Counterbalance Poetry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donations are gratefully accepted and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Offered below are copies of books of which many are autographed first editions by writers that we’ve hosted over the past years. Please take the time to peruse the titles we currently have in stock. Quantities are limited to a small number. Needing a gift? Books make a great present for any occasion.
From the critically acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels comes a luminous and haunting story about grief and obsession, and about the need for meaning at the center of all of our lives.
David Plante was born and brought up in a French-speaking Catholic parish in Providence, Rhode Island, that was like an isolated fortress in Yankee New England. The nuns of the parish school wore long black veils and taught the children that they lived in le petit Canada, where they preserved the beliefs of le grand Canada, a country of suffering eased by miracles.
An Evening at the Garden of Allah
A Gay Cabaret in Seattle
While the Seattle police vice squad provided protection, the country’s first gay-owned cabaret flourished in downtown Seattle at the close of World War II and for the next decade. This oral history of the performers’ lives provides rare insight into gay and lesbian culture that was mostly invisible in those years. Signed by Don Paulson and Roger Simpson.
Back Under Sail
Recovering the Spirit of Adventure
Back Under Sail describes a five-day race through breathtaking wilderness and one woman’s voyage outward from deeply isolating experiences. It is a test of whether Scherer can regain her enthusiasm and passion for living after suffering a violent, nearly fatal rape three years earlier.
Cascading from one page to another, the seventy poems in this collection read like a love song to creation. Manning extols the virtues of nature and its many gifts, and finds deep gratitude for the mysterious hand that created it all. Unpunctuated and untitled, the work wraps you in its reverie and reminds you of the many wonders all around us. Poetry like this is a celebration of life and language of everything that is.
Blue Horses Rush In
Poems & Stories
This collection follows the cycle of a woman’s life and underlines what it means to be Navajo in the late Twentieth Century.
Come the Harvest
“Paul Hunter’s new collection of poems, Come the Harvest, looks back to a rural world of outhouses, cash crops, 4-H piglets, suicide knobs, the top-rail of the fence beside the barn, and above all, to the families who gave themselves without question to that world. These poems look back with love, but they also sift through the blur of time to wonder, was this world ever real?” – Maurice Manning
A Companion for Owls
Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c.
Written in the voice of frontiersman Daniel Boone, A Companion for Owls captures all the beauty and struggle of nascent America. We follow the progression of Daniel Boone’s life, a life led in war and in the wilderness, and see the birthing of a new nation. We meet the Cherokee, the Shawnee, and the Delaware peoples. We track the bountiful animals and the great, undisturbed rivers. We stand aside Boone as he buries his brother, then his wife, and finds comfort in his friendship with a slave named Derry.
A Guide to Ethical Reporting About Victims & Trauma
The book presents innovative ways of interviewing and photographing survivors of violence and helps journalists understand the effects of frequent exposure to traumatic events on their own lives. The authors relate journalistic practices to the rapidly expanding body of literature on trauma, and draw on the insights of clinical experts. Note: the paperback edition is autographed by Roger Simpson, Migael Scherer and Scott North.
Descent and Emergence in African-American Literary Culture
In this deft repositioning of black literature and culture, Ed Pavlic reenvisions the potentials and dilemmas where the different traditions of modernism meet and firmly establishes African-American modernism at this cultural crossroads. Offering new insights into the work of a variety of African-American artists – including Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Robert Hayden, David Bradley, Yusef Komunyakaa, Romare Bearden, and John Coltrane – Pavlic explores the complex ways in which key modernist philosophical ideas and creative techniques have informed the black culture.
In his masterful third collection, Campo explores further the epic themes of his Cuban heritage and America’s newness, his work as a doctor caring for AIDS patients and his identity as a gay man.
The seven poems that make up this chapbook describes the nearly thirty-year exploration of the poet’s real and imagined ancestry; foreword by Gary Thompson.
The Eighth Lively Art
Conversations with Painters, Poets, Musicians, and the Wicked Witch of the West
An accomplished artist and musician, Wesley Wehr became a friend and often a confidant of many of the painters, poets, and musicians who lived or worked in the Northwest in the 1950s and 1960s.
