Tag Archive: Sarabande Books

Huge Congrats to Eleanor Lerman!

Well, the title says it: Congratulations to Eleanor, who has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship! She read for us in October, and we are glad to see she is doing so well. The honor is no small feat, but it is certainly deserved. Hats off to Maurice Manning, too! He has no association whatsoever with the reading series, but I for one have admired his work—if only from afar—and am glad to see him honored with a Guggenheim this year.

Sincerest congratulations to you both.


Metro Rhythm Reading 10.22.10

This month Metro Rhythm is proud to present five outstanding poets: Meghan O’Rourke, Eleanor Lerman, Sarah V. Schweig, Zachary Pace and Jay Deshpande.  The reading will be held at Blue Angel Wines in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Details below.

Blue Angel Wines

638 Grand Street (btw. Leonard & Manhattan Aves.)

Brooklyn, NY 11211

The event will be held at 8:00 P.M. BST (Brooklyn Standard Time).

To get there, take the L to the Lorimer stop, or the G to Metropolitan.

You can RSVP on Facebook.


Meghan O’Rourke is the author of the poetry collection Halflife, a finalist for the Forward First Book Prize, and the forthcoming The Long Goodbye, an examination of grief. Her second book of poems, In Defense of Pain, will be published in 2011. A culture critic for Slate and advisory editor for The Paris Review, she lives in Brooklyn.

Eleanor Lerman is a native New Yorker and unrepentant member of the Woodstock Nation. She has also been a guide in a Chinese museum, the manager of a harpsichord kit workshop, and a comedy writer. Connections between the humor of the human condition and the mysteries of infinity are the hallmark of her thirty-five-year-long writing career, for which she has received numerous awards including a National Book Award nomination, an NEA grant, and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of four previous collections of poetry and two collections of short stories.  Her most recent book is The Sensual World Re-emerges (Sarabande, 2010).

+ Scroll down to read excerpts of her work!

Sarah V. Schweig’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Western Humanities Review, and Verse Daily.  Her chapbook, S, is forthcoming through Dancing Girl Press.  She lives in Boerum Hill.

Zachary Pace attended Purchase College and Sarah Lawrence. He created and curates Projection, a multimedia reading series. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Jay Deshpande was born in Texas and raised in the Northeast. He has taught in Egypt, France, and the United States, and currently is pursuing his MFA at Columbia University.

Metro Rhythm is pleased to announce that we will be hosting poet and story-writer Eleanor Lerman at our reading series this October.

Lerman is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Sensual World Re-Emerges (Sarabande, 2010) and Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (2005), the latter of which received the Lenore Marshall Award from the Academy of American Poets for the year’s most outstanding book of poetry.  She is also the author of The Blonde on the Train and Other Stories, published by Mayapple Press in 2009, and recently completed a novel, Janet Planet, based on the life of Carlos Castaneda.

About herself, Lerman writes:

“My first book of poetry, Armed Love, was published when I was 21.  It was nominated for a National Book Award, but when it was reviewed in The New York Times, it was called “X-Rated.”  You have to remember that was 30 years ago, and young women weren’t supposed to write books about sex, drugs and rock and roll, which was the subject of the poems in that volume.  I spent a brief time as a minor cultural icon that year, which I was not prepared for.”

It would be another twenty-five years until Lerman was approached by Sarah Gorham, president of Sarabande Books and long-time admirer of Lerman’s work.  Gorham asked if Lerman might have a book for Sarabande, and the press subsequently published The Mystery of Meteors, Lerman’s third book, in 2001.

Of Lerman’s work, Tony Hoagland states, “Eleanor Lerman’s poems have sociological savvy, philosophical rue, historical recognition, and vernacular resilience. They sing a song that is bravely gloomy, but they sing it with a fierce and earned dignity.”

Lerman is a lifelong New Yorker, and lives in Long Beach, Long Island.

You can read more about Lerman, as well as some of her poetry, at the Academy of American Poets website.

Visit Lerman’s website at http://www.eleanorlerman.com.

Read some of Lerman’s work below.

That Sure is My Little Dog

Yes, indeed, that is my house that I am carrying around

on my back like a bullet-proof shell and yes, that sure is

my little dog walking a hard road in hard boots. And

just wait until you see my girl, chomping on the chains

of fate with her mouth full of jagged steel. She’s damn

ready and so am I. What else did you expect from the

brainiacs of my generation? The survivors, the nonbelievers,

the oddball-outs with the Cuban Missile Crisis still

sizzling in our blood? Don’t tell me that you bought

our act, just because our worried parents (and believe me,

we’re nothing like them) taught us how to dress for work

and to speak as if we cared about our education. And

I guess the music fooled you: you thought we’d keep

the party going even to the edge of the abyss. Well,

too bad. It’s all yours now. Good luck on the ramparts.

What you want to watch for is when the sky shakes

itself free of kites and flies away. Have a nice day.

(from Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds)

The Sensual World Re-Emerges

You are on the subway, going uptown

This is the same train that your father rode,

the same city where your grandfather

made wigs in a windowless basement,

in a year so far gone it has faded into nothing

All day, you have been annoyed by

incidental problems and you are still

solving them in your mind as you drowse

In other words, you have gone over

You are not drowsing. You are asleep

But I don’t blame you. So am I

When you reach your stop, you change

for another train that takes you out

to the dark suburbs, where you must

walk along a dark road. Just before

you reach the lighted street that leads

to home, from within a stand of trees

the sensual world re-emerges, in all its

naked, jackal-headed beauty, holding

the moon in its outstretched hand

But you aren’t afraid: the sensual world

is an old friend. Or is it?  Lately,

you have been forgetting things

and you aren’t really sure

And so it stalks away, angry not

to have been embraced, leaving you

on your own, with one foot

on the shining path and

one foot closer to the pit

Call me. I have left my number

everywhere. I want to know

how this story turns out

(from The Sensual World Re-Emerges)

“That Sure is My Little Dog.” From Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds by Eleanor Lerman, published by Sarabande Books. Copyright © 2005. Used with permission.  All rights reserved.

“The Sensual World Re-Emerges.” From The Sensual World Re-Emerges by Eleanor Lerman, published by Sarabande Books. Copyright © 2010. Used with permission. All rights reserved.