Welcome! You’ve reached the website of Les Gottesman, Poems and Photographs, and of Omerta Publications. Scroll down this page for new and old news. To browse and purchase chapbooks from Omerta go to the Retail Pages.


 

December 2, 2016—New chapbook by Les Gottesman

 

From the Files of Victor Spoyles, new from Omerta Publications. Unique file-folder cover. Order your copy on the Retail Pages today. A great gift for friends and enemies. Omerta—the gift of reading, the gift of silence.

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December 2, 2016—Julie Rogers

Nice comment posted on Julie Rogers’ page yesterday: “Surpassing a consistency of sensitivity, Julie Rogers reveals that she can write with political and personal vision, and can make a truly visionary leap of imagination, the brilliance of which resonates through all the love poems she writes to David Meltzer.”


December 1, 2016—Tomorrow, December 2—Ambush Review issue number 5 reading at the Beat Museum, San Francisco
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David Beckman

Sharon Coleman

Les Gottesman

Grace Marie Grafton

Jose Luis Gutierrez

Ken Saffran

Kim Shuck

…and others


November 25, 2016—Signed, sealed and delivered!

OUT-TAKES

by Diane di Prima

Diane di Prima’s newest chapbook, OUT-TAKES, features never-before-published poems reflecting on the pantheon of writers who were her closest friends: Amiri Baraka, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, and Philip Whalen, as well as a sestina dedicated to Ezra Pound, a poem to Timothy Leary, and a ballad recounting the “Last Hippie Christmas.”

 

OUT-TAKES is a stunning, important book by one of the world’s great poets.

Limited edition. Order a signed, numbered copy of OUT-TAKES on the Retail Pages

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November 20, 2016— New Diane di Prima chapbook Out-takes available now!

Out-takes by Diane di Prima, poems remembering and memorializing her close friends Amiri Baraka, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, and others. Go to Retail Pages to purchase your copy—each numbered and signed by the author. A great gift!

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November 18, 2016

Whether
lifeboat orchard

 

whether eyelids
non-responding or not

 

dropped from treatment
100 dollars a minute

 

on the world upstairs
acting alone

 

Jennifer Jason Leigh
is our star.

 

Les Gottesman

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November 17, 2016Doubiago at OMERTAPALOOZA!

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Sharon Doubiago reads at OMERTAPALOOZA!, October 20, 2016, at the Green Arcade Bookstore in San Francisco

 

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November 14, 2016—OMERTAPALOOZA! photos

Photos and videos from September OMERTAPALOOZA! readings at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, San Francisco: poets, musicians, friends, family…you?

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November 13, 2016—Holiday update

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KRA!

28 new (two more just added!) poems by Genny Lim, coming soon from Omerta Publications. That’s FIVE new chapbooks in production (see November 1 below), which we’re working hard to provide in time for holiday gift-giving. Remember Omerta—the gift of silence.

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November 11, 2016—Holiday alert

KRA! 26 new poems by Genny Lim, coming soon from Omerta Publications. That’s FIVE new chapbooks in production (see below) just in time for holiday gift-giving. Remember, Omerta is the gift of silence.

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November 9, 2016—It’s time

 

It’s time to re-read Diane di Prima’s Revolutionary Letters.

 

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November 1, 2016

It won’t be long now—and your patience is appreciated and will be rewarded—new Omerta chapbooks coming soon and in quick succession:

 

  • Out-takes by Diane di Prima, poems remembering and memorializing her close friends Amiri Baraka, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, and others

     

  • Year of the Ram by Joanne Kyger. In 15 poems, Kyger butts heads with a woolly year.

     

  • For Vladimir Mayakovsky by Jidi Majia, translated from the Chinese by Denis Mair (bilingual text). A long poem in tribute to the Russian revolutionary futurist by one of China’s leading poets

     

  • From the Files of Victor Spoyles by Les Gottesman

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October 21, 2016

 

Thanks to all who participated in OMERTAPALOOZA! Thanks to writers David Anderson, Bruce Kawin, Lise Menn, Bill Zavatsky, Diane di Prima, David Meltzer, Julie Rogers, Herbert Gold, Hilton Obenzinger, Denise Newman, Ellen Teicher, Sharon Doubiago, and Jack Hirschman!

Thanks to musicians Bill Crossman and Zan Stewart!

Thanks to the hosts and proprietors of OMERTAPALOOZA’S wonderful venues, Patrick Marks at The Green Arcade, with Andy energetically assisting, and Eric Whittington at Bird and Beckett, with Jenna’s enthusiastic support.

Thanks to attendees and supporters of OMERTAPALOOZA! I hope you had a good time! I did!

