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Robert Epstein

Robert Epstein, a licensed psychologist, haiku poet and anthologist, lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of two books of haiku: A Walk Around Spring Lake: Haiku; Checkout Time is Noon: Death Awareness Haiku; and a chapbook, What My Niece Said in My Head.


MIDDLE ISLAND PRESS TITLES BY ROBERT EPSTEIN:

Robert Epstein - Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and FrogEvery Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog (2016)
Edited by Robert Epstein and Miriam Wald
ISBN: 978-0-9980732-2-4

From the back cover:

All life is precious; thus proclaimed Albert Schweitzer, the 20th century humanitarian. Yet, humans around the globe continue to daily mistreat and murder countless numbers of animals, fish, fowl and insects with reckless abandon. This must come to an end. Collectively, the contributors in this anthology, from Croatia to Indonesia, speak out poetically and passionately on behalf of ending nonhuman suffering. Join them in bringing more compassion, kindness and appreciation to our fundamental relationship with nonhuman beings, who deserve to live free of fear, enslavement, torture, violence and slaughter. Perhaps a newfound reverence for all life will become your lasting message to the world, just as Mahatma Gandhi’s embodiment of nonviolence became his.

crimson dusk–
the cowbells tinkling along
their last journey

~ Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

a caged chimpanzee
injected with hepatitis
signs hello

~ Allan Burns

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish, and Frog is a special compilation tribute to animals. The magical place where human and non-human animals briefly connect, and share an understanding, is here, in this powerful book.”

~ Hope Bohanec, Executive Director of Compassionate Living, Projects Manager of United Poultry Concerns, and author, The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish, and Frog presents us with a unique, engrossing and deeply thought-provoking anthology of poetry and haiku from a global authorship for the animal- and planet-conscious reader. The subtle power of this word art will inspire many to think with greater clarity, vision and focus about some of the greatest challenges we face today.”

~ Robert Grillo, Executive Director of Free from Harm, and author, From Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal-Consuming Culture

Robert Epstein, a licensed psychotherapist, haiku poet and anthologist, has been a vegan for ethical and spiritual reasons since 1975. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. His latest book is, Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku.

Miriam Wald, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, is an animal rights activist who cares for rescued chickens, goats and other companion animals on her mini-sanctuary in Sonoma County, California.

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku is a 218-page anthology that is available via Amazon.com and elsewhere online.



Animal Rights Haiku: a Middle Island Press title by Robert EpsteinTurkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku (2016)
ISBN 978-1535070829
by Robert Epstein

(From the back cover…)

“Growing up, I relished hamburgers, chicken, steak, fish as well as dairy, and never gave any of it a momentʼs thought. Everyone I knew were avid meat-eaters. It seemed un-American to not eat meat. Then, one day, a young woman confronted me with an obvious question, as I was stir-frying ground beef for dinner: “What are you eating tonight, cow?” I was struck as if by lightning; the question cracked my consciousness wide open. Within a monthʼs time I vowed to become vegan: I gave up meat, fish, fowl, and all animal by-products, forever. Family members poked fun at me; my beloved grandmother predicted that the meatless diet I adopted was nothing more than a fad. I have lived that so-called fad for more than 40 years. Why? Because I love animals, and take seriously Dr. Albert Schweitzerʼs clarion call to embrace a reverence for life––all life. We are all related––no exceptions––human and nonhuman alike. Will you dare to take the bold step of embodying a reverence for life in your own daily living? On your deathbed, you may breathe your last with a quiet dignity and peace for having extended love and compassion to all living beings.” This book is 137 pages of mental wheel-spinning persuasion combined with the interior and cover artwork of Ed Markowski.

roadkill
is that what youʼd call
your dead uncle

(Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku is available via Amazon.com and other online sources.)


