Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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Somewhere Piano – Sarah Busse

Somewhere Piano - Sarah Busse

Somewhere Piano – Sarah Busse

Poetry. Paper, Perfect Bound. 72 pages
$14.95 plus S&H
2012, ISBN 978-1-936419-13-5


As part of the Wisconsin Writers Awards, “Somewhere Piano” was awarded the 2012 Posner Poetry Book Award by the Council for Wisconsin Writers


Praise for “Somewhere Piano”
Strike motherhood off the list of sentimental subjects. This resonant, intelligent debut reminds us that “spring is a burning season” and how fierce family breakfast can be on either side of the kitchen window. Sarah Busse fills the branches of these poems with eggs, birds, and other emblems of latency and desire, and her rhymes call beautifully from line to line, but predators lurk in the underbrush.
-Lesley Wheeler, author of Heterotopia and The Receptionist and Other Tales

Sarah Busse’s elegant first book, Somewhere Piano, is filled with music: birdsong that startles from sky and branch, pianos deftly struck in practice or performance, and the sound of human voices, especially those of mother and children, heard in surprised response to the world’s grief and wonder. Busse’s words are entirely original, as accessible as a neighbor’s, yet unique and captivating: “summer’s vowels” are like “a blues refrain,” “the body of a house…wavers and avers,” and the world surrounding us—a place of “trembling and fertility, choices made and/here is a life”— transforms survival, at least briefly, into joy. Restless, wise, and vulnerable, Somewhere Piano asks us to listen carefully, and repays our close attention with poems of lasting force. —Ned Balbo, author of Lives of the Sleepers and Galileo’s Banquet

Poetry can let our passion of life be known. “Somewhere Piano” is a collection of poetry from Sarah Busse who brings forth a refreshing and insightful collection of thought and verse. “Somewhere Piano” is a very much fun read that shouldn’t be overlooked for contemporary poetry collections. “Love Muddies the Water”: Love muddies the water,/troubles it like we hoped God/would with his big stick,/turns what was quick/and cold and free to clot/and mire. I love you. Glub, glub./Caught in too many tangles made/of old bones, old blinks,/no one knows what to do/with this bad star, drug/trip from which we never return/(not to mention the birds)/and rainbows at surprising angles. Midwest Book Review February 2013


Sarah Busse is a flirt, a feminist and a restless heart, as well as a co-editor of both the poetry magazine Verse Wisconsin (versewisconsin.org) and Cowfeather Press (cowfeatherpress.org). Her poetry has been published here and there, now and then, and has received the Wisconsin Fellowship Of Poets’ Chapbook Prize, the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ Lorine Niedecker Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. She is one of two Poets Laureate (2012-2016) of Madison, where she lives with her husband and two children. She continues to search for a good recipe for pear pie and the missing Monopoly game pieces presumably hiding under the couch in the family room.

“Somewhere Piano” by Sarah Busse reviewed by Bob Wake at Coffeespew.org here: http://coffeespew.org/2012/12/30/somewhere-piano/ (This review also ran in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas, the Wisconsin Academy’s quarterly magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture.)
“Somewhere Piano” by Sarah Busse reviewed by Ed Bennett at Quill and Parchment here: http://quillandparchment.com/archives/Jan2013/bookreview.html


Prescribed Burn in a Prairie Region

Where I live, spring is a burning season.
It appears in patches around town: here
a stretch of ditchbank, there someone’s backyard.
Big, hand-lettered signs on the curb reassure,
“Prescribed Burn Today.” This is planned.
This is safe fire. And when it is done, in the space
of an afternoon, the field is flat and soot.

These days new leaves cup the sun’s light
and let it spill so that it too seems young,
completely breakable, already broken.
My daughter sings in her carseat
          Twinkle little little star
          Wonder wonder wonder are

Give up whatever burnt offering you are
but recall also the speeding ticket received
on this road just months ago. Go slow
(everything happens at once) as you drive past
the silver sliver spears of brand new grass
already hatched to catch light, already
chuffing their heat.
Silent conflagration, perpetual
blessing, perpetual fire at 25 miles per hour.