When the Cicadas Return










The Cinnamon Bay Sonnets


The Complete Cinnamon Bay Sonnets
by Andrew Kaufman


"I love these poems. The exact origins of the sonnet, I believe, are lost in the mists of time, but anonymous got it right: 8--volta (voltage)--6. And so does Kaufman with these lush, tender, heart-shredding examples of the form sung at its finest register."

—Thomas Lux

Andrew Kaufman’s The Complete Cinnamon Bay Sonnets bear powerful witness to “the last loneliness” of the lost, the forsaken, the outcast, the humiliated, the downtrodden. Divided between the almost paradisiacal Virgin Islands and a New York City Central Booking cell, the poet offers his nightmare flashbacks/angelic visions. “Swimming in wonder,” deafened by “the screaming sirens of pure pain,” he evokes “the intifada of the heart.” “Yo! Professor,” his cellmates implore him, “We’re all sad. Tell us a poem.” Echoing the Psalmist’s “How can I sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”with brave urgency he responds : “I am here – and writing. Please listen.”

—L.S. Asekoff

“What I have always admired about Andrew Kaufman's poetry is how insistent he is about not settling for anything easy in his poems, and for how he stays with each poem until he's made it be the most that it can be.  His embrace of the English line in this collection is illustrative of the poet's deep insights into what prosody is and can be and should not be.  He understands too what all good metrical poets understand: that you don't sacrifice the language to satisfy the demands of the form; you do the opposite. The result is a funky music that seems to this reader as totally appropriate for our times. These sonnets are mini-dramas that link up to form the story of an American life told in rich, playful, deeply abiding language that sounds like the voices of our country, yet focuses specifically on a single incident and its ramifications.  Brilliant.”

—Bruce Weigl






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  The Complete Cinnmon Bay Sonnets - $15.00





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Andrew Kaufman grew up near NYC, graduated from Oberlin College, earned his MFA in poetry writing from Brooklyn College, and his MA and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto. His Cinnamon Bay Sonnets won the Center for Book Arts chapbook competition, and was followed by Earth's Ends, winner of the Pearl Poetry Award, and Both Sides of the Niger. His poems have appeared in numerous journals. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Poetry nominations and an NEA award. He has taught writing and literature at a number of colleges and universities, and has traveled extensively in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He currently lives in New York City.