Four Seasons Press

Four Seasons Press Breathe life into forgotten treasure; unearth lost gem; introduce different cultures; give voices to underdogs. These are our publishing interests.

A Call in the Midst of the Crowd, a collection of poems by Alfred Corn, first published by Penguin in 1978. After a series of opening lyrics, comes the title poem, an autobiographical sequence in four parts, following the seasons during a year in New York. Interspersed among the poems are prose excerpts about the geology, history, structure, and fine arts of the city. Literary comments drawn from authors including Whitman, James, Wharton, Stevens, Crane, Lorca. Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, and Frank O'Hara. In the appendix to his book "The Western Canon" Harold Bloom placed this volume on his list of twentieth century works that he regards as candidates to be included in the permanent canon of modern Western poetry. Four Seasons Press is proud to publish old books in ebook form for today's readers. Such is our mission.

Perhaps We'll Meet in this Poem by Rong Rong
07/11/2019

Perhaps We'll Meet in this Poem by Rong Rong

New in paperback.This collection of thirty-six poems introduces Alfred Corn as a poet of rare and enduring quality. As a...
07/11/2019
All Roads at Once

New in paperback.
This collection of thirty-six poems introduces Alfred Corn as a poet of rare and enduring quality. As a group, the poems read something like the logbook of a voyage, a quest for the self, for a world habitable to spirit, and for an art adequate to experience. The culminating poems of the book is “Pages from a Voyage,” a masterly contemporary appropriation of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle. The rich formal diversity of All Roads at Once is matched by the variety of its observed locales—France, Italy, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest; the urban landscape of New York City (“Waterfront in Winter,” “In Duane Square”), as well as the natural (“October,” “Promised Land Valley”). In poems such as “Chinese Porcelains at the Metropolitan,” “The Bridge,” and “An Oregon Journal,” the poet measures the life-giving potential of the present against touchstones of the past—personal and cultural—and an imagined future. The book concludes with an exuberant sense of roads still to be taken: “So many minds to become, events to be/Beheld, the heart of matter through which a conditional/World springs colored, solid, seizes there.” Presenting a world that has been compellingly seen, felt, and thought, these poems mark the debut of a poet who is among the finest of his generation. “The poems in this beautiful first volume are meditations on time, in a contemporary urban setting. Alfred Corn tracks the elusive present through the forest of particulars of ‘daily’ life. This is a brilliant beginning.” —John Ashbery

This collection of thirty-six poems introduces Alfred Corn as a poet of rare and enduring quality. As a group, the poems read something like the logbook of a voyage, a quest for the self, for a world habitable to spirit, and for an art adequate to experience. The culminating poems of the book is ...

Now in Paperback, signed by author, only a few copies left. Order now.This limited edition signed by author includes onl...
07/11/2019
A Call in the Midst of the Crowd

Now in Paperback, signed by author, only a few copies left. Order now.
This limited edition signed by author includes only the second part of the original first edition. It brings us the title poem, an autobiographical sequence that revolves with the seasons against the monumental background of New York City. Here exquisitely worked poetic sections of alternate with firsthand accounts -- journalistic, historical, literary -- evoking significant moments in the city's history. The resonances set up between past and present add an extra dimension to the poem and contribute to the interplay between the archetypal and the autobiographical, the historical and the personal, the past and the present.

This limited edition signed by author includes only the second part of the original first edition. It brings us the title poem, an autobiographical sequence that revolves with the seasons against the monumental background of New York City. Here exquisitely worked poetic sections of alternate with...

Very pleased to announce that two books by Fan Zeng in English are now available on Amazon.com
11/10/2018
On the Art of Chinese Painting

Very pleased to announce that two books by Fan Zeng in English are now available on Amazon.com

A master of Chinese painting and calligraphy, Fan Zeng is also a renowned scholar of Chinese classics and a poet. He holds numerous distinguished positions, including an endowed chair at Peking University, President of Chinese Painting Research Institute, Honorary Doctorate from the University of...

Now available on Amazon.com
11/10/2018
Laozi and Zhuangzi: An Attentive Interpretation

Now available on Amazon.com

A master of Chinese painting and calligraphy, Fan Zeng is also a renowned scholar of Chinese classics and a poet. He holds numerous distinguished positions, including an endowed chair at Peking University, President of Chinese Painting Research Institute, Honorary Doctorate from the University of...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0996283595 Now in paperback on Amazon.com
10/27/2018
My Zanzibar Revolution, a Memoir

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0996283595 Now in paperback on Amazon.com

At the age of twenty, Peter Rand flunked out of college, left his comfortable home in California, crossed the ocean, and roamed the world to pursue his destiny as a writer. In Africa, this young drifter, an inexperienced stringer for the New York Herald Tribune, stumbled into revolution. He was l...

