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by Daniel Khalastchi


Born and raised in Iowa, Daniel Khalastchi is a first-generation Iraqi Jewish American. A graduate of the Iowa Writers'
Workshop and a recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of English
at Marquette University. He lives in Milwaukee where he is also the co-editor of Rescue Press.


Winner of the Tupelo Press / Crazyhorse First Book Prize

Under the influence of broadcasts such as public radio's "Marketplace" (a daily roundup of stock reports and business news), Daniel
Khalastchi composed a series of character-driven poems whose recurrent narrator is physically and mentally manipulated while the
world around him takes little notice. Through their chaos and horror, these poems ask a reader to question the ways in which our
careening healthcare system, crumbling financial/housing/job markets, and war on multiple fronts are actually affecting us — both
inside and out.

Advance Praise:

In Manoleria, the body, broken apart 'in elegant stress,' recongregates. Formally, the poet is taking us through the emotional work of
picking up pieces. Despite the splintering, despite the hemorrhage, somehow 'all is accounted for.' A cardinal debut. . .

 —D. A. Powell

With composure so unflinching as to be unnerving, the speaker of this mysterious, deft collection explicates what would be, in other
hands, unimaginable and unspeakable atrocity. . . . Khalastchi uses a steady, steady hand to reach into the quiver.

—Robyn Schiff

Part nightmare journal, part survivor's narrative, this haunting volume recounts one soul's journey through the selva oscura within. . .
[A] music emerges that bears ultimate promise, for 'somewhere inside I hear calling a shepherd.'

—Srikanth Reddy

Uncertain as to whether they are buried or planted, growing or dead, the poems in Manoleria know when they are pushed up out of the dirt
by some unholy hand what they can claim is a world punctuated by gasps, loneliness, and shadows that may be nothing more than wreckage.
These poems remind me of Beckett’s Lucky (slave, clown, stranger, preacher); they are as terrifying and beautiful. Like Lucky they bring
with them an indecipherable hope. Like Lucky they know to be fully alive means to embrace the soft panic only language can bring.

—Sabrina Orah Mark

From the book: 

A Series of Movements:
by Daniel Khalastchi

And with each step tile
lays out before me. It

pushes from the grass
clean without streaks. When

I change my path, the tile
keeps ahead. I walk it

over traps. Through the court-
yard. Around puddles and

manholes, straight into the
ocean where the water grabs

deep for the buoy line. After
every small movement, my

toes reel against the dry, caulk-
colored flooring. I stand still as

possible for what feels like many
minutes: terns and wrens picking

my side for red clams, the tide washing beach
up hard to my knees. Bent back from the

waist, the birds
fill me with shells until

my throat won't close. I cough like
a night bell of Spanish maracas. A hall to dark

sea stays waiting below. My fingers are
boneless. I can't scratch my neck.

“A Series of Movements:” from Manoleria, published by Tupelo Press, copyright 20011 Daniel Khalastchi. Used with permission.  



Publisher: Tupelo Press
Publication Date: February 2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-932195-93-4
64 pages/35 poems
Price: $16.95
Tupelo Press
The Eclipse Mill Loft 305
PO Box 1767 
North Adams, MA 01247

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