Carol Edelstein & Lisa Allen Ortiz

Thursday, November 10, 2016, at 7:00 pm, join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Perugia Press with poets Carol Edelstein and Lisa Allen Ortiz! Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Carol Edelstein

Carol Edelstein

Carol Edelstein lives within a mile of where she was born, in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is the author of The Disappearing Letters (Perugia Press, 2005) and The World Is Round (Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 1994). She has published fiction, essays, and poems in magazines and anthologies, including The Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Flash Fiction. Edelstein leads writing workshops with her husband, Robin Barber, and organizes a reading series that features local writers. She also enjoys sculling on the Connecticut River.

Lisa Allen Ortiz

Lisa Allen Ortiz

Lisa Allen Ortiz was born and raised in Mendocino County, California. Her poems and translations have appeared in NarrativeBest New Poets 2013Beloit Poetry Journal, and The Literary Review. She is the author of Guide to the Exhibit (Perugia Press, 2016) as well as two chapbooks: Turns Out and Self Portrait as a Clock. She lives in Santa Cruz where she teaches creative writing to middle school students.


EARTH SIGNS / Carol Edelstein

See — each ant staggers into the nest
with a dream-shaped crumb.

There they go, there they go — the swallows
who were late for school, doing
their extra arithmetic.

Stand here long enough and a dragonfly
will perch on your index finger,
the first note of hundreds.

Hear the plop of a palm-sized stone
hefted into the pond? It is a frog moving head first
toward center, squeezing those legs

that would be wings if water were air.
The earth must be glad: why else
would these great clouds lying low in the grass

seem like the doffed hats of giants leaving a party?
Or very cruel, to make this white violet,
then hide it under a leaf.


TERRARIUM / Lisa Allen Ortiz

A painted meadowlark on a painted fallen log,
sketch of canyon and field done in ochre strokes.

The snake inside is still as art, convict-striped,
glass-eyed—and real.

Snake, I also was born in the forest and I also danced
on a done-up stage, hair ribbons pressed over my ears.

Back then each animal had its lair. Now the meadows,
the trees are all painted to give us a feel.

Only a fool holds onto place. To survive, make the place
you are look like home. Snake, this is the song of the kept.

See the crack in the painted sky? Soon the herpetologist
will open the back of your world. He’ll reach in and lift you

to twist in the air, coil the length of his arm, your primitive
three-chambered heart will shiver in its three-chambered sac.

This is affection—this tender art they made of you, this use.
The man will study your eyes and skin.

He will measure and weigh. He will note your mood.
Let him study. Let him see.