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Rumi’s Mathnavi

Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation by Joe Martin (front cover)
Rumi's Mathnavi: A Theatre Adaptation by Joe Martin (front cover)

Rumi’s Mathnavi

A Theatre Adaptation by Joe Martin. Transliterated Persian passages by Lida Saeedian.
Production photographs by Page Carr. Second Edition.

Paperback: $16.95 | ISBN 978-1-58775-033-5 | Coyote Arts Aer.io Shop
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Joe Martin is a playwright, novelist and theatre director, whose works comprise an international, curious, formal exploration into the border regions between the spiritual cosmos and the political world. He is the recipient of various grants and awards as a writer and director — including a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Theatre, and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Scandinavian Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, among others. In 2002, Martin was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Theatre. His recent books include the novel Foreigners, Conspiracies: Six Plays, Strindberg —, Seven Plays, Keeper of the Protocols: The Works of Jens Bjorneboe, and The Insomnia Suite: Poems. Author and adaptor of some thirty plays, including The Dust Conspiracy, The Receiver, Anatole’s Lover, The Match Girl’s Snow Queen, and Rumi’s Mathnavi. For over a decade he has directed Washington’s laboratory theatre, Open Theatre/DC.

Rumi’s Mathnavi was first sponsored by the Center for Global Peace and the Department of Performing Arts at American University in a reader’s theatre version in 1999 and 2000. Versions of it have been produced at the La MaMa ETC main stage in New York and elsewhere. In 2006, the piece toured the East coast cities as a theatre-for-peace project — with discussions hosted by Quakers, conflict resolution specialists, Imams, Rabbis, a Sufi Sheikh, and well-known peace activists including Iraqi-American Andy Shallal. Performed in the traditional Sufi “circle” with live musicians and Persian dance, it became a ritual realization of Rumi’s book.
UNESCO in conjunction with the Turkish Embassy — representing the country where the Persian poet lived most of his life — has issued a medallion for the year of Rumi, recognizing his present importance for the world. The events scheduled for this year that also honor Rumi and his incomparable poetic work include a documentary film on current-day students of Rumi and a CD of his poetry set to music. A feature film on the life of Rumi is currently in the works.

For twenty years, Rumi has been the best selling poet in America. But until now, most English speakers have found it almost impossible to get a sense of the world of his greatest work, the Mathnavi. This Coyote Arts edition of Joe Martin’s dramatic adaptation aims to provide that opportunity, a previous edition, from Asylum Arts, having been out of print for some time.

This edition will give a wide audience an authentic taste of Rumi’s six-volume work, in a reader’s edition, accompanied by photographs from the 2005 production of the play. The adaptation utilizes loyal renderings directly from the Persian and Reynolds Nicholson’s famous six-volume Persian and English version of the major work by the man often called “the Shakespeare of the Middle East.” Rumi’s spiritual philosophy and strangely postmodern ability to shift between genres — from parables, to commentaries, to lyric flights of poetry — combine to make his work the most all-embracing, openhearted and powerful of texts to come out of the Islamic world. Rumi’s writing is one of the single greatest antidotes to the “clash of civilizations” thinking used by ideologues on two sides to challenge the peace of the world. A dozen key parables and songs demonstrating the Sufi philosophy of the Unity of Being provide the body the text.

Absolutely remarkable and memorable!…When I first read the script, I thought that it would be impossible to have all of that in one play. It was as if I had gone to a party, and had been offered an entire pot of gourmet food that I had to finish. But … with every new bite I felt even hungrier … The directing, the acting, the music and choreography was endowed with a complex simplicity or simple complexity! It was all very inspiring and en- lightening. It felt as if the actors analyzed Rumi’s stories, lifting the veils one after another.

Lida Saeedian, author and Rumi translator

Joe Martin’s adaptation of Rumi’s classic work is educational, moving, and most importantly, highly entertaining. It’s also an extremely relevant and timely play—especially in today’s political climate!

