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Naming the Fires

"Patricia Traxler holds us in the devastating thrill of freefall, half-past naming and this close to combustion. Her skill at balancing the tempting fixity of nouns and the reckless commotion of verbs is no less heart-rending than a principal ballerina's sustained pirouette; she leaves us spinning. It would seem that few poets move so beautifully between short pulsating thoughts and longer narrative ideas. In Traxler's hands we bloom, float, row, thaw, wake, pray, and burn. Somehow more held than holding. What a gift to rest in such a poet's practiced embrace." --Joseph Braun, The Lune Magazine


St. Martins Press/Macmillan
from the publisher:

"From talented newcomer Patricia Traxler comes a brilliantly written literary suspense novel about how desire can become jealousy, obsession, and finally murderous rage. Blood is equal parts auspicious literary debut and page-turner about four people whose lives become irrevocably intertwined during one year at Radcliffe College. Blood captures the reader with its opening line, 'Though it’s true there’s a killing in my story, its principal violence is, I think I’d have to say, the violence of love.'" Blood was also published in the UK, and in Spanish, Swedish, and German translations.

To see reviews, click Blood link above or in sidebar at right; Blood is now available on Kindle, Nook, Apple iBooks, Google eBooks, and Borders eBooks.

Forbidden Words

University of Missouri Press
from the publisher:

"In her third poetry collection, Traxler examines the overt and hidden forces of language, including the power and weight of the unspoken and the relationship of women to language—how they may absorb power from it or use it as a refuge, how muteness can be a language in itself."

(To see reviews, click Forbidden Words link above or in sidebar at right; to order Forbidden Words, see Barnes & Noble link in lower right sidebar.)

The Glass Woman

Hanging Loose Press

About The Glass Woman:

Traxler's second volume of poetry explores the varied and sometimes risky terrain of love, desire, trust and broken trust, the power of secrets and silence, and the influence of family, in particular her Irish-American heritage. In contrast with her first book, Blood Calendar (William Morrow), which reflects her native California roots, The Glass Woman uses the imagery of an unfamiliar prairie landscape to address solitude, alienation, and acceptance. For more details about The Glass Woman, click link above or in sidebar at right.

Order this book direct from the publisher at

Blood Calendar

William Morrow & Co., Inc.
from the publisher:

"This volume of poems introduces a major new voice in contemporary poetry. The sources and subjects range over music, motherhood, war, sexual experience, aging, marriage, and death. They are women's poems, men's poems...poems about living, dying, loving, and leaving. They present an original and strong new talent that is, for all its savagery, buoyant."

Blood Calendar is now out of print, but vintage copies can be ordered through

I'll Always Love You (unless you love me, too) selected short stories

from the forthcoming collection, three stories are now available as singles on Amazon's Kindle:

"The Mushrooms of Maisie Zupnik" - In this award-winning story set in San Francisco, a quirky and self-absorbed young artist-photographer's friendship with an outspoken and unconventional old woman offers insight into her own flawed priorities and the uncompromising nature of time. "The Mushrooms of Maisie Zupnik" won the Writers Voice of New York City's Open Voice Award for Short Fiction and was originally published in Hanging Loose.

"A First-Name Basis" - This story about loneliness, love, and lies in Cambridge was the winner of the Hackney Literary Award for Short Fiction and also won the Georgia State University Award for Short Fiction. It was originally published in the Georgia State University Review.

"Earthly Luck" - The 36-year old poet-protagonist of this Pushcart Prize-nominated story returns home to Southern California for a visit and sees her ex-husband for the first time since she left their marriage to be with a womanizing playwright in a small Midwest town. This witty and poignant story is told with an irony that keeps it free of sentimentality, and its protagonist's quiet regret rings true. "Earthly Luck" was originally published in Glimmer Train Stories.

These stories are available singly on Amazon's Kindle for 99c each, or FREE to Amazon Prime Members:

“Navigating the Alternative Landscape: An Interview with Patricia Traxler”

In this interview with Erin Billing of Touchstone Magazine, Traxler talks about her working-class California upbringing and the influence of her Irish grandmother, Nora Dunne, who was herself a published poet. Traxler also discusses domestic violence--about which she has written from a very personal perspective. (To read complete interview, click link above.)

A second interview, this one an in-depth conversation with poet William Sheldon can be found here: