The Publisher's Lunch series continues in February, this time turning to a local writer, Philip Iosca. The Publication Studio will be providing free copies of his collection, Ballad of the Sad Young Men, to everyone attending.

Ballad of the Sad Young Men
, true to it's title, chronicles the sadness of yearnings and sexuality. The poems are experiential, written from the middle of despair or happiness, curiosity or regret, while never flinching from the raw emotion at the poem's heart. They are desperate at times, and at their best surprisingly strong.

Hearing Iosca read his poems will be a unique treat. The words on the page often pace themselves with dexterous spacing and punctuation. He employs form, but not in obscure ways. A song-like repetition is common, and these are the poems I'm most interested in hearing read aloud, to see how the poet's voice brings emphasis to a repeated phrase, to see how it changes in meaning. While some of the poems are very, very short, the longer Bettona, Italy, which closes the collection, is an intense mini-epic, rendered with enough careful attention to leave the reader breathless.

Tickets to the meal/reading are available at the Publication Studio website.