All You Need is an Allen Wrench: Collages by David Dodd Lee

Four Way Books author David Dodd Lee (his poetry collection Animalities is a Four Way Books Fall 2014 title) will have 50 mixed media pieces shown at the Overbrook Art Gallery (221 S. Quarterline Road) in Muskegon, MI from September 22 until October 31. Many of the collages have text from various poems, some of which come from his poetry collections published by Four Way Books (Animalities, The Nervous Filaments, and Arrow Pointing North). There will be a reception on Wednesday, October 8 which will include a gallery talk as well as a reading by David Dodd Lee at 6 pm in the Overbrook Theater. Below are a few of David Dodd Lee’s collages. 





Salmagundi contributor Alex Dimitrov with Executive Editor Peg Boyers after Alex read from his new book of poems, Begging For It, at Skidmore. Keep a keen ear open for this very gifted young writer. Here’s a link to five new poems online at The Brooklyn Rail including “Nights With People, Days Without” which knocked us out at last night’s event:

And here’s a poem that’s in the book which first appeared in Salmagundi Magazine:

Refusing the Ledge

For months only travelers and the dead
touching you. In hotel rooms higher

than a summer suicide—laced with sugars
and sweat, the steps from the interior

to the ledge. An address book, a book of names,
someone’s life laid open in bed.

So when he spoke to you
your hair grew a shade darker

and his voice felt cooler 
than the pavement outside—

where a child lost his only possession,
a balloon deflating through his ribs.

How brief, how brilliant 
the minutes felt in their unkindness.

And you chose to be touched
instead of touching down.

Review of "Churches" by Kevin Prufer in The Cafe Review

"Many of the poems in Churches, by Kevin Prufer, are full of fire, smoke, and broken glass. Their speakers often find themselves in a world figured as a womb of violence, forced to face—without the solace of religious abstraction, and often under the harshest of conditions—human mortality. Out of these wombs is born, for the reader, a necessity to contemplate the role of faith in our attempts to survive and understand the harm done to us by circumstances, or by others, but also to consider that the harms we suffer are often of our own doing. These poems frequently illustrate the failure of the coping mechanisms that we have come to rely upon in a post-Nietzschean world where religious faith is either absent, or, even worse, destructive.” Read the full review by Christopher Hornbacker in The Cafe Review here

Churches is available from Four Way Books


Meet the Spring Authors: Brett Fletcher Lauer, Author of "A Hotel in Belgium"


Brett Fletcher Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor at A Public Space. He is the co-editor of Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave, 2004) and his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, Harper’s, Tin House, and elsewhere.


A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books.

A Hotel in Belgium explores the emotional space between loyalty and skepticism. Here is a psyche preoccupied with both doubt and dread, but also a desire to surrender itself to the risks of love and trust. These smart, beautiful poems—often complicating their lyricism with formal rigor and adaptations of found texts—investigate the delicacy of human relationships and the hopeful relentlessness with which we pursue them. The voice of these poems is tender, imaginative and sometimes wry, building an urgent narrative of melancholy, self-doubt and the ultimate resilience of the spirit.

Praise for A Hotel in Belgium

"Brett Fletcher Lauer’s A Hotel in Belgium is about estrangement and the distances created by our disparate experiences of the world (‘the machinery in you malfunctions in me’). In these poems, mood and moons are viewed as if via telescope and operate according to stage directions (‘a thousand gray stars prearranged / to shine so-so over the wonders of modern cities’). But just when you become accustomed to the sheen of these poems’ surfaces, sinkholes of precisely rendered beauty and vulnerability appear. The result is surprising and unsettling in the best way.”

- Matthea Harvey

"…These poems are serious, funny, confident, weird, sensitive, and generous. They achieve something close to Frank O’Hara’s dream of ‘true abstraction,’ a deeply personal and human tone that does not resort to the limiting confines of the specifics of autobiography. This book points forward to a new exciting direction in American poetry, and I am so glad we can finally take it with us into the future."

- Matthew Zapruder

An excerpt from a review by Timothy Liu for Coldfront of A Hotel in Belgium:

"As hemlines rise and fall, so do poetic fads and blockbuster meds, our homegrown strain of Symbolism and Deep Imagism having gone into hibernation (like God) along with the likes of Larry Levis, Mark Strand and Stephen Dobyns all amplifying a more plain-spoken spellbound tradition in lines and stanzas chiseled to last—this would be in keeping with the company BFL (Brett Fletcher Lauer) assiduously keeps…" Read the full review here.

An excerpt from a review by Publishers Weekly of A Hotel in Belgium:

"Lauer’s poems ripple like muscle, even as they circle around the notion that we may not possess tools strong enough to arrive at a singular definition of who and what we are….By laying bare superstitious patterns of mind that we routinely interpret as meaning, Lauer’s poems reveal the indeterminacy of what we’re able to know…without forgoing what beauty is to be found in the attempts we make to know it.” Read the full review here

Read Brett Fletcher Lauer’s poem “Representative Character”, featured on, here.

Visit our events page regularly to see if Brett Fletcher Lauer is reading near you. 

