Slate Roof Press


Blonde Red Mustang

Price: $11.00
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 0-9760643-2-4


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Winter Beach

New Year's Day
windswept beach
collar turned up
against the fog

green margin
along the tide line
rope of rack
realigned daily
as the moon directs

keening gulls
tumbleweed kelp
salt blow
off an angry surf
February storm

quiet morning
only the subtle
phrasings of
laughing pebbles
hissing shells

Shining his clear and loving eye for detail on the familiar world, Art Stein brings it into a bright new focus. His poems range across a variety of forms, some of which build on traditional Japanese tanka, haiku, and senyru in quietly original ways. But wherever they go, their honesty, precision, and humor give this collection a spirit that reaches us where we live.

-- Barry Sternlieb, Poet & Editor, Mad River Press

At last, the best of Art Stein's haiku and tanka in book form, plus the surprise of his free verse coupled on occasion with those forms in a haibun-like fashion. Art arrives on the haiku/tanka scene like a brisk ocean wind from beyond the edge of the map. I'm tossed about by the force of his wry wit and oblique perceptions. These penetrating, sensual, sometimes erotic poems are from a life-loving poet--one who lives his pleasures, not a mere observer. One fine book!

-- Larry Kimmel, Poet & Editor, Winfred Press

Wherever Art Stein turns his bemused eye, the offbeat comes into view. Irony and beauty show up in unexpected places. Equally adept at improvisational free verse and traditional Japanese forms, Art draws our attention to things we might otherwise have missed: clothes in a dryer arcing like dolphins; a crusty old farmer holding young waitresses in thrall; distant freighters looking like Thai puppets on the watery horizon.

-- Jan Frazier, Poet & Workshop Director

This gathering of small poems delights with surprise, both in form and content. Intermingling free verse with varied Japanese forms: haiku, tanka, and senryu, Stein creates a rich, often humorous, and entirely original collection: "diverted/ around an island of obstinance/ two currents/ rejoin, he writes." These currents do, indeed, join repeatedly in Stein's work and in so doing, wet the reader's soul.

-- Genie Zeiger, Poet & Writing Workshop Director


Art Stein worked as an architect for most of his life and lived in Northfield, MA.He passed away in 2010 and is sorely missed. His poems appeared requently in journals specializing in Japanese forms in English: American Tanka, black bough, BOGG (UK), bottle rockets, Paper Wasp (Australia), Tundra, Snapshots Press (UK), RAW NerVZ (Canada), and zEtna (Hungary).. Several appeared in A Tanka Anthology (Red Moon Press, 2003) and Landfall: Poetry of Place in odern English Tanka, ed. D. M. Garrison and M. McClintock (Modern English Tanka Press, 2007). His free-verse poems have been published in Sahara, Poetry Motel, BOGG, White Heron, Fauquier, and in the Swedenborg Foundation's Chrysalis Reader.