New Achiote Press Books!

Dear Achiote Nation,

Here at Achiote Press we’re pleased to announce our new souped-up
website and a couple of books. Let’s discuss:

Our new site features vastly expanded archives, with a poem or an
excerpt from every book Achiote has produced since its inception three
years ago. Under the “Archives” link you can explore larger cover art,
author and artist bios, and a couple dozen poems and excerpts.
“Achiote Leaves” is a forthcoming e-journal that will feature short
bursts of writing and art. The first edition will be coming soon.
Under “New Books,” you’ll find links to our available inventory,
including “Her Many Feathered Bones,” by Jessica Serran and Eleanor
Johnson, and “Projection,” by Alexandra Mattraw.

Visit our website here.

“Her Many Feathered Bones” is a ground-breaking dialogue between an
artist (Serran) and a poet (Johnson) that places art and poetry on
equal footing. The creators’ respective modes of expression inform and
build upon one another, creating a call-and-response exchange that
engages your left brain, your right brain, and everything in between.
You will actually feel yourself becoming a more integrated human being
as you contemplate this remarkable project. But don’t take my word for
it. Here’s Jean Day:

“When the statuary in Jessica Serran and Eleanor Johnson’s
collaborative work speaks (and it does), its disarticulated voices are
“sick with reference.” “Oh, the agony of address,” says Johnson, “does
anyone else feel this weary / thisness?” The reader feels in these
articulations an economy of desiderata: knees, braids, claws, teeth,
sheep, snakes, and at least one iguanodon. But the exchange between
image and word values deliberation over excess, inspiring a range of
attention that manages winningly to associate a striped sock with a
“centaur’s knee … moving through space” in the slowest of forms, the
frieze. Is this a good thing? I think so, sympathizing as I do with
the exhausted tourist caught “between graphic space and lyrical time”
everywhere in life. Compositionally far from the rubble of past or
future, Serran and Johnson’s combo of acute arrangement and tonic
selection exhort the reader to be a reader (with a sense of humor) in
the especially peculiar and difficult present.”

And in regards to “Projection”:

In her first chapbook, Alexandra Mattraw maps the remote and
forbidding geography of Iceland onto the seemingly casual intimacies
of human relationships.  Her tightly controlled prose form creates a
dialogue between self and other that unfolds against glaciers and
icecaps, black seas and fields of flowers.  Here emotions that are
simultaneously insurmountable and yet achingly small and familiar find
purchase, but never resolution, within a rich natural world.
Mattraw’s prose renders the sublime deftly, creating a deceptively
simple balance between the tourist gaze and the poet’s imagination.
In her world, such projections are as significant as the numerous
everyday objects we encounter throughout the chapbook–objects that
cease to be everyday when apprehended through Mattraw’s elliptical and
defamiliarizing prose.  We take on specifics, but are never weighted
down by them.  Instead, Projection encourages us locate ourselves
within a world of endless questions and sheer emotionality, where the
power of intimacy is matched by the raw and abundant strength of the
Arctic landscape.

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