What Are Four Way Books Authors Doing This Weekend?

Brian Komei Dempster (Topaz, winner of the 2014 15 Bytes Poetry Prize) will be reading tomorrow, Saturday, September 13, at 1 pm, with Brynn Saito and a group of former camp prisoners (Jean Gize, Barbara Horiuchi, Kaz Iwahashi, Laurin and Arthur Mayeno, and Toru Saito) for the Collecting Nisei Stories Celebration/Intergenerational Reading in the Social Hall of Berkeley Methodist United Church (1710 Carelton Street) in Berkeley, CA. 

Topaz is available from Four Way Books.


 David J. Daniels (Clean, winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry) will be reading and signing books on Sunday, September 14, at 1 pm, in the literary tent at Boulder’s Pridefest (Boulder’s Central Park (13th and Canyon)) in Boulder, CO.

Clean is available from Four Way Books


Four Way Books Authors Louise Mathias and Allison Benis White Among "15 Amazing Lady Poets You Need to Know Right Now"

We’re excited to see that Gina Vaynshteyn agrees with us that Louise Mathias (The Traps) and Allison Benis White (Small Porcelain Head) are lady poets you need to know right now! Click here to see the full list on HelloGiggles. 

The Traps and Small Porcelain Head are both available from Four Way Books



Tonight at Housing Works in NYC

Tonight, June 12, at 7 pm, Cynthia Cruz (The Glimmering Room), Farrah Field (Rising, Wolf and Pilot) and poets from Birds, LLC, Belladonna, Black Square Editions, and Futurepoem, will be reading at the FACE OUT Reading & Reception: Maximizing the Visibility of Emerging Writers event at Housing Works (126 Crosby St.) in NYC. Hope you can come!

The Glimmering Room, Rising and Wolf and Pilot are all available from Four Way Books

Brian Komei Dempster Reading This Saturday 9/13 in Berkeley

This Saturday, September 13, at 1 pm, Brian Komei Dempster (Topaz, winner of the 2014 15 Bytes Poetry Prize) will read with Brynn Saito and a group of former camp prisoners (Jean Gize, Barbara Horiuchi, Kaz Iwahashi, Laurin and Arthur Mayeno, and Toru Saito), who have written their stories, for the Collecting Nisei Stories Celebration/Intergenerational Reading in the Social Hall of the Berkeley Methodist United Church (1710 Carelton Street) in Berkeley, CA.

Topaz is available from Four Way Books


Review of "Unpeopled Eden" by Rigoberto Gonzalez in "Rain Taxi Review of Books"

"In the chaos, everything is transforming into something else. This combination of hard-hitting politics and surrealist technique creates powerful poems. What makes Gonzalez such an exemplary poet is that he makes his politics and his aesthetics work in tandem." If you want to read the full review by Steve Oinen in Rain Taxi Review of Books, the Fall 2014 issue is available for purchase here

Unpeopled Eden is available from Four Way Books, and the winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.


Review of "Topaz" by Brian Komei Dempster in 15 Bytes Magazine

Topaz (winner of the 2014 15 Bytes Poetry Prize) moves gracefully, almost seamlessly, between ruminations of his maternal family’s experiences in detention and his own questions about who he is and what implications his family’s history may have on his own.” Read the full review by Aaron Cance in 15 Bytes here

Topaz is available from Four Way Books


What's Happening Next Week?


Daniel Tobin (The Net) will be reading with Doug Holder, Joan Houlihan, and Fred Marchant as tribute to Seamus Heaney on Wednesday, August 27, at 7:30 pm at First Church Congregationalist (11 Garden Street beside the Sheraton Commander off Harvard Square) in Cambridge, MA. The reading will be hosted by Michael Steffen. There will be a suggested donation of $3. Click here for more information. 

The Net is available from Four Way Books.


Karen Brennan (little dark) will be reading with Cynthia Hogue on Thursday, August 28, at 7:15 pm at Changing Hands Bookstore (6428 S McClintock Drive) in Tempe, AZ.

little dark is available from Four Way Books

Interview with Brett Fletcher Lauer in "Boston Review"

"Brett Fletcher Lauer’s debut collection, A Hotel in Belgium (Four Way Books, 2014), is one of those fabled first books that teem with such skill, confidence, and maturity that it doesn’t really seem like a first book at all.” Read the full interview by William Brewer in the Boston Review

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books. 


Review of Rigoberto Gonzalez's "Unpeopled Eden" in "Gulf Coast"

“In his fourth collection of poetry, Rigoberto González crafts a world contingent upon its border, demanding you to consider the space a border creates within itself, the space created outside of its bounds, and what’s left of the abandoned after one crosses over." Read the full review by Katie Condon in Gulf Coast

Unpeopled Eden is available from Four Way Books

Victoria Redel Winner of the 2014 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose for "Make Me Do Things"

Congratulations to Victoria Redel on being the winner of the 2014 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose for her collection of stories Make Me Do Things! Click here to learn more about the winners. 

Make Me Do Things is available from Four Way Books