The Harp & Altar Anthology,

edited by Keith Newton and Eugene Lim

The Harp and Altar Anthology

ISBN 978-0-9637536-4-9 | Poetry & Fiction | 336 pages | $17 + shipping

Edited by Keith Newton and Eugene Lim

The Harp & Altar Anthology

Also available through Small Press Distribution and

Review on Goodreads.


Since 2006, the Brooklyn-based online literary magazine Harp & Altar has emerged as an exciting new source for innovative and risk-taking literature. In its short tenure, Harp & Altar has established a home for serious readers attracted to its groundbreaking writing and original design. The energy and talent on display have been widely recognized—and now the best of this online magazine has been collected in The Harp & Altar Anthology, which features a selection from the fantastic poetry and fiction published in the first three years.


from Pieces for Small Orchestra

by Norman Lock

A lack of animals has stalled the progress of our zoo! Elephants, though large, are by themselves inadequate to constitute it with similitude. The people will not come for peanuts and pachyderm alone! The Engineer insists he can fabricate a facsimile of any animal, bird, or fish we wish. (He has a box of schematic diagrams, as well as dance steps by Astaire on paper patterns with which he hopes to acquire savoir-faire.) “There must be space inside, however, for a mechanism that can be wound up by a key.” He rejects transistors as inelegant. “But the elephants are real!” shouts the Zoologist. “Our menagerie must not be marred by incongruity!” The General is impressed by his intransigence and avers, “Too many have forsaken principles in favor of a life of artifice and sloth.” We forgive the General his remark because of the absinthe he is drinking, a habit acquired in a youth misspent on the Continent with poets, rogues, and others living by their wits. The Taxidermist volunteers to stuff the elephants with mattresses. He has already done much in the case of swans with feather-dusters that is admirable. “There will be no offal to pick up,” he says, “once they’re dead.” (As if dung were our only concern!) “What is wanted is monkeys!” rasps the Zoologist brandishing Introduction to the Primates by Daris Swindler as if it were a club. We scold him for his savagery as we swivel on our barstools to listen to his discourse: “The shaggy red orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus of Sumatra, will give the most delight. Orangutans are arboreal—according to Swindler, who has been among them. So we will have reason to look up once more, now that the sky is no longer with us.” “But there are no trees!” grumbles the Prime Minister, who used to punt on a river underneath them when the world was everywhere in leaf and rivers rich with fish. The orchestra wakes long enough to play Brahms’ lullaby, which affects us like a soporific, i.e., we fall—each and every one—to sleep, including the Funambulist, who balances on her wire by an instinct stronger than unconsciousness. While we doze, a troop of shaggy red orangutans materializes from thin air, or so it seems; and with them is no other than Daris Swindler arrived from Borneo and the Wild Men there. He wears a watch-cap and bell-bottomed sailor’s pants because he was one (a sailor, not a pair of pants!) before the study of man’s interaction with the simian absorbed him. The Cigarette Girl minces forward with a lacquered tray of smokes. Everything moves so slowly while we are mired in this dream! Daris takes a Camel and dilates on a favorite theme: the venery of Homo sylvestris—orangutan, which word is Malay for forest man. “According to seventeenth-century Dutch physician and anatomist Nicholaas Tulp, orangs are as amorous as the Satyrs of the ancient world.” So says Daris, quoting the original. Our dreaming selves are polyglot! The General is delighted. “But what,” the P.M. asks, “will become of our zoological specimens when we wake and, furthermore, whose dream this time has enthralled us? The answer involves a pin jabbed into the limbs of the musicians one by one until—having reached the Bassoonist—we swim up into consciousness with an appetite for sardine sandwiches. Who can fathom the devious paths of desire? “Look!” the General shouts. “Swindler and his evolutionary gang are gone! Here’s a cone of ash that fell from his Camel, and here and here and here is dung!” We retire to the Metaphysicians’ Room to debate the (in-)substantiality of figures in a dream (including orangutans)—what weight, if any, they may have; what life for them when they return to where we found them while we slept.