Jon Klein, playwright, author of T Bone N Weasel and Dimly Perceived Threats to the System
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Toothpaste with Chlorophyll / Maritime Hot Baths

Toothpaste with Chlorophyll / Maritime Hot Baths

Toothpaste with Chlorophyll / Maritime Hot Baths

Stories by Elias Papadimitrakopoulos; Translated by John Taylor; Illustrated by Alekos Fassianos

Paperback: $16.95 | ISBN 978-1-878580-01-6 | Coyote Arts Aer.io Shop
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Elias Papadimitrakopoulos was born in Pyrgos, in 1930, the son of a well-known lawyer in the city. His father’s death in 1943, during the German occupation, caused the family’s financial ruin—and this period is often evoked in his stories, notably in Toothpaste with Chlorophyll and Maritime Hot Baths. Papadimitrakopoulos subsequently studied medicine at the Military Medical School of the University of Thessaloniki (1949–1955), specializing in pathology. He thereafter worked as a military doctor, serving in the Greek Army until his retirement in 1983. His first contributions to literary reviews began in the 1960s, notably with the appearance in 1962 of his first short story in the magazine Argo. During the same years, he began to publish—as a short-story writer, film critic, and literary critic—in other important magazines such as Tachidromos, Dialogos, Anti, Khartis, Kroniko, and To Tetarto. One of the most beloved and admired Greek short-story writers, Papadimitrakopoulos received the Petros Haris Foundation Prize from the Academy of Athens in 2010 and the National Literary Award in 2015. His collected short stories are now gathered in a six-volume set published by Gavriilidis. He lives in Athens and, during the summer, on the island of Paros.

LCCN:  2020938119
Published: September 15, 2020

Praise for Toothpaste with Chlorophyll /
Maritime Hot Baths

The microcosmos created by Papadimitrakopoulos’ prose exercises an irresistible charm on the reader … [A] virtuoso, a craftsman, a master of words …

Spyros Tsaknias, Greek Prose Since the Second World War

How is it that Papadimitrakopoulos’ texts are so clear, so luminous, so delicate? What is it that at the same time gives his prose its forceful personality, which has assured for his stories their special place in modern Greek literature?

Elisabet Kotzia, I Kathimerini

Papadimitrakopoulos’ style is of the same temperament as his themes. Limpid, classical, but then suddenly subversive, with a subtle touch of irony… Memory thus functions doubly in his prose…

Vangelis Hatzivasiliou, Avgi
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Goodbye, Ice

Cover: Goodbye, Ice: Poems

Goodbye, Ice
Arctic Poems by Lawrence Millman

Finalist: 2020 Southwest Book Design and Production Awards

Paperback: $14.95 US | ISBN 978-1-58775-031-1 | Coyote Arts Aer.io Shop
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E-Book: $9.99 US | 987-1-58775-032-8 | Coyote Arts Aer.io Shop
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LCCN:  2020938104
Published: September 15, 2020

Unlike most books of poems nowadays, Goodbye, Ice by Lawrence Millman has a strong ecological bias. The book offers a window on the natural world of the Arctic and its tradition-bound indigenous people. Climate change, inevitably, raises its ugly head in many of the poems, but the book itself is a lament not just for the loss of ice, but for the loss of the Arctic itself.

Advance Praise for Goodbye, Ice

Lawrence Millman is a true original who takes no prisoners. His poetry does not ask permission of the kind of people who think they know what ‘poetry’ is, and as a result it is truer to life—real life—than most of what marches under that banner. These poems come from, and speak for, the reality of Earth as it is.

Paul Kingsnorth, author of Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

From polar bears to pointless missionaries, plagues of cruise ships to mosquitoes, eiders to owls to ravens and the people to whom all of these matter, Goodbye, Ice shows as many strands and colors of the polar zones as any Aurora Borealis. You’ll rue the warming, yes, but you’ll not close the book without laughing too. I love these poems very much.

Robert Michael Pyle, author of Wintergreen, Chinook & Chanterelle and Nature Matrix

I imagine future archaeologists finding wind-chiseled stones in an Inuit graveyard. On each stone is carved a poem from Lawrence Millman’s Goodbye, Ice, a book that’s equally an epitaph and a celebration for the arctic spirit-world and landscape. Said archeologists would say, “So this is what happened here…” — and be haunted by it for the rest of their lives.

Howard Norman, author of The Ghost Clause

What Jacques Cousteau did for the oceans, Millman does for the Arctic, with the same sense of wonder and urgency. Finding beauty and humor in all he sees, he is a prophet in the wilderness. His gentle poems remind us a vengeful wrath awaits us if we don’t repent. Never has a prophecy been so palatable. Let his flying shaman, his Inuit, raven, lemming, and bear take you on an exhilarating journey.

David O. Born, author of Eskimo Education and the Trauma of Social Change
 
Lawrence Millman, reading from Fungipedia at Bookworks Albuquerque, recorded July 21, 2020
Lawrence Millman, reading from Goodbye, Ice at Bookworks Albuquerque, recorded November 11, 2020