announcement – Can’t Stop Now by John Yamrus

Can’t Stop Now!
136 pages
ISBN: 978-1-926860-06-0
Epic Rites Press, 2011

Can’t Stop Now! is the eighteenth poetry collection by acclaimed author John Yamrus – whose career has spanned more than four decades.

When asked about “endurance,” John replied “I’ve always considered myself to be a lunch pail kind of writer… one who goes to work every day and no matter what, manages to get the job done.”

outside my window

the neighbor’s
cutting his

the guy
across the street
is hosing down
his driveway

and there’s a kid
going up and
down the

hanging flyers
on mailboxes.

that’s just
the kind of day it is…

out of the ordinary.


just like

but, it all still
needs to be

the flyers,

the driveway,

the grass,

most especially,

this poem.

i’m pretty

that’s the


Since the release of his first book in 1970, John’s work has been published in hundreds of magazines, taught at both the high school and university levels, and translated into numerous languages.

The cover of Can’t Stop Now!, by the great multi-media artist Pablo Vision, depicts a 17th century perpetual motion machine – symbolic of John’s remarkably consistent body of work.

“Two major qualities prevail in Yamrus’ recent work: economy and punch. No word is unnecessary or out of place; the timing is impeccable; and, most difficult of all, the endings hit just the right balance of summation, revelation, and surprise.” – Gerald Locklin, author of Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet

When asked about the economy of his poetry, John remarked:

“I think the hardest thing for a writer to learn is what NOT to say. Writers want to talk and talk and talk in their work and show their readers how good they are. Flashy. That’s not me. I don’t want to impress my readers with bells and whistles. I want to hit them over the head with blood and guts and bone. I don’t want to create an unreality. People can’t relate to that. I want to give them something more. I want to give them something that they know and lead them into thinking something a little deeper about it.”

every year

sends me
an entry form
for the local
Poet Laureate competition.

to throw the thing out,
but unwilling to co-operate,
i take ten minutes
and fill out the form,

sending in
the required
number of entries,

all the while
making sure
that each and every poem
is about hemorrhoids,
a hair on the tip of my nose,
bad breath
or my dog
taking a dump in the yard.

i know the poems
won’t be what they want,
but they
just might be

what they

When asked about the longevity of his work and how he’s managed to hold onto the fire for over four decades, John replied:

“I think habit plays a certain part in it. Like you said, I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and it’s just something I’m used to. Old habits like this are hard to break, especially when you’re having as much fun at it as I am. I get a kick out of those aspiring writers who sit around waiting for inspiration. Man, if you can’t look around you, every day, and find something to inspire you, then
you’d better pick a different line of work.”

“I read John’s newest book to the end in one sitting, then began rereading. His words get in your head… you can’t stop with one poem, that simply won’t do. It’s like a bag of your favorite flavor of potato chips or that first beer on Friday night after a damn hard week. You sink in to this book and devour it, you savor it. You sit back and wonder… why haven’t I written that before?” – Diana Rose, Write And Radio


something simple,
but making it

can often be
a thing of

i watered,

and re-arranged
our potted plants,


i thought


Can’t Stop Now! by acclaimed author John Yamrus is the work of a master craftsman. This is how poetry was meant to be: lean, stripped of pretension, pared down to muscle and bone.

Can’t Stop Now!
Epic Rites Press


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