New Poetry from Oyster River!


Lugar de Origen

88 pp.
Published in 2008
ISBN 978-1-882291-06-9

Place of Origin

by Elena Lafert and Melina Draper

Winner of the International Latino Book Award for
Best Spanish Bilingual Book of 2008

Argentinean poet Elena, and Melina, writing from Alaska, represent the antipodes of a mother-daughter relationship. Yet their poems resonate with the intimate interplay and harmonic counterpoint of a Bach two-part Invention. . . . Born from a loving collaboration, Place of Origin is a lovely, singular book.
--Julia Older

A tender and savage book, mother and daughter speaking to one another, to history, and to us through the flexible lineage of language, mother tongue and daughter tongue, translating image and time in a beautiful collection.
--Derick Burleson


The butterfly effect

tossed into the wind
your first kiss
will circle the planet

the night breeze
off the river
will change the world
with its touch

-Elena Lafert


The moon has one too

I consulted the oracle
about the big mystery.

An ugly woman in a black overcoat
said, Go back to the beginning.

I wandered for awhile
across deserts and plains,

until I found my bellybutton,
which is also the center.

Now I move again, slowly,
seeking the earth’s.

-M. Draper

Going and Coming Back

Published in 2007
ISBN 978-1882291-05-2


A Minichapbook by Elizabeth Knies
Portsmouth NH Poet Laureate 2007-2009

A companion to Robert Dunn's Je Ne Regrette Rien.

At the Heart of Things

At the heart of things a little song
has not yet been extinguished.
Sometimes it sounds like a chirp,
sometimes like the brushing of leaves.

At three a.m. the ping of stars
wakes me. The full moon
wading across the lake!
And none to disbelieve.


Je Ne Regrette Rien

14 pp.chapbook
Published in 2007
ISBN 978-1-882291-03-8

Poèmes nouveux et retrouvés

A Minichapbook by Robert Dunn

Fourteen selected poems by Portsmouth NH Poet Laureate 1999-2000

A companion to Eizabeth Knies's Going and Coming Back

Edith Piaf's signature chanson, "Non, je ne regrette rien," celebrates a life that "regrets nothing." It's a fitting title for Robert Dunn's new book.

. . . more I have wished my words were bread in this hungry earth, itself a stone wanting to be bread. Or if the worth run not that high, a coin that in the wide almsbasin of a sky could ring most brave and merrily.

For three decades Dunn was a familiar figure on Portsmouth streets, a classic flaneur, who never drove a car, got along fine without a telephone or TV for most of his life. His daily stroll to the Athenaeum took him past and into many of Portsmouth's local establishments, where he could be counted on to stop and chat.

Yes, there is humor . . . and poetry of a high order.
— Elizabeth Knies, 2007

Just when might the earth be fair,
its people glad and free?
Which of the explainers
would you want to ask? Not me . . .

(from "Turn toward")



Facing the Moon

152 pp.
Published in 2007
ISBN 1-882291-04-5

Poems of Li Bai & Du Fu

Li Bai             Du Fu

Translated by Keith Holyoak

A bilingual edition of two of China's greatest poets. Cover art by Xing Jie Chen.

Holyoak's translations achieve a high level of literary excellence while conveying a real sense of the musicality of the originals.
— Jonathan Chaves, George Washington University

The clarity and simplicity Holyoak brings to his translations carry the reader into the profundity and complexity of the originals. Over twelve hundred years disappear and another culture—in no essential way dissimilar to our own—reveals the similarities. Holyoak catches the spirits of China's two greatest poets: "The wine keeps flowing; the moon keeps watch." But the worthiest hallmark of the poets and of the book is sorrow transformed into art.  
— Sebastian Barker, Editor of The London Magazine


Idling Alone

        Drinking wine,
night caught me unawares.
        Fallen flowers
fill the folds of my gown.

        I stagger up
and step on the moon in a stream.
       Birds fly home,
most everyone has gone.

— Li Bai


Thinking of my brothers on a moonlit night

War drums sound,
no one dares to travel.
Autumn comes
with the cry of a lone wild goose.
Tonight the dew
glows white beneath the moon,
but the brightest moon
shines on the home of our youth.

Now that my brothers
are scattered far and wide
.... drums again,
and rebels on the loose.

