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A Portable Chaos - 2021 Revised


The story opens with a stream-of-consciousness flashback to a childhood incident that resembles James Joyce's 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,' which gains significance as the novel unfolds, and you come to appreciate it. The main character is a decent guy overflowing with untapped potential, who walks away from opportunities and the wrong sort of success and follows his bliss as a poet. After a pretty squalid time living 'la vie Boheme' (vividly written, conjuring up the ghosts of the 1960's past, but squalid, nevertheless), he emerges from the slough and finds validation, the girl, fame, fortune, contentment, and reconciliation with all those pesky childhood demons. This is a well-plotted, well-characterized, and solidly written story. A Portable Chaos has everything you want in good literature--poignant writing, drama, and redemption.

Christopher Klim, Award Citation

Five and Ten

Five and Ten, by a prize-winning poet and novelist, contains a fairy tale, a few poems, and a fable for children, illustrated by the author's young daughters and featuring a cover painting of them by the author.


"The Golden Squirrel" was originally published in "Modern Day Fairy Tales," edited by Nikita Gill.


"A Fable," first appeared in "ELM: Eureka Literary Magazine," edited by Loren Logsdon, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and also in "The World of English," China, with Chinese translation.


The poems first appeared in the following publications:  "The Caterpillar," "Lucid Rhythms," "Rattle & Rictus," "The South Carolina Review," "The Dirigible Balloon," and "Spring: A Journal of the E.E. Cummings Society."






Dates and Dreams

Short Fictions, Prose Poems, Cartoons

Resurgius, A Sixties Sex Comedy

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. It abounds in delectable tongue-in-cheek wit. Your price of admission will be richly repaid by the character of Bettina Battle, a woman with all the subtlety of a battering ram, in hot pursuit of sexual satisfaction from Serge, the dorky antihero. Among its other distinc-tions, Resurgius is a masterpiece of style, so skillfully written that it would be hard to change a word without a worsening. This comes as no surprise; Schorb for a long while has stood out among our finer poets, with tremendous assets of imagination, powers of invention, and the ability to polish his words to a sheen. This is a book to give to discerning friends, to cherish on a permanent shelf, and to wolf down immediately, being regaled.

—X. J. Kennedy


Paradise Square

"It's a modern blend of literary history and spunky humor that deserves its Frankfurt nod."

Publishers Weekly

Scenerio For Scorsese

"Unlike the author's award-winning mystery, Paradise Square, what we know about Scorsese's characters comes from what is going on inside their heads, an irresistibly authentic introduction. The environment crawls with detail, little of it pleasant, but much of it inspired. Scenario for Scorsese is notable for considering the needs and ethics of living without the slightest philosophizing, using only the experiences of its characters to convey its viewpoint. A spectacular denoument."

—Joy Calderwood, Independent Reviews Site

Time and Fevers

“The poems of E.M. Schorb shine calmly even as they buzz with energy; are connaissant with the world and yet transcendent of it; make something deeply funny and yet highly sad—given a world and a time and a good mind’s eye. This is the work of a mature intelligence, its ironies unadulterated by cynicism, and its swells informed by understatement.”

—Heather McHugh

“To be a first-class poet requires a fluency of language, mastery of a vocabulary sufficient to express seminal, original thoughts set down with rhythm, with imagery, and with descriptive evocation that communicates flawlessly with the recipient of the poetry of verse. Such is the case with the poetry of E.M. Schorb.”


—Paul T. Vogel, Midwest Book Review


The Journey

“The Journey,” together with some fine ancillary poems, is a major work by one of our most challenging and surprising poets: a profound exploration of dream that seeks to fathom the nature of reality. Stunningly beautiful passages of verbal music seem to leap off the page. In all his long career, E. M. Schorb has never given us anything more ambitious, more likely to last.

—X.J. Kennedy

E. M. Schorb’s “The Journey” navigates among dreams, déjà vu, premonitions, a carefully observed, scrupulously interrogated present and “a touch of the old moonglow.” Sometimes, he even seems to bring dispatches from “the undiscover’d country,” but he is always rooted in the world of the senses and the mind. It is a pleasure to travel with him.

—R. T. Smith

“The Journey” will take you deep into your mind and soul. You’ll ask “where does the sun come from,” you’ll try to “discover the source of pain” and you’ll “rejoin yourself, deserted long ago.” E.M. Schorb has discovered the ‘Higgs boson’ of the poetic world, the vision that binds it all.

—Pat Mullan

E.M. Schorb’s poems do for me what great poetry should do—they illuminate experience from the inside out. In his magnificent essay “Poetry and Meaning,” our late U.S. poet laureate Howard Nemerov writes that the whole job of poets is “getting it right in language.” In poetry that shimmers with luminosity, and with “the most tender touch imaginable,” E.M. Schorb is “getting it right” every time. Welcome to the “Hotel Paradiso,” where “The Journey” begins.

—Sander Zulauf

The Ideologues

A captivating collection of free-verse in disparate styles, touching on subjects that run the gamut from a revisionist view of the Trojan War to the wartime death of a brother to the New York Draft Riots of 1863. The title poem is a profoundly bitter indictment of those writers who prostitute their art to support fanatical revolutionary politics. Schorb's new book demonstrates a versatility in free verse that matches his proven ability as a formal poet.
—Joseph S. Salemi

Murderer's Day

"The poems of E.M. Schorb shine calmly even as they buzz with energy; are connaissant with the world and yet transcendent of it; make somehting deeply funny and yet highly sad -- given a world and a time and a good mind's eye. This is the work of a mature intelligence, its ironies unadulterated by cynicism, and its swells informed by understatement. A feisty book, a confident book, and in its own way, a furiously festive one."

—Heather McHugh, award citation