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Ahadada Books publishes titles both online and in print. We present broadsides, chapbooks, and perfect bound books of diverse literary forms.
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Coming Soon: Cthulhu on Lesbos by David Jalajel
Tuesday, 27 December 2011

David Jalajel is an American poet whose work has appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Shampoo, Recursive Angel, experiential-experimental-literature, and Lynx. He is also the author of Moon Ghazals, published in 2009 by Beard of Bees Press.

Praise for Cthulhu on Lesbos:

The classical form of Cthulhu on Lesbos succeeds in generating a defamiliarized language and a chilling nightmarescape. An impressive addition to the Lovecraft tradition.

– Jack Morgan, author of The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film, Southern Illinois University Press, 2002.

Cthulhu on Lesbos is a remarkable instance of experimental poetry, as well as a notable addition to Lovecraftiana.  David Jalajel collages text selected from Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu” into Sapphic stanzas that refract Lovecraft’s narrative through non-Euclidean syntax. Horrifying implications rush at the reader between the text’s prepositions and their vanished objects. In Lovecraft’s story, there is a tension between the narrator’s skepticism and his accepting the bizarre claims of the manuscripts he has found. In Jalajel’s Sapphics, there is a parallel tension between syntactical sense and the weird suggestions of the phrases cut and shuffled into a classical form.

– Gene Doty, poetry editor for Recursive Angel

David Jalajel’s Moon Ghazals are a sort of Magical Realist take on the Moon, populating it with a variety of familiar objects and attitudes. I thought of Stanislaw Lem while reading these poems; there’s a similar wit in them.

The Ghazal Page

Now Available: what Desire makes of us by Cati Porter
Sunday, 06 March 2011

Ahadada Books is pleased to announce the publication of what Desire makes of us by Cati Porter, an electronic chapbook with illustrations by Amy Payne.

The series of poems that comprises what Desire makes of us was conceived of during April of 2009 in celebration of National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo) in response to poem-a-day prompts provided by Robert Brewer on his Writers Digest/Poetic Asides Blog. An anthropomorphic personification of one of life’s basest instincts, Desire haunts our narrator, culminating in a surrealistic exploration of what it could mean to be literally consumed by Desire.

A southern California native, Cati Porter is the author of four poetry collections: Seven Floors Up (Mayapple Press), small fruit songs: prose poems (Pudding House Publications), (al)most delicious (Dancing Girl Press), and what Desire makes of us. She is founder and editor of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry. To learn more about her work work visit her website at

Amy Payne is currently a freelance illustrator and resides in Richmond, Virginia. To learn more about her work contact her at amypayneart [at] gmail [dot] com.

Now Available: Argentinos Stories by Mariana Dietl
Monday, 28 June 2010

Ahadada Books is pleased to announce the publication of Argentinos Stories by Mariana Dietl. This title is now available from Small Press Distribution, in better bookstores and direct from the publisher.

 A dazed adulteress, an accordion missing keys, an encounter between strangers that may (or may not) have taken place, a fallen man rummaging through garbage, a young woman starting a new life in Spain, another one contemplating ending hers in Buenos Aires and a border dispute between beggars are a few of the subjects of Argentinos: stories. In the ten stories that make up Argentinos Stories, the characters speak for themselves through their intimacy, their relationships and their unique challenges and experiences. None of the protagonists are famous or extraordinary; they are just people: lovers, strangers and couples who aside from their particular conflicts and notions share a need to survive and prevail in the impulsive and erratic Argentina of the new millennium. The Spanish version of this collection, Argentina: se me hace cuento, was awarded Third Prize in the UC Irvine Chicano/Latino Literary Award.

Mariana Dietl is an Argentine-American writer with a major in International Relations from St. Andrew's University in Argentina. She worked for Clarin, the leading newspaper in that country, and for the Argentine Consulate in Los Angeles, as Chief Communications Officer. She studied fiction writing at UCLA Extension and at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Her novel, Confined (The Litchfield Review Press, 2009), was awarded the Litchfield Review's Fiction Prize. Argentina: Se Me Hace Cuento, her first story collection, received third prize in UC Irvine's 2004 Chicano/Latino Literary Award and was published by Ahadada Books (Argentinos Stories, Ahadada Books, 2010), and individual stories were finalists in contests from the United States and abroad. Her work can be found in, Literary Chaos, Tertulia, Luces & Sombras, The Externalist, Revista Baquiana, Rattle, The Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, and in Palabra.

