Monday, September 14, 2009

from Ana Božičević

Friends, poets, teachers, family, stars, comrades:

my debut book, Stars of the Night Commute, will be 'officially' out on November 1, and is now available for pre-order from Tarpaulin Sky Press. Yes, the stars have appeared in the sky. If you go to, you can pre-order your copy now — and I hope you will.

I'm not much for author statements. I can tell you this, though: nothing went into this book that didn't wriggle under my fingers, that didn't feel inevitable. If it bored, out it went. If it shimmied and shimmered, or at least kicked me in the shins, it stayed. I hope you will read it and I hope that what you mine from between its covers won't be fool's gold but the kind of ore you can bequeath to your night self. The front cover image is by Remedios Varo, and just its beauty is worth the book's price. Still, some words by smarter people: Annie Finch, Noelle Kocot, Eileen Myles & Franz Wright, about what's behind that cover, are below.

If you are interested in receiving a review copy of Stars of the Night Commute, let me know, and I'll arrange one to be sent to you. I would very much like to hear constructive criticism, so please tackle it with feathers and icepicks: I invite dialogue, hot and cold. Below you will also find the dates of some upcoming readings/book parties on the East & West Coast. More will be added. Come and give me a hug or kick me in the shin. And if you run a reading series and might want me to read for you in the coming year, write to me.

A public hurray to Christian Peet & Elena Georgiou of Tarpaulin Sky Press for betting on this horse!

And love to you from


Stars of the Night Commute haunts in three dimensions, knit by a below-words rumble in the sure rhythm of dreams. Many of the poems carry a shamanistic, elemental quality, as if real matter were articulating out of word-fragments. Božičević writes, "At the end of poetry the poem can no longer be remote." If this is "the end of poetry," perhaps poetry is, after all, reaching forward back to its beginning.

—Annie Finch

Ana Božičević's poetry has everything—a mastery of language, a distinct and singular voice and a worldview so visionary and all-encompassing, so as to both terrify and astound. The words bristle with life, and they command the deepest reverence for the Ineffable, for pure Being. This poetry is clever without being shallow, and this is truly rare. Silence is my most honest response to her work, but a silence rooted in respect and awe for that which is truly great art.

—Noelle Kocot

Ana Božičević’s work is sort of animist – it’s either about silence or the racket of the world. How does she do it? Clicks the switch to say it’s silent & it’s happening then on a distant tiny stage. She’s muttering, and then it’s a story and a very good one. I mean in poetry at some point you don’t know what the writer means. In Ana’s work I watch “it” vanish (all the time) & I trust it.

—Eileen Myles

Ana Božičević's work is filled with a wild freedom, and reading it often reminds me of reading Wallace Stevens, in that you know absolutely anything can happen next but whatever it is, it will be perfect. In her poems she expresses an attitude of solemn responsibility to history, both the world's and her own, yet there is often a marvelous lightness, even playfulness about them. She is able to stretch language to its most ineffable and musical limits while maintaining a masterful grasp of the colloquial. These are not just technical matters. An émigré from reality (in the form of one of modern time's most monstrously and moronically cruel wars) and a Cassandra, she is able to perceive with the eyes of language—then render with lyrical immediacy—the experience of our collective sleepwalking soul, who may well soon awaken to discover that its terror was not a dream.

—Franz Wright

Readings & events

November 5, 2009: San Francisco, CA
SFSU Poetry Center
Ana Božičević and Amy King

November 6, 2009: San Francisco, CA
The Green Arcade
Ana Božičević and Amy King

November 9, 2009: New York, NY
Triptych Readings
Ana Božičević, Vijay Seshadri, and Charles Wright

November 30, 2009: New York, NY
The Poetry Project
Ana Božičević and Allison Cobb

About Ana Božičević

Ana Božičević was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1977. She emigrated to NYC in 1997. Stars of the Night Commute is her first book of poems. Her fifth chapbook, Depth Hoar, will be published by Cinematheque Press in 2010. With Amy King, Ana co-curates The Stain of Poetry reading series in Brooklyn, and is co-editing an anthology, The Urban Poetic, forthcoming from Factory School. She works at the Center for the Humanities of The Graduate Center, CUNY. For more, visit


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