A Novel of Suspense
No one writes with the power, authority, and poetry that Earl Emerson has demonstrated in his action-packed novels about fire and the people who make their living fighting it. In Firetrap, Trey Brown is a man tormented by race, by family, and now by a political firestorm that erupted after fourteen people die in an illegal Seattle nightclub…and because someone must take the fall.
Game of Shadows
Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steriods Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports.
The Girl with Bees in Her Hair
In this “choral work of the imagination,” Wilner’s poems reach beyond the self to challenge popular assumptions, rigorously question beliefs, and unsettle memory itself. As the old gods dissolve back into elemental forces and passions, a contemporary vision emerges that looks back without nostalgia, views the present with mounting dread, and mixes elegy with protest against that which devalues life and sanctions violence and war.
The Good Thief
A winner of the 1987 Open Competition of the National Poetry Series, selected by Margaret Atwood, this first collection introduces a new, deeply authentic voice. Ms. Howe’s poems concern relationship, attachment and loss, in a highly original search for personal transcendence.
Going Crazy in Public
Going Crazy in Public is the fourth book in the highly acclaimed Mac Fontana series. Written with humor, authenticity, and a hard-driving momentum, this is another triumph for award-winning author Earl Emerson. On a balmy night in June someone strikes a match and starts a fire, sparking outrage and fear in the sleepy town of Staircase, Washington. Fire Chief Mac Fontana’s job is to restore the town’s safety and stop the arsonist before he strikes again.
The Kingdom of Ordinary Time
An anticipated new volume from Marie Howe. Hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, helping her own child down the playground slide, the speaker in these poems wonders what is the difference between the self and the soul? The secular and the sacred? Where is the kingdom of heaven? And how does one live in Ordinary Time - during those periods that are not apparently miraculous? These are astonishing poems by a poet known as “a truth-teller of the first order.”
Labors Lost Left Unfinished
“The tension in Ed Pavlic’s poems is a language-cable wrought to swing you out over unnerving spaces, let you see and hear what they really hold, and bring you back up more alive then you were before. Dialogic, dangerous, this is a poetics of body and soul, music to listen to with all five senses.” - Adrienne Rich
Landscape with Human Figure
In this his fourth collection of poetry, Campo writes stunning, candid poems from outside the academy, poems that arise with equal beauty from a bleak Boston Tenement or a moonlit Spanish plaza, poems that remain unafraid to explore and to celebrate his identity as a doctor and Cuban American gay man.
Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions
Winner of the 2000 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition is Maurice Manning’s Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions. These poems take us on a wild ride through the life of a man-child who lives among a cast of allegorical and symbolic, yet very real, characters in the rural South. Manning’s poetry has “authority, daring, [and] a language of color and sure movement,” observes series judge W. S. Merwin.
Mars Being Red
Bell's 19th collection of poetry explores the impact of the Iraq conflict.
Magpie on the Gallows
This collection is the poet’s first book since her highly acclaimed When Sky Lets Go. Her narrative skills continue to delight with an energetic intelligence and depth of feeling as well as startling wisdom in her allegorical style.
Eleanor Wilner loosens the attachments of traditional figures to the old historical ground and sets them free—to suggest how it might have been otherwise, and might still be. This is the most important book yet from the acclaimed poet and MacArthur prize winner. “In a book of poems, one is happy to find half a dozen remarkable performances—poems worth rereading and even committing to memory. In Otherwise—which is splendid from the title on—it would be hard to find half a dozen which failed to equal Wilner’s stratospheric standard.” – David Slavit, Seven Arts (Note: Hardcover edition issued without dust-jacket.)