Now Available: Coördinates of Yes by Janée J. Baugher
Tuesday, 02 March 2010

Ahadada Books is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Coördinates of Yes by Janée J. Baugher. This title is now available from Small Press Distribution, in better bookstores and direct from the publisher. For more infromation on Janée J. Baugher, click here.

Written during a six-week trip through Europe, Coördinates of Yes marries nuances of travel (loneliness, restlessness, adventure, reverie, risk, discovery) with ekphrasis (poems inspired by the visual arts).  This collection of poems addresses different ways of seeing:  The experience of travel and art-viewing can enlighten as well as confuse, while the literal eye that travels is undifferentiated from the eye of the imagination.  At the core of Coördinates of Yes lies dualism:  “Coördinates” refers to place and transience of travel, and “Yes” suggests the mind-set required of both traveler and viewer of art.

Praise for Janée J. Baugher

Janée knows how to snap a moment into focus, without condescending, on behalf of her readers.  Her interest in what happens when a poet lets the world speak for itself inhabits large swaths here; each page benefits from it.  These felt to me like steady poems in a moving world, or like reliably still reports from travel’s manic introspection.  I was enchanted reading Coördinates of Yes.  It’s honest and intimate without ever becoming precious, and it gives us the self without the usual indulgence.  There’s an unusual, and refreshing, sincerity in these poems, from a poet who has stripped herself of cynicism.

         – David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars and The Other

Though they traverse European landscape, these dense, rich poems are voyages as Baudelaire inscribed the term: journeys to the interior.  Baugher conducts us through a paradis artificiel where art is the window to journeys within.  A stunning début collection.

         – Peter Cooley, author of The Van Gogh Notebook and Divine Margins

If, as Wallace Stevens said, “the greatest poverty  is not to live in the physical world,” Janée Baugher is, indeed, a rich woman. Whether she is regarding a work of art or a landscape seen in “the altered state [of] travel,” Baugher is keenly observant, almost “walking on eyes,” while simultaneously aware that “It is only with one’s heart that one can see.” Coördinates of Yes is an impressive début collection.

         – Grace Bauer, author of Beholding Eye and Retreats & Recognitions

May you have the great fortune to read Coördinates of Yes on an eastbound transatlantic flight as I’ve just done.  This book is an exquisite poetic guide through cemeteries and village spires, 2 a.m. city streets, sunflower fields, derelict hotels, young loves, sea cliffs, and work after work of articulate art, an old world made new by Baugher’s insightful gaze, deftness of phrasing, and companionable spirit.

         – Jonathan Johnson, author of Mastodon, 80% Complete and In the Land We Imagined Ourselves

In reading Coördinates of Yes, one encounters an alchemy of images, surprising textures, and an alluring contemplative spirit that announces Baugher’s joy simply in making language sing beyond mere observation and description.  Through her travels, both imagined and real, one realizes an evolving, stark cosmopolitanism in Janée’s language inventions.  I am thrilled by her elegant utterances and animated insights in poem after poem.

         – Major Jackson, author of Hoops and Leaving Saturn

The Swiss painter Paul Klee famously said in his notebooks, “One eye sees, the other feels.” These lapidary ekphrastic renderings by Janée Baugher take Klee to heart.  Braiding sensory pleasures with meticulous observation, she fully succeeds in transporting us to places previously un-sensed and unseen.  Here is a garden of depths and delights.

         – Jeffrey Levine, Publisher, Tupelo Press, and author of Rumor of Cortez and Mortal, Everlasting


Now Available: Hollerin from This Shack by Grace C. Ocasio
Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ahadada Books is pleased to announce the publication of Hollerin from This Shack by Grace C. Ocasio. This title is now available from Small Press Distribution, in better bookstores and is now available direct from the publisher. Click here to order!

The poems in grace Ocasio's chapbook Hollerin from This Shack call us, challenge us to assess our lives.  Her speaker trains her eye on urban and suburban landscapes.  In many of the poems, she urges us to observe our daily rites:  how we behave at the grocery store or mall, how we treat the opposite sex, and how we view our position to nature.  We see ourselves in these poems and we cringe:  few heroes exist, and the ones who do existreal-life figures like Dr. King and Mother Hale—appear because of their referential or historical import. If we are disturbed by these poems we should be. Ocasio's vision is troubling, to say the least.