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October 19, 2016

 

IT’S ALL OVER after tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 20, 7 pm, at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco, OMERTAPALOOZA! presents its final event of 2016:

SHARON DOUBIAGO and JACK HIRSCHMAN

Check out their latest chapbooks on the Retail Pages.

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October 14, 2016

Palooza Finale

OMERTAPALOOZA! presents two spectacular poets: SHARON DOUBIAGO and JACK HIRSCHMAN—Thursday, October 20, 7 pm, at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco. 

And check out their latest chapbooks on the Retail Pages.

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For more on OMERTAPALOOZA! see below.

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October 12, 2016

Omerta Poets Tomorrow

On Thursday, October 13, 7 pm, at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco, OMERTAPALOOZA! proudly presents three dynamic poets: Denise NewmanEllen Teicher, and Les Gottesman. For more on OMERTAPALOOZA! see below.

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October 8, 2016

OMERTAPALOOZA! Presents 3 Poets

Thursday, October 13, 7 pm, at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

Denise Newman

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Ellen Teicher

Fav. 2.10

Les Gottesman

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OMERTAPALOOZA is a reading series celebrating the 10th anniversary of OMERTA PUBLICATIONS, a San Francisco poetry press. Events are free.

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October 2, 2016

OMERTAPALOOZA! RESUMES

THIS WEEK

at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

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Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

More to come: 

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER
Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

 All events free…but please support the bookstore—buy books!

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October 1, 2016

 

Only one flavor of panic

in my soviet of insomnia.

Single-cell friends know this.

 

The spirit is willing but the flesh is

Mayakovsky’s, fragmented and anecdotal,

flaring thought-like t-shirts.

 

The same spirit extracts a tiny scroll

from his ear, a manual

for the making of rope.

 

Les Gottesman

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September 30, 2016

OMERTAPALOOZA! CONTINUES

at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

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Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

 

 

 

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER

Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

 All events free…but please support the bookstore—buy a book!

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September 27, 2016—OMERTAPALOOZA! photos

Album of snapshots from OMERTAPALOOZA! September readings at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, San Francisco: poets, musicians, friends, family…you?

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September 23, 2016—Next OMERTAPALOOZA! reading, Monday, September 26, in San Francisco

Debate? If you are in the Bay Area, tape it! And come see and hear the actual President and First Lady (of Poetry) at. . .PALOOZA HEADLINE

David Meltzer & Julie Rogers

Music by Bill Crossman & Zan Stewart

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September 26, 7 pm, at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

SEPTEMBER OMERTAPALOOZA! EVENTS TO COME at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

Monday, September 26, 7:00—POTUS & FLOTUS of Poetry DAVID MELTZER & JULIE ROGERS music by BILL CROSSMAN & ZAN STEWART

OCTOBER EVENTS at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

 Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER

Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

Events are free (but please support the bookstores, buy books, and donate to the artists at each event, if you can)

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September 22, 2016—New poems by Les Gottesman

NEW POEMS—Click on any title under Poems in the sidebar on the right. 

NEWEST POEM

September 21, 2016 (Detritus)

 

Bad flash

 

                        of money lost

 

            interrupts

 

decapitation dream.

 

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September 21, 2016—Next OMERTAPALOOZA! reading, September 26, in San Francisco

PALOOZA HEADLINE

Presents David Meltzer & Julie Rogers

Music by Bill Crossman & Zan Stewart

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September 26, 7 pm, at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

SEPTEMBER OMERTAPALOOZA! EVENTS TO COME at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

 

Monday, September 26, 7:00—POTUS & FLOTUS of Poetry DAVID MELTZER & JULIE ROGERS music by BILL CROSSMAN & ZAN STEWART

OCTOBER EVENTS at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

 Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER

Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

Events are free (but please support the bookstores, buy books, and donate to the artists at each event, if you can)

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September 15, 2016—New poems by Les Gottesman

Click on any title under Poems in the sidebar on the right. 

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September 15, 2016—Diane di Prima reads Sunday, September 18, in San Francisco

PALOOZA HEADLINE

Presents an Afternoon with Diane di Prima

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September 18, 2 pm, at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

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September 14, 2016—Praise for Haiku & Co.

 

Enthusiasm for Bill Zavatsky’s chapbook Haiku & Co., just out from Omerta Publications—see comment at the very, very bottom of this page!

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September 13, 2016—Photos from OMERTAPALOOZA!

 

DAVID ANDERSON, BRUCE F. KAWIN, LISE MENN, and BILL ZAVATSKY read at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, San Francisco, September 12.Thanks to all who came to read, hear, and see.

