by Donald Lev

136 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Library of Congress Control Number:  2017934719

ISBN:  978-1-63045-036-6

Publication Date:  04/10/2017

Press Release

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Cover Art:  Still Life with Pears, 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas, 2017
by Rita Kaiser


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Focus is a collection of poems by Donald Lev written for the most part after 2012, and is intended as a sequel to his collection published that year by NYQ Books, A Very Funny Fellow, whose concluding poem, "This Big Window," imagines needing a telescope. The heavens, it seems to the author "are seriously overgrown" like his "neglected yard," "his sluggish imagination," and his "boxloads of books and neuroses." From this point, Focus struggles bravely, and perhaps blindly, on.


The no-frills poetry of Donald Lev goes right to the heart of what poetry is. Young poets think they have to "find a voice," but Lev knows that each of us already has one. He reaffirms that everything is a subject for poetry. He does not presume to teach us anything in these poems. He does something more profound—he questions. His riddles remain riddles, and represent the mysteries of unresolved everyday conundrums. Lev is an explorer of the human heart, caught between micro and macrocosm, suspending his thin lines between humor and despair, youthful memories and the realities of old age. Above all, a deeply human text.

—Eric Greinke

These excellent, in good part autobiographic poems, are divided into four parts. They're often witty, and often wise, enlivened for the reader by Donald Lev's humor and good will. Spiced with interesting asides and inside moments, Focus is well worth your valuable time.

—Ed Sanders