Advance Praise


"Carry Each His Burden is all muscle and brine, and stories about artists as thieves and hunters, meth heads and blue collar guys all of whose mistakes and poor decisions compound on one another inviting not just further mistakes and poor decisions, but revenge, and death, always death by someone's hand other than their own, but not always that either, not totally. They are stories about loss and being men, though not good men certainly. These men are id and ego, roughness, and reminiscent of the men Andre Dubus the elder, definitely, and maybe even the III as well, sketched so well and in such a nuanced way. Carry Each His Burden is lived-in and alive and I greatly look forward for what is to come."

- Ben Tanzer, author of You Can Make Him Like You

"Visceral, palpable, the language sinuous, with the weight of bone and muscle, poetic, these stories  draw me in.  Sentences never leave a chance untaken to surprise with imagery and fresh thought. The collection delves into the depths of where being human can take us; beautiful, painterly, transcendent, devastatingly ruthless."

~ Tantra Bensko, author/editor, Lucid Membrane

"James is an extraordinary writer and this is a profoundly moving, challenging and 'smack-across-the-face' provocative collection of work. I read hundreds of stories a month; James' work stays with you and just won't let go."

~ Randy Becker, President, NexTv Entertainment

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"Every once in a while, one is fortunate to come across a writer whose words grab and then shake you, take you back to your own memories, and your only frustration is that you can't convey them with such eloquence."

~ Anne Serling, author of  As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling

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"James Goertel’s With No Need for a Name ebbs back from the clang and din of 'plugged in' America to the mists and nights and star fires of life lived by Lake Erie shore and in the earths and waters of existence mythically evoked in silent recollection.  This book has the courage to move far away from 'the madding crowd' on to carefully considered inscape mated to landscape mated to skyscape.  Yes, this is a contemplative collection of poems in a non-contemplative era… of poetry exquisitely allusive and musical.  James Goertel has succeeded in conveying with human language what he refers to in Still 79, his images and tropes embodying Animal language/built upon hair standing on end, the smell of/slightly-brushed-against pine.  How grateful I am for this extraordinary book woven with quietness and tenderness, passion and compassion… and wise love.  I suggest reading With No Need for a Name aloud before ebbing away into Dreamtime."

Susan Deer Cloud,
recipient of NEA & NYFA Poetry Fellowships

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"James Goertel's poetry collection, Self Portrait, reaches for the mirror not just as a means of reflection and introspection, but also for the purpose of turning it on the world around him.
The poems invite us into the frame - ask us to stand a moment along with him, between
the words on the page and the landscape beyond them.

~ Tim Johnston, editor, Short Story America

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"In Oh Mercy, James Goertel explores the tender folds of his brain in an
attempt to get us --humanity-- to better understand our own. And more than that,
he succeeds. This book is a fragile, brilliant, and incredibly moving collection."

~ Mathieu Cailler, author of Loss Angeles