One Seed to Another
The New Small Farming
This is straight talk from a man whose every breath is poetry and whose heartbeat is directly plugged into farming as right livelihood. “A great and compelling book that reminds us where our new farming came from, where it is today and suggests where it might be taking us.” - Lynn Miller
Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue
To have found Ed Pavlic’s Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue gave this judge an infusion of hope. It’s a fully conceived book, speaking as a whole from the first lines to the last. What is in here belongs here, and what is in here in consciously shaped. Mr. Pavlic has listened closely to our most profound American art, the blues and jazz, and that music has not only helped him achieve poetic form but allowed him to explore a mesh of experience extraneous to literary theories. He is, doubtless, aware of such theories, but the voices in his poems flow from a denser space, having penetrated a denser reality, returning via the imagination and its many discontents.
The Women Are Singing
In this cycle of poetry and stories, Luci Tapahonso shares memories of her home in Shiprock, New Mexico, and of the places and people there.
Saks & Violins
A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery
Mary Daheim turns up the volume in her latest Bed-and-Breakfast mystery when indomitable heroine Judith McMonigle Flynn tries to extend a helping hand to a pesky new neighbor and ends up with a corpse underfoot while she and cousin Renie cope with Saks & Violins.
Still Loved by the Sun
This beautifully written account of the author’s rape and its aftermath represents a triumph of language over what is often unspeakable anguish. Still Loved by the Sun transcends the brutal facts to reveal underlying emotional truths, giving dignity back to the survivor. An inspiring story of personal triumph and recovery, it is also a story of love and the tests of love that a crisis brings.
The Country Between Us
This second collection of poems is the 1981 Lamont Poetry selection of the Academy of American Poets.
The Healing Art
A Doctor's Black Book of Poetry
In this luminous book, Campo restores the link between poetry and healing, in lyrical prose that also offers “pharmaceutical” samples of work by a diverse group of poets such as Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, Miroslav Holub, Audre Lorde, Lucia Perillo, and William Carlos Williams.
Toward the Distant Islands
New & Selected Poems
This “portable Carruth” gathers the essential poems from a major American poet, presenting lyrics, short and long narratives, comic, meditative, erotic poems, and reflections on the natural world. Note: signed by the editor, Sam Hamill.
Unionism or Hearst
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Strike of 1936
How a handful of reporters and photographers mobilized Seattle labor and forced William Randolph Hearst to recognize the newsgatherers’ union in his Seattle newspaper. Signed by co-author Roger Simpson.
When Sky Lets Go
In 17th Century Italy, the Jesuits had more wealth than they knew what to do with. The result was the baroque style of art and architecture, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, often fascinating. Madeline DeFrees too has an excess of wealth, and it is all interior. The result is baroque poems of substance and charm, always beautiful and always fascinating. When Sky Lets Go, the rain we’ve hoped for and needed so long falls rich and lovingly on our parched ears. – Richard Hugo
Winners Have Yet To Be Announced
A Song for Donny Hathaway: Poems
This multileveled collection of prose poems about seventies soul singer Donny Hathaway presents a complex view of a gifted artist through imagined conversations and interviews that convey the voices, surroundings, and clashing dimensions of Hathaway’s life.
What Kills What Kills Us
“These poems are devastating. Not only does Olsson seem incapable of making an unsurprising observation, he writes about everything from childhood to mythology to history to America itself with an intensity that brings to mind the best work of Stephen Dobyns and W.D. Snodgrass. What Kills What Kills Us is filled with poetry that is brave, funny, sad, and, above all, strange. This is art that, in a word, kills.” – Tom Bissell
What the Body Told
This second book of poetry extends a search for identity into new realms of fantasy and physicality. He travels inwardly to the most intimate spaces of the imagination where sexuality and gender collide and where life crosses into death.
What the Living Do
Informed by the death of a beloved brother, here are the stories of childhood, its thicket of sex and sorrow and joy, boys and girls growing into men and women, stories of a brother who in his dying could teach how to be most alive. - Mark Doty
Women of America
With exuberance, cunningness, and wisdom, Charlie Smith’s surprising poems explore love as a sinewy thing, resilient, capacious, able to endure gravel, glister, and tenderness, offering both sustenance and refuge. These poems are an affecting meditation on the mysteries of what drives the heart.