American Sentences Press Release

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For Immediate Release
October 10, 2015

For more information, contact:
Kevin Atticks, director 410-617-5529

Paul Nelson, author
(206) 422.5002
splabman (at) gmail (dot) com

American Sentences: Compendium of American Haiku Released

This collection of 17-syllable sentences—the North American version of haiku, a form created by Allen Ginsberg—is now available. Author and poet Paul Nelson offers this work in an effort to expose the potency of this lesser-known form of poetry. Having written one per day since January 1, 2001, the form is a core part of Nelson’s poetry practice, sharpening his perception and connection to language.

“The format of American Sentences serves as a reminder of the conditions, situation, atmosphere and shadow of the moment,” says Nelson. “If haiku is seventeen syllables going down in Japanese text, Ginsberg would make American Sentences seventeen syllables going across, linear, like just about everything else in USAmerica.”

“Emphasis is on the image, rather than rhetoric, or lyricism. Unlike the haiku, however, which is a highly bastardized form in English, they’re more suited to the American idiom & so allow a greater range of natural expression. They don’t have the aesthetic stiffness of the haiku as they are practiced in English.
I also really like your sense of wit & humor (“the Australian kiss, kissing down under”), or the occasional non-sequitur, a giant ear popping out of nowhere.”

—John Olson, author of numerous books of poetry, including Larynx Galaxy and Backscatter: New and Selected Poems and three novels, including The Seeing Machine, The Nothing That Is, and Souls of Wind, the latter of which was shortlisted for a Believer book of the year award in 2008.

American Sentences is available October 15, 2015 from local booksellers or online via or (ebooks will also be available). For wholesale orders and volume discounts, contact Apprentice House directly:, 410-617-5265.

For more information about American Sentences, visit and

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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