Beyond the Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku (2015)
ISBN 978-006925-4767-0
Anthology, ed. Robert Epstein

How much thought have you given to whether there is life after death? Some religions, like Christianity and Hinduism, posit the existence of heaven and reincarnation, while others are silent on the question. Those not guided by faith are inclined to relegate this haunting mystery to the outermost margins of their lives. In these pages, contributors from around the world have trained their poetic eye on this all-important quest. Relying on the power of intuition and creative imagination, the poets in this collection give us a glimpse into the great mystery of life after death. Suspend your skeptical mind and accompany the poets here on the adventure into the afterlife; you may not only be surprised, but forever changed.



fragrant wind
my mother’s voice calls
from beyond

~ Roberta Beary

a deceased friend
taps me on the shoulder –
plum blossoms falling

~ Chen-ou Liu

In this collection, poets share brilliant and moving glimpses of immortality and continuous renewal. To read these poems, therefore, is to accept death as the watermark on every one of life’s pages. It is to feel at home in the vastness of existence.

~ Sheila Bender, Author of A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief, and Founder of http://www.writingitreal.com

Epstein’s collection is a treasure pot of tiny jewels. Because haiku conveys experiences of the ineffable, it is perhaps the best vehicle for transmitting the impact of encounters with the mysteries that lie beyond the grave.

~ Julia Assante, Author of The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death

248 pages. Cover art by Ron C. Moss.

(Beyond the Grave is available via Amazon.com and direct through our printer.)


Haiku Edge: New and Selected Poems (2015)
ISBN 978-0-6924-7693-2
by Robert Epstein

Most of us are taught from an early age to look on the bright side and to maintain a “positive” attitude toward life. For those who are cheerful and upbeat by nature, this Pollyannaish perspective is easy to come by. For others, perhaps with a darker temperament, the happy-clappy approach takes strenuous effort to sustain, especially given the daily exposure to violence, crime, natural disaster and economic calamity that permeates the media today.

In this unblinking collection of haiku, Robert Epstein drops the scales from his eyes and stares straight into the dark side of life. From a certain angle, reality is harsh, tragic, cruel. . . even ruthless. The tragic side of life needs to be faced and if there is any truth to be distilled, let it be revealed through the lens of poetry–the haiku edge. The result is often poignant, sometimes light-hearted, truth about the absurd world we are thrown into and manage to survive, despite. Remember that the truth, however difficult to bear, strengthens, even ennobles, the soul. You may be surprised to find yourself leaning into life with a little more courage, even compassion.

the phantom
limb of believing
war is over

135 pages. Cover art and interior art provided by Ed Markowski.


(Haiku Edge and other titles by Robert Epstein are available via Amazon.com and elsewhere online.)


Haiku Forest Afterlife by Robert EpsteinHaiku Forest Afterlife (2014)
ISBN 978-0-6922-2170-9
by Robert Epstein

(Haiku Forest Afterlife is available via Amazon.com and the CreateSpace e-store.)

Most religious traditions have some fundamental belief about what happens to us after we die. Heaven and reincarnation are just two such notions with regards to the soul that offer comfort to those who fear death or have lost a loved one. In truth, we, the living, cannot say what happens to us after we die because, by definition, we are not dead yet; what happens after death remains the great mystery. At the same time, the human imagination is capable of venturing out into uncharted territory–the landscape of posthumous consciousness. In this book, Robert Epstein explores this landscape through the poetic lens of haiku. Suspend your rational, scientific mind and join him in contemplating the afterlife where the invisible and unknowable take poetic form. If time stops, what then?

ball
no
chain
after
life

136 pages; cover art provided by Ron C. Moss (www.ronmoss.com).


What My Niece Said in My Head by Robert Epstein (a Middle Island Press Chapbook)

What My Niece Said in My Head (2014)
by Robert Epstein

(Contact Christina at middleislandpress@yahoo.com to purchase copies.)

This book is a collection of fifty poems (haiku & senryu) from Robert Epstein to his niece for her tenth birthday. Beyond personal value, each page contains wisdom, humor, or both in a priceless marriage of pragmatism and wonder to serve as a guide as one treads through life. It serves also as a reminder that there is no harm in the inevitable; that there is beauty to be found in all aspects of life. Practical yet delightful for readers of all ages. 50 pages.

