little astronaut

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artwork by Claire Keane

 

little astronaut is a little book of early motherhood poems and writings, three of which  are in Mike Birbiglia’s The New One on Broadway at The Cort Theater, October 25, 2018- January 20, 2019.

Books on sale in the lobby. And here. Proceed go to Every Mother Counts.

 

more about little astronaut:

There’s that moment in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, when Emily Webb asks from the grave, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? –every, every minute?” “No,” she’s told. “The saints and poets, maybe. —they do some.” J. Hope Stein realizes life not just as she lives it, but as she gives it. In little astronaut we feel her give life, feed life, and wait for the time when the person she made must live life, “every, every minute” all on its own. I don’t know from Saints. But J. Hope Stein is Poet. I read this collection, choked-up, laughing, and in awe.

John Mulaney

 

J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets. Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. 

little astronaut is a beautiful orchestration of the strange experience we call human. There is humor here, and wisdom. This astronaut shows us how to find, among the most mundane details, a little bit of magic. In our era of so much destruction and disappointment, what luck to come across this bundle of laughter.

❤ Ilya Kaminsky ❤

 

In Little Astronaut, J. Hope Stein writes a parental love so new to her, so overwhelming, that the poems read almost as if Stein were the first person to feel parental love at all. Rarely do such poems so thoroughly inhabit the moment. These poems convince me, effortlessly, that I am seeing the world new.

❤ Shane McCrae ❤ 

 

The brave, electric, hilarious and indelibly true poems of LITTLE ASTRONAUT convey the utter shock that is, has always been, and will always be…parenthood.

❤ Jean Hanff Korelitz ❤

 

Through J. Hope Stein, the reader sees mothering an infant as a primal force to be reckoned with. Tempered by humor and love, J. Hope Stein puts us in it, in her very bodily experience of it.  I weaned my son years ago, and … uh … I was afraid my milk was going to come in while reading these funny, irreverent, intense poems.  

❤ Joanna Penn Cooper ❤

 

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note about little astronaut

little astronaut was written in a time in which it felt  like our country was being torn apart. Despite the fact that I was working with a broad-ranging 100+ page manuscript, when it was done with me, little astronaut surprised me. It wanted to be small and distilled down to a less than 30-page piece. It didn’t want to speak about my larger country, it wanted to speak about my intimate country and what tethers me.

Works like Lin Miranda’s Dear Theodosia and Ilya Kaminsky’s lullaby were playing in my mind. Both are embedded in historically important epic masterpieces (Hamilton and Deaf Republic) and both stop momentarily for tenderness. I was also thinking about Kim Addonizio’s First Kiss.

Despite the thing I thought I was writing, little astronaut wanted to dwell in this space.

 

J. Hope Stein

November 2, 2018

 

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I talk a bit about little astronaut and other intimacies on Brian Koppleman’s podcast The Moment with Mike Birbiglia.

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Reading with Mike at Paul Muldoon’s Picnic at the Irish Art Center in NYC November 12th

 

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Will be reading a couple poems at Berl’s in Brooklyn with Derrick Brown on December 13th.

occasionally

(Cover artwork by Kate Micucci.)

 

J. Hope Stein is the author of Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose (Poet Republik, 2017).

Her poems can be found in The New Yorker, Poetry International, Lenny Letter, In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (McSweeney’s and Poetry International, 2017).

Her new poems and writing can be seen in the stage performance of Mike Birbiglia’s The New One — in previews now & opening August 2 at the Cherry Lane Theater. She’ll be reading poems from The New One and other vignettes at Muldoon’s Picnic in November.

*****

“J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets …

Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. She updates the music of a great poet—say, John Berryman—into the 21st century, making the bard alive again, making the voice bristle with a verbal energy in this moment in time. But she is a poet all her own–unlike anyone else–writing a kind of music in which “the sky/drools sweetly to the ear” with sound that is full of emotion, full of erotic, ecstatic, essential moments: “I’m listening to Beethoven/…music swells/as it disappears into my pelvis.”

This is the kind of music that can take our most domestic moments–in which two people find themselves bewildered, and yet inseparable, in love–and see how they “act as two animals holding invisible balloons.” This music teaches us that our domestic joys, perhaps, are our last defense.

J. Hope Stein uses this defense of music, this shield of verbal art, against our moment’s ugliest creatures: “The steel men. The financiers. The patrons/of the petroleum arts,” and other kinds of trash, Donald Trump first in line among them. This poet knows that a time comes when only music and sensuality can still protect the soul. A time comes when there is no more time for the trivial. And she gives us the incredible energy, incredible verve of such saving music. Like I said, one of my favorite poets.”

 Ilya Kaminsky

 

A perfect book of poems for the contemplative weirdo.”

❤ Lena Dunham

 

“J. Hope Stein’s poetry is inspired. Thick, playful, rewarding and true.”

❤ Pete Holmes

 

“ … perversely nourishing … ”

Joe Pan, Brooklyn Arts Press

 

“… fresh, vital, surprising, and impactful … Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose is a gem…

… a whirlwind of blazing insight lightly wrapped in deft and nimble language.

