Mary Oliver


Available from Lithic Books


Maxine Kumin once described the poet Mary Oliver as an “indefatigable guide to the natural world,” and while the Mary Oliver of Adam Tedesco’s new poetry collection Mary Oliver “took me away on / The wind, a torrent / among the gusty trees / in a Fleetwood Mac video,” she is not Mary Oliver. Throughout the book, people and things are rarely themselves. They are like constellations, “shape[s] made of stars that never existed,” except they exist, in time, even in crisis, and the speaker looks to nature and sometimes to a guide who is not Mary Oliver to restore the sense of a persistent self that can pull through. Tedesco’s fine-tuned stanzas are tough but never without compassion as they shine a hard light on the inevitability of pain and loss in a world where so many things are both possible and worth doing, where in the end it is “a sense of what made us us” and not a “self” you want.

—Wendy Trevino


Tedesco’s poems are a looping stratigraphy through new continents of being in a fucked up time. Tedesco’s grammar is mythic and political, the poems feeling and smart. I’m glad they’ve arrived.

—Joe Hall


Tedesco’s Mary Oliver is a document of recovery. The beloved Pulitzer prize-winning poet of his title is less a character and more a muse offering solace to those afflicted by their own humanity. These poems give us “a sense of what made us us.”

—Paul Legault





Published by Ursus Americanus


When our landscape is all empty plastics, data-thievery, trashed bodies of oil barons, candy bars and Suboxone, the idea of living itself becomes revolutionary, if not Magickal. Misrule could be a response to Joyelle McSweeney’s The Necropastoral, an embodiment of the philosophical cautions of Jean Baudrillard, or a final, desperate death-posture against the oppositional currents of American capitalism. Tedesco’s poems are slippery and strong, maneuvering our nightmarish infrastructure with satire and fatalism. Misrule is honest about the impossibility of survival, cutting open space for criticism and humor in the face of certain death.

“Clouds dream the dawn
Do you: your newspaper morning
Fly them through the choking park

Shine the word and leave
the bears standing bright, bewildered
under today’s high: an astral outlet

My eyes receive transmission aboard the dream
They like to hide behind time

Get me the words in the fields
around the tower wilding
cross electrical climb”
The bears dream of answering telephones
light going up, spreading stir
starry America of the pastel desert
the fantasy of power ablaze
power crusted, blowing
coming soon
choking on the velvet horizon
a dust we can reach”





Published by Lithic Press

“How does one differentiate the external world from the internal one?  And how, then, should we begin to navigate the space between? In the strangely beautiful world of Ablaza everything doubles. Pine needles become syringes. Ants crawling across a log become a children’s snack. The raindrop that opens a storm could, just as easily, be confused for the one that closes it. With its embrace of flux, this collection serves as a reminder that growth doesn’t happen unilaterally. Tedesco’s poems sink, like the root network of the deepest tree, into the soil while their branches continue to stretch towards the open sky. Here, we must accept that the pain of not-forgetting is intrinsically connected to the joy of remembering.  And because of this, Ablaza feels like both an elegy and an ode to the distance between things. The one separating the living from the dead, the past from the present, the lost from the lost. Us, from us.”

-Jamison Crabtree, author of Relament, winner of The Word Works‘ Washington Prize


“A shamanic fever dream of ouroborean reconstitution. Level up.”
     -Garett Strickland, Unwin-Dunraven Literary Ecclesia
“Adam Tedesco’s Ablaza poems walk that razor thin line between the accessibility of imagery and the complete restructuring of how words can interact with each other. Poem after poem feels like a heated mescaline fever-state, but one where you’re just aware enough to keep going, keep walking, taking in each flash and fury of this kaleidoscope existence.”
“Smell and taste are one of the same. Looming colors reside in the air offering their own take on the sense. Wildness lingers. A surge of wildness indicates change because whenever change is not prepared for that is when it comes. Nobody can predict it for it is an uncertain thing throwing cogs into the machine. Machines consume all hours years from lives. Few escape the machines for they always require more resources to make them fully whole. The knowledge that one day the racing days will extract their toll on people can be almost too much to bear.”
      – Beach Sloth






Available from REALITY BEACH

Heart Sutra is a chapbook inspired by meditating on a line of Bernadette Mayer’s, “My heart is a fancy place”, and a text from the Tantric Buddhist tradition with which the chapbook shares its name. The pith of this text is the instructive passage “go, go, go beyond, go completely beyond.”  This phrase informed the approach taken in constructing the poems within Heart Sutra, which is to say the personal, the inner life of identity, emotion and memory is something to be traveled through to an inner elsewhere, then the inverse as well, and all of this is a path to laughter, release and the realization of not knowing, even one’s own heart.

i love The ❤ Sutra, it’s utterly charming, funny, sad, in the sense that every great poem is essentially saying: I too feel sad, life & time also vice-grip me like a cliched torture victim in an early aughts horror movie, my ❤ too is a Pizza Hut / that doesn’t serve beer / that you have to walk to / through a cherry orchard. Adam’s done it, he’s written a book that’s better than TV, better than the internet, better than sexlate-night sandwiches. Did i mention i ❤ it! I do.

-Sampson Starkweather, author of PAIN: The Board Game

The experience of reading Adam Tedesco’s Heart Sutra was to curl up around a heart whose beats mirrored the daily compassion, filth, drugs, and fun. I was having the worst day: I was filled with rage and lethargy. But then I sat down to read this chapbook and it calmed me down, reminded me about feeling things and the poetry of our everyday environment, how a cloud can be in the shape of a penis and how fun that is. How that equalizes. He writes “A glass and brass table flipped / The wet fog, the upturned top / The slow loss of want / for breath, an exchange of nothing.” Adam Tedesco has probably watched all the same music videos as us, binge-watched the same TV, paused and rewatched the same cat videos, and this has filled his heart to the brim with clear-eyed humanity, clowns teetering in void, and intoxicating humor.

-Amy Lawless , author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected