Black Lawrence Press
March 31, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Diane Goettel, Executive Editor
Phone: 347-587-4859


Ink for an Odd Cartography
Charts Poetic Ground

How can poems map the distance between bodies or mark the boundaries     separating action and desire? Award-winning Queens poet Michele Battiste explores uncharted physical and psychic ground in Ink for an Odd Cartography (76 pp., $14), a revealing collection of narrative poems.  Scheduled to be released on April 10, 2009 by Brooklyn-based Black Lawrence Press (just in time for National Poetry Month), Ink for an Odd Cartography travels from San Francisco to Wichita to New York City, surveying the places and spaces where children talk to gravel, stalkers give pointers, bridges are naughty, and fallen angels kill time in night clubs.

Poet and editor Jim Daniels says that Battiste’s poems “spin and spill all over the place with a controlled recklessness and a sustained energy.”  Two-time National Critics Book Circle Award winner Albert Goldbarth calls Battiste a “high-IQ-and-octane, brazen-21st-century chick” who writes with a “rollercoastering sensibility.”

In Ink for an Odd Cartography, Battiste takes on the poetics of geography, examining the influence landscape and place have on people and their decisions.  She investigates the charged distance between individuals, the space between where all the action — and interaction — takes place.  The final section of the book, “Mapping the Spaces Between,” is a linked series of epistolary poems in which a slightly neurotic speaker addresses her lover.  Though the poems begin tenderly, things quickly go awry.

To celebrate the book’s release, Battiste will be reading with fellow Black Lawrence Press writer Daniel Chacon at 7pm on April 14 at the Perch Cafe in Brooklyn located at 365 5th Avenue.

Battiste, a native of upstate New York, is the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grant, an AWP Intros Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts SOS grant, and an
Arts and Culture Grant from the New York State Senate.  She is the author the chapbook Raising Petra (Pudding House, 2007) and her poems have appeared in several literary journals such as The Mid-American Review and Poetry International. Ink for an Odd Cartography is her first full-length collection.  The 2004 Poetry Fellow at Wichita State University where she earned an MFA, Michele now teaches poetry writing at Gotham Writers Workshops.

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Brooklyn-based Black Lawrence Press is an independent press specializing in books of contemporary literature, creative non-fiction and translations from German and French. Black Lawrence Press is an imprint of Dzanc Books, a non-profit press and literary arts organization.

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