… You may feel after reading Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose that Stein has performed just that feat upon you … a thorough wringing of the mind…”

Cheyanne Gustason, New Pages 

 

“The book is brief, but the imagery and thought in it is so rich, it keeps expanding. Simultaneously, a giggle can build into a full-body laughing fit …

… [the book] ends in the middle of our thinking, our fruitless, round-and-round thinking, our not-learning-from-history-and-thus-repeating-it thinking, our wonderfully-inventive-yet-unable-to-save-ourselves-or-stop-ourselves thinking…. It’s a brilliant choice; it leaves the reader thinking and aware of her own responsibility in these matters. What should we do? What can we do? What will we do? Pondering it, I may pull my brain out through my nose.”

 Kathleen Kirk, Escape into Life

 

“J. Hope Stein’s Newest Book of Poems is an Imagistic Insight into Modern Love and Politics”

❤ Matt Fowler, Homestead Review

Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose

occasionally

 

You can buy Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose here at Poet Republik. (thanks! Maria Teutsch).

My poems are the luckiest poems that ever were to be bouncing around inside the cover artwork of (a thousand thank yous) Kate Micucci.  

Excerpts from Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose are up at: Lenny LetterPoetry International  and bloodroot.

 

*****

An excerpt from The Inventor is in the latest monster issue of Poetry International. Ilya Kaminsky and his team in San Diego have outdone themselves with a wholly holly alive collection of work from poets too sacred to name. (but here is the HOT cover which lists them). (also check out PI’s important and devastating reporting from Syria , Ukraine, and more, including their Poetry in a Time of Crisis issue.

 

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*****

 

October 1 reading at KGB Bar with the brilliant !!! Jean Hanff Korelitz!!! 

(It seems like I ‘m going to be doing a bunch of readings again, if anyone knows a good babysitter lemme know!  here’s a photo from a reading a few months ago at KGB Bar with my girl strapped to me. I don’t think she will let me do that any more.)

 

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(me&my 7-month old sleeping over my shoulder as I read at KGB Bar)
  • Ping Pong: some pieces in the fab-as-usual Ping Pong Literary Magazine published out of Big Sur & the Henry Miller Library (includes must-read interview of Anne Waldman by Editor-in-Cheif Maria Garcia Teutsch)
  • Boog featured me in their annual festival guide and Joe Pan wrote this embarrassingly sweet introduction about me (& i will take it!)

J. Hope Stein is funny, first and foremost. Yet seen sitting at her publisher’s table from a distance, she appears enigmatic, aloof, daydreaming as she hovers over hand-assembled chapbooks with covers constructed half from paper, half-plastic, with tiny bits of cloth sewn into them, while selling crudely comical T-shirts where fish proclaim their amorous intentions to their beloved breakfast worms—all developed in collaboration with other artists for Poetry Crush, the small press she founded. (T-shirts were designed by Todd Colby; books made by Sara Lefsyk.)
But after a few words with Jen you realize that she’s quite excitable, chatty, alive, present, involved, someone who might live a double life, not a spy exactly but a twinned personality, someone you’re suddenly having coffee with at Grey Dog in the West Village without knowing exactly why and asking to read her new manuscript because if it’s anything like her personality, it’s going to be a delight, someone who can crack jokes on a variety of cultural levels, someone everyone seems to know, who seems to have talented friends occupying every room she enters, some of them quite famous, and you’re wondering who is going to be the lucky publisher who snaps up her first collection, and if that collection will be handsewn, motley ornamented, or perhaps edible. So far she has published three chapbooks, all handmade, all delightful in their own wandering, curious ways: Talking Doll (Dancing Girl Press), Mary (Hyacinth Girl Press), and Corner Office (H_ngm_n Books), the last of which is described in this wonderfully maudlin fashion:“Sexual tensions arise when a man named Alexander and a woman named Cleo share an office cubicle in a not-so-distant future where there are so many people dead there is no more land to bury them and there is a city-wide mandate to bury people in their offices.”
No reasonably sane person could resist riding a wild boar bareback through multiple buildings afire to obtain a copy of this book after reading copy like that. But no need for the boar, it’s free for download at h-ngm-n.com/chaps! I would strongly suggest anyone attempting to familiarize themselves with J Hope Stein’s work on this planet not only read her poetry books but visit the PoetryCrush.com website, which I’ve described in an interview with Jen in the online edition of this issue of Boog City as “a kind of essay-music-poetry blog, a literary magazine, and a place to feature the writings of those participating in National Poetry Writing Month’s ‘Thirty Days of Poems,’” mainly because Jen finds poetry to be more inclusive than most, locating examples in a multiplicity of texts and genres, in music, film, fiction—basically whatever strikes her as poetry, which can be hugely rewarding for those who find listening a lifelong obsession. Poetry is her crush, how she crushes, how she is crushed. What a lovely thing, to be alive and desirous. —Joe Pan

(Buy Joe Pan’s new critically acclaimed & selling-like-hot-cake book HICCUPS)

I co-hosted my favorite music podcast: KEXP Music That Matters Podcast & got to blab about a lot of my favorite new songs & i’ve been a consulting producer on this film which was shot over the summer and is in intense post-production