New Book: ‘Pressed Against All That Nothing’

You’ll find very few references to my own work on this blog–partially because I don’t think my own work should be the focus, and also because I generally dislike self-promotion. At the gentle urging of my editor, and because I believe in the work in this book, I am sharing it here.

This is my first collection of poems: Pressed Against All That Nothing, from Yak Press (2015), and it’s now available for sale from the Yak Press website, and also from Amazon. It may also soon be making its way into ebook formats, which is exciting.

As I said before, I’m not a big self-promoter, which is probably to my detriment, but I do stand behind my little book. So if you’re interested in poetry, especially poetry that engages with landscape and family, consider picking up a copy. Also, if you or someone you know would be interested in reviewing the book for a magazine/journal, feel free to contact Yak Press for a copy.

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I could say more about the poems in this book, but these folks do a much better job:

Pressed Against All That Nothing navigates landscapes—both geographical and fraternal, physical and metaphysical. Set against an unmistakable California backdrop where the desert is spotted with Joshua Trees, tumbleweeds appear “like diodes across resistors,” and the Los Angeles Correctional Facility—the ever-present Twin Towers—looms as a door to an inescapable chthonic journey, these poems forage. He writes of how to reach a brother through all that darkness when ‘Your dark has teeth.’

Cody Deitz understands something about interiority—that ‘the subconscious is always a terrain’—and he fluidly moves between the psychic space of the shared dark and that brighter horizon where ‘the sun becomes the symbol it always wanted to be, / that slippery metaphor for god, shooting into the well’s eye.’ These are poems of addiction, recovery, fraternal love, and a Ginsberg-like faith that there is salvation in poetry. The genius of Cody Deitz is in his intimate, meditative act of witness, far-seeing yet detailed. He offers an undeniably unifying force of human spirit where we learn the pain and possibility of ‘unmaking. . .the terrible.’ Like the ‘steel refrigerator / with its cord buried in dirt,’ these poems, too, seem ‘plugged. . .into the world.’ ”     ~ Leilani Hall, author of Swimming the Witch

“Cody Deitz’s collection documents a brother’s disappearance into addiction, a black hole around which the family spins. After stints in prison, psych care, and rehab, he reemerges barely recognizable — a figure that, like Zeno’s paradox, the speaker can never fully reach, ‘the idea of progress // suddenly unfathomable.’ These events are embodied and presented in vivid, resonant details: Joshua trees, shoe prints in desert sand, the mouths of empty Marlboro packs, the crackle of a prison telephone. In his precise and yet discursive verse, Deitz’s poetic attention is ‘More than turning on a light—it’s becoming // the bulb and the switch and the finger. . .’ ”     ~ Heidi Czerwiec, author of Self-Portrait as Bettie Page and A is for A-ké, The Chinese Monster

“Cody Deitz’ work is a live wire snaking over the asphalt of lyrical poetry, though the hum of his words never rises above the electric din: instead, it is the reader who reverberates with recognition in the mechanical ghost Deitz creates out of his stark architecture. The invisible cord of his words will become a nightlight in a forever-darkening sky, will conduct electricity against this fleeting urban solitude. His poetry is a voice that both reassures from the hallway and echoes back to you in a strange rhythm, as you lay safe and pressed against all that nothing.”     ~ Gina Alexandra, MFA candidate, UCSD

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