methods. We publish the journals “Modern English Tanka” and “Atlas Poetica” and books of tanka, haiku, and other fine verse. We operate www.TankaCentral.com with its popular “Tanka News” blog, and the poetry web hub, www.ShortVerse.com.
Denis M. Garrison, owner
Modern English Tanka Press
Email to dmg (at) tankapress.com.
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