New Offerings from Ocaso Press


A New Novel by Colin Holcombe

Beautiful, mischievous and charming