— Du Fu


To Catch Life Anew

168 pp.
Published in 2006
ISBN 978-1-882291-02-1

10 Swedish Women Poets

Translated by Eva Claeson
In Swedish and English on opposite pages

Many of the poems relate to social currents, but winds from all seasons bear the nuances of culture and language. In Åkesson’s poems, the new social ‘security’ cuts women off from the spontaneity of nature. Margareta Ekström speaks of the storm when candles burn askew, Eva Ström tells the paper boy’s dream of soldiers standing at the road’s edge with their machine guns—some handed out snow for the refugees to quench their thirst, while Elisabeth Rynnel moves further afield to Afghanistan, where in bombed out ruins, There will come a beggar child / naked, lying on his stomach / paddling a small cart / But the shout from his mouth is not heard....

"And why aren't you writing? Write!" Hélène Cixous implores in her article "The Laughter of Medusa." She stated in 1975 that only if women "write their lives" will a new and rebellious text appear that will change the world and history. It is indeed that rebellious text the reader encounters in Eva Claeson's selection of poems by contemporary Swedish women poets.
— From the Introduction by Ia Dübois


. . . The soldiers stood at the edge of the road with their machine gun
Some showed pity and handed out snow
For the refugees to quench their thirst.
Time blind they stared at the white moon.
They saw with alarm that their uniforms had been sewn in 1914
And that they were turning into their own ancestors.

— Eva Ström, The paper boy had fallen asleep


Words disappear like ships at the edge
The sea flows onto land with the sky in tow
Life is pierced with birds flying in formation
When all is still, hear the wing-beat of the days

— Babro Dahlin, Wing-beat of the days


The Other Side of Sorrow

$16 + $3 S&H
Copies available from Oyster River Press or from PSNH, 31 Reservoir Road, Farmington, NH 03835.

Poets Speak Out about Conflict, War, and Peace

From the Poetry Society of New Hampshire

Co-edited by Cicely Buckley of Oyster River Press and Pat Frisella, President of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire

[127] poets speak out... "Innocence does not die at once" begins Tess Baumberger... Responding to those who said 9/11 marked the death of American innocence....The year is 1914, 1948,1963, 2001;.. "There are no still waters...Cain murders Abel,/ and Abel murders Cain" (Hugh Harter).... "I will not dance to your war drum/ I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war drum....This heartbeat is louder/ than death...." (Suheir Hammad).
— Linda Lerner, Small Press Review

Beyond the lochs of the blood of the children of men
beyond the frailty of the plain and the labor of the mountain,
beyond poverty, consumption, fever, agony,
beyond hardship, wrong, tyranny, distress,
beyond misery, despair, hatred, treachery,
beyond guilt and defilement; watchful,
heroic, the Cuillin is seen
rising on the other side of sorrow.

— Sorley MacLean

Internet Special!



20 of New England's Best Contemporary Poets

Walking to Windward

Explore, Read Reviews, View all 21 covers, Read Poems, Order

$75 for complete set of 21 chapbooks in 4 volumes (originally $135)!

More Books from Oyster River


Along the Roads of the Universe

144 pp.
Published in 1997
ISBN 1-882291-57-3


Poems & illustrations by Amor Halperin

Amor recalls Buenos Aires, New York, L.A., thoughts about the first landing on Mars, the passing of J. Buckminster Fuller, memories of Evita. Eloquent testimony by a keen witness of our times.

Quiero el cielo                   I want the sky                          
y la tierra,                         and the earth
y el pájaro que vuela         and the bird that flies
de árbol en árbol              from tree to tree
siempre en busca              always looking
de ese poquito                  for that little bit
de felicidad                       of happiness
que es el amor. . .             which is love. . . 

from "Quiero," written when doctors were unable to diagnose his son’s serious illness.


Crow Milk

80 pp.
Published in 1997
ISBN 1-882291-55-7


Poems by Rick Agran

In Crow Milk you will find the unloved, forgotten, unseen, returned to life
. . . in the poet's clear vision: crows, abandoned children . . . Don't you see how it all shines?  
— Mekeel McBride, NH poet


At the Edges of Everything, the Children

unloved, unbaptized, unwanted, unfed
   the mortal infants of infant mortality,
      have returned to this earth embodied as crows.