(Some examples…)

my niece wants to know
if the sun loses patience
waiting to go down

in my dream
I saw the tooth-fairy
she’s toothless too!

my young niece asks
where we go when we die…
right here

I don’t mind spills
I think that’s how God
made the stars

(From the inside back cover…)

Nobody understands life better than little girls and boys under the age of ten. For them, the world consists of one revelation after another. After ten, we forget what we know in order to get along and to fit in. The door to mystery and wonder is sealed and papered over with one too many norms, expectations, and disappointments.

If we’re lucky, the miracle of love throws the door wide open again, if only for a fleeting moment. Don’t wait for romantic love–colored as it is by infatuation–which can be readily blown out by a single gust of wind to a flame. Preserve your wild mind that is the birthright of our human incarnation. That’s what my niece–in all her fresh enthusiasm–represents for me. She is an artist, naturalist, and magician all rolled into one, as are we all.


Robert Epstein’s Middle Island Press titles are available via Amazon.com and other Internet locations.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Literary News

 

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Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku

Robert Epstein, psychotherapist, haiku poet and anthologist, has recently published his sixth Middle Island Press title with the assistance of co-editor Miriam Wald, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and animal rights activist. They poured their hearts and souls into this 218-page anthology with a considerable amount of well-wrought front matter and a lot of selection and arranging of the poetry of some of the most bright, witty and compassionate animal-lovers in the world. I consider Robert Epstein to be a ground-breaker in animal rights awareness (with this current title, Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku, as well as his Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku) and feel that no vegetarian’s library is complete without these books.

epstein-animal-rights-haiku-cover-jpegcrimson dusk–
the cowbells tinkling along
their last journey

~ Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

a caged chimpanzee
injected with hepatitis
signs hello

~ Allan Burns

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish, and Frog is a special compilation tribute to animals. The magical place where human and non-human animals briefly connect, and share an understanding, is here, in this powerful book.”

~ Hope Bohanec, Executive Director of Compassionate Living, Projects Manager of United Poultry Concerns, and author, The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish, and Frog presents us with a unique, engrossing and deeply thought-provoking anthology of poetry and haiku from a global authorship for the animal- and planet-conscious reader. The subtle power of this word art will inspire many to think with greater clarity, vision and focus about some of the greatest challenges we face today.”

~ Robert Grillo, Executive Director of Free from Harm, and author, From Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal-Consuming Culture

 

(Every Chicken Cow, Fish and Frog is available online and will shortly be available also in Kindle format.)

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Literary News

 

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Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku by Robert Epstein

epstein-turkey-heaven-cover-jpeg

Animal Rights is a theme that California poet, editor and anthologist Robert Epstein takes rather seriously yet sometimes in a playful fashion. Turkey Heaven: Animal Rights Haiku (ISBN 978-1535070829), recently published through Middle Island Press, is witty and wise in its approach and persuasive “food for thought” regarding Epstein’s respect for animals and the vegetarian diet.

what about your shoes / the cheeky carnivore asks? / broccoli

Read the poet’s comments on Turkey Heaven at the Middle Island Press website.

Copies are available through Amazon.com and elsewhere online.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Literary News

 

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Beyond the Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku (Edited by Robert Epstein)

Epstein - Beyond the Grave Cover jpegBeyond the Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku, a Middle Island Press poetry anthology edited by Robert Epstein, is a full-bodied collection with a remarkable introduction by the editor.

From the back cover:

How much thought have you given to whether there is life after death? Some religions, like Christianity and Hinduism, posit the existence of heaven and reincarnation, while others are silent on the question. Those not guided by faith are inclined to relegate this haunting mystery to the outermost margins of their lives. In these pages, contributors from around the world have trained their poetic eye on this all-important quest. Relying on the power of intuition and creative imagination, the poets in this collection give us a glimpse into the great mystery of life after death. Suspend your skeptical mind and accompany the poets here on the adventure into the afterlife; you may not only be surprised, but forever changed.

fragrant wind
my mother’s voice calls
from beyond

~ Roberta Beary

a deceased friend
taps me on the shoulder –
plum blossoms falling

~ Chen-ou Liu

In this collection, poets share brilliant and moving glimpses of immortality and continuous renewal. To read these poems, therefore, is to accept death as the watermark on every one of life’s pages. It is to feel at home in the vastness of existence.

