The fourth book on Bamboo Dart Press is due out on February 15th, and it is a stunner. Stephanie Barbe Hammer is a poet and novelist with a number of published books in each of these tributaries. Her new book, Rescue Plan is a book of longing. Its brief 45 pages serve as a tour de force study of the hearts of those that reside in her imagined town of Narrow Interior whose other occupants can be found in a myriad of stories by the author. This book serves as Bamboo Dart’s valentine for the mid February season. This is a bouquet from the writer of pining as opposed to flowers. It was built to last you well past the end of the season of hearts, out past the brambles of Spring and long after the inoculations of the summer of 2021. Rescue Plan fits neatly in hand when you go back out there into the real world. I daydream about turning its pages on the metro, the subway and the omnibus in Montclair California that I hope to occupy once more.
As economical and utilitarian as Barbe Hammer’s work is, she seldom fails to move me to tears, make me laugh out loud or more frequently, be haunted as I digest her poems or narratives. I have been tricked into thinking many of her works are small one act knee plays while reading them in real time, only to ponder their enormity for days afterwards. “Rescue Plan”, which is available for preorder at https://www.bamboodartpress.com/ and will be available at your finer independent brick and mortar book stores, Revolver, Grapefruit, Midheaven, Ingram, Amazon, Barnes & Noble among others on February 15th.
If you have not read any work by Stephanie Barbe Hammer, I strongly suggest you visit her blog Writing (Un) Real and read the short piece that she wrote about her mother just a few weeks back. It is a sublime piece and serves as a wonderful introduction to the magic she is capable of: