“Houses and rooms are full of perfumes…
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzzed whispers,
love root, silk thread, crotch and vine.
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart,
the passing of blood and air through my lungs…
The sound of the belched words of my voice loosed to the eddies of the wind…
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill,
the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.”
—Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Poetry Hotel Press is a new press founded by Jack Foley and Clara Hsu. It is a poetry press founded for the love of poetry by two poets.The point of “publication” is to make something public: “the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.” Walt Whitman—whom we see sitting in a chair in the Poetry Hotel—is the patron saint of such activity: the moment when deep interiority finds its way into the world. Clara Hsu and Jack Foley imagine their Poetry Hotel to be the place where such a meeting occurs. Paper? Electronic? In Whitman the word “leaves” is a pun: “leaves of grass,” but each page of a book is a “leaf,” so leaves of poetry. Our “leaves” may at times be nothing but electronic impulses, yet that moment of transformation—
“The sound of the belched words of my voice loosed to the eddies of the wind”—is common to all the activities that take place at the Poetry Hotel. We look for work that tells us, as Rilke did in a famous poem “Du mußt dein Leben ändern” (“You must change your life”). Life-changing, transformative, interesting. “The necessity of poetry has to be stated over and over,” wrote Adrienne Rich in her introduction to Judy Grahn’s The Work of a Common Woman, “but only to those who have reason to fear its power, or those who still believe that language is ‘only words’ and that an old language is good enough for our descriptions of the world we are trying to transform.”
When was it decided
That the sounds we make
As we walk daily in the air
Poetry Hotel Press Authors Readings:
Sun March 16, 2014 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Bird and Beckett Books, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco
Poets Ivan Arguelles, Jack Foley and Clara Hsu will present their books published by Poetry Hotel Press in 2013. The reading will be joined by Adelle Foley.
Thu March 27, 2014 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
80 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127
Joan Gelfand, Jack & Adelle Foley and Clara Hsu Reading New Works
Joan will read from her new collection, The Long Blue Room. Jack and Adelle Foley will read from Jack’s collection Eyes. Clara Hsu will read from her book of short stories, Babouche Impromptu and Other Moroccan Sketches.
Wed April 2, 2014 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Books, Inc. 1344 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501
Authors Reading at Books, Inc.
Poets Ivan Argüelles, Jack and Adelle Foley and Clara Hsu will present their books published by Poetry Hotel Press in 2013. Hosted by Nanette Deetz.
Sat September 13, 2014 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
1601 Paru Street, Alameda, CA 94501
Authors Reading at Frank Bette Center for the Arts
Ivan Arguelles, Jack and Adelle Foley and Clara Hsu present their 2013 publications. Reading is hosted by Jeanne Lupton.