Now in paperback on Amazon.com
10/27/2018
All Roads at Once

Now in paperback on Amazon.com

This collection of thirty-six poems introduces Alfred Corn as a poet of rare and enduring quality. As a group, the poems read something like the logbook of a voyage, a quest for the self, for a world habitable to spirit, and for an art adequate to experience. The culminating poems of the book is ...

Now in paperback on Amazon.com
10/27/2018
Perhaps We'll Meet in This Poem

Now in paperback on Amazon.com

Rong Rong is the pen name of Chu Peirong. Born in February, 1964, in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China, graduated from the Chemistry Department of Zhejiang Normal University in 1984. Having worked as a teacher and government clerk, she is currently the editor-in-chief of a literary magazine t...

We're proud to be the publisher of Fan Zeng's second book in English, Laozi and Zhuangzi: an Attentive Interpretation. M...
10/25/2018

We're proud to be the publisher of Fan Zeng's second book in English, Laozi and Zhuangzi: an Attentive Interpretation. Mr. Fan Zeng is the author of more than 150 books, of which about 130 books are in the collections of the National Library of China.

We're proud to publish this collection of poems by Rong Rong.
08/22/2018
Perhaps We'll Meet in This Poem: Selected Poems by Rong Rong

We're proud to publish this collection of poems by Rong Rong.

Rong Rong is the pen name of Chu Peirong. Born in February, 1964 in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China, graduated from the Chemistry Department of Zhejiang Normal University in 1984. Having worked as a teacher and government clerk, she is currently the editor-in-chief of a literary magazine ti...

http://www.alfredcorn.com/audio-video.html
01/23/2018
Alfred Corn in readings and lectures

http://www.alfredcorn.com/audio-video.html

Characters treading not quite level pineBoards number, first, Carafe, who’s sweating beadsOf coolant on her Delft-blue leaves and birds.Then enter Sirloin, crusty, rare, supine,Giving his aromatic agonyAway in pink tears drained into the darkPlatter’s symmetrically branching tree.Sharp Knife sta...

Coming soon from Four Seasons Press...On the Art of Chinese Painting by Fan Zeng
06/12/2017

Coming soon from Four Seasons Press...On the Art of Chinese Painting by Fan Zeng

02/18/2017

Poetry in Translation

10/09/2016
Alfred Corn: Roads Taken

Alfred Corn: Roads Taken

Since the first book of poems, All Roads at Once was published in 1976, Alfred Corn has published twelve books of poems; two novels, titled Part of His Story...

Literary Partners Program presents: Roads Taken: A Celebration of Alfred Corn | Poets House
09/24/2016
Literary Partners Program presents: Roads Taken: A Celebration of Alfred Corn | Poets House

Literary Partners Program presents: Roads Taken: A Celebration of Alfred Corn | Poets House

Since the first book of poems, All Roads at Once was published in 1976, Alfred Corn has published twelve books of poems; two novels, titled Part of His Story and Miranda’s Book; two collections of essays; and The Poem’s Heartbeat, a study of prosody. Fellowships for his poetry include the Guggenheim...

Four Seasons Press
09/05/2016

Four Seasons Press

Four Seasons Press's cover photo
09/05/2016

Four Seasons Press's cover photo

07/22/2016
Audio/Video

click to hear the poet read his poems.

Roving packs you eel your way through pay no mind to what must, if they see,look like a shadow loping along alone,now slowing, stopping for the misted warmthetched panes suffuse in the Hound and Rose's matchedbilateral doors. Ale glow that lights up halfof the fatman's baldpate football head,left pa...

An excerpt from BITTERSWEET, a novel by Leslie LiChapter 2 The Miracle (1893)By her fourth year, Bittersweet was already...
07/01/2016

An excerpt from BITTERSWEET, a novel by Leslie Li

Chapter 2 The Miracle (1893)

By her fourth year, Bittersweet was already too spirited for her father to look after her. Finger games and short walks with him no longer satisfied her, so she habitually led him to the rice paddies where her mother and thirteen-year-old brother plowed and planted the flooded fields. Might, she suggested, she do what they were doing? Later, she would plead for the pins, needle, and thread that her nine-year-old sister used to mend the family's cloth shoes. She would pull her father's hand, so she could follow her seven-year-old sister who gathered rushes and duckweed at the river bank. Her six-year-old sister was finally put in charge of looking after Bittersweet. By the time she was five, Bittersweet was carrying dry grass and firewood to the stove and watching the fire to make sure it didn't go out.
To be continued...
BITTERSWEET is available on Amazon.com
Photo by Joanne Wang

05/09/2016

Poetry in Translation

Four Seasons Press's cover photo
04/26/2016

Four Seasons Press's cover photo

ANTARCTIC---a poem by Alfred Corn Polar, antipodean, the father Kingpenguin would (if penguins did) think of us as bodie...
03/12/2016

ANTARCTIC
---a poem by Alfred Corn

Polar, antipodean, the father King
penguin would (if penguins did) think of us
as bodies hanging downside up, footsoles
adhering to the planet’s inhospitable, broiling half.

Pinfeathers glossy-smooth as ermine, the lower
part of his dinner suit can incubate
an oval solid, resting on black talons—
one blood-warm venture left to him in trust
the morning mother brooders metronomed
off on their way to ice brinks overland.
Instinct and hunger pushed them, plunged
their flock into resounding tanks of turquoise brine
to gulp a cache of fish for transport home.
....
The entire poem is published in the collection of TABLES, available on Amazon.com
Photo from The Winged Migration

An excerpt from BITTERSWEET, a novel by Leslie LiChapter 1 Small Happiness (1889)Lao Li's wife slipped out the back door...
02/29/2016

An excerpt from BITTERSWEET, a novel by Leslie Li

Chapter 1 Small Happiness (1889)

Lao Li's wife slipped out the back door of her house. She paused on the threshold, tilting her head to one side, listening for the snores of her husband. Hearing the sounds, deep and rhythmic, she grabbed the shovel in the lime shed, scurried along the back wall of the hutong, turned the corner of the narrow alleyway and leaned against the rain-splashed bricks.
She had done a terrible thing, and now, in the darkest part of night, she was trying to make amends before the gods grew even angrier with her. Weren't the claps of thunder from their hands? Weren't the bolts of lightning that they threw down, illuminating her crime, proof of their anger? Then again, Lao Li's wife thought, they had sent the wind and rain to muffle the sound of her shovel. They had sent a moonless night to help conceal her crime. And so, now, as she dug behind the house, the blade of the shovel sliding easily into the rain-softened earth, she alternately begged forgiveness of the gods and thanked them for their mercy. Once, she cocked her head, fearing a baying of dogs which might rouse the villagers, then she remembered the dogs had disappeared years ago during the famine and had never reappeared. She resumed her digging.
To be continued...
BITTERSWEET is available on Amazon.com
Photo: JW

Mu Xin Museum, Wuzhen, China
02/28/2016

Mu Xin Museum, Wuzhen, China

Toming: Do you like to be called a writer in exile? If you are one, can you compare yourself to writers in exile from ot...
02/25/2016

Toming: Do you like to be called a writer in exile? If you are one, can you compare yourself to writers in exile from other countries?

Mu Xin: Joyce said that being in exile is his aesthetics. I believe that aesthetics is my exile: I refer to the infinite traveling in the conceptual world, in which each one of us is given our own share of fate. Homesickness is unavoidable; it is a matter of what attitude we have toward it. The homesickness of philosophy, for example, is the interest in theology. The homesickness of literature is the interest in humanity. When someone's homesickness is excessive, he is no more than a homemade clod. If you ask me why I left China, it's just that I went for a stroll and strolled too far away.
---An excerpt from Mu Xin: The Literary Odyssey, available on Amazon.com
Photo by Li Gang

“Once on Zanzibar, I quickly formed a feeling of familiarity with the place and the people. The town was a warren of nar...
02/24/2016

“Once on Zanzibar, I quickly formed a feeling of familiarity with the place and the people. The town was a warren of narrow streets that ran between high walls of houses with dark, heavy wood doors ornamented with fixtures of gleaming brass, or cool doorways that opened onto cool interiors, and open spaces of bright tropical trees and lush green foliage. The atmosphere was swollen with heat, and sensual, and busy with wild birds of exotic blues and reds and yellows, dipping and flying high, crying as they went, noisy with the sounds of shouting brown barefoot boys, bicycle bells, honking horns. The air was thick with the smell of curry, herbs, fish, sweet food, garlic. Sometimes you heard wailing music. It was humid and languorous, but also electric: There was a promise to all the color and noise and bustle, anticipation among the restless humid bodies that seemed to go unrealized. You got up every day with a sense of expectancy, and every night you went to bed somehow unfulfilled. It was a place ripe with conspiracies that died on the vine.”---An excerpt from My Zanzibar Revolution, a memoir by Peter Rand, available on Amazon.com

Happy birthday to our author Peter Rand.
02/24/2016

Happy birthday to our author Peter Rand.

At the age of twenty, Peter Rand dropped out of college, left his comfortable home in California, crossed the ocean, and roamed the world to pursue his destiny as a writer. This photo was taken in Africa.

"God knows how many books and how many readers of the Old Republican era have been destroyed. Mu Xin’s life had been wit...
02/19/2016

"God knows how many books and how many readers of the Old Republican era have been destroyed. Mu Xin’s life had been witness to an increasingly violent series of cultural cracks. Mu Xin refused to be displaced by the cracks and actually maintained continuity. This is the underlying background of my book. Caught in the intervals of countless such breakdowns, sometimes surviving in between the cracks, sometimes managing to avoid the cracks, and sometimes surviving beyond the cracks, Mu Xin had managed to keep his footing right in the middle of world literature."---Chen Danqing, an excerpt from Mu Xin: the Literary Odyssey, available on Amazon.com
Oil Painting by Chen Danqing

"By the time Bittersweet and her two companions reached the outer gate of Dragon's Head, the villagers were already on t...
02/16/2016

"By the time Bittersweet and her two companions reached the outer gate of Dragon's Head, the villagers were already on their way to market or milling about their doorways. They all knew why she was traveling that day, and they wished her a pleasant journey. As she answered them with words of thanks and farewell, she realized she was already homesick for the hutongs, the rice paddies, the limestone peaks, and the green river of her husband's village, and she was already anxious about being a simple rustic in a big city." ---An excerpt from Leslie Li's novel "Bittersweet", available on Amazon.com
Photo via Internet

ON THE BEACHIn this darkwill we know each other the North Starchanges its mindAnd strands of cloud go with the driftof p...
02/11/2016

ON THE BEACH

In this dark
will we know each other
the North Star
changes its mind

And strands of cloud
go with the drift
of prevailing currents
no answer comes forward

It may be the tide
will turn bringing
the barest outline
a remembered form

Enduring a world of water
I keep dreams company waiting
for the stars to wheel in place
as image story future

-----A poem by Alfred Corn from ALL ROADS AT ONCE
Photo by Joanne Wang

An excerpt from CHINA HANDS by Peter Rand"It was a great walled city of the plain, a terminus for camel caravans from th...
02/10/2016

An excerpt from CHINA HANDS by Peter Rand
"It was a great walled city of the plain, a terminus for camel caravans from the Gobi Desert. “The autumn days were glorious in Peking,” Helen Snow wrote.9 In the winter, sometimes it snowed. Then, for a time, it glittered icy and brilliant white in the winter sun below a deep blue dome of sky. At night the city was still and silent under the vast and starry heavens."
Photo: Temple of Heaven by JW, Nov. 2015

Four Seasons Press
02/10/2016

Four Seasons Press

Mu Xin said: "I Ching, (The Book of Changes) was all but a pack of pitiful schemes and calculations of a suffering, disa...
01/22/2016

Mu Xin said: "I Ching, (The Book of Changes) was all but a pack of pitiful schemes and calculations of a suffering, disaster-stricken nation. Wisdom of the weak. The same for The Art of War. When weak, one has to calculate. Look at the Westerners fighting in a battle in the old days, he said: a platoon is lined up in a square, one row falls, another row moves forward. Row after row dies, the drumbeat never dies. As he was saying this, a laugh broke out of him." An excerpt from Mu Xin, the Literary Odyssey

Chen Danqing: "I would really like to know if there is any other person who has ever talked about writers the way that M...
01/22/2016

Chen Danqing: "I would really like to know if there is any other person who has ever talked about writers the way that Mu Xin did. I would like to know of anyone who, in any other country, treated the history of literature in this fashion. How I wish that writers in other countries could have come and listened to the way that Mu Xin was talking about them. They can never know that this person never stopped talking to them, making suggestions, asking questions, pushing them into a corner. Likewise, they will never realize how this person sang their praises over and over again. And even less will they know that this same person, with the guile and empathy of a Chinese old man, saw through their secret pain and had even badmouthed them." ---An excerpt from Mu Xin: the Literary Odyssey
Photo: Mu Xin in Central Park, New York, 1993

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