In A Public Place by J. R. Solonche


These short poems are an extraordinary amalgam of wit, close observation, humor and clear-seeing. Each one singles out and illuminates an ordinary moment – ordinary, that is, until the poet explodes into a miniature epiphany. Easy of access and frequently profound, J.R. Solonche’s poems induce in me a state of delighted surprise. —Chase Twichell


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 56
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: August, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-53-4


J.R. Solonche can pack so much humor and linguistic playfulness into such tight bundles, it feels like 1,000 clowns issuing from a VW Bug. He can also fit a lot of darkness and mortality into them, which feels more like 1,000 clowns dressed like Marilyn Mason issuing from a VW Bug. Solonche can be crass the way only the truthful can be, mischievous as a child with his hands in the honey jar, or even aphoristic and proverbial like a modern day Martial. Though you never know which Solonche you’re going to encounter on the next page, he’s a great bunch of guys to get to know. —Stephen Cramer 

Sample one by one these epigrammatic, epiphenomenal, Epicurean episodes as if they were puffs from a tower of pastry. Savor the zest of lemon, the pinch of sea salt, the dollop of crème fraiche, and the absence of any more sugar than necessary to ease the ingestion of truth. A feast for fanatics of language and lovers of pith. I’m not sure what pith is, but I know it when I see it. —Sarah White



So here I am in the parking
lot of the shopping mall,
the fourth best place to write
a poem, after the garret in
the hotel on Montmartre,
after the round tower
of the medieval castle on
the Irish coast, after any prison
cell anywhere. It is a big
parking lot, and the sky over
it is a big sky, big as a continent
with its own mountains and
cities and rivers and plains
of cloudy wheat. The sky
is bigger than the sky you
would see from the garret,
from the tower, from
any prison cell anywhere.


J. R. SoloncheJ.R. Solonche is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions),  Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today & Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions),  True Enough  (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), The Time of Your Life (forthcoming April 2020 from Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (forthcoming 2020 from Deerbrook Editions), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.

Additional information

Weight 4.2 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in