~ Sheila Bender, Author of A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief, and Founder of http://www.writingitreal.com

Epstein’s collection is a treasure pot of tiny jewels. Because haiku conveys experiences of the ineffable, it is perhaps the best vehicle for transmitting the impact of encounters with the mysteries that lie beyond the grave.

~ Julia Assante, Author of The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death

248 pages with cover art by Ron C. Moss.

(This anthology is available via Amazon.com and direct through our printer. Readers should consider picking up an extra copy for gift-giving.)

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Literary News

 

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Haiku Edge: New and Selected Poems by Robert Epstein

Epstein - Haiku Edge Cover JPEGThe realm of American haiku poetry has been exceptionally blessed by Robert Epstein, undoubtedly one of California’s most studied and accomplished haiku poets. Epstein’s third Middle Island Press title, Haiku Edge: New and Selected Poems, was a long time in the making but is a beautiful finished product that is generously showered with the artwork of Ed Markowski. The “edge” that the title aptly implies is a sense of morbidity with sections throughout the 135-page collection such as “Tarot Reading” and “In the Morgue.” Bear in mind that Robert Epstein is a psychologist! This makes his haiku particularly intriguing as he wrestles with the perpetually haunting ghosts of the unknown, unabashedly questioning with rationality. We recommend this title to everyone who enjoys haiku and seeks a refreshing (or hair-raising) twist on it, or for those who enjoy pondering subjects such as the afterlife.

Haiku Edge: New and Selected Poems can be purchased through Amazon.com and elsewhere online.

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Literary News

 

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Middle Island Press Poets’ Readings and Award Nominations

It always makes me smile when my poets send me notes on how they’re doing; it’s good to feel their enthusiasm. I’ve received news of two readings within the first quarter of this year:

Georgia poet Stephen Godfrey (formerly from WV) did a reading on January 23rd at Christian Books and More in Moultrie, GA.

New Jersey poet Barbara Wirkus did a reading on March 24th at the Kenilworth (NJ) Public Library.

Furthermore, there was a recent award nomination. Robert Epstein, a haiku poet and anthologist from California, had his first Middle Island Press title (chapbook: What My Niece Said in My Head) chosen for the “shortlist” of the Haiku Foundation Touchstone Book Awards, 2014.

Blessed be the poets who enrich the life of myself and others with their heartfelt words. In the end, “heartfelt” is really what it’s all about.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Literary News

 

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Haiku Forest Afterlife by Robert Epstein

Epstein - Haiku Cover Image - FinalHaiku Forest Afterlife is a very special title to Middle Island Press. It is our first full-length perfect-bound book of poetry, and it was Robert Epstein, full of patience and encouragement, who essentially led us to a greater course which is keeping us busier than ever.

From the back cover:

Most religious traditions have some fundamental belief about what happens to us after we die. Heaven and reincarnation are just two such notions with regards to the soul that offer comfort to those who fear death or have lost a loved one. In truth, we, the living, cannot say what happens to us after we die because, by definition, we are not dead yet; what happens after death remains the great mystery. At the same time, the human imagination is capable of venturing out into uncharted territory–the landscape of posthumous consciousness. In this book, Robert Epstein explores this landscape through the poetic lens of haiku. Suspend your rational, scientific mind and join him in contemplating the afterlife where the invisible and unknowable take poetic form. If time stops, what then?

ball
no
chain
after
life

Copies are available at various online locations. We encourage lovers of haiku and philosophy of life and death to purchase a copy of Haiku Forest Afterlife and leave a kind book review at Amazon.com. Poets and publishers alike appreciate the support of readers!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Literary News

 

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