BOOKS

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Shelter (2009)

Disturbing because of the cruelty intended as kindness to animals and the speaker’s unflinching, relentless insistence on her culpability, these poems force us to consider whether we can be redeemed by our capacity for love, compassion, and personal responsibility.

Buy at Amazon, Alice James Books, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite indie bookstore!


Unselfconsciously, nakedly, Salerno offers elucidation, internal and external, of the condition we comfortably call human.
— Pleiades

More praise for Shelter:

“…Salerno unfolds a story that we cannot stop reading—though…the bare truth on the page hurts… This first collection takes courage to read, but you can bet it took more courage to write, and we should be glad Salerno did it.” —Library Journal

“…this is real poetry, millennial poetry…[it] links our humanity to the way we treat animals we don’t want… Shelter is a hard book to read, but the lessons humans need aren’t always easy.” —The Bark Magazine

“In a volume as compassionate as it is unsettling, Carey Salerno questions the moral authority assumed in the narrow confines of the animal shelter. Abu Ghraib haunts these lines as the shelter takes on harrowing, allusive dimensions, and as the narrator weighs her burden of complicity. Shelter is filled with fierce and desperate yowling, much of it our own.” —Michael Waters


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Lit from Inside (2013)

A compilation of archival materials accompanies this collection of forty years of Alice James Books poetry. Nearly 150 authors are represented in chronological order. Maxine Kumin states, "the list of authors is remarkable for its breadth, variety, and passion. The assortment is idiosyncratic, the range of voices and styles embraces the familiar personal narrative voice and the innovative." Contributors include Jane Kenyon, Fanny Howe, Forrest Gander, Jean Valentine, B.H. Fairchild, Matthea Harvey, Brian Turner, and Cole Swensen.

Buy at Amazon, Alice James Books, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite indie bookstore!

Alice James Books has been one of the major forces in American poetry for the past four decades. . . . This is an essential book for readers who want to understand and enjoy contemporary American poetry.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

More praise for Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books:

“Alice James Books is one of the pure sources of American poetry. . . [the press] has started the careers of too many poets to name. This anthology is a birthday celebration in book form. . .” —NPR

“The history of American poetry is the history of the small press, and Alice James Books, true to its origins in the Seventies as a collective operation, is a large and very distinctive chapter in that history, well deserving of this anthology showcasing its poets and work, both experimental and traditional, that ranks among the most important of the past four decades. The next time a student poet asks me for an anthology that will teach her the art in its most exemplary and current state, this is the one I will hand her.” —B.H. Fairchild

“The founding members of Alice James Books welcomed me, in 1975, to a crew of feisty individuals committed to poetry. Unfettered by demands of market or profit, the press published—for forty years— tantalizing collections. Culture; family; feminism; friendship; history; passion; racism; war: it’s all in this anthology, a rewarding testimony to the independent spirit.” —Robin Becker

“The list of authors is remarkable for its breadth, variety, and passion. This is a big book: a reader needs fortitude to undertake its 207 pages, but anthologies are meant to be sipped, not gulped thirstily…I have downed the entire collection, 130-odd disparate celebratory, elegiac, lyrical, lofty, comic, surreal, imagist, formalist, postmodern bards. The assortment is idiosyncratic, the range of voices an styles embraces the familiar personal narrative voice and the innovative, often dissonant music of more experimental poems.” —Maxine Kumin

SELECTED POEMS

selected online poems to come