Subjects

#NationalBetterBreakfastMonth and #NationalPancakeDay

It’s September: a month for back-to-school, changing of the seasons, and breakfast! Nationally recognized as Better Breakfast Month, September is the perfect time to get your breakfast morning routine into shape. In addition to this, September 26th is National Pancake Day. Thankfully, Wesleyan University Press has a little inspiration to get you started.


Napoleon Pancakes and recipe found on pages 53-55 of Breakfast at O’Rourke’s.

Breakfast at O’Rourke’s: New Cuisine from a Classic American Diner by Brian O’Rourke is the perfect morning pick-me-up recipe book inspired by Irish-American and down-home diner specials found at O’Rourke’s Diner in Middletown, CT. Recipes include omelets, pancakes, French toasts, eggs, quiches and more!

The book trailer can be found below:

For those who are more of maple lovers, Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England by David K. Leff can help satisfy your sweet tooth with a multitude of maple-inspired recipes.

Vizenor on silent communication, puppets, and Dummy Trout

From the novel Native Tributes, by Gerald Vizenor:

Dummy Trout surprised me that spring afternoon at the Blue Ravens Exhibition. She raised two brazen hand puppets, the seductive Ice Woman on one hand, and the wily Niinag Trickster on the other, and with jerky gestures the rough and ready puppets roused the native stories of winter enticements and erotic teases.

The puppets distracted the spectators at the exhibition of abstract watercolors and sidetracked the portrayals of native veterans and blue ravens mounted at the Ogema Train Station on the White Earth Reservation. The station agent provided the platform for the exhibition, and winced at the mere sight of the hand puppets. He shunned the crude wooden creatures and praised the scenes of fractured soldiers and blue ravens, an original native style of totemic fauvism by Aloysius Hudon Beaulieu.

The puppets were a trace of trickster stories.

Dummy was clever and braved desire and mockery as a mute for more than thirty years with the ironic motion of hand puppets. Miraculously she survived a firestorm on her eighteenth birthday, walked in uneven circles for three days, mimed the moods of heartache, and never voiced another name, word, or song. She grieved, teased, and snickered forever in silence. Nookaa, her only lover, and hundreds of other natives were burned to white ashes and forgotten in the history of the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894.

Dummy stowed a fistful of ash in a Mason jar.

We recently asked Gerald Vizenor, author of , to tell us a little more about his interest in hand puppets and why he used puppets so prominently in this latest book. This was his response.

Some people gesture with their hands and fingers as they speak, and these people are the hand talkers. I am fascinated by the hand gestures of direction, or scenes in stories. They pinch words, praise words, smooth, and reverse words with the turn of a finger. Some of my relatives were hand talkers, and the gestures are not the same but remind me of the moves of hand puppets. My first interest in hand puppets started with native dolls in museums, made of straw and cloth, and the stories that went along with the figures.  

Later, as a soldier in Japan, I was inspired with the great Bunraku puppets. These puppets were visionary, transformation characters in traditional scenes, and the puppets created an incredible sense of presence through gestures, sound and story. The Bunraku puppets are not controlled with strings, but with the hands of a master, and the gestures and costumes are elaborate and traditional. The string and hand puppets are more common around the world, especially in Europe, and some puppet moves are more innovative than others. The Guignol is a famous hand puppet in France.  

I am interested in any manner or style of puppets, the creative motion of fingers and figures to convey emotion, and convince the audience that there is a spiritual association between humans and puppets, something similar to a totemic association. Puppets are not the mere imitation of human gestures, but rather the spiritual motion, or natural motion that creates a sense of presence.

Laura Hall, my wife, and I twice attended an international puppet festival that is held every other year in France. The brilliant imagination of amateurs and master puppeteers from around the world create great puppet shows at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes in Charleville-Mézières, France. My interest in puppets took another turn with the appreciation of the flea market hand puppets made with found objects, buttons, thimbles, plastics, tin cans, brushes, and bones. I was moved by the creative power of the hand puppets made with discarded material by the Paul Klee, the expressionist and surrealist artist. He created marvelous hand puppet creatures to amuse his son, but not as works of art.  

