The chapbooks and anthologies published by Broken Head Press are each an expression of that individual poets voice; the times we ride high, and the times that slip by, the things that break us, and the thing inside ourselves that tells us our scars are our best feature. poems for life.
The Man at the Door: New & Collected Poems by Ryk McIntyre
Ryk McIntyre has been taking poetry fans through dark, witty, often hysterical doors for multiple decades, and now, with his new book, Ryk has opened them all and is shining his light in every corner. In, The Man at the Door: New & Collected Poems, Ryk McIntyre looks back on lost love, and what it’s like to look for love in your 50’s. His poems reveal the uncertainty of living with disabilities, talk honestly about sobriety, and he personifies creatures of the night. Ryk frightens his daughter’s first date, says no to whatever it is this guy is selling, and thanks God none of it has killed him yet. He is learning to move forward while still holding his place. In these poems Ryk is a self-reflective Sage staring down life’s next turns, his body is failing him, but he has lived hard enough to stay up-right.
From the Introduction by Jesse Parent:
“This book is real and hasn’t bothered to fix its teeth. Ryk takes the reader on a winding stage, flips you off, and maybe make you feel grateful for the boot to the head he gave you during the last set.
Ryk McIntyre is punk rock… with a cane.
And you better be ready to duck.”
In The Man at the Door, Ryk McIntyre chronicles a hard-won life. “You can carry only so much loss,” he writes, “what your hands remember, fades.” From grief to chronic illness to the reverie of “three-chord animal sweat,” McIntyre offers wisdom, cynicism, and, yes, gratitude. He thanks the bus that did not hop a curb and the former lovers who were not serial killers in playful yet rigorous examination of his own mortality. A survival journey worth its words. -Jeanann Verlee, author of “Racing Hummingbirds, Said the Manic to the Muse”, and “prey”
Taken as a whole, the poems in Ryk McIntyre’s second collection suggest the experience of looking at an exquisite tapestry, worn and frayed, that nonetheless continues to dazzle and intrigue. Follow one thread and find a dense, intense meditation on mortality and disability (“My Car Is Broken”); trace another to a slyly erotic take on the murky world of online dating (“OkCupid is to Dating, as Salmon is to…”); tug on another to a surreal, nearly dreamlike meditation on reality, danger, and risk (“The Man At The Door”). The overall voice is that of a man who has experienced much, struggled with much, and still maintains hope in love, connection, and redemption. An important collection from an important voice. –Tony Brown, Poet and guitarist of The Duende Project
Ryk McIntyre is a poet you don’t realize is holding your attention perfectly, until you’ve finished an entire book and flipped through the last pages, wanting more and feeling fulfilled, simultaneously. An Important voice you can hold in your teeth, and that bites back, Ryk will speak to you in your own words. -Wil Gibson, author of “Quitting Smoking, falling in and out of love, and other thoughts about death”
Untitled from the Untitled: 10 Years of Poetry Slam and Spoken Word in Lowell, MA
The poems in this anthology are not the history of Lowell, but they know that story well. These poems pick up where that one left off, they hold in their hands the things this city will be called on to remember when tomorrow sounds it’s bell.
Over the last decade poetry open mic’s have been the conscience of Lowell, the place that inner-conversation happens, the talks you have with yourself that keep you up at night, but ultimately lead to a better city. This anthology serves as a record and a celebration of those conversations, and the multi-faced voices that had them, featuring the work of Ricky Orng, Anthony Febo, Greta Wilensky, Diamond Asaneh, Joey Banh, Danielle Bennett, Douglas Bishop, Joe Bordeleau, Madison Brown, Jonathan Brumy, Shampy, Janet Egan, Daniel Ernst, Alex Hicks, Nancy Jasper, Masada Jones, Susan Le, Amanda Malnati, Sarah Masse, Princess Moon, Amanda Rocha, Zeke Russell, Patrick S. and jeff taylor.
From the Introduction by Anthony Febo:
“The Youth of the city have and always will be the backbone of the open mic. The space has been curated with them in mind, because we recognize that, in order to build something that is sustainable, we have to make sure that we are accounting for longevity. The open mic serves as a home for anyone that doubts the value of their own voice.”
Heroes Make Better Sandwiches Than People by jeff taylor
The poems in Heroes Make Better Sandwiches Than People carve an unflinching
surrealist map of growing up disenfranchised in mid-burbia. Moving through hallucinations and wrong directions, the inescapable realities of human failure and the universe splitting capabilities of finding love, jeff taylor crafts satirical tales of life lived fast enough in the present that the future never comes, but by finding the answers to questions he almost forgot to ask ends up with enough of the right pieces to get somewhere.
“Heroes Make Better Sandwiches Than People weaves, spit-shines, and turns on a dime, with all the clunking, perfect precision of an old car stumbling through a yard in Newton. It’s a machine only jeff could keep running so clean. taylor’s brilliant toolbox is wide open here: the suburban and the strange; everyday heartbreak; jokes you thought you knew the punchlines to, only to find your neighbor’s been telling them funnier all along. Heroes proves what those in the know have believed for years: here is a poet capable of disorganizing –and reinvigorating– everything you thought you knew about the Boston spoken word poetry scene.” -Bobby Crawford, poet and beer-slinger
“There are instances when a poet tells certain truths that we ourselves are still holding hostage in our own hearts, and occasionally there are times, when the poets dares you, begs you to release your own truths with the power of theirs. This is one of those times” -Siaara Freeman, author of #goodmorning #hoodwarning (H. and O. Press 2017)
“These poems are uproarious. Not just funny, although they often trouble the line between humor and pure inventiveness. They really come through with a sense of uproar, of a voice that can’t restrain itself. These poems attack the mundane, looking into and through the trappings of day-to-day life to find the deeper truth, frenetic and bizarre as it might be.” -C. Bain, author of Debridement (Great Weather for Media 2015).