WMU News

New Issues releasing four poetry collections

Sept. 12, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's New Issues Press is releasing poetry collections by two Kalamazoo poets this month, along with releases by two additional poets.

The press is publishing a reprint of John Rybicki's New Issues Press 1996 collection, "Traveling at High Speeds," expanded to include several new poems. The initial 1,450-book printing of the collection was one of three titles published by New Issues Press in its inaugural year.

A September release also is planned for "The Hourglass Heart," Gail Martin's first book of poems, which has won high praise from fellow poets.

Kalamazoo College poet Conrad Hilberry says Martin's collection illustrates how "restraint and skill merge with genuine anguish to create poems that are sure to hold and move us."

Poet Barbara Ras, author of "Bite Every Sorrow," agrees. "An intelligent, generous spirit roams these poems, embracing the world in all its grief, intransigence and glory."

A native of Flint, Martin moved to Kalamazoo to attend Kalamazoo College. Her poetry has been recognized by Alice Fulton, who selected Martin as the 1999 winner of the National Poetry Hunt sponsored by The MacGuffin, a literary magazine.

Rybicki has been a powerhouse on Southwest Michigan's writing scene, founding the Gull Lake Conference for Young Writers in Delton with his wife, poet Julie Moulds. Authors Amy Hempel and Rick Bass praised his collection. "John Rybicki ignites the page," Hempel says. Bass describes Rybicki as having "a hurricane-heart, a hammer-heart, that is just waiting to be unleashed upon this perhaps undeserving world."

Two additional titles New Issues will release this fall are poetry collections by Brian Henry and Ruth Ellen Kocher.

"One Girl Babylon" is Kocher's second title published by the press. Her collection, "When the Moon Knows You're Wandering," was the winner of the 2001 New Issues' Green Rose Prize. Kocher lives in St. Louis and teachers literature and writing at the University of Missouri.

"Graft" is Henry's third collection of poetry. He is an editor of the literary journal Verse and has reviewed poetry for numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Boston Review, the Yale Review and the Kenyon Review. He teaches at the University of Georgia, where he serves as director of the creative writing program.

New Issues Press publications are made possible by support from Western Michigan University and grant funding from the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

For more information about the press and its more than 60 titles, including three books of prose, contact Marianne Swierenga at (269) 387-8185 or visit New Issues Press on the Web at <www.wmich.edu/newissues>.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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