Outspoken New Poetry Movement
Unveiled for the First Time!

    "Gosh, who'd have thought I'd be a New Neo-Realist?
    It's hard to figure out what unites all the contributors,
    except that every poem grabbed me right away and
    wouldn't let go till I'd read it through."
                             --- With high regards,
                                      Joe (X. J.) Kennedy.

"The 125 poems in this collection share a common touch: a refreshing humanity which some now call 'the new Neo-Realism.' These are poems hot-wired with a fresh vocabulary and often bizarre images, frequently paired with a merry wit. And the narrative verse offered here, despite its apparent simplicity, often manages to hide distant truths."
--- Publishers Weekly/BookLife

"Fresh new writers rub elbows with past masters in this scintillating collection of verse.

"Under the label 'New Neo-Realist,' Lark, editor of The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities assembles a collection of narrative poems that usually feature frank engagement with ordinary life; a modern, colloquial idiom; and emotion leavened by irony, astringency, and flashes of humor. That leaves room for a huge range of subjects, styles, and moods. Erika Meitner's 'Wal-Mart Supercenter' contrasts the stores' sublime friendliness with the police-blotter hell surrounding them ('A couple tried to sell their six-month-old for twenty-five bucks / to buy meth in the Salinas Walmart parking lot'), and L.W. Milam's surreal 'Tootie Fruit ME and Ass-Grasp LA' invokes 'crowds of crying turtles, & / Peasant armies of hymn-singing, drug-ridden geckos.' Christopher Kennedy's mordantly funny 'Riddle of Self-Worth' laments that 'My pet vulture has the disconcerting habit of staring / at the clock and then at me'; Howard Nemerov's lyrical 'Goldfish' spotlights the creatures' 'Waving disheveled rags of elegant fin / Languidly in the light'; and Tom Crawford's 'Companion to a Loon' levels a matter-of-fact elegy: 'Listen bird, I'm past making death sad. / The tide has no time for wakes / or tragedies. We're either coming in / or going out.' The volume contains an especially strong set of poems by women, including Kate Gale's agonized 'What I Did Not Tell Anyone,' in which a new mother confides 'That I felt my whole family / greedily feeding off me. / That my body felt stolen. / That I felt like Russia during all the wars / troops tramping over me on their way to Moscow,' and Christine Hamm's bitterly whimsical 'Signs You Are Ovulating': 'As you apply mascara / in the bathroom, your eyes slit, / a crow hops onto your shoulder, / and whispers, right here, now.' Lark juxtaposes works by well-known legends, such as Allen Ginsberg, Philip Larkin, e.e. Cummings, and Langston Hughes, as revealing counterpoints to the newer poems. Unlike the strings of cryptic non sequiturs in much Master of Fine Arts-bred poetry, these poems are decidedly reader-friendly without compromising their literary artistry. Along with their inventive language and dazzling metaphor, their accessibility and immediacy pack a wallop.

"A fine anthology of some of the best contemporary poetry around."

--- Kirkus Review
(Starred Review)

"The Vivisection Mambo is an intellectually and aesthetically pleasing anthology that presents 125 poems by living and deceased American and international poets. It offers a rich, varied, and satisfying smorgasbord of 20th and 21st century Neo-Realist poetry.

"Neo-Realist poetry marked a return to more accessible, unadorned poetry of the Realist tradition, embracing the concerns of ordinary people and everyday life. As editor Lolita Lark amusingly notes, these poets were a group of 'odd fractious and often merry band of mavericks,' and they are well-represented here.

"The anthology includes poems by outstanding canonical members of the Neo-Realist tradition, including Joseph Brodsky, May Swenson, E.E. Cummings, Federico Garcia Lorca, Jane Kenyon, Allen Ginsberg, and Langston Hughes. Celan's 'Death Fugue,' as translated by Michael Hamburger, may be the most famous and historically significant among them. Also present are strong poems by widely published contemporary poets --- including Kate Gale, Dean Young, Quan Berry, Virgil Suarez, Daisy Fried, David Wojahn and David Kirby --- and equally compelling poems by lesser-known and emerging poets, including Carolyn Creedon and Andrea Cohen. The poems were previously published by The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities, which Lark edits.

