Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-882295-91-3

Selected Poem


Mr. Coleman’s Something Else, at Venice, all West, East-West west, greasy tracks, xpress tracks,
xpress-o, press a coffee. X. holy barbarians vs. the smog inspector. many vs. one.
sent him away. more at Gas House blue, prefigure more than Light and Space. Palms, grass,
every crazy face. sand house with sea cast. ice plants. sunny alley aside Perkoff’s tricks, flicks.
trickster harsh in heroin haze “love, of the place, the real place"

take on "what a city


Western Practice

“[Western Practice] is a gorgeous almanac of Motika’s West Coast aesthetic. . .”
The Poetry Project Newsletter

“Nervy, desperate, and mysteriously stoic, Motika’s debut is a paean to California’s artists, geography, and history that wrestles with urban diminishment and cacophony every step of the way.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Publisher of Nightboat Books, Motika offers generous fractured poems that spread like starfish over the pages of his first book.”
—Library Journal

“While there’s a dreamy Venusian quality to Stephen Motika’s poetry, it’s also driven by a care and clarity that animates its landscapes. Western Practice is a book that deserves attention for its rich intersections of projective acrobatics and coming-of-age memory-textures, conjuring the roar of the Pacific at every turn of the line.”
—Lisa Jarnot

“If twentiety century California artists established a tradition of speculative innovation, then Western Practice ushers visionary West Coast poetics into the twenty-first.  Motika’s ingenious ear renders place prosodic; his ‘baroque leaps’ tender a sprung rhythm that turns history into ‘a theory at map’s edge.’  The ‘mystic/gather’ of this music give Motika’s ambitious projective praxis visual beauty and structural rigor.  Open this book—’crawl inside & lie down against the future.'”
—Brian Teare

“How to approach a microtonal notation of a life?  Within a diverse field of spacing, Motika’s poem “Delusions Enclosures: On Harry Partch (1901-1974)” scores a biography of the sounds of words and phrases written by the composer himself in and among the poet’s own.  In a way, notes. And a fine debut.”
—Marjorie Welish

“. . .Western Practice is a vast poetic anthropology. . .Motika’s poems shed the trappings of the solipsistically subjective, producing an efflorescence of wonder about the world at large.”
The Brooklyn Rail

“Motika’s writing looks and sounds different than his contemporaries’, yet there is no denying the way the light shines on these poems. . . . Western Practice does for the west coast what Leaves of Grass did for the east: it reveals art in everyday life.”
Lambda Literary

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