Girl With Sudden Death Syndrome

by Linnea Ogden

The grade I got from a niece of the current
Regime. My sunburned
Nipple, also a variety of Japanese shrubbery.
Did you know the bus is free. Untitled skirts for
Fall. Why didn’t you say something.
I didn’t want to say anything. Underwater plants wave from
The underwater mirror of the spring. I don’t cede
My right to poignancy and have been assured
You did so only recently. Birds ask
And answer fire where here
Here here.

Contributors Notes

Roberta Allen is the author of eight books, including two story collections, a novella-in shorts, a novel, and a travel memoir. She teaches at the New School and in private workshops. Her novel The Dreaming Girl is forthcoming from Ellipsis Press. • Stephanie Anderson’s chapbooks include In the Particular Particular (New Michigan Press), The Choral Mimeographs (Dancing Girl Press), with two more forthcoming. She lives in Chicago. • Jason Bacasa lives in Los Angeles. He performs music under the name Jackson Durkacz. • Andrea Baker is the author of like wind loves a window (Slope Editions) and the chapbooks gilda (Poetry Society of America) and true poems about the river go like this (Cannibal Books). • Jessica Baran currently resides in St. Louis. Her poetry and art criticism has appeared in Tusculum Review, The Village Voice, and The Riverfront Times, among other publications. • Jessica Baron is the author of a chapbook, The Best Word for the Job of Mourning (BlazeVOX). She lives in the high mountains of Colorado, where she writes, works, and teaches. • Shane Book is directing a film based on his first poetry collection, Ceiling of Sticks (University of Nebraska Press), winner of the 2009 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. • Donald Breckenridge is fiction editor of The Brooklyn Rail and co-editor of the InTranslation website. He is the author of the novels 6/2/95 (Spuyten Duyvil), YOU ARE HERE (Starcherone Books), and This Young Girl Passing, forthcoming from Autonomedia. • Michael Carlson is the author of Cement Guitar (University of Massachusetts Press), which won the Juniper Prize. He teaches 5th grade in Brooklyn. • Joshua Cohen is the author of five books, including the novels Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto, A Heaven of Others, and Witz, which is forthcoming in 2010 from Dalkey Archive Press. He lives in Brooklyn. • Julia Cohen has ten chapbooks out or forthcoming, and her first full-length book, Triggermoon Triggermoon, will appear in 2010. She is poetry editor of Saltgrass and assistant editor of Denver Quarterly. • Adam Clay’s second book, A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. He co-edits the magazine Typo and teaches at Western Michigan University. • Lynn Crawford lives outside of Detroit. Her fifth book, Simply Separate People, Two, is forthcoming from Black Square Editions. • Oisín Curran’s Mopus was published in 2008 by Counterpath Press. He grew up in Maine and lives with his wife in Montreal. • Claire Donato lives and writes in Brooklyn. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and Octopus. • Farrah Field’s first book of poems, Rising, won Four Way Books’ 2007 Levis Prize and was published in 2009. She lives in Brooklyn. • Corey Frost lived in Montreal for many years and is now an enthusiastic resident of Queens. He has published three books, including My Own Devices: Airport Version, a collection of stories. • David B. Goldstein is the author of the chapbook Been Raw Diction (Dusie, 2006) and a founding member of the Wa-kow! artist collective. He teaches at York University in Toronto. • Andrew Grace’s third book, Sancta, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press in 2012. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and daughter. • Kate Greenstreet’s second book, The Last 4 Things, is new from Ahsahta Press, which also published her book case sensitive in 2006. Her most recent chapbook is This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press). • Sarah Gridley is the author of Weather Eye Open and the forthcoming Green is the Orator, both from University of California Press. • Emily Gropp’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bloom, Denver Quarterly, Fence, and Whisky & Fox. Her manuscript Sleeping with Phosphorus was recently selected as a finalist for the Fence Modern Poets Series. She teaches 8th grade in Pittsburgh. • Evelyn Hampton co-edits Dewclaw. Her writing appears in Birkensnake, Denver Quarterly, and other venues. • Jennifer Hayashida is the translator of Fredrik Nyberg’s A Different Practice (Ugly Duckling