"Few poetic compendia include such a thorough and well-integrated range of writers, and few American anthologies allocate notable space to non-American poets. The Vivisection Mambo is exemplary in this regard. Additionally, the collection includes many women poets and some notable poets of color — groups often entirely neglected by anthologists.

"An 'About the Author' section providing biographical information about contributors would be helpful, as would moving the Table of Contents from the back to the front of the book. Further, organizing the work into distinctive sections --- perhaps by date of original publication or thematic content --- would streamline reading.

"But these are quibbles. This is a quality collection that is highly teachable in colleges, universities and centers for the literary arts and will hold broad appeal for serious readers of poetry."

--- ALA/Booklist
BlueInk Review

(Starred Review)

In a volume released in the Fall of 2015, the new Neo-Realists are finally united with the traditional poets who inspired their works --- writers like D. H. Lawrence, E. E. Cummings, Howard Nemerov, Zbigniew Herbert, Norman MacCaig, Joseph Brodsky, Ezra Pound, et al.

In this oversized anthology --- The Vivisection Mambo --- readers are offered a bouquet of 125 poems that have defined and shaped this new cohort.

Original verse includes Philip Larkin's "Money," Langston Hughes' "Daybreak in Alabama," García Lorca's "Green Green I Want You Green," Paul Celan's "Death Fugue," William Carlos Williams' "Portrait of a Lady," and X. J. Kennedy's "First Confession."

These appear alongside Timothy J. Clark's "Manet & Monet & Marx & Freud," Norman Dubie's "Lamentation," Joseph Millar's "Midlife," Quan Berry's "Tradition," Frederick Seidel's "East Hampton Airport," Aquiles Nazoa's "Ballad of Hans and Jenny" (especially translated for this edition), and a winsome excerpt from Amos Oz's The Same Sea.

A recent featured review at Kirkus said, "Unlike the strings of cryptic non sequiturs in much Master of Fine Arts-bred poetry, these poems are decidedly reader-friendly without compromising their literary artistry."

"Along with their inventive language and dazzling metaphor," the reviewer concluded, "their accessibility and immediacy pack a wallop . . . A fine anthology of some of the best contemporary poetry around."

§   §   §

Who are the members of this new school and why should we care? Editor Lark writes,

"Some of the most vital of these poets are still unknown, unloved, and unrecognized. Who among American poetasters recognizes --- much less studies --- the greats like Manuel del Cabral, T. F. Bierly, Aquiles Nazoa, Reneé Gisell, Charlie Swann, Pete Winslow?

"It is time for them to be heard . . . voices so long neglected by the indifferent, slighted by the ignorant, spurned by the benighted."

The editor points out that to create this anthology, she sorted through the hundreds of poems published in "The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities" (www.ralphmag.org) --- as well as those appearing in RALPH's predecessor magazine, the Fessenden Review (b. 1985 - d. 1989).

In addition, she and her associate editors sought out poems published in the small literary magazines from America, Canada, England, Australia, and Central and South America.

Ms. Lark has been Executive Editor of RALPH since 2000. Her previous anthology, "The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World" was cited by Kirkus as "One of the Best Books of 2014" (Starred Review) and described as "A thoroughly addictive collection."

Christopher Connor at "Zyzzyva" wrote "The joy of The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World ... is that beyond being a collection of thoughtful and humorous writings, it serves as a road map to anyone willing to open themselves up to new types of books."

Of Ms. Lark's previous poetry anthology, poet Bob Hass wrote, "Sorry, I don't do blurbs though I love the book."

- - - Publisher's Introduction

§   §   §

  • Title: The Vivisection Mambo
    125 Poems of the New Neo-Realist School
  • Editor: Lolita Lark
  • Price: $19.95
  • Publisher and imprint: Mho & Mho Works
  • Format: Quality letterpress
    9.75" tall, 6.5" wide, 1" thick
  • Number of pages in the finished book: 202
  • Includes index
  • 13-digit ISBN: 9780917320583
  • Month and day of publication: 1 October 2015
  • Distribution arrangements: Amazon, Baker & Taylor
  • Includes forty engravings of "Fantastic and Mythological Creatures."
Orders should be sent to
Mho & Mho Works
Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176
$100 (Limited Deluxe Edition, signed by the editor)
$19.95 (Bourgeois Edition)

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contributors to the
Vivisection Mambo
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