Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Kill Poetry: New Collection from White Space Poetry Anthology Poet Raymond Luczak

RAYMOND LUCZAK (pronounced as written but with a silent "c") is perhaps best known for his books, films, and plays.

Raymond was raised in Ironwood, a small mining town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Number seven in a family of nine children, he lost much of his hearing due to double pneumonia at the age of seven months.

His forthcoming collection, How to Kill Poetry, will be released through Sibling Rivalry Press March 12, 2013.  In a recent review by Polar Magazine, writer Walter Beck praises the collection, "This book is simply astounding, there is nothing like it out there today... Even if you're not a big poetry reader, pick this one up, it's so surreal in its execution that it will leave you thirsting for more." 

With the ghosts of Emily Dickinson, Arthur Rimbaud, Sappho, and Walt Whitman leading the way, How to Kill Poetry showcases a highly selective overview of Western civilization poetic development from its oral traditions to the silence of pixels.  The narrative then jumps 200 years into the future where the unfortunate consequences of global warming creat a dramatic backrop against which poetry (if it is to have any redeeming value) must survive.

Luczak has literally traversed the white space between the hearing and deaf worlds through performance, film and literary work on the page throughout his prolific career which is highlighted on his website, .

After his high school graduation, Luczak went on to Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC, where he earned a B.A. in English, graduating magna cum laude. He learned American Sign Language (ASL) and became involved with the deaf community, and won numerous scholarships in recognition of his writing, including the Ritz-Paris Hemingway Scholarship. He took various writing courses at other schools in the area, which culminated in winning a place in the Jenny McKean Moore Fiction Workshop at the George Washington University.In 1988, he moved to New York City.

In short order, his play Snooty won first place in the New York Deaf Theater’s 1990 Samuel Edwards Deaf Playwrights Competition, and his essay "Notes of a Deaf Gay Writer" won acceptance as a cover story for Christopher Street magazine. Soon after Alyson Publications asked him to edit Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay & Lesbian Reader, which, after its appearance in June 1993, eventually won two Lambda Literary Award nominations (Best Lesbian and Gay Anthology, and Best Small Press Book). In January 1996, Deaf Life Press brought out his first book of poems, St. Michael's Fall. In July 2002, the Tactile Mind Press brought out two of his new books: Silence is a Four-Letter Word: On Art & Deafness and This Way to the Acorns: Poems. His play, Snooty: A Comedy, was published as a book by the Tactile Mind Press in February 2004. His first novel Men with Their Hands won a first-prize award from the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation for Full-Length Fiction 2003 in the spring of 2004. The book has gone on to win first place in the Project: QueerLit 2006 Contest; Rebel Satori Press published it as part of their Queer Mojo imprint in November 2009.

A Midsummer Night's Press brought out his third collection of poems Mute in February 2010. Hot Off The published a very limited edition (10 copies only!) of his 12th title Notes of a Deaf Gay Writer: 20 Years Later; it is now available as an ebook for the iPad and the Kindle. Sibling Rivalry Press brought out his fourth poetry collection Road Work Ahead in March 2011.

His work has appeared in various anthologies and periodicals, and will be included in the forthcoming White Space Poetry Anthology.