E.M. Schorb

Self Portrait by Author

Manhattan Spleen is a rich and complex smorgasbord of 57 prose poems; sustenance for mind, body and soul. In the title of this engrossing work, E.M. Schorb tips his hat to Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen), the nineteenth century French poet that we credit with giving birth to the prose poem. Yet this is truly an American work, as American as Walt Whitman. One might say that Whitman’s lines describe Manhattan Spleen: A vast similitude interlocks all, All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets All distances of place however wide, All distances of time, all inanimate forms, All souls, all living bodies. Each poem in Manhattan Spleen probes the depth of our understanding, explores the porous barrier between our real and imagined worlds, asks us to delve beneath the surface and question the truths that we have taken for granted.

Knowing, Pat Mullan

E.M. Schorb’s prose poems are intelligent, humorous and perplexing in an odd sort of way. I almost want to use the train wreck analogy to describe them as I just couldn't stop reading them, even when they left little question mark filled light bulbs over my head. There is a tale of a woman whose house is made out of soap, right down to her sheets, tiny little carbon people who fall to the earth in raindrops and scurry off into the grass, a woman who hides her murdered husband by hanging him on the clothesline where the police don't think to look. Mr. Schorb's prose poems all fall along these lines and you will be entertained by his imagination which shows no signs of limitation.

—Christine L. Reed, Editor, Maelstrom

Selected Works

"Resurgius is a quietly hilarious read which, unique though it is, strikes me as belonging to the very league as the comic gems of Evelyn Waugh and Nathaniel West."
—X. J. Kennedy
"Chaos' has everything you want in good literature--poignant writing, drama, and redemption."
—Award Citation, Christopher Klim
"Fortune Island is a riveting read that can't be put down."
Midwest Book Review
Historical Mystery
"A crackling good story told in the compelling, precise prose of a poet."
--Award Citation, Walter Anderson, Publisher, Parade Publications
Noir Thriller
"An addition to the crime fiction canon that tackles the underworld as no other novel has done before."
--Anthony Dauer, Editor, Judas_ezine
Prose Poems
"Manhattan Spleen is mighty cool, I think, and if anyone writes better prose poems these days I don't know who they are."
—X.J. Kennedy
“I am always happy to drop everything—pretty nearly—when I make the acquaintance of a poet as good as E.M. Schorb.”
—James Dickey
"Schorb has been writing some of the best American poetry for decades."
—Jim Barnes
"The Ideologues is an amazing collection. The final poem, 'Toward the End,' reveals the reason that poetry exists."
—Fred Chappell
Winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize Purdue University Press