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Steve Mueske launches Slower Than Stars and will be joined by Arizona poet Jefferson Carter

Steve Mueske

Steve Mueske’s second poetry collection, Slower Than Stars is a June 1, 2014, release from Ravenna Press a literary press in Washington State.

Steve Mueske is a poet and electronic musician residing in Savage, Minnesota, with his wife and two daughters. His poetry has beenpublished in numerous journals as well as several anthologies, including Best New Poets. His books include A Mnemonic for Desire (2006) and the chapbook Whatever the Story Requires (2004). Eight years in the making, the poems in Slower Than Stars span fifteen years of Mueske’s life.

Taking up where A Mnemonic for Desire left off, with a song “forming out of nothing,” Slower Than Stars is by turns playful, irreverent, surreal, and deeply lyrical. His poems, often philosophical, are informed by writers such as Kafka, Joyce, and Nietzsche; artists Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, Man Ray, and Jan Groover; as well as the work of poets, photographers, and musicians. One moment, the coyote and the sheep dog are employed as adversaries in a poem about “the death of love.” Another moment, a factory worker is busy packaging shadows. But Mueske has a serious side as well: whether writing about the extinction of the black rhino, his personal battle with depression and suicidal ideations, the early lives of his children, or the pain of watching a loved one succumb to dementia, he opens himself up to the reader with an artful transparency.

“Always surprising, always delighting in the luminescence of the uncanny, Steve Mueske’s Slower than Stars is a wonder,” said one reviewer. 

Jefferson Carter

Jefferson Carter has lived in Tucson since 1953. He taught full-time at Pima Community College, the Downtown Campus, for thirty years, his last eighteen as Writing Department Chair.  Currently, he is a passionate volunteer for Sky Island Alliance, a local environmental organization.

Over the years, Jefferson has been a well-respected figure on the Tucson and Phoenix poetry scenes. He’s regularly performed in local reading series, including the Lamplight readings and the Cushing Street Poetry Series; he’s also read at the University of Arizona Poetry Center and for POG, an experimental poetry group he’s a member of.  He was a featured reader at the Tucson Poetry Festival in 2007 and at the Tucson Festival of Books in 2009, 2012, and 2013. 

Jefferson’s work has appeared in journals like Carolina Quarterly, Shenandoah, Cream City Review, New Poets of the American West, and Barrow Street.  In 1991, he won a Pima/Tucson Arts Council Fellowship.  His fourth chapbook, Tough Love, won the Riverstone Poetry Press award. Chax Press (Tucson) published Sentimental Blue in 2007, My Kind of Animal in 2010, and Get Serious: New and Selected Poems, which was named a Southwest Best Book of 2013 by the Tucson/Pima County Public Library.

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