Grace Ocasio is a member of the North Carolina Writers' Network, the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Carolina African American Writers' Collective.  She was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale and White Plains, New York.  She holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Recently, she completed a residency at the Soul Mountain Retreat in East Haddam, Connecticut.  Besides writing poetry, she contributes reviews of literary journals to the online Web site, The Review, Review.

Praise for Grace C. Ocasio:

The voice in all of the poems in Hollerin from This Shack is immediate, unpredictable, insightful and, at times, startling.  It's a friendly voice that encourages a closer look, then gains your trust so it can show what is extraordinary in the ordinary concerns of everyday life.  Grace Ocasio expands the traditional landscape in these carefully constructed poems and all are enriched who travel it with her.

            —Kevin Pilkington

Grace Ocasio writes poems that are powerful, loaded with subtext, and full of social consciousness.  She takes on the role of poet-philosopher, giving a voice to many who don't have a voice in our society.  In these pages, you will "listen to the sun's heart stutter." You will see "tears the size of grapefruits," "poverty's breath," and "objects that glowed like cotton candy."  Her poems speak for a soul group, "When the only thing that lived beside me was the dark."

            —Diane Frank, author of Blackberries in the Dream House and Entering the Word Temple

I approach Grace Ocasio's elegant, original, angry poems in Hollerin from This Shack with a certain humility.  As a black woman, she writes of prejudice with a taut rage that alternately smolders and blazes, blossoms in poems that sing with startling images.  Yet these pieces inhabit a universe of shyness and innocence, a world of fierce honestly that places her as a sister to poet Everett Hoagland, a daughter to poet Gloria Oden.  She often writes as a child, or as a woman about to be hurt. Ocasio summons up real tensions between men and women, women most always seen as victims to be.  She writes with depth of the fear stemming from roots scarred with racism.  Grace Ocasio outlines personal situations, but they carry a universal charge.  In unique ways, she takes on themes that deal with the killers of Martin Luther King, her emotions about Lady Day, and her admiration for Mother Hale.  Her stark language enriches us.  In "Our Lady Day" Grace Ocasio writes: "If you take her voice out/ you will see tears the size of grapefruits whirling down from the sky."

            —Judy Katz-Levine 

Now Available: Seducing Velasquez and Other Plays by Dayana Stetco
Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Ahadada Books is pleased to announce the publication of Seducing Velasquez and Other Plays by Dayana Stetco. This title will be available shortly from Small Press Distribution, in better bookstores and is now available direct from the publisher.

Dayana Stetco’s plays have been produced in her native country, Romania, the US and the UK. In 2001 she founded the interdisciplinary physical theatre ensemble, The Milena Group. Her fiction has appeared in various journals including The Means, Emergency Almanac, mark(s), Interdisciplinary Humanities, Metrotimes, Gender(f), and Dispatch. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature and Film.

Seducing Velasquez is a collection of nervy, impish, unconventional dramatic works that draw their strength from Stetco’s rigorous investigations into the connection between verbal, visual, and physical languages from the innovative performance traditions associated with the author’s native Romania. These plays are witty and marvellous, in the mode of the best absurdist art, and are welcome interventions into the American theatre scene

            —Carla Harryman

On the stage, Dayana Stetco’s plays are so lush with colour and texture as to seem very nearly a visual art; there is an attention to movement and detail that can make even a torture scene seem like the highest ballet. As such, it is hard to believe these plays would have as strong an impact on the page; yet, every play in this collection carries over the saturation, menace, and beauty they present on the stage,. Even as each piece works spectacularly alone, audiences with a little cultural knowledge or literary awareness will find woven throughout a brilliant interplay—of theory, philosophy, literature, history, and more. One finds the Pinteresque, the 21st century. While the character of Graham in Milena, Stripping defensively claims “Come things are not meant to be analyzed,” Stetco’s plays are exciting and powerful theatre (and literature) whether the audience wants to analyze all the dense layers or simply sit back and enjoy the experience.

            —Rita Costello


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