The Harmony Series
Books that Make a Difference
Persons and Places
in a Spirit of Acceptance and Compassion
If Whitman were born in the Midwest to Mennonite parents, listened to Dylan and the Dead and loved to laugh at himself, he’d sound just like Jeff Gundy. “I want the reader as far inside of my skin as possible,” he writes, in bemused poems that are in love with the productions of matter and time. “How else to describe this absurd, lovely world?” he poses in the title poem of his warm and inviting Abandoned Homeland. Gundy’s poetry reminds us, over and over, that paying attention to the delights and troubles of existence becomes a kind of psalm to this botched and beautiful creation. ~Philip Metres, author of Sand Opera
* * *
Jeff Gundy, long-time professor of English at Bluffton University, has published six earlier books of poems and four of prose, most recently Somewhere Near Defiance (Anhinga, 2014), Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism, and Peace (Cascadia, 2013), and Spoken Among the Trees (Akron, 2008). His earlier Bottom Dog books include Rhapsody with Dark Matter (2000) and Inquiries (1992).
A 2008 Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Salzburg, he taught at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania in spring 2015. He plays 6- and 12-string guitar, and puts in as many miles as possible on his road bike and (with his wife Marlyce) on their Cannondale tandem.
Author Jeff Gundy
Jack's Memoirs: Off the Road
by Kurt Landefeld
If Jack Kerouac had lived, what might he have done and written? Kurt Landefeld opens the doors on this for us in his remarkable novel.
"This is a moving tribute to Kerouac, whom Kurt Landefeld brilliantly resurrects in this imaginative triumph. He gives Kerouac a new lease on life (in more ways than one) in this finely executed novel. It’s a 'must read' for anyone who values Kerouac, the Sixties, and the created worlds of those whose eyes see what might have been. Bravo.” ~Dennis Baumwoll, professor emeritus Bucknell University
"Against all odds, Kurt Landefeld has located another fold within Jack Kerouac's watery heart. This road loa à gogo jolts us one more time toward a deep, intentional, and moral narrative, which is the perennial kernel speaking simultaneously through Landefeld and all the great American angels that memory honors". ~Kenneth Warren, author of Captain Poetry's Sucker Punch
290 pgs. $19.00 (special)
Author Kurt Landefeld
Reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick in US Review of Books
The author has provided close to six hundred pages of an extended meditation on Kerouac, America in 1970, and the role and function of literature. This is in concert with Kerouac's own Buddhist leanings and methodologies. He has invented a patchwork of historical introspection, poetic flourish, and psychological investigation reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's "Underground Man." Both are sick men, first person interlocutors who ruthless analyze their moral failings. The character arc is long and engagingly ornate. The language ranges from prosaic to poetic in seductive evocation that drives the reader forward seeking redemption along with the novel's narrator. Like a Kerouac novel, the plot is secondary, but that does not mean drama and interest are absent. This Kerouac is perhaps more friendly, more honest, more accessible than the one so distant in time. The author clearly loves his subject, and his creative effort shows intelligence combined with a gentle handling that justifies the effort. It is courageous, not cavalier. US Review...complete review link
Stolen Child: A Novel
by Suzanne Kelly
A winning novel of a young girl's challenge to come to terms with her family.
Suzanne Kelly’s Stolen Child will steal your heart. This novel captures the intricacies and confusion of religion, politics, and family conflict all through the eyes and logic of a child. Sweet, struggling Lucy is right up there with Scout on my list of favorite child narrators. Warning: this novel will steal your time and all commitment to other obligations, too—once you open it, nothing else will matter but seeing it through to the beautiful, moving end. —Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals
Early Review: "Author Kelly has created a delightful tale of a young girl feeling torn between being All-American, or clinging to the lighter parts of her Irish heritage. Readers will be caught up in the culture of these Irish families as well as the 1960's era and may find themselves humming with toes tapping to the music that embraces the words of this novel. Hopefully, the Irish-American author will keep writing about the people this work has proven she knows so well." -US Review of Books
338 pgs. $17.00
Author, Suzanne Kelly
Christina Lovin is a singer of stories and “of the many ways of leaving, part by part, or head first like the hound too far afield to hear the call and downing dusk….” An elegiac poet for whom the past opens a door to the present and the future, she seeks to preserve the memory of those she loves even as she reinvents herself. “Sometimes it’s wise to do a thing twice,” Lovin says. Echo has found her voice: incisive, compassionate, sorrowful, mysterious, full of anger and tenderness for our flawed world. —Jeff Friedman, author of Pretenders
114 pgs. $15
On the Flyleaf
Herbert Woodward Martin
The ingenious conversational mode of On the Flyleaf yields many variations of style and mood, yet Herb Martin’s wit and wonder shine through them all. Martin is as generous as any poet I know, and this book is exacting, troubling, and exhilarating in its tracings of the human predicaments that force us to “believe in the catastrophe of love.” ~Jeff Gundy author of Spoken Among the Trees
It isn't easy to write with a gentle voice that's also stiletto sharp, but Herb Martin has done it here. He is a national treasure. On the Flyleaf is filled with gems, ones you'll want to share with loved ones.