Presse) and Eva Sjödin’s Inner China (Litmus Press). She is on the faculty of the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College. • Stefania Heim’s poems have appeared in chapbook form from Hand Held Editions and in many publications. She is co-founder and co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation, and a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. • Lily Hoang is the author of the novels Changing (Fairy Tale Review Press), Parabola (Chiasmus Press), and The Evolutionary Revolution (Les Figues Press). Her novels Invisible Women and Unfinished are forthcoming later this year. She is an associate editor at Starcherone and an editor at Tarpaulin Sky. • Joanna Howard is the author of On The Winding Stair (BOA Editions) and In the Colorless Round (Noemi Press), a chapbook. She is an editor for Tarpaulin Sky and lives in Providence, where she teaches at Brown University. • Dan Hoy lives in Brooklyn and is co-founder of Soft Targets. His recent publications include Glory Hole | The Hot Tub (Mal-O-Mar), co-authored with Jon Leon, and Basic Instinct: Poems (Triple Canopy). • Thomas Kane is the editor and co-translator of Tomaž Šalamun’s collection of poems There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair (Counterpath). His work has appeared in McSweeney’s and Bat City Review. • Steve Katz started the trouble with The Exagggerations of Peter Prince in 1968 and published Kissssss: a miscellany last year. Many books came between. The first volume of his memoirrhoids is forthcoming as Time’s Wallet from Counterpath Press. • Karla Kelsey is the author of Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary (Ahsahta Press), Iteration Nets (Ahsahta), Little Dividing Doors in the Mind (Noemi Press), and 3 Movements (Pilot Press). • Joanna Klink is the author of They Are Sleeping, Circadian, and Raptus (forthcoming from Penguin in 2010). She teaches at Harvard University. • Jennifer Kronovet is the author of the poetry collection Awayward (BOA Editions) and is co-founder and co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation. • Norman Lock is the author of the novels Shadowplay (Ellipsis Press) and A History of the Imagination (FC2), among many other works, including novellas, brief fictions, and stage plays. He lives in Philadelphia. • Jill Magi works in text and image and is the author of SLOT (Ugly Duckling Presse, forthcoming), Threads (Futurepoem), Torchwood (Shearsman), and numerous small, handmade chapbooks. She runs Sona Books, a chapbook press, from her apartment in Brooklyn. • Justin Marks’s first book is A Million in Prizes (New Issues Press). He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, and lives in Woodside, Queens, with his wife and their oneyear- old son and daughter. • Peter Markus is the author of a novel, Bob, or Man on Boat (Dzanc Books), as well as three short books of short fiction. A new book of stories, We Make Mud, is forthcoming in 2011 from Dzanc. • Eugene Marten is the author of In the Blind (Turtle Point Press) and Waste (Ellipsis Press). He lives in Harlem. • Stephen-Paul Martin has published twenty-two books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. His most recent collections of fiction are Changing the Subject (forthcoming from Ellipsis Press in 2010) and The Possibility of Music (FC2). He teaches at San Diego State University. • Zachary Mason is a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence. The second edition of his first book, The Lost Books of the Odyssey, came out with Farrar, Straus and Giroux earlier this year. He lives in California. • Miranda Mellis is the author of The Revisionist (Calamari Press) and Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). She is an editor at the Encyclopedia Project, and lives and teaches in San Francisco. • Sara Michas-Martin’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Forklift, Ohio, Jubilat, Field, Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at Stanford and Goddard College. • Patrick Morrissey’s chapbook Transparency was published by Cannibal Books in 2009. He lives in New York. • Ryan Murphy is the author of Down with the Ship (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions) and The Redcoats (Krupskaya). • Eileen Myles lives in New York, though not this spring; right now, she’s in Montana. The Inferno, a novel about the hell of being a female poet, will be out very soon. • Bryson Newhart’s fiction has recently appeared in No Colony, Anemone Sidecar, Thieves Jargon, Lamination Colony, Sein und Werden, Defenestration, 5_trope, Caketrain, elimae, Tarpaulin