A Civic Pageant: Winner of the Spring, 2007 Black River Chapbook Competition

A Civic Pageant is a pageant of the emotional history of the self. In language as large, colorful and weightless as floats, the poems in A Civic Pageant reflect on the civics of our selves—the duty we hold to experience and emotion. They praise and lament how we must parade these obligations in front of us—always part leader of the parade, always part hopeless spectator.

About the Author

Frank Montesonti is currently the Lead Faculty of the MFA program at National University. His poems have appeared in such journals as Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, AQR, Poems and Plays, Lit, and Barrow Street. He lives in San Diego.

Advance Praise

Montesonti’s pageant is more living diorama than contest—it’s a winter Midwest cityscape of blackouts and drunk dreaming. So, it is a pageant actually—but in place of pomp and heroics, Montensonti’s threaded that contradictory portent: a yearning to disappear from your hometown only to be lifted over it, reviewing what’s really there and now no longer your own. Funny, sad, and then funnily sad again and again.

– Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Ph.D, author of Lug Your Careless Body out of the Careful Dusk

Reading Frank Montesonti’s poems is like finding a human heart in a gleaming grocery aisle. He discovers difficult glory in the most plastic of places; he blasts apart the overlooked, everyday architecture protecting our most precious things. In one stanza, his startling declarations warn us against the sweet, slippery danger of dreams, but in the next he’s built us a beautiful, giant dream machine.

–Sommer Browning, author of Vale Tudo

Frank Montesonti’s poems deconstruct a narrative of longing for grandeur in the ordinary. They are in constant motion, like “small blue tornadoes in [his] eyes,” and gaining momentum always. If there were an easy way, Frank “has the legal right to shoot it and ask questions later.”

–James Meetze, author of I Have Designed This For You

A Civic Pageant is available from Black Lawrence Press and from Amazon.