Details

ISBN-10: 0872864677
ISBN-13: 9780872864672
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 01/01/2009
Dimensions: 8.26" L, 5.98" W, 0.41" H

Published by City Lights

World Ball Notebook

Paperback

Price: $13.95 $9.77

Overview

Winner of the 2009 Asian American Literary Awards in Poetry and 2010 American Book Award

The first team sport in human history was played with a ball made of stone, on courts that have been found from the Mayan ruins of Central America to Arizona. Thus, we find a soccer dad walking the sidelines of a scuffed LA field, its goal lines swirling, nets strung loosely between daylight and the spirit world–Sesshu Foster’s inimitably fierce and powerfully evocative mix of the fantastic and the mundane.

World Ball Notebook is a hybrid genre mixed text, composed of extracts from travel notebooks, email poems, postcard jottings, letters and blog posts, a record of the written moment compiled, refracted, prismatic.

Poet Sesshu Foster is the author of the highly acclaimed City Terrace Field Manual and Atomic Aztex, a novel.

What playing field are we on exactly? The game gets hotter more interesting and ‘stranged’ as Sesshu Foster expands the metaphor in this dizzying collection of ‘high energy constructs’. A delicious mongrel mix of cross-cultural underbelly reveries, anecdotes, observations, snapshots, histories, politics. He is one of our wittiest, wide-awake, astute, 21st century raconteurs. ‘Take me out to the ballgame . . . I don’t care if I never come back . . . ‘–Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics

World Ball Notebook is Sesshu Foster’s breakthrough book, in which he raises the trenchant deadpan observations of City Terrance Field Manual and the alternative-universe hijinks of Atomik Aztex to a new and even more potent level. (Beware, dear reader: the contents of this book are radioactive.) Always surprising and incisive, Foster now finds the marvelous in the ordinary, banal, and abject, and, in the words that dance and tremble, he conveys the sheer (and often terrifying) wonder that one is alive in a weird and terrible time. It is this wonder–this sense of seeing everyday life for the first time, and embracing every part of it without exception–that places Foster at the forefront of innovative and daring writing. This book is exhilarating, and I am grateful to the author for giving me a chance to see the world this way.–John Yau

Sesshu Foster taught composition and literature in East LA for twenty years. He won the 2010 American Book Award for World Ball Notebook, the 2009 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry for World Ball Notebook, the 2005 Believer Book Award for Atomik Aztex, the 1990 American Book Award for Invocation LA: Urban Multicultural Poetry, and was a finalist for a PEN Center West Poetry Prize and for the Paterson Poetry Prize for City Terrace Field Manual.

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Reviews

Ever inventive, Foster doesn't call these 118 entries poems, he calls them games, as in the Mesoamerican sport that's played with a stone ball–all the more challenging, all the more fragile. Just like in his satyrical novel Atomik Aztex, in which he created a parallel universe in which the Aztecs were not conquered by the Spaniards, the playing field of World Ball Notebook–where conflict and corruption reign supreme–begins to look startlingly and comfortably familiar.–Rigoberto Gonzalez

This isn't the sweeping canvas of his previous novel, the masterful Atomik Aztex, it is, instead, a book of quiet, weirdly hilarious, yet searing moments. . . . It's a slowly stitched together collection of small incidents that gradually start to seem more defiant than random, more funny than futile.–Hal Niedzviecki

Foster's work exists at the intersection of writing the continuous present and capturing singular moments within the flow of life. . . . These poems lift great silences off any small detail, whether in the world or in his imagination. And even though Foster's work takes us to various places around the world, it remains focused on Los Angeles and that 'infinite city's requirements, distractions, possibilities.'–Craig Santos Perez

[Foster] is playful, and of course we see this in the game format of the this book, i.e. each poem is a 'game'. . . Optometry questionnaires and Trader Joe's grocery lists, internet memes are all a part of that world of soccer games, giving his daughter rides to the wrong airport during LA rush hour gridlock traffic, standing in line at the DMV for hours and having a crappy or dorky driver's license picture to commemorate those many hours in the DMV line, and so the poetic forms he uses also have range, as does the book's emotional content.–Barbara Jane Reyes, Poeta y Diwata

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Details

ISBN-10: 0872864677
ISBN-13: 9780872864672
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 01/01/2009
Dimensions: 8.26" L, 5.98" W, 0.41" H
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