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September 12, 2016—BIG EVENT TODAY, SEPTEMBER 12

PALOOZA HEADLINE

Reading tonight, September 12, 7 pm, at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

Marco & Davidfrom Washington, DC DAVID ANDERSON 

 

 

 

 

 

Kawin, Bruce 4.25.14-3from Boulder, CO BRUCE F. KAWIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zavatsky_photo2from New York, NY BILL ZAVATSKY, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 1, 2016—Percy Dovetonsils has been invited to…

PALOOZA HEADLINE

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A reading series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of OMERTA PUBLICATIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER Readings at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

Monday, September 12, 7:00—from Washington, DC DAVID ANDERSON from Boulder, CO BRUCE KAWIN from New York, NY BILL ZAVATSKY

Sunday, September 18, 2:00—an afternoon with DIANE DI PRIMA

Monday, September 26, 7:00—POTUS & FLOTUS of Poetry DAVID MELTZER & JULIE ROGERS music by BILL CROSSMAN & ZAN STEWART

OCTOBER Readings at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

 Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER

Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

Events are free (but please support the bookstores, buy books, and donate to the artists at each event, if you can)

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September 1, 2016—Don’t miss this one!

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August 26, 2016—Haiku & Co., new from Bill Zavatsky

 

In Bill Zavatsky’s new book of very short poems, the attitude ranges from charming to sarcastic—but always playful. In Haiku & Co., Zavatsky’s eyes are wide in the narrow corridors of New York City, and in the narrow form of haiku (and some variations).

To purchase your copy of Haiku & Co., go to Bill’s page or to the Retail Pages to browse all of Omerta’s authors. And while you’re browsing, check out Bill’s pyrotechnic translations of Arthur Rimbaud’s best-known poems in the chapbook, Rimbaud 10 Poems, published by Omerta in 2014.

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August 11, 2016

OMERTAPALOOZA!

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A reading series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of OMERTA PUBLICATIONS

 

SEPTEMBER Readings at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

Monday, September 12, 7:00—from Washington, DC DAVID ANDERSON
from Boulder, CO BRUCE KAWIN from New York, NY BILL ZAVATSKY

Sunday, September 18, 2:00—an afternoon with DIANE DI PRIMA

Monday, September 26, 7:00—POTUS & FLOTUS of Poetry DAVID MELTZER & JULIE ROGERS music by BILL CROSSMAN & ZAN STEWART

 
OCTOBER Readings at The Green Arcade Bookstore, 1680 Market Street, San Francisco

 Thursday, October 6, 7:00—HERBERT GOLD interviewed by HILTON OBENZINGER: “HOW I WRITE”

Thursday, October 13, 7:00—DENISE NEWMAN, LES GOTTESMAN, ELLEN TEICHER

Thursday, October 20, 7:00—SHARON DOUBIAGO & JACK HIRSCHMAN

Events are free (but please support the bookstores, buy books, and donate to the artists at each event, if you can)

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 August 5, 2016—Coming soon from Omerta Publications

 

• Haiku & Co. by Bill Zavatsky

 

• Outtakes, unpublished poems by Diane di Prima

 

• OMERTAPALOOZA! Six readings in San Francisco, celebrating Omerta’s 10th anniversary, in September at Bird & Beckett Books & Records, and in October at Arcade Books. Readers: David Anderson, Herbert Gold, Les Gottesman, Jack Hirschman, Bruce Kawin, David Meltzer, Denise Newman, Hilton Obenzinger, Julie Rogers, Ellen Teicher, Bill Zavatsky. Musicians: Bill Crossman, Zan Stewart. Full details soon!

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July 26, 2016—We get letters!

 

Enthusiastic comments keep arriving for Ellen Teicher’s chapbook, Some Times Some Poems—in the mail today these words from Gerald Nicosia, best known for Memory Babe, his monumental biography of Jack Kerouac:

ellen_cover_new_bigger_type“In Some Times Some Poems Ellen Teicher makes the most of being an ‘unreliable witness,’ in an imperfect world. These are ‘at ease’ poems, devoid of literary pretense, making peace with all the little indignities and struggles of daily life, from one’s favorite chocolate melting on a hot day to having to sneeze out ‘I love you’ when one has a bad cold. The amazing thing is that Teicher seems to be having fun all the time, and the FUN is in the language, which seems to have an inexhaustible capacity to play with itself. And yet when it’s called for, as in a poem like ‘Remember,’ which takes on mortality head-on, she can be dead-serious too.”

 

Get your copy of Some Times Some Poems in the Retail Pages.

 

 

 

 

 

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July 26, 2016—Meltzer-Rogers update

 

Check out the updated schedule of the events and activities of David Meltzer and Julie Rogers—see their pages in the Retail Pages.