Dummy Trout, the silent puppeteer in two of my recent historical novels, was an actual native person, and she was a marvelous hand talker. Her facial expressions and hand gestures almost created the sense of a puppet. Dummy, a wicked nickname because she apparently spoke a very early version of either Cree or the Anishinaabe language, and natives teased the manner of her speech since they did not understand the words. The only real dummies were the crude nicknamers. Dummy lived on the White Earth Reservation in a tiny cabin, and teased me with delightful hand talk. She died alone about fifty years ago. I imagined her hand talks as a hand puppet, and then created a similar character that carves the heads and hands of hand puppets from fallen birch trees.  

Most of the hand puppets in my novels have polished heads and hands carved from wood, and resemble notable figures, such as Léon Blum, Gertrude Stein, Adolf Hitler, and Guillaume Apollinaire. And in the same novels one character creates hand puppets with trash and debris, a bone, vegetable, or a rusty cigarette tin such as the hand puppet President Herbert Hoover in Native Tributes.

I have imagined hand puppets as visionary figures with a sense of presence in theatres, and in literary scenes of my historical novels. Carved and debris hand puppets appear as characters in two of my recent novels, Native Tributes, and Satie on the Seine: Letters to the Heirs of the Fur Trade. My hand puppets play crucial roles in literary scenes during the Nazi Occupation of Paris.      

There are no birth certificates, photographs, or other documents about the woman who inspired Gerald Vizenor’s puppets. Nonetheless, Vizenor is sure that “‘Dummy’ probably arrived at the White Earth Reservation in the thirties, because the first stories about her seem to go back to the early forties.” “Dummy” was remembered by Sharon Enjady-Mitchell Anwaachigekwe, along with other members of a large ceremonial and adopted family. 


Gerald Vizenor will be at the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, Wednesday, September 26th at 7pm. He will read from his new historical novel, Native Tributes. In this sequel to Blue Ravens, Vizenor maintains his masterly perception of oral stories, creating a dynamic literary tribute to his community and  relatives, who have become visionary artists during the Great Depression. Book signing at Birchbark Books (2115 W 21st St.) to follow the reading. More information about the event can be found here.

Announcing “Trophic Cascade” by Camille Dungy in PAPERBACK!

Poems about birth, death, and ecosystems of nature and power

“Earthly and visionary, a soulful reckoning for our twenty-first century, held in focus through echoes of the past and future, but always firmly rooted in now. Each poem is a bridge in the music of a language that we believe and trust, that heals.”—Yusef Komunyakaa, author of Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems

Trophic Cascade by renowned poet Camille Dungy is out in paperback! In this fourth book in a series of award-winning survival narratives, Dungy writes positioned at a fulcrum, bringing a new life into the world even as her elders are passing on. In a time of massive environmental degradation, violence and abuse of power, a world in which we all must survive, these poems resonate within and beyond the scope of the human realms, delicately balancing between conflicting loci of attention. These poems are written in the face of despair to hold an impossible love and a commitment to hope.

Camille Dungy is the author of Smith Blue, Suck on the Marrow, and Guidebook to Relative Strangers, as well as the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

September

92 pp. 7 x 9″

Paper, $14.95

978-0-8195-7856-3

 

ebook, $19.99

978-0-8195-7720-7

    

Announcing “The Listeners” by Roy R. Manstan

An untold story of scientists and engineers who changed the course of the Great War

“Mr. Manstan has captured a critical part of our nation’s history and role in preserving world peace by telling the story of those in the background whose toils and untold stories made it possible for a war-torn world to survive.”Dr. Peter “Skip” Scheifele, University of Cincinnati

Roy R. Manstan’s new book, The Listeners: U-boat Hunters During the Great War, details the struggle to find a solution to the unanticipated efficiency of the German U-boat as an undersea predator during World War I. Success or failure was in the hands and minds of the scientists and naval personnel at the Naval Experimental Station in New London, Connecticut. Through the use of archival materials, personal papers, and memoirs, The Listeners takes readers into the world of the civilian scientists, engineers and naval personnel who were directly involved with the development and use of submarine detection technology during the war.