~Ralph Keyes, author of The Courage to Write
106 pages $15.00
Also as Amazon Kindle Book $7
Herbert Woodward Martin
The Harmonist at Nightfall:
Poems of Indiana
In poems that dazzle with their imagery and music, Shari Wagner conjures a familiar yet mysterious landscape in The Harmonist at Nightfall. Wagner shows us that right here in Indiana, in this particular spot, we are part of the astonishing story of humankind on earth. She makes us lookwe see the wild grapevines or the yellow tamaracks or the unfinished peonies on T. C. Steeles easeland she makes us listento the singing creek, to winds lyrics in wheat, to the old harmony of oars.Nature is the star of this opera, but people cross the stage, tooabolitionists, utopians, the Potawatomi, Lincoln, James Dean, and mournful Pollie Barnett, still a ghostly presence searching for her missing daughter across five counties. This is a thrilling collection full of sleigh bells mixed with thunder. ~Maura Stanton
Poet Laureate of Indiana
114 pgs. $15
Painting Bridges: A Novel
Painting Bridges is a lovely exploration of the ways we grieve, and the ways we heal. -Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
Pat Averbach's Painting Bridges is a graceful debut novel of grief and redemption. Part memorial, part love story, part coming-into-one's-own, it is a classic narrative that reaches out to every kind of reader.
-Liz Rosenberg, author of The Laws of Gravity
Harmony Series 234 pgs. $17.00
The author, a Cleveland native and winner of several prizes for poetry, also shows a gift for the structure of a novel. She creates vivid, believable characters, but keeps them humanly complex--no one is totally good or bad. Sam is heartbreaking and likable; we understand her grief and forgive her selfishness when she often forgets that Sheila is grieving, too. Sam's parents could have been cliches of rich, elitist parents--which they are--but they're also sincere in their love and concern for their depressed daughter. Other characters also spring to life, with sharp descriptions and insights. The book ends on an entirely satisfactory, if predictable, note and makes one hope that Averbach has plans for another novel soon.
--Michele Ross (Cleveland Plain Dealer
Author Patricia Averbach
"Ingrid Swanberg’s work has great range and versatility. Her poetry is scrupulously clean, with the sharp definition of cut glass and a complete lack of pretense, useless ornament, posing or posturing. As a lyricist, she has a purity uncommon in North American poetry, and her work is perhaps more closely analogous to that of Juan Ramon Jimenes and Federico Garcia Lorca.” -Karl Young
120 pgs. $16.00
The Search for the Reason Why:
New and Selected Poems
T.L. Kryss is an outsider's outsider and as sweet a poet as I've ever encountered. He was part of the Cleveland poetry scene in the Sixties that had d.a. levy as its catalyst and got hammered hard by the police…What Tom Kryss does, more than any poet I know, is strip away excess and cut to the bone. He staked out a modest turf and then hunkered down and stayed there. So that what he writes is unencumbered and fraught with the particular, which is the unique, which is the only way to get a handle on the universal. What he writes always gives you something and never takes anything away. -John Bennett
192 pages $15
EVENSONG: CONTEMPORARY POETS
Eds. Gerry LaFemina & Chad Prevost
The book contains profiles, statements, and 5 poems from each poet. The contributors include Francisco Aragon, Robin Behn, Christopher Buckley, Chris Bursk, Todd Davis, Travis Denton, Camille Dungy, Stephen Dunn, Stuart Dybek, Angie Estes, Annie Finch, Patricia Goedicke, Dennis Hinrichsen, Richard Jackson, Mia Leonin, Timothy Liu, Denise Low, Shara McCallum, Alicia Ostriker, Eric Pankey, Tim Seibles, Ravi Shankar, Vivian Shipley, Elizabeth Socolow, Cathy Song, Gerald Stern, Marc Straus, Michael Waters, Claude Wilkinson, Sholeh Wolpe, Charles Wright.
240 pages $14
The River's Daughter
by Terry Hermsen
“From luminous evocations of childhood and place, to riddles so beautifully, lucidly obscure that they crack my mind open like an egg, to explorations of ink-blots and loves old and new, Terry Hermsen’s The River’s Daughter is filled with pleasure, challenge, and nourishment. Hermsen is a subtle, bold lover of both words and the world…in these deftly woven, deeply imagined poems.” - Jeff Gundy
112 pages $14