New Collection from award winning poet and publisher, author of Pushing Water.
“Charles Alexander’s brilliant new work, TIME BEING, creates, reimagines, and reassembles the world (this world and more than this world) into astonishingly graceful song. This work braids sweetness, laughter, political awareness. I can’t think of any other poet who writes with such playful vitality, creating a fullness of representation that embodies consciousness, presence, passion, and compassion. Alexander’s gorgeous abstraction, his simplicity and directness, create a fullness of representation that makes the world is a book palpable: tangy, fully present, slipping away, coming back: 'lucky to begin / in the middle / of an ocean / triple lucky with such love amid the blue // the words are best kept in poems / most explosive there / most wanting / most saving.' The roots of lyric are here, made familiar and completely new: 'over hill over dale / the ravaged western / place of speed and missiles // occident and orient / all the way to the / global capital spittoon.' Time Being is a great book. We need these poems now, and always.” —Joseph Lease
Poetry. Hybrid. Art.
“Charles Alexander’s TIME BEING looks into the ordinary moment to find a site of revealing beyond time. Subtle rhythm divides its alert listening somewhere between Coltrane and walking; it listens in on the ways of space through the active body’s own prosody: 'don’t count, don’t/use measure in that way/step step and turn in/the only dance that might/turn again.' It gives a sense of instant poem that instructs in its own sensory time being—toward the unpredictable point of verbal satori.”
“Series like 'Th’expense of spirit,' with its torsional syntax, enact a process of thinking onward with particular ontological force, like seeing the mind changing as it speaks, then feeding on the energy stirred up. It works in a compositional process that knows out loud, by way of a self-guiding syntax of further being. Its song tunes in to where excitable mind finds soul in the telling. Along the way it replays certain Elizabethan musics living on now where we can hear them—still telling tales we didn’t know we need to hear.” —George Quasha
“As proto-field these poems engage macro-optimums, enhancing by their very presence (a presence of delight in language always turning in the prisms of invention and observation) a wizardry of doubt, alchemic harmonization dismantling an overwhelming phase, transmuting the human threat that inscribes itself beyond the tedious and everpresent threat that proposes a morph into collective threat. Each poetic compression uttered in Charles Alexander’s TIME BEING poetically inscripts itself, not unlike compressed lingual nuggets, akin to poetic form as philosophical magnification.” —Will Alexander
Charles Alexander is a maker. His primary area of making is poetry and essays, i.e. the art of words, but some people know him equally as a maker and publisher of books. His books include HOPEFUL BUILDINGS (Chax Press, 1990), ARC OF LIGHT / DARK MATTER (Roof Books, 1992), NEAR OR RANDOM ACTS (Singing Horse Press, 2004), CERTAIN SLANTS (Junction Press, 2007), Pushing Water (Cuneiform Press, 2011) and AT THE EDGE OF THE SEA: PUSHING WATER II (Singing Horse Press, 2018). Truro/Shift, the third volume of Pushing Water, will be out in 2024. His poetry and prose have also been issued in more than a dozen chapbooks or fine press editions. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Naropa University, the Univ. of Arizona, Pima Community College, and the Univ. of Houston-Victoria. He is a former director of the Tucson Poetry Festival, helped to found and still serves on the board of POG (Poetry in Action), and was instrumental in the development of the Tucson Warehouse Arts District in the 1990s and early 2000s. He has participated in the TAMAAS Poetry Translation Project in Paris, France, and in the CAAP (Chinese American Association for Poetry and Poetics) conferences in China. His Selected Poems, translated by Chen Du, will be published in China. In 2021 he earned the CLMP award for lifetime achievement in literary publishing. He currently writes a column for American Book Review about poets/printers.