Descent & Other Poems by Timothy Ogene

Timothy Ogene,Descent & Other Poems

Timothy Ogene was born in Nigeria, but has since lived in Liberia, Germany, the US, and the UK. His poems and stories have appeared in Numero Cinq, One Throne Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, T he Missing Slate, Stirring, Kin Poetry Journal, Mad Swirl, Blue Rock Review, aaduna, and other places. He holds a first degree in English and History from St. Edward’s University, and a Master of Studies in World Literatures in English from the University of Oxford.


Timothy Ogene’s poems are writings of witness, displacement, and beauty. Instead of a home address there are poems as address, at once exquisitely gentle and acute. The sharpness of the poems’ blades—whether literal, like the blades that peel cassavas and leave the speaker’s arms scarred, or deeper injuries of trauma and loss—sits alongside their subtlety and tenderness. These are poems of deep attentiveness to the smallest encounters, and to the largest questions of love, doubt, solitude and migration. Their crafting reveals Ogene’s deep reading, both of poetry and of the and landscapes the poems explore. How do poems that bear witness to violence, loss and displacement open so gently to the reader? This paradox is one of many in these wise, important poems. I am reminded of Hélène Cixous’s description of Paul Celan’s poetry as ‘writing that speaks of and through disaster such that disaster and desert become author or spring’. Where trees hold ‘time in absent leaves’, these poems mourn roots but refrain from ‘easy paths’, offering, instead, the force and grace of a numinous poetics.

—Felicity Plunkett

Where does he come from, Timothy Ogene? From Nigeria, from even poorer Liberia, from Texas, from Oxford, now Boston. But look for him in the future, where he will be writing great books. Look for him in the present, too, in this satisfying, wonderful book—already he can do everything—he makes music, his figurative language is rare in that it goes deep, is never arbitrary, there is a care for especially the poor people and objects of this world, he remains hidden behind his language yet clear, which is to say his ego does not control the writing, something else does—a desire to lead us gently to noticing what we have never seen before. Not just noticing, experiencing. Suddenly an empty bench comes to the forefront of our sight, from the “remains” of fog. He can personify without anthropomorphizing, maybe because he loves the world without needing to hold on to any aspect of it. He is unusually free yet aware of the limitations imposed on us politically and yes by language itself.

—Ruth Lepson

Preview The Vagabond’s Bookshelf

The Vagabond’s Bookshelf, Dawn Potter’s new book is popular. Here is a preview of the first few pages.

In this luminous memoir, Dawn Potter considers her personal relationship with the books she has read and reread over the course of her life—works by Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and many others. Weaving a daily life into a reading life, The Vagabond’s Bookshelf is a celebration of our deep yet mutable relationship to literature and the world.

DAWN POTTER directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She is the author of seven books of prose and poetry, including the award-winning memoir Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton. She lives in Harmony, Maine.

go here to view this preview



F.Fields cover grab

Richard Kostelanetz’s FictionFields: Microscopic Narratives, is a completely new rendition of a form that he has done before. The typography presented in this project, using many typefaces and styles, creates an entirely new experience for new and existing readers of Richard’s work. The pages themselves breath between static-linear and spiraling-shifting shapes, but each word or group of words (no more than three) stands alone, with unique stories and a separate set of stimuli to the imagination, “bestowing conceptional resonances the words wouldn’t otherwise have.”

A prolific and venerated artist, Richard Kostelanetz is a figurehead, writer, artist, critic, and editor, all of which he does prolifically with his unique sense of the avant-garde. He is one of a few creatives who have refused to impose their biographies on the work itself, who chose to let the work stand-alone as objects, disconnected from the author’s own experience. Art, or literature for that matter, as Richard would say, must be left to interact with the world on its own terms, and should be recognized by itself. This idea is more evident in this new work, which is now available on our website.

Here is a preview of pages on issuu

Here is a video / interview that introduces Richard, his work and ideas.

To the Rabbit I Killed on the Road This Morning

To the Rabbit

One of my favorite poems from Beautiful Day by J.R. Solonche. The poems in Solonche’s book have been called “melancholy . . .  tempered with art, wit and good grace” whispering , sometimes with more strength, the dichotomy of being alive.

“Identity, history, mortality, the natural world—the big four take the stage here, but spiced with wry wit and bemusement. Solonche possesses deadpan delivery that delights in unexpected twists and word play that can turn deadly serious. He’s equally expert at both narrative and lyric, and the ghazals alone are worth the price of admission. Beautiful Day may seem a risky title for a book of poetry, but read the title poem and see what Solonche can pull from it, as a magician might pull a dinosaur from a hat.”

—Mary Makofske,

Caribou Planet is a beautiful book

Gary Lawless is the poet owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Maine. He is also the longtime co-caretaker of Henry Beston’s and Elizabeth Coatsworth’s “Chimney Farm” in Nobleboro, Maine.

I’ve been reading his book Caribou  Planet. It is unpretentious; no page numbers, no contents but there are some images, and words, beautiful words that remind us of living on and loving planet Earth.