"Before we become nothing, we must accept the nothingness, the bottomlessness, the absence, if we are to live fully and be receptive to presence. Acceptance—that's the rub. To write poetry is to learn how to die, and thus to live. The double responsibility of poetry—Roth's poetry—as it scrutinizes particulars, is therefore also to probe behind them, to peer into the chasm, to listen to speechless void filling it out when the tiger sharks have disappeared as well. Roth excels at creating this intense duality, which is in itself a kind of presence. It is what being alive "feels like" or, rather, "sounds like" if we listen to the silence. This is the at once disturbing and stimulating encouragement that we can draw from these prose poems. They teach us the art of listening."—John Taylor
Paul B. Roth has been published widely in the United States and his work has been translated and appeared in journals from Japan, Peru, Israel, France, Bolivia, Italy, Ecuador, India, China, Mexico, Italy, Syria, Romania, Estonia and the UK. In both 2018 and 2020, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the author of seven collections of poetry of which his most current are Cadenzas by Needlelight (Cypress Books, 2009), Words the Interrupted Speak (March Street Press, 2011), LONG WAY BACK TO THE END (Rain Mountain Press, 2014), Owasco: Passage of Lake Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2018), and WEIGHTLESS EARTH (Bitter Oleander Press, 2022). He lives in Fayetteville, NY where he's served as editor and publisher of The Bitter Oleander Press since 1974.