back back
Roof Books
Roof Books
Titles Authors About Contact Us
Split the Stick: A Miniaturist-Divan SPLIT THE STICK: A MINIATURIST-DIVAN
by Mac Wellman

Mac Wellman associates his poetry with nonsense. But his new book Split the Stick goes beyond the political nonsense of Victorianism and leaves language to float untethered. Split the Stick links poetry with the fantastic writings of Islam and the motifs of Persian miniatures. Based mostly on a rhythmic design with little else but a center margin to ground them, Wellman’s designs leave the reader wondering what happened. Themes appear and disappear as his caravan of words winds through the landscape. Brilliant tropes flash in the darkness not to reappear for another 20 pages. Few poets have granted their work this much freedom and unfettered energy.

Mac Wellman's new collection of poetry is so singular, so original that there is no one writing poetry today quite like him. His fanciful, satirical world is filled with addresses to magical figures such as the silent Mahoon. They appear, as in his plays, in a language we can only slightly glimpse, as if the author were speaking from some alien planet. Leaves speak, things get "skyudgled" and fly away like "dead bats." It is a marvelous world which once you enter you will want to visit again and again.
Douglas Messerli

Three quarks for Muster Mac! No one splits the phonemic atoms of language with as much verve, energy, strange & colorful charm as Mac Wellman. If you want to experience the pleasures of 21st century lyric in all its polysemous perverse glory read Split the Stick!
L.S. Asekoff

Not aroused by language? Your troubles are over. In this brilliant saga about spear hunting, Jesus, and the common house cat, Mac Wellman once again proves that you don’t have to leave the safety of your own home to get that ebullient tingly feeling associated with raves and roller coasters.
Lisa Jarnot

Mac Wellman’s recent work includes 3 2's; or AFAR, directed by Meghan Finn at Dixon Place, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (with composer David Lang), and 1965 UU for performer Paul Lazar and directed by Stephen Mellor at the Chocolate Factory. He has received numerous honors, including NEA, Guggenheim, and Foundation of Contemporary Arts fellowships. He received his third Obie for Lifetime Achievement. His books include: Q's Q, a novel; A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds, a volume of stories; The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, a new collection of plays. His books of poetry include Miniature, Strange Elegies, and Left Glove. He is Distinguished Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College.

96 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-46-0
Publication date: March 2012


Order from Small Press Distribution

by Mac Wellman

From his miniaturist divan—a backless sofa with pillows; a counting room, tribunal or public audience room; a coffee house or smoking room—the inimitable Mac Wellman delivers his divan, a book of poems esp. one written (in Arabic or Persian) by a single author. Wellman’s cranky texts winging just over the cozies of the heads. Protesting without a nod to filibuster, preferring the zap to the slow gnawing away. Wouldn’t know had been stung until a swelling appears. He tunes his words with a fork and a spoon and sings shamelessly, singing, rhyming and timing, as if besotted on green eggs and ham. When working, he works against. When playing, he plays great. He divaricates. He buddies up. He sticks a straw in the hole on that hair of innocence that just won’t let go. So curious, Mr. Wellman remains, over what the tongue can do—having no bones. Bonus: a proper play at the end, Antigone no less. Not redux. As it as never been writ before.

109 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-03-3
Publication date: March 2002


Order from Small Press Distribution

by Mac Wellman

"Mac Wellman's poetry is an exuberant expedition into the mysteries locked inside words. Meaning slips and slides along the white-watersound-streams he navigates, catching and jolting at robust archaisms, liberated diacritics, and endlessly surprising figurations. Here, the elegiac tradition swerves from its pensive ways and pays playful and rigorous tribute to the syllabic micro-dramas that animate our lives"
- Una Chaudhuri

"I know of no one who knows more than Mac Wellman about the interstices between desire and nonsense, as well as those between the po-mo psyche's inevitable nihilistic impulses, and whatever the legacy left by our prehensile ancestors, those comic apes staring out of the frame with their classic bananas. These poems are heady fragmented forays into thatuncharted territory. Poetry needs Mac Wellman the way fiction once needed Swift and Pynchon"
- Mary Jo Bang

80 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-16-3
Publication date: November 2005


Order from Small Press Distribution

Segue Foundation   ·  300 Bowery   · New York, NY 10012   ·   ·  +1.212.353.0555