Hot Sun

July is hot, and so is Ordinary Sun, which was recently featured on Huffington Post in an article called " 20 of the Best Books from Independent Presses You Should Know About." So if you haven't checked it out already, well, do it! Don't miss the nod to The Girl Without Arms either.

And, if you want to bask in the heat a little more, purchase a 2012 Black Ocean subscription this month and recieve a free copy of Ordinary Sun. 75th subscriber also wins a free t-shirt, made fresh!

Objects for a Fog Death Reviewed in The Collagist

The speaker in Objects for a Fog Death is not afraid of being unheard, so doesn't need to turn to the reader. The speaker is so unafraid that she even addresses the poem itself....It's as if she is aware of the fourth wall and actually closes herself in it, becoming a part of it, looking for the poem in the liquid "legal pad of words".

Check out Robert Alan Wendeborn's review of Objects for a Fog Death in The Collagist by clicking here! Published by Dzanc, The Collagist is a well-curated magazine with a lot of great work. The review itself is fresh and interesting, and if you haven't read Objects for a Fog Death yet, you'll want to after this review.

Ordinary Sun on Hazel & Wren

Very excited to see this review over on Hazel & Wren. A sort of virtual community space, Hazel & Wren seems to have a lot to offer. Read the review and see for yourself!

... he’s searching for something real in all the muck that is this world, and attempting to find a way to be happy with that through his images. “What we don’t know is our only law” he writes in “Copse.” This is the governing theme throughout, exploring the unknown. The poems resonate with an honest, unflinching beauty. They border on disturbing, tragic, and even violent in places, yet they are full of natural grace and most of all, acceptance.


Our subscription drive continues! We've now met our goal of 25 subscribers and are moving upwards to 50. The 50th subscriber will recieve a Black Ocean t-shirt. And all June subscribers recieve a signed, limited-edition hardbound copy of Zachary Schomburg's Fjords. Subscribe here.

Ordinary Sun on NewPages

Matthew Henriksen's Ordinary Sun has been reviewed on New Pages today! If you haven't picked up the book yet, this review provides a lot of great excerpts to whet your appetite. After recent conversations discussing the accesibility of these poems, I think Patrick James Dunagan gets to the heart of what this book offers--vision and wonder reflected though surprising language.

The fact that Henriksen appears not concerned with knowing what to do with experience itself is one of the saving graces of his writing. His comfort to be caught up with wondering his way through puzzling detours presented by life via language affords him opportunity to weave the reader into the presence of being with the poem. He doesn’t push any agenda, but gives way to the visions of the poem that they be manifest...

If you're bored of agenda and ready to experience language, be sure to check out Ordinary Sun today.

The Girl Without Arms In Constant Critic!

Sueyeun Juliette Lee reviews The Girl Without Arms in her most recent review over on Constant Critic. She writes:

The dominant mode of being in these poems casts a dark heat—desire and destruction couple in his imagination, and its terrains concatenate with lush (emotional) desolation. The text’s landscapes are both central and spectral—they haunt his being, tilting his psyche as he wrestles with his feelings, with others, with ghostly whispers from beyond. There isn’t space for a middle ground in this sort of writing: his spirit ravages and is ravaged, and in tracking these contortions, his turns of phrase swerve with a symbolic richness reaching towards religiosity.

Be sure to check out the rest of the review on the Constant Critic website.

Robinson & Görannson Weigh In: Ordinary Sun

Which matters more when reading a book of poems: the meaning you take from it or the experience you have when reading it?  

In Adam Robinson's review of Ordinary Sun, he shares his mother's questions upon reading the book, confronting the difficulty some readers have when they cannot pinpoint a concrete meaning. Robinson asks "how can one say a thing that cannot be said?"--how do we interpret language beyond just gleaning information--and ultimately determines that, for Ordinary Sun, at least,

"[e]ternity within temporality doesn’t make a lick of sense within the framework we’ve constructed for sense-making, but that’s the name of the game for poetry; life is bigger than sense. Accordingly, there is a metaphysics in the weave of Ordinary Sun that indicates something behind our precarious notion of communicating ideas." 

Johannes Görannson (translator of With Deerposted a response to this review on his blog, where he argues that

"[t]he 'difficulty' of Henrikson’s poetry is not about access but the experience it aims to put the reader/writer through. It’s not about some cavalier stroll through poetry’s garden (picking up a bee box to listen to before putting it down, going swimming in/fucking Emily Dickinson/her poems) as in Collins, but an idea of poetry as spiritual violence that breaks us apart..."

Check out both of these compelling reviews and then head to the comments section, where you can add to the discussion yourself.

Consider giving the gift of Ordinary Sun on Mother's day--and see what conversation results!