Poets Wear Prada Re-Issues Poet Efrayim Levenson's "Dances with Tears": Classic Chapbook Makes Comeback with POD Edition.
Hoffman said, "This very popular and charming little book was reprinted twice after its original print run sold out with each subsequent printing selling out. How nice it will be to have the book in circulation again so that more readers can enjoy it." The new perfect-bound soft cover edition will be available print-on-demand, so the little book should not go out of print, again, at least not anytime soon. An initial run of fifty copies will be printed, to be signed and numbered by the author for collectors.
The new edition of "Dances With Tears" follows the recent publication of Levenson's "Funhouse," written while the poet listened to the music of guitarist Buckethead.
Levenson, who often composes his poems under headphones listening to music, said, "There are instrumental music interpretations involved with most of these." He recalls listening to Dave Schmeidler, "Skyrats Scraps," HDS, 2002; Ensemble Ambrosius, "The Zappa Album," Musical Heritage Society, 2001; Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, "Appalachia Waltz," Sony Classical, 1996; Pat O'Connell, "Tikal," Rogue Elephant Music, 2000; Prasanna, "Peaceful," Susila Music, 2001; and John Zorn (performed by Rashanim), "Masada Rock," Tzadik, 2005. And of course Buckethead, "Electric Tears," Meta, 2002, was playing when the poet wrote his poem "Electrocuted Tears." The admiration Levenson has for these musicians is often returned. John Zorn, the American composer and saxophone player, wrote Levenson a personal thank-you note for "Mordechai's Day at the Beach" after the poet hand-delivered a copy of the poem with his email address, the first time they met.
Levenson has collaborated with several musicians, including Dave Schmeider, Rey Scott, and others, and said he has a spoken word CD in the works.
The book's production editor, Jack Cooper, described the new front cover as "Beautiful!" Cooper had requested "something that colorfully and with Surrealist execution combines tears with rain." Hoffman, who is also a graphic designer, said she created the image of the young man dancing in a drizzle of tears, someone just learning to be "frum" [Yiddish for "devout" or "pious"], after googling hundreds of images of Hasidic men dancing. Levenson's daughter Marissa took the photo of the author that appears on the new back cover.
Levenson began writing poetry in 1982. His work is influenced by poets Lawrence Ferlingetti and Allen Ginsburg, and Chabad Chasidism, as well as by the music he enjoys.
"Dances With Tears" takes the reader on a walk along a path of spiritual discovery. The book, described as a collection of "heartfelt psalms" by Small Press Review, includes the poem "& Ribbon," which was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. Rabbi Yossi Mendelson, Congregation Machane Chodesh, said "Efrayim's poetry truly embodies the experience of a contemporary Jew who has found a very deep inspiration in his ancient roots. There is a certain freshness and bright sunny quality that comes with his pure simplicity which cuts to the very core of his growing relationship with G-d."
Poetrymanz Press released his first collection, "For My Relations," in 2000.
Founded in 2006, Poets Wear Prada publishes beautifully designed, well-crafted books of poetry from Sinatra's hometown, Hoboken, the birthplace of professional baseball.
"Dances With Tears" by Efrayim Levenson (Hoboken: Poets Wear Prada, 2013), 24 pages, ISBN-10: 0981767834, ISBN-13: 978-981767833, list price: $12.00, will be available in paperback from Amazon Books and other popular booksellers.
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