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Oregon Book Award Finalist Zachary Schomburg

Until the Awards Ceremony on April 13, we are featuring all of the 2015 Oregon Book Awards finalists. The winners will be announced at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony on April 13 at the Gerding Theater at the Armory. Join us! You can purchase tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

The Book of Joshua 02j2015 Oregon Book Awards Finalist

The Book of Joshua by Zachary Schomburg




Black Ocean

About the book:

The Book of Joshua is a singular narrative bildungsroman told in a series of prose poems that span an entirety of a life (1977 – 2044) told from the perspective of the unnamed main character. The narrative is divided into three sections: Earth, Mars, and Blood. The long poem, Blood, was recorded with Kyle Morton, of Typhoon, and can be listened to over at Black Cake Records.

About the author: 

Zachary Schomburg is the father of 35 children, none of which are visible. They are very tiny and live in his hair. They are the ones who wrote these three books: The Man Suit (Black Ocean, 2007), Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean, 2009), and FJORDS vol. I(Black Ocean, 2012) . Zachary Schomburg is a girl. Zachary Schomburg is a refrigerator. Zachary Schomburg is a talking wolf and she co-edits Octopus Magazine andOctopus Books while living in Portland, OR.

Excerpt from The Book of Joshua


In the beginning, no one was around. No one
made my bed and no one left any tools and no one
taught me how to swom or how to get back to sleep
when I woke up and no one rocked me to sleep
and no one told me the plan. No one told me what
to do with my legs. No one told me how to open
my hands. The birds waited quietly in the tree. My
fingers unfolded on their own like tiny blue swans.


Publishers Weekly

“With wit, humor, tenderness, and his characteristic, logic-bending surrealism, Schomburg (Fjords, vol. I) probes into the subjects of futurity, personal history, and mythmaking.”

Heavy Feather Review

The Book of Joshua … ultimately spins its own myths in a book that is built to feel symbolic, but isn’t really a straightforward metaphor for anything because, within the context of this world, these statements are literal. It’s not allegory but finely figured dream.”

Portland Mercury

“The feat of The Book of Joshua is to create a world by repetition: images become motifs, then symbols, and finally, reality… Schomburg captures the eventuality of a life and of all life: It’s birth and rebirth, all leaving one moment for the next.”

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