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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Picnic 1 Catchy Tunes 3 Albino 5 Marine Biology 7 Frankie and Johnny 9 The Gift 11 Antifreeze 13 Vissi d'arte 15 And Counting 17 Blue Angel 19 Liberty Bell 21 The Shooting Party 23 Leverage 25 Naming a Baby 27 Bridge 29 Ride of the Valkyrie 31 The Bone 33 Word Processing 35 Something Happens 37 Cause and Effect 39 Annie Hall 41 Your Majesty 43 The Lion's Head 45 Cold War 47 Red Planet 49 The Goldilocks Zone 51 The Wall 53 New York 55 Baby's Breath 57 Snowflakes 59 Jury 61 Of My Peers 63 Shot in the Dark 66 Capital Punishment 68 The Carrier 70 The Abysmal Plain of the Sea 72 White Noise 74 Shadow Play 76 Collateral Damage 79 Songbird 82 I'm Not There 84 Rainforest 86 The Wooden Horse 88 The Light of Reason 90 Vessel of Fire 92 Apocalypse 94 Kali 96 Joe Blow From Kokomo 97 Exhibits 100 Flowchart 102 Stonehenge 105 Camera Obscura 109 Body Integrity Identity Disorder 111 The Rock 114

Promotional Information

100 galleys will be mailed to key review and media outlets 3-4 months prior to publication Galleys will be available by request National Print Campaign: 100 advanced and finished copies will be mailed to key review and trade outlets such as Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus, The Believer, Bookforum, BOMB, The Nation, New York Times, New York Review of Books, LA Times, Washington Post, Time Out NY, among others Extensive promotion through BOA's website, blog, Facebook (6,000+ followers), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, e-blasts, print and e-postcards, print materials, e-newsletter, and print catalogs Print ads in Poets & Writers magazine, American Poet magazine, Rain Taxi, and Gently Read Literature Fall announcements submitted to Publishers Weekly Ebook will be available at the same time as print publication to maximize sales. Ebook ISBN will be included on all press materials, author and publisher websites, and whenever print ISBN is listed. Publisher and author will be promoting both e and p through social media Author will promote via email (1,000+ contacts), Facebook (300+ followers), blog, and website (www.robertthomaspoems.com/)

About the Author

Robert Thomas is the author of Door to Door (2002, Fordham University Press), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize, and Dragging the Lake (2006, Carnegie Mellon University Press). He has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and won a Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife in Oakland, California, and works as a legal secretary in San Francisco.


"Bridge ... may borrow a weapon, along with a taut style and a slender economy, from James M. Cain, but this is no crime story. Instead, and perhaps incongruously, it is a quiet, interior novel, a character study in which the prose plays a bigger role than the plot. What happens in the story is minimal: San Francisco legal secretary Alice falls in love with her married colleague David, antagonizes her supervisor, Fran, and buys that gun. But how it happens--and how Alice describes it happening--is striking, unsettling and profound ... Alice reminds us of the truth about how hard it can be for anyone who's really paying attention to survive in a world composed of such extremes of beauty and indifference." --San Francisco Chronicle "Crisp, concise, emotionally explosive riffs, Thomas's 56 brief, linked stories are linguistic tours de force that together form an unsettling character study ... Alice leads her lonely life in what she calls the "Goldilocks Zone": not too crazy, not too sane--a just-right (if tenuous) balance between calm and losing it ... Thomas has a gift for using a minimum of words with maximum effect." --Publishers Weekly Starred Review "A novel in stories that brings readers deep into the eccentric and neurotic mind of its protagonist. Thomas links these 56 stories with a consistent voice. Alice--a lonely, at times suicidal woman--narrates the minutiae of her life with insight and wit ... Thomas' prose in these episodic vignettes is tight and vivid. In each two-to-three page installment, solipsistic Alice is given black humor and memorable one-liners ... With emotional resonance, an innovative structure and a unique narrator, Thomas crafts a book that's greater than the sum of its parts." --Kirkus Review "Made up of fifty-six two-to-five page exercises in associative thinking--vibrant thought connecting vibrant thought--Robert Thomas's first novel Bridge will delight the more experimentally inclined, analytical reader. Bridge is an engaging, meandering exploration of the mind of the novel's protagonist, Alice, as she struggles with thoughts of suicide; her affection for her married co-worker, David; and her antagonistic relationship with her supervisor, Fran." --Bookslut "Ever wonder what that quiet girl in the office is thinking? The serial monologues of Alice, self-described as an 'irrational prime number,' place us inside a wholly original, slightly suicidal, radically unconventional mind: precariously balanced, yet how far down she can see without falling. In this poet's tour de force fiction, Thomas' imaginative language created in me, to transplant his phrase, 'what medical books accurately term prolonged dazzle.'" --Eleanor Wilner, Ploughshares "If you're not stunned by the language of this poet's novel, you will be by the plot, a monologue of suspense and grief; or by the narrator, the painfully smart and self-aware Alice." --Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose "Robert Thomas won the 2015 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction for Bridge, which I buy, as this book is without a doubt worthy of such awards. In this collection, or whatever you call it, Thomas explores a human who has put herself in a disastrous situation, one that is awful, but perhaps better than her other options, which seem to be nothing. Alice is so well drawn, it gets more and more painful to work through Thomas' book, as her sadness, her quest for happiness, make the hopelessness of plight more apparent with each detail." -- Story 366

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