Roy R. Manstan is the co-author of Turtle: David Bushnell’s Revolutionary Vessel and author of Cold Warriors: The Navy’s Engineering and Diving Support Unit. He lives in East Haddam, CT.

 

September

340 pp., 75 illus., 7 1/4 x 9 1/4”

Jacketed Cloth, $34.95

978-0-8195-7835-8

 

Ebook, $23.99

978-0-8195-7837-2

History / Military

 

      

Announcing “Citizen Azmari” from Ilana Webster-Kogen

An examination of popular Ethiopian music styles in Tel Aviv

“Weaving together ethnographic and theoretical narratives, the author gives voice to her subjects and to their music creators and territories where sound and silence speak—often more loudly than words.”
— Dr. Denis-Constant Martin, Centre Les Afriques dans le monde (LAM), Sciences-Po Bordeaux, France

In the thirty years since their immigration from Ethiopia to the State of Israel, Ethiopian-Israelis have put music at the center of communal and public life, using it simultaneously as a mechanism of protest and as appeal for integration. Ethiopian music develops in quiet corners of urban Israel as the most prominent advocate for equality, and the Israeli-born generation is creating new musical styles that negotiate the terms of blackness outside of Africa. For the first time, this book examines in detail those new genres of Ethiopian-Israeli music, including Ethiopian-Israeli hip-hop, Ethio-soul performed across Europe, and eskesta dance projects at the center of national festivals. This book argues that in a climate where Ethiopian-Israelis fight for recognition of their contribution to society, musical style often takes the place of political speech, and musicians take on outsize roles as cultural critics. From their perch in Tel Aviv, Ethiopian-Israeli musicians use musical style to critique a social hierarchy that affects life for everyone in Israel/ Palestine.

Ilana Webster-Kogen is the Joe Loss Lecturer (assistant professor) in Jewish Music at SOAS, University of London. Her work has appeared in Ethnomusicology Forum, African and Black Diaspora, and the Journal of African Cultural Studies.

 

September

248 pp., 12 illus., 2 tables, 6 x 9”

Unjacketed Cloth, $80.00

978-0-8195-7832-7

 

Paper, $26.95

978-0-8195-7833-4

 

Ebook, $21.99

978-0-8195-7834-1

Announcing “American Poets in the 21st Century” edited by Michael Dowdy and Claudia Rankine

Showcases the most innovative and politically engaged poets working in the U.S.

“These poets help us think about the society we have, the way that identities form within and against it, the attitudes we can examine if we want to know how to stand up, or see more clearly, or fight back.”
—Stephanie Burt, Harvard University

American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement emphasizes the ways in which innovative American poets have blended art and social awareness, focusing on aesthetic experiments
and investigations of ethnic, racial, gender, and class subjectivities. Rather than consider poetry as a thing apart, or as a tool for asserting identity, this volume’s poets create sites, forms, and modes for entering the public sphere, contesting injustices, and reimagining the contemporary. Like the earlier anthologies in this series, this volume includes generous selections of poetry as well as illuminating poetics statements and incisive essays. This unique organization makes these books invaluable teaching tools. A companion web site will present audio of each poet’s work.

Michael Dowdy is the author of Broken Souths: Latina/o Poetic Responses to Neoliberalism and Globalization and Urbilly. He is associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina.

Award-winning poet, critic and activist Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric, and she edits the American Poets in the Twenty-First Century series. She is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

 

September

416 pp., 2 illus., 6 x 9”

Unjacketed Cloth, $80.00

978-0-8195-7289-7

 

Paper, $29.95

978-0-8195-7830-3

 

Ebook, $23.99

978-0-8195-7831-0

Announcing “bury it” by sam sax

bury it is lit with imagery and purpose that surprises and jolts at every turn. Exuberant, wild, tightly knotted mesmerisms of discovery inhabit each poem in this seethe of hunger and sacred toll of toil. A vitalizing and necessary book of poems that dig hard and lift luminously.”
—Tyehimba Jess, judge of 2017 Laughlin Award

sam sax’s bury it, winner of the 2017 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, writes from the root of experience with poems written in response to coming of age, young gay suicide, desire, and generational weight. What follows are raw and expertly crafted mediations on death, rituals of passage, translation, desire, diaspora, and personhood. What’s at stake is survival itself and the archiving of a lived and lyric history. In this phenomenal second collection of poems, sam sax invites the reader to join him in his interrogation of the bridges we cross, the bridges we burn, and bridges we must leap from.

sam sax is a queer Jewish writer and educator currently living in Brooklyn. He’s the author of Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series, and the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion.

 

Publication of this book is funded by the
National Education Association.

 

September

88 pp., 6 x 9”

Paper, $14.95

978-0-8195-7731-3

 

eBook, $11.99

978-0-8195-7732-0 Poetry

Announcing “The Long Journeys Home” by Nick Bellantoni

The moving stories of two Indigenous men and their repatriations

In The Long Journeys HomeNick Bellantoni tells the tale of two men who, in death, found their way back home.

Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia (ca.1792–1818) and Itankusun Wanbli (ca.1879–1900) lived almost a century apart and came from different indigenous nations—Hawaiian and Lakota. Yet the tragic circumstances that led them to leave their homelands and to come to Connecticut, where they both died and were buried, have striking similarities.

In 1992 and 2008, descendant women had dreams which told them that their ancestors wished to “come home.” Both families started the repatriation process. Then Connecticut State Archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni oversaw the archaeological disinterment and forensic identifications in returning these men to their families and communities. The Long Journeys Home chronicles these intergenerational stories, both examples of the wide-reaching and long-lasting impacts of colonialism.

Nicholas F. Bellantoni is an associate adjunct professor in the anthropology department at the University of Connecticut and Emeritus Connecticut State Archaeologist at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History.

September
260 pp., 15 illus., 3 maps, 6 x 9”
Cloth, $28.95
978-0-8195-7684-2
ebook, $24.99 Y,
978-0-8195-7685-9 History / Biography

The Driftless Connecticut Series is funded by the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund
at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

    

#NationalWaffleDay

Happy National Waffle Day! While the United States differs from other countries celebrating this day, National Waffle Day here can be just as scrumptious, if not more with a few toppings.


Recipe for Quick Maple Fudge, found on page 172 of Maple Sugaring.

Fortunately for readers, Maple Sugaring: Keeping It Real in New England by David K. Leff (Wesleyan, 2015) can provide a bit of inspiration for the most popular waffle topping: maple fudge.

An essayist, poet, and former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, David K. Leff is an expert on what makes waffles in New England so great: the syrup on top.

The book trailer can be found below:

Announcing “BAX 2018” with guest editor Myung Mi Kim

An anthology of dynamic, forward-thinking writing

“Whenever a newspaper succumbs to the clickbait of fake news; whenever a search engine becomes a surrealist troubadour by chance; whenever a witless chat-bot strives to rickroll you—these experimental writers ensure that you show up for the future of literature on time.”
—Christian Bok, author of The Xenotext

Best American Experimental Writing 2018, guest-edited by Myung Mi Kim, is the fifth edition of the critically acclaimed anthology series compiling an exciting
 mix of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and genre-defying work. Featuring a diverse roster of writers and artists culled from both established authors—like Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Don Mee Choi, Mónica de la Torre, Layli Long Soldier, and Simone White—as well as new and unexpected voices, including Clickhole.com, BAX 2018 presents an expansive view of today’s experimental and high-energy writing practices. A perfect gift for discerning readers as well as an important classroom tool, Best American Experimental Writing 2018 is a vital addition to the American literary landscape.

Myung Mi Kim is the author of Under Flag, The Bounty, DURA, Commons, River Antes, and Penury and is the James H. McNulty Chair of English at SUNY Buffalo.

Seth Abramson is the author of six poetry collections and is an assistant professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at the University of New Hampshire.

Jesse Damiani is a former Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing fellow and current Editor-at-Large of VRScout.

 

August
360 pp., 29 illus., 6 x 9”
Paper, $19.95
978-0-8195-7818-1
Unjacketed cloth, $40.00
978-0-8195-7817-4
Ebook, $15.99
978-0-8195-7819-8