We’d like to announce our latest 2017 Igneus Press release. Seasons in the Ravine: a Suite of Poems, by P.J. Laska sees the poet return to the region of his heart-land, bringing American Appalachian poetry with his word-worn hands to our most honed attention. Made readily available to the proletariat as well as the 1% (it’s a free country after all) at $5.00, we hope that you enjoy this careful meditation on how places travel between our thought and mind’s tongue, bringing us in a nano-second from within swirling leaves of a China tea cup back to the glistening cold of snowed-in pinecone within an Appalachian ravine.
Dr. Edwina Pendarvis, poet and Emeritus Professor of Education at Marshall University Huntington writes: “Seasons in the Ravine adds to the assembly of classical Chinese and Japanese imagery adopted, adapted, and elaborated by contemporary American poets, like Gary Snyder and–some would argue by Appalachian poets especially compellingly. A master of the poetic conventions assoicated with this body of work, Laska uses and refuses the conventions with ease. His pastoral log cabin is set in the middle of town, and he writes from a ravine, rather than the romantic heights of a mountain. His landscape is up-close, filled with leaves, trees, wind, sun, and rain, along with the clutter of trash tossed over the hillside. Punctuating his own passages with ‘wall poems’ by Basho and others, Laska critiques and, in a sense, overcomes the dualism of ugliness and beauty, encouraging us to love them fully, enjoying and protesting, no matter how heavy the odds.”