On October 1, 2013 my new book of poems and photos, Pocket Park, was published by Marsh Hawk Press! I've contemplated a tiny urban park, adjacent to the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan, in all four seasons—during lunch hours—with pocket camera and journal. You can buy it here or here.
Advance praise for Pocket Park:
"Like the tiny park from which Claudia Carlson took her inspiration—a place both embedded in its busy urban environment and set apart from it by the book covers of buildings—this book creates a space where poems rhyme with the gorgeous photographs that surround them, where the sensibility of the poet-photographer interacts with the world itself, and where the grateful reader can linger with quiet pleasure among birds, trees, words, buildings, people, rain, snow, a giant television, and that singular cast of reflected urban sunlight."
— Jeffrey Harrison, author of Incomplete Knowledge
"'For something to be interesting,' says Flaubert, 'you just have to look at it long enough.' And for a pocket park to be interesting, you just have to open this book and follow Claudia Carlson through four seasons of lunch hours...Amid sparrows on picnics and ordinary New Yorkers brandishing their sandwiches, you'll see Icarus fly by on a skateboard and watch Persephone disappear into the concrete cavern of a parking structure."
— Sarah White, author of Alice Ages and Ages
"In this superb photo-poetry splurge, Carlson captures what’s diverse and divine in the daily thrum of the tidy, urban park next to her office. She elegantly subverts the routine of her job’s lunch-break, with an anything-but-routine vision. Carlson’s generous and precise interpretation of a glimpse teaches us to seek infinite nuances in what’s most familiar. Her gift for detail is alarmingly pleasing. If she looks at your face 50 times, you can bet she’ll never see the same nose twice."
— Flash Rosenberg, photographer, cartoonist, writer, performer, and Artist in Residence for LIVE from the New York Public Library
"Claudia Carlson's' second collection, Pocket Park, captures the iconic in everyday life as it unfolds within the dimensions of a park in midtown Manhattan. In this reflecting pool surrounded by skyscrapers, poems embedded in photographic images read the seasonal clock. It's as if instead of the abundant Chinese landscape at Mirror Lake, Tu Fu were faced with trees inserted into concrete "like hair plugs," and "Two Yorkies tied to a lamppost" copulating rapidly—a version of nature in which awe and redemption are replaced by irony and absence. Carlson evokes a mood throughout that is haunted by longing, Persephone "craving the sexy bad other/ that isn't mother" where the underworld has become a parking lot and the winter wind "bangs the empty/brick singing bowl". These poems harvest remarkable observations of a threshold world with the timeless essence of a twelve bar blues."
— Paul Pines, author of Last Call at the Tin Palace and Divine Madness
"Claudia Carlson's new book Pocket Park sparkles with wit and originality. Her multi-layered poems and photographs move gracefully from season to season and dark to lighter moments all inspired by a tiny Manhattan public space....This lively, intelligent and humorous book is a welcome pocket-sized refuge."
— Lynn Saville, photographer, author of Night/Shift."
My first book of poetry, The Elephant House, was published by Marsh Hawk Press in 2007. I co-edited The Poets' Grimm, an anthology of modern fairy tale poems with Jeanne Marie Beaumont in 2003 (currently out of print). My creative non-fiction has appeared in Alimentum: The Literature of Food, Winter 2011. Poems have appeared in anthologies including Love Rise Up from Benu Press 2012, and journals: Court Green (which nominated me for a Pushcart Prize), Southern Poetry Review, BigCityLit, First Literary Review East, Tupelo Press Poetry Project, Poetry Motel, Rattapallax, and Heliotrope, among others.
I also write for hire. I've developed toy characters into stories, novels, and character treatments for leading developers and companies.