Three works published by Ahsahta Press, part of the MFA in creative writing program at Boise State, are garnering national and international attention.
In the New Yorker, Stephen Burt’s “Page-Turner” essay, “Literary Style and the Lessons of Memoir,” features a lengthy discussion of Jasmine Dreame Wagner’s On a Clear Day, which Ahsahta Press published in May. “It’s the kind of book,” Burt writes, “that tries to take the temperature of a generation (Wagner’s first book appeared in 2012) or at least of a generation’s narrow, gallery-going, artsy urban slice. In Wagner’s Brooklyn, ‘the cacophony of lo-fi indie rock reverb’ is also ‘the sound of gentrification,’ ‘the sound of if only,’ ‘the sound of why me.’”
“Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments,” Ahsahta’s collection of Beat poet Cowen’s remaining works (after her suicide, friends of her parents destroyed all her poetry they could find) is now going into a Turkish edition. Researched and collected by editor Tony Trigilio, the book has previously been released in German and Spanish editions.
Julie Carr’s “Objects from a Borrowed Confession” received a starred review in Library Journal and already has appeared on the best-seller list at Small Press Distribution. “She’s not chasing the past, which is ‘less than the light that falls toward my face. The future, however, is a red fox, running right past me,’” reads part of the Library Journal review. “Instead of accumulated stories, she sees us each as a ‘perpetual vanishing,’ with the child’s death that opens the book’s second section shuddering her into the crucial, oft-skimmed present. Is confession a search for forgiveness or recognition? Actually, it seems more about attachment (you’re ‘made something rather than remaining (alone and) nothing.’ VERDICT: A rich meditation on self and others; for all smart readers.”
A not-for-profit literary publisher, Ahsahta was founded in 1974 at Boise State to preserve the best works by early poets of the American West.