HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Jack Cooper, production editor at Poets Wear Prada, today announced the official launch of “Lapidary” a new full-length collection of “formal verse” by poet Richard Marx Weinraub inspired by gemstones. “This book has been a long time coming: Richard’s previous full-length collection, ‘Wonder Bread Hill,’ appeared in 2002 — just over a decade ago. Craft continues to precede him; curiosity propels encyclopedic and astral projections of his subject. Natural science, supernatural myth, popular culture, historic events, wit, insight, and chutzpah, with pick, detonation, and loupe, by turns, tease ‘Lapidary’’s uncanny combination of unearthed and unearthly detail into an array of forty-six poetical gems — from amber to zircon — that speak their remarkable stories — and ours. These are poems to read and re-read. They are perfect! ‘Lapidary’ is singular — on a shelf by itself. Hail, Richard, King of Marx!” said Cooper.
Eduardo C. Corral, author of “Slow Lightning,” winner of the 2012 Yale Younger Poets Prize, called these poems “beautiful and peculiar.”
by Richard Marx Weinraub
Paperback: 70 pp.
Poets Wear Prada: 2013
Edward Odwitt, Connecticut writer and illustrator, described “Lapidary” as “an original and brilliant collection of poems that offers insights into the various states of human nature through the voices of different stones. This book is a must have, and it will be avidly read for years to come.”
“In ‘Lapidary’ — stones, semi-precious, precious — stones talk to you, skillfully, convincingly and you believe them, you believe them!” said Thomas Lux, acclaimed poet and teacher, and Bourne chair in poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Roxanne Hoffman, publisher, said “We’re delighted to receive such enthusiastic response to the book. The poetry rocks! All the stones are ‘precious’ here — whether rock crystal or diamond, garnet or ruby, agate or emerald. Richard has taken the ‘stodginess’ out of ‘formal verse’; he employs its fixed and traditional patterns as a master diamond cutter would — to transform a seeming dull gray rock to its inherent sparkling beauty. Bravo!”
“Lapidary” is Weinraub’s second book project with Poets Wear Prada. “Heavenly Bodies,” a limited-edition illustrated chapbook of twelve poems, was released in 2008 by the Hoboken-based press. It included “Persephone’s Dream” which was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart prize. “Wonder Bread Hill,” his “sonovella” (a novella written in sonnets), was published by the University of Puerto Rico Press in 2002. A political thriller based on what may be the most explosive event in recent Puerto Rican history — the 1978 murder of two young radicals on Cerro Maravilla (Wonder Hill) and the trial that ensued — Weinraub’s 140 sonnets were translated into Spanish by Elidio La Torre Lagares. A Spanish edition, “Maravilla Rebanada,” was published by Terranova Editores in 2009.
Related to the Marx Brothers through his mother, Richard Marx Weinraub was born in New York City in 1949. He was Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico from 1987 through 2010. His poetry has appeared in many journals including “The Paris Review,” “Asheville Poetry Review,” “South Carolina Review,” “The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review,” “Green Mountains Review,” “North American Review,” “Slate,” and “River Styx.” Weinraub lives in Newark, New Jersey.
Founded in 2006, Poets Wear Prada publishes beautifully designed, well-crafted books of poetry from Sinatra’s hometown, Hoboken, the birthplace of professional baseball.
“Lapidary” by Richard Marx Weinraub (Hoboken: Poets Wear Prada, 2013), 70 pages, ISBN- 10: 0615833225, ISBN-13: 978-0615833224, list price: $15.00, is available in paperback from Amazon Books and other popular booksellers.