Beyond baroque books

About Beyond Baroque Books

In 1971, Beyond Baroque began issuing chapbooks by both emerging and established poets. Titles include the first book from Los Angeles’ inaugural poet laureate, Eloise Klein Healy, and works by Dennis Cooper, Amy Gerstler, Bill Mohr, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, and Wanda Coleman. Beyond Baroque Books launched in 1998, and has published works by Jean-Luc Godard, Jack Hirschman, Diane di Prima, David Meltzer, and others. Current authors include 2023 Poet Laureate of Altadena Peter J. Harris, Carol Potter, Carol Ellis, and Puma Perl.

Coming Soon

The Writing Life: 55 Years at Beyond Baroque
Date: November 17, 2023; ISBN: 978-1892184191; Price: $20.00

The Writing Life: 55 Years at Beyond Baroque is a unique historical narrative about Beyond Baroque, told by those who know it best. Much more than commemorative, the book serves as a creativity handbook appealing to anyone with an interest in becoming a writer. This anthology of personal pieces, poems, and prompts touches on aspects of craft, community, publishing, and performance includes contributions from U.S. Presidential Inaugural Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick, Beyond Baroque Poet-in-Residence Will Alexander, former California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Amy Gerstler, Amy Uyematsu, J. Ryan Stradal, Janet Fitch, and many more.



by Peter J. Harris
Date: October 3, 2022; ISBN: 978-1892184283; Price: $18.00

For decades now, Peter J. Harris’s voice has mesmerized his readers and listeners. He moves us with his words and his presence, his dignity and his vulnerability, with his truth-telling and the way he can spin a tale, turning narrative into song, lyric into incantation. And here he is, doing it again in SongAgain -- a most powerful and beautiful collection of poems.

“Peter J. Harris is our bridge to Sterling Brown’s blues and James Brown’s soul. He is our bridge between troubadour and trouble man. Over troubled waters, he is our bridge wired with moonlight and house speakers. He writes, ‘touch me with your dance’ in this dynamic body of work, ‘this body full of impatient Cha cha cha,’ ‘Mahalia’s choppy handclaps,’ ‘slow drag sambas’ and ‘mother’s last call illuminating dusk.’ SongAgain is the mature, moving music of one of our original gangsters for truth, love and poetry.”

—Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin and Lighthead, winner of the National Book Award.

Peter J. Harris is a Los Angeles-based poet and winner of the City of LA’s 2017–’18 COLA Fellowship, and the author of Bless the Ashes (Tia Chucha Press), winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award; and The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My “Unalienable Right”, a book of personal essays which won the 2015 American Book Award, and his most recent poetry collection SongAgain (Beyond Baroque Books). His work has appeared since the 1970s in a wide variety of publications, including Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, edited by Suzanne Lummis; Altadena Poetry Anthologies for 2018 and 2019; and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles, edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. Since 1992, Harris has been a member of the Anansi Writers Workshop at the World Stage in LA’s Leimert Park.

Read the press release here.

Available at:


What Happens Next Is Anyone’s Guess
by Carol Potter
Date: April 30, 2022; ISBN: 978-1892184276; Price: $18.00

Here is a collection that reveals what happens when skill meets substantial talent. And what, precisely, is it that happens? The unpredictable—from poem to poem, line to line, a cascade of surprises. Mischief, memory, dream and lusty desire come into play here, and one recurring feature: in virtuoso displays of heady language, the blood and bone of the animal and natural world.

Carol Potter grew up on a farm—environs that make an occasional appearance in her poems—and now lives in Vermont, but has a longtime connection to Los Angeles as a teacher in Antioch University’s MFA program. She has published several books of prize-winning poetry. Carol won the FIELD Poetry Prize from Oberlin College Press for her book Some Slow Bees; Otherwise Obedient (Red Hen) was a 2008 Lambda Literary Award finalist, and Short History of Pets won the 1999 Cleveland State Poetry Center Award and the Balcones Award. Alice James published her books Upside Down in the Dark and Before We Were Born. She has been included in a Pushcart Anthology and other poems appear in noted literary journals such as The New England Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry, Hotel Amerika, APR, The Los Angeles Review and The Kenyon Review.

Available at:
Small Press Distribution and Amazon


Lost and Local
by Carol Ellis
Date: December 1, 2019; ISBN: 978-1892184269; Price: $18.00

"Leaving the theater I stand outside in a dark of black lipstick the world wears when everyone leaves." Language like this—savory, sensuous and ripe with the unexpected—is among Carol Ellis' strengths, along with an intelligence that converts the ordinary into the wild and the strange. They pour from her, these poems, not in the form of stories exactly, narrative, but in a profusion of responses to the world, the seen, the experienced and the imagined. "Thunder. The dogs bark. The gods are angry say those who believe in gods. The gods are always angry or out in the back alley by the dumpster smoking a cigarette." Reader, think of Carol Ellis' poems this way: like stepping into the realm of dreams, but dreams wittier and more sumptuous than those that favor most of us each night.

Carol Ellis is a poet living in Portland, Oregon. She's been around the academic block with her PhD in English from the University of Iowa (her dissertation was about the poet James Wright) and her Masters of English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State, where she studied with Robert Creeley, and Ed Dorn.

Available at:
Small Press Distribution


Birthdays Before and After
by Puma Perl
Date: August 22, 2019; ISBN: 978-1892184207; Price: $15.00

Birthdays Before and After is a singular work, much like Puma Perl is a singular voice, and your life will be vastly improved when you buy this book.
– Jack Henry

To the edgy, illustrious ranks of poets like Diane Di Prima and Charles Bukowski, let us now add the fearless, delirious genius of Puma Perl. Long a cult legend and staple of the Lower East Side poetry scene, with Birthdays Before and After, she steps forward and cements her place as 21st Century visionary and unsparing chronicler of the human condition. Anyone who cares about phenomenal writing and one-of-a-kind breathtaking lines on the page needs to read this book. Puma Perl is nothing short of a national treasure living in our midst. And “Birthdays” is a jewel.
– Jerry Stahl

Available at: