Open Books Poetry Bookstore
Presents the Book Release Reading for

by Lana Hechtman Ayers
At the Car Wash
by Arthur Russell

Saturday September 9th
12 Noon Pacific Time
3 PM East Coast Time

Register at EventBrite
for the Zoom Link

Hosted by Michael Tager

Michael B. Tager is a Baltimore-based editor and writer. He is the Managing Editor of Mason Jar Press, an independent publisher of high-quality books. Publications include jmww, Uncharted Mag, Necessary Fiction, Hobart, and Barrelhouse, among others. Michael is also a freelance publicist, editor and writer. Think about dropping him a line with work or praise. He likes both equally.

Overtures by Lana Hechtman Ayers

“Lana Hechtman Ayers’ Overtures is capacious and lyrical, a compendium of poems that showcase her imagination and her empathy, her attention to the small miracles of daily life, the passage of time, the natural world, as well as to the disorientation bred of our disconnection from the real, the ancient, the sacred. It includes fables and fairytales and homages to other poets, from Pablo Neruda to Wallace Stevens to Mary Oliver. As a collection, it is ample and generous; the poet tells the story of her life, which could be yours, by way of what she insistently, almost obsessively, observes and records. And while you ‘can’t erase / what has already happened,’ she reminds us, in poems like these, at least, ‘Your life flows back to you.’” 
    —Cecilia Woloch, author of Tsigan

Winter on the Yaquina

The river’s a mirror of sky, 
blistered white, 
and bare Alder branches spell out 
what can only be uttered 
by chattering teeth.

Even the grass under foot stone cold, 
dew frozen as the tears of fallen angels.

Cat mama, dog mama, sky-watcher, recovering coffee-addict, former New Yorker Lana Hechtman Ayers writes in a room over the garage. Her work appears in such places as Rattle, The London Reader, Peregrine, The MacGuffin, and Verse Daily. Author of eight full-length poetry collections, the most recent are: When All Else Fails (May 2023) and Overtures (September 2023). In 2024, her ninth collection, The Autobiography of Rain, will be released by Fernwood Press.

Lana also delves into romantic time travel fiction and mystery. She leads generative writing workshops in the Amherst method, helps poets assemble their own collections, facilitates a Zoom Poetry Book Club, and manages three small poetry presses where she’s fostered over 100 books in the world. Lana spends entirely too many hours watching HGTV and solving cryptograms with her spouse in Newport, Oregon, a town famous for its barking sea lions.

Visit Lana's Website:

At the Car Wash by Arthur Russell

In his chapbook, At the Car Wash, Arthur Russell investigates and cross-examines his experiences growing up and working in his family’s small business, a car wash located in Brooklyn, New York. The poems find their center in the physical plant, the men who work there, and the family relationships, particularly Russell’s relationship with his father, who was the inventor of the conveyorized car wash and the owner of the business. The poems are often unsparingly frank, such as “How to Replace a Toilet,” and sometimes surprisingly lyrical, such as “Mom Would Be a Cardinal.” Always, however, the poems find their evocative power and resonance in Russell’s willingness to drill down deeply into the minutiae of everyday life in an unquestionably unromantic setting and to find both beauty and belonging. As he says in the final line of “The Jetty,” the final poem in the book—“I will never leave this place.”


Before the Automatic Car Wash Association, 
ACWA for short, was taken over 
by R. R. (Gus) Trantham, doing my father 
out of a shot at the presidency, 

the logo for the association featured 
Neptune with a Trident, long hair 
dripping, as though risen from the sea, 
while in his palm, a Ford Fairlane gleamed.

Arthur Russell is the winner of the 2023 Rattle Chapbook Prize, as well as the 2023 Fractured Lit Flash Fiction Prize, the second-place winner of the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Prize, and of Brooklyn Poet’s Poem of the Year for 2015, and he was the runner up for the same prize in 2021. He has received fellowships from Syracuse University’s creative writing program and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His poems and stories have appeared in Copper Nickel and Glimmer Train among many other publications. He is one of the directors of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets of Rutherford, New Jersey where he co-leads their weekly workshops, co- hosts their monthly reading series and co-edits their annual journal.

Visit Arthur on Brooklyn Poets