In limbo, these children learned what to live:
   a petty thievery of the promised land.
      Steal quietly, little children, the shadows

of crows, black comfort, smallest of vehicles,
   beak and wing, raucous voice.
      Return to hop around the churchyard lawn,

to further inhabit an indifferent world,
   the unchosen wandering the sides of the road,
      the shouted at and shot at, solitary in sin.

Left to the fields on the edges of everything,
   but always there, crying,
      eyes ever upward and wary,

small survivors, newly made in shadow.

Edged in Light

112 pp.
Published in 1993
ISBN 1-882291-52-2


Poems by Jane B. Jordan, Illus.

Poems of discovery, of love and loss, of spiritual strength. Portraits like Rembrandt in words, reminiscent of Emily Dickinson. "Loves feather upon the scale yet outweighs death. . . ."


. . . Love's feather on the scale
weighs nothing, I believe,
yet outweighs Death,
makes sorrow lighter,
bids me to live,
to smile, protest aloud
to your sweet ghost . . .


Halcyon Time

144 pp.
Published in 1993
ISBN 1-882291-54-9


Poems on the birds by Hugh Hennedy
10 drawings by Charles Chu

Reading these spare poems, enhanced by 10 ink-wash drawings, is like watching a craftsman build a structure of grasses, wind, cries of shore birds, fox tails, that dandy, randy smell of salt . . .
— Marie Harris, NH poet

The 128 poems are a sort of calendar of birds . . . a poet of the grand moment when Surf scoters dive like / lawn darts descending or Plovers prance at the edge . . . like horses. . . . we redeem experience through his vision.  
— Tar River Poetry


At an edge of the mill pond the great blue
heron renews its heronhood
when it turns its dagger / head to aim it
at an alighted dove or to sight
me better


96 pp.
Published in 2005
ISBN 1-882291-87-5


Poems by John Perrault

A collection by John Perrault, poet/balladeer, author of The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse (with photos by Peter Randall), and Portsmouth Poet Laureate (2003-2005).

. . .whether to stormy Maine coasts, to the Paris of heritage, to the Argentina of the disappeared . . . All his dispatches resound against the base: home, hearth and the family around us and before and after us. . . .   — Jean Pedrick

His poems are heartfelt, unsentimental; tender and muscular . . . political and deeply personal.   
— Marie Harris

John Perrault has an eye for the way daily life can become luminous, and an unerring ear for precise language, for the nuances that shift such language into song.
— Betsy Sholl

Over the Side of My Canoe

An old face
    my calm
        my intention


I'll have / just a sliver of time please. . .
a wedge of deep dish sky / would be nice . . .

from "Dessert"


Intense Experience

160 pp.
Published in 1990
ISBN 0-9617418-6-8

Social Psychology through Poetry

Fred Samuels, Ed.

Poems are models for coming to terms with inner conflicts through writing. With an index of concepts illustrated in the poems, and an essay on Erikson's Eight Ages of Man.

With his insightful commentaries next to the poems, Fred Samuels’ selected poems express early experience, including poems by Carol Samuel’s “Teacher Words” as well as his own biographic poem on his father, who immigrated to England from Bielastok, Poland/Russia. “This grey-eyed boxer” has our admiration as he attempts to win a place in that new world, in turn as mailman, mandolin player and painter.


ORDINARY LIES by Robert J. Duffy

104 pp.
Published in 2003
ISBN 1-882291-00-X

A CD of the author reading selected poems is also available for $12.95.


Poems by Robert Duffy

Robert J. Duffy must have listened, from a very early age, to readings from Homer, the Psalms of David, the Song of Songs, Spenser, Milton, Shakespeare. He is imprinted with our great language's flights and furies and it pours forth from him like a force of nature. Like John Donne, he asks his own questions, not used ones, and makes up and tries out his own answers, too.
— Jean Pedrick

As she could, with just her eyes,
increase by half the sun,
be careless with her joy
and laugh to no advantage;
so then could I, as one
with finger tries an iron,
be daring and not wise.

from "Love Story"


Millenium Razor (excerpts)

All fierce we are,
all points and blades.
Angry and insufferable we study how to rise
so unlike any bird
against the sky.
[Line space]
All reach we are,
all grasp and rage.
Our legs spread wide around a flame and borne
like maidens mad with
lust upon a unicorn.

All swift we are,
all wings and speed.
Behind us now the green and milk round earth
and there the glinted eyes
that overlook our birth . . . .