 

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July 17, 2016—New chapbook from Les Gottesman

 

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT PETALS ON A WET,

BLACK BOUGH is Les Gottesman’s first new

chapbook since 2014. Get your copy on the

Les Gottesman page in the Retail Pages.

 

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 July 15, 2016—More praise for Some Times Some Poems

 

Scroll down to the very very bottom of this page for another wonderful comment on Ellen Teicher’s Some Times Some Poems. Thank you, Eugene Berson!

If you’re unable to borrow Eugene’s, get your own copy of Some Times Some Poems in the Retail Pages!

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June 20, 2016—New poetry from Ambush Review

 

Email ambushreview@gmail.com to obtain your copy

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June 19, 2016—Praise for Some Times Some Poems

 

About Some Times Some Poems, poet David Meltzer writes, “Ellen Teicher’s
chapbook was a delight. Quirky & insightful; marvelous tone.” 

 

Thank you, David!

 

Get your copy of Some Times Some Poems in the Retail Pages.

 

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June 17, 2016—Bill Berkson (August 30, 1939-June 16, 2016)

 

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Bill Berkson, a prolific San Francisco poet who also forged a career as an art critic and beloved teacher, has died.

Mr. Berkson suffered a heart attack Thursday morning, said his stepdaughter, Nina Lewallen. He was 76.

Linked to the New York School of poets and artists, Mr. Berkson collaborated with Frank O’Hara, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Bernadette Mayer and Philip Guston, among others. He wrote more than 20 collections of poetry, beginning with Saturday Night: Poems 1960-61, published in 1961. His most recent book, a travel journal titled Invisible Oligarchs: Russia Notebook, January-June 2006 & After” was published this year.

“Bill Berkson affords the pleasures of raucous refinement and epigrammatic élan in lyrics, translations, gleanings, and reflections,” wrote Charles Bernstein in his review of Mr. Berkson’s Expect Delays. “Like dissolving into a ’40s movie or then again a dream of a conversation about new art and old jazz standards, these poems are sad and wise.”

Professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught art history, critical writing and poetry from 1984 to 2008, Mr. Berkson regularly wrote reviews for prominent art journals, including Art News and Artforum. His critical work appeared in The Sweet Singer of Modernism and Other Art Writings 1985-2003 and Sudden Address: Selected Lectures 1981-2006.John McMurtrie, SFGate.com, Friday, June 17, 2016

Snippets, Bill’s twenty-second book of poetry, was published by Omerta in 2013.

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June 1, 2016—New from Omerta: Some Times Some Poems

 

Some Times Some Poems is a brief selection from fifty years of Ellen Teicher’s astonishing poetry.

Get your copy of Some Times Some Poems in the Retail Pages.

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February 2, 2016—Collectible postcards

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Postcard Set #1

Every copy of Sharon Doubiago’s new chapbook, I, Poet, comes with a collectible (or sendable) postcard, shown here, with a message from Sharon regarding survival of the Imnaha wolf pack in Oregon.

These postcards are also available for separate purchase.

5 Imnaha postcards $2.95

Postcard Set #2

Assorted postcards of Omerta chapbook covers—collectible, sendable, tradable, framable!

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Sluggo

 

 

 

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Reading at Bird & Beckett, San Francisco, February 3, 2013scan0014starting_over_CVR_scrn_shot

 

Assortment of 5 Omerta cover postcards $2.95 

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January 15, 2016—New from Omerta Publications

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I, Poet is Sharon Doubiago’s passionate, self-questioning sequence of poems about (and evolving into the saga of) friends, family, ancestors, lovers, and haters—now available from Omerta Publications.

 

Order your copy today in the Retail Pages

 

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FOR 2015 FRONT PAGE ENTRIES GO TO FRONT PAGE 2015

 

FOR 2014 FRONT PAGE ENTRIES GO TO FRONT PAGE 2014

 

FOR 2013 FRONT PAGE ENTRIES GO TO FRONT PAGE 2013

 

  1. Les, Thanks for sending! Glad to see that you’re continuing to cast doubt on whether we live in the “real” world. In China, near Great Wall, I saw a sign in the men’s room above the urinals: Please Stand Close to the Center of Civilization. Alan

  2. Les

    Many thanks to Megan Lehmer and Lisa Roth for making this web site possible.

  3. Gostei muito desse site!

  4. Gene Berson

    Ellen Teicher poems are delightful. So Quick and seemingly effortless! Tip of the iceberg, I’m sure. Another great anonymous poet — in a world of billions of people! How can we be so lonely with wonderful poets like this! Well, given Fukushima, you’ve gotta miss Grizzlies in Golden Gate Park. And Julie Rogers too!

  5. Jayadeva

    bill zavatsky’s new haiku book is a treasure

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