Sky, The Dream People, and BDtDaEAtC. • Linnea Ogden is a teacher living in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in the chapbooks Another Limit (Projective Industries) and Long Weekend, Short Leash (Taproot Editions). • Cameron Paterson lives in North Carolina. His poems are forthcoming in Permafrost and California Quarterly. • Johannah Rodgers’s book sentences, a collection of short stories, essays, and drawings, was published by Red Dust in 2007. She teaches at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology and is a contributing editor at The Brooklyn Rail. • Joanna Ruocco co-edits Birkensnake, a fiction journal, and is the author of The Mothering Coven (Ellipsis Press). Her collection of short fictions, Man’s Companions, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky in 2010. • Elizabeth Sanger’s work has appeared in Conjunctions, Phoebe, Meridian, Touchstone, Past Simple, Typo, Verse Daily, Drunken Boat, and Saranac Review. She lives in Florida with cats. • Rob Schlegel is the author of The Lesser Fields, winner of the 2009 Colorado Prize for Poetry. New work is forthcoming in New American Writing and LEVELER. • Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Man Suit (Black Ocean) and Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean). His translations of Andrei Sen-Senkov have been published in Circumference, Mantis, and Aufgabe, among others. He lives in Portland and co-edits Octopus Books and Octopus Magazine. • Kate Schreyer lives in North Carolina. • Andrei Sen-Senkov, the author of eight books of poetry, was born in Tajikistan in 1968. He now lives in Moscow, where he is a medical doctor. • Brandon Shimoda’s collaborations, drawings, and poems have appeared in books and magazines, on magnetic tape and vinyl, on walls and online. He was born in the valley and lives now in the shadow of a chief hanged for murder. • Peter Jay Shippy is the author of Thieves’ Latin (University of Iowa Press), Alphaville (BlazeVOX Books), and How to Build the Ghost in Your Attic (Rose Metal Press). He teaches at Emerson College in Boston. • Joanna Sondheim’s chapbooks The Fit and Thaumatrope were published by Sona Books. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens. • Mathias Svalina is the author of Destruction Myth, published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center. • Bronwen Tate is the author of the chapbooks Souvenirs (Dusie), Like the Native Tongue the Vanquished (Cannibal Books), and Scaffolding (Dusie). She is a PhD candidate at Stanford University and can read and knit at the same time. • G.C. Waldrep is the author of Goldbeater’s Skin (Center for Literary Publishing), Disclamor (BOA Editions), and Archicembalo (Tupelo Press), which won the 2008 Dorset Prize. He lives in Lewisburg, Pa., and teaches at Bucknell University. • Derek White is the author of Marsupial, a novel. He runs Calamari Press, edits Sleepingfish magazine, and blogs at • Jared White’s chapbook of poems Yellowcake appeared in 2009 in the hand-sewn anthology Narwhal from Cannibal Books. He lives in Brooklyn. • Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of several books, most recently Selenography (with Polaroids by Califone’s Tim Rutili). He lives in Chicago and Athens, Ga. • Paul Winner’s work has appeared in Tin House, Maisonneuve, Seneca Review, and The Paris Review. • David Wirthlin is the author of Houndstooth (Spuyten Duyvil) and Your Disappearance (BlazeVOX Books). He is currently at work on a PhD from the University of Denver and is editor of smallHABITS.Michael Zeiss is a writer living in Woodside, Queens. He works as a consultant for non-profit organizations.• Leni Zumas is the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator (Open City). She has taught at the University of Massachusetts, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Hunter College, and Columbia University.

The Harp and Altar Anthology

ISBN 978-0-9637536-4-9 | Poetry & Fiction | 335 pages | $17 + shipping

Edited by Keith Newton and Eugene Lim

Also available through Small Press Distribution and Amazon.

About The Harp & Altar Anthology

Founded by Keith Newton in Brooklyn in 2006, Harp & Altar is an online journal and archive showcasing the best in poetry and innovative fiction. The work in this anthology was selected from the poetry and prose published in the first six issues, dating from the fall of 2006 to the spring of 2009. Although many contributions to Harp & Altar were unable to be published hereincluding criticism, reviews, translations, art, and photographyevery issue is fully archived at