The White House

Joel Craig

Introduction by John Beer


Joel Craig’s poems first reach out with quiet Midwestern sincerity–precise craft mixed with personal invention–but quickly thicken: “Let me try to lay out what I think I understand” leads to “Las Vegas / and the end of Western history.” Ethical without being political, popular without being pop, personal without being sentimental, Craig sings of how we are “stuck near a river / [we] can feel the evidence of / but can’t imagine.” Filled with elegies to aging rock ‘n’ rollers, explorations of skipping romance, and studied frustration with the world as it appears (and a sincere belief that quiet hands, by themselves, can change it), Craig’s book doesn’t so much demand as much as call out to the reader, in sequence like an all-night deejay party, with time to dance, time to rest, time to go to the bar and get a refill, or outside for a quick cigarette, hitting on someone on the way back in, hoping to strut, step and swing with them. Within the larger edition of 500, 125 copies of The White House come with silk screen dust jackets. Dust jacket copies are available for $20 (follow the link below), or you can pick up a regular copy for $15 by going here.

“Odd to find a book of poems whose range of subject matter and modality is this
palatial. Odder still to find no muddy effect or signs of cannibalism among the
poems. Perhaps most odd is the central realization conceived, tested, and by lyric
authority summoned in this gorgeous book—treating one another decently not only
strengthens the intuitive forces and enlarges one’s capacity to make and hear music,
it also just makes for a hipper scene. In so far as that’s true for civilization is another
subject Joel Craig is happy to float, spin, beseech, and entertain at this late hour.”

—Peter Richards (author of Helsinki)

Cover art by: Sonnenzimmer

Design by: Sonnenzimmer




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About the Authors

Joel Craig

JOEL CRAIG lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He co-founded and curates the Danny’s Reading Series, and is the poetry editor for MAKE: A Literary Magazine.