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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Strange Life – Eleanor Lerman

Eleanor Lerman Strange Life

Poetry. Paper, Perfect Bound. 86 pages
2014 ISBN: 978-1-936419-35-7
$15.95 & S+H


About Eleanor Lerman’s “Strange Life”
Perhaps it’s a little late in the game for the Woodstock Nation to be looking for signs that their spirit guides are still alive and casting dangerous spells. But in this new collection by acclaimed poet Eleanor Lerman, they surely are—and they’re not ready yet to leave the stage. Lerman gives voice to a generation’s reawakened desire for insight into its own mortality. Many of those who followed the psychedelic path to a social and cultural revolution that never took place are once again longing for clues to the mystery of what now lies ahead for them. As expressed in Lerman’s voice, their yearning to know and to be heard is unyielding and urgent.


Praise for Eleanor Lerman’s Strange Life
The poems in Eleanor Lerman’s, Strange Life, in their different yet recognizable voices — old beats, social activist and dreamers — speak to us of where we have been, of how it has been along the way and where we might be going. There is joy in the recognition and yet something unnerving. Whether dealing with the large truths of this life or the small daily occurrences these poems remind us of our human ambiguity — we are all over the place; life is hard; life is good; life is what life does, moment by moment and that is the challenge she presents us: to string the good moments together, breath after breath, now and forever. – Kevin Patrick Sullivan

Eleanor Lerman portrays what she calls “postmodern exile.” Witty and tender, street smart and metaphysical, her poems at times read like dystopic arias that address readers directly. Yet if there is darkness ahead, there are also dear companions, bright days, and new blossoms. In brave and visionary terms, Lerman writes as if life itself is at stake. – Patricia Kirkpatrick


“Strange Life” reviewed by Carol Smallwood at Story Circle Book reviews

…shows us that it is the common place that grants glimpses of the mystery of living—truth that lies just beyond the human vision and brain.

“Strange Life” reviewed by Michelle Anne Schingler at ForeWord Reviews:

The poems in Strange Life are constructed with terrible and forthright beauty, and its crumbling roads leading into the austere, promising unknown are well worth traveling.

“Strange Life” reviewed at Readers’ Favorite:

The many dimensions in the poems will make readers peruse it multiple times. All the poems are thought provoking and beautifully penned.

“Strange Life” reviewed by Carol Smallwood at World Literature Today (also reprinted at The Museum of Americana

Lerman’s search for unity, meaning, becoming, and order is breathtaking in its reach.

Strange Life by Eleanor Lerman reviewed at Pink.Girl.Ink


Strange Life

It’s as if you are alone in a room
in an empty house and there’s music
playing somewhere, the kind of
music that you always knew would
accompany a moment like this
The air is heavy. The water in
the pool outside looks like glass
The color of everything can be
described as in the blue hour,
which eventually fades to gray
Yes, it’s a strange life
But wait. It’s getting stranger still

Watch the “Strange Life” video on Vimeo


Eleanor Lerman is a writer who lives in New York. Her first book of poetry, Armed Love (Wesleyan University Press, 1973), published when she was twenty-one, was nominated for a National Book Award. She has since published several other award-winning collections of poetry—Come the Sweet By and By (University of Massachusetts Press, 1975); The Mystery of Meteors (Sarabande Books, 2001); Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (Sarabande Books, 2005); and The Sensual World Re-Emerges (Sarabande Books, 2010), along with The Blonde on the Train (Mayapple Press, 2009) a collection of short stories. She was awarded the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Nation magazine for the year’s most outstanding book of poetry for Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds and received a 2007 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her first novel, Janet Planet, based on the life of Carlos Castaneda, was published by Mayapple Press in 2011.
www.eleanorlerman.com