Tag Archives: A Civic Pageant

A Multi-Pointed Geometry of Attention

Janelle Adsit included a great review of Frank Montesonti’s A Civic Pageant in her chapbook roundup for The Pedestal. Here are some of our favorite sections:

This collection is a planet coincident with our own. As Montesonti orbits the Earth—sometimes from a plane, always from an elevated mind—he changes the light readers dwell in. A Civic Pageant has its own gravity. It pulls the detritus of our world in, spinning a varied assortment together. Prayer can take place over a jar of Miracle Whip. The baseball bat, the Devil, and rhubarb pie all exhibit a kind of patriotism. The book is well-stocked. In spellbinding lines, Montesonti can discuss “every 1930s French Novel” as well as dark matter theory. Ask the poet what the weight of the world is, and find not an answer but rather a rendering…

…His is a multi-pointed geometry of attention…

…Montesonti’s craft summons readers from habitual negligence. “[T]he world never runs out,” Montesonti writes. Let him convince you.

You can read the entire review here.

A Civic Pageant, winner of the Spring, 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition, is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.


A Civic Pageant: Winner of the Spring, 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition

A Civic Pageant is a pageant of the emotional history of the self. In language as large, colorful and weightless as floats, the poems in A Civic Pageant reflect on the civics of our selves—the duty we hold to experience and emotion. They praise and lament how we must parade these obligations in front of us—always part leader of the parade, always part hopeless spectator.

About the Author

Frank Montesonti is currently the Lead Faculty of the MFA program at National University. His poems have appeared in such journals as Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, AQR, Poems and Plays, Lit, and Barrow Street. He lives in San Diego.

Advance Praise

Montesonti’s pageant is more living diorama than contest—it’s a winter Midwest cityscape of blackouts and drunk dreaming. So, it is a pageant actually—but in place of pomp and heroics, Montensonti’s threaded that contradictory portent: a yearning to disappear from your hometown only to be lifted over it, reviewing what’s really there and now no longer your own. Funny, sad, and then funnily sad again and again.

– Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Ph.D, author of Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk

Reading Frank Montesonti’s poems is like finding a human heart in a gleaming grocery aisle. He discovers difficult glory in the most plastic of places; he blasts apart the overlooked, everyday architecture protecting our most precious things. In one stanza, his startling declarations warn us against the sweet, slippery danger of dreams, but in the next he’s built us a beautiful, giant dream machine.

–Sommer Browning, author of Vale Tudo

Frank Montesonti’s poems deconstruct a narrative of longing for grandeur in the ordinary. They are in constant motion, like “small blue tornadoes in [his] eyes,” and gaining momentum always. If there were an easy way, Frank “has the legal right to shoot it and ask questions later.”

–James Meetze, author of I Have Designed This For You

A Civic Pageant is available from Black Lawrence Press and from Amazon.

A Civic Pageant

Montesonti Cover

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting orders for A Civic Pageant, winner of the Spring, 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition by Frank Montesonti. Books will ship next week! You can order a copy here.

Advance Praise

Frank Montesonti’s poems deconstruct a narrative of longing for grandeur in the ordinary. They are in constant motion, like “small blue tornadoes in [his] eyes,” and gaining momentum always. If there were an easy way, Frank “has the legal right to shoot it and ask questions later. – James Meetze, author of I Have Designed This For You

Montesonti’s pageant is more living diorama than contest—it’s a winter
Midwest cityscape of blackouts and drunk dreaming. So, it is a pageant actually—but in place of pomp and heroics, Montensonti’s threaded that contradictory portent: a yearning to disappear from your hometown only to be lifted over it, reviewing what’s really there and now no longer your own. Funny, sad, and then funnily sad again and again. – Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Ph.D, author of Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk

Reading Frank Montesonti’s poems is like finding a human heart in a
gleaming grocery aisle. He discovers difficult glory in the most
plastic of places; he blasts apart the overlooked, everyday
architecture protecting our most precious things. In one stanza, his startling declarations warn us against the sweet, slippery danger of dreams, but in the next he’s built us a beautiful, giant dream machine. -Sommer Browning, author of Vale Tudo