Why Sing?

Buy it on Amazon

Don't like Amazon? All of our books are available through other online sellers (Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc.). You can also order our books through Ingram, at your local bookseller or library.

John J. Trause’s book of traditional and experimental poems, Why Sing?, presents a literary world ebbing between the call of the past and the allure of the future. Why Sing? seeks to create a new international and multicultural literary tradition, against and/or with manifestations of the avant-garde and conceptual. Decidedly anti-Romantic, Why Sing? forges new shining paths through ancient woods.

“Pardon my fall(ing) for John Trause’s Why Sing?. Between cicadas by day and crickets by night, this mad librarian, with a mind shelved with aisles & aisles of language addiction, has created a metaphoric twenty-four hour cycle, at once playful, humorous, enlightening and experimental. He is right on point with his conceptual tropes, inventive forms and encyclopedic knowledge, which keeps the reader running to Google every few pages. In the course of his librarian’s day, his mind wanders among the stacks, choosing volumes on all manner of being and existence, among them gemstones, Aeschylus, manatees, dragon flies, trees felled on the lawn of a childhood home, Godard & Waters, Bergman & Antonioni, hurricanes bounding the Jersey shore, and the rivers of the netherworld. Never mind the alliteration, Trause’s imagination has created worlds, not days, to get lost in. Why Sing? Why not? The poet has given us plenty to sing about.”

–Janet Hamill, author of Knock

“The range and playfulness of Why Sing? answers that question in a variety of lyrical modes. Trause is a one-man orchestra. Anyone who knows who Felix Paul Greve is and quotes him in German is an imp who knows much and isn’t shy about taking his singing babes into the agora.”

–Andrei Codrescu, author of The Art of Forgetting


JOHN J. TRAUSE, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of Picture This: For Your Eyes and Ears (Dos Madres Press, 2016; Exercises in High Treason (great weather for MEDIA, 2016); Eye Candy for Andy (13 Most Beautiful… Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Finishing Line Press, 2013); Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round (Nirala Publications, 2012); Seriously Serial (Poets Wear Prada, 2007; rev. ed. 2014); and Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996), the latter staged Off Broadway. His translations, poetry, and visual work have appeared internationally in many journals and anthologies. He is the subject of a 30-on-30-in-30 essay on The Operating System, written by Don Zirilli, and an author of an essay on Baroness Elsa at the same site, both in April 2016. He has shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, Karen Finley, Andrei Codrescu, and Jerome Rothenberg; the page with Billy Collins, Lita Hornick, William Carlos Williams, Woody Allen, Ted Kooser, Victor Buono, and Pope John Paul II; and the cage with the Cumaean Sibyl, Ezra Pound, Hannibal Lector, Andrei Chikatilo, and George “The Animal” Steele. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and former host/curator of its monthly reading series.

white paper | 8.5" x 11" | 96 pgs. | ISBN 978-1545393222 | 12.95 | release date: September 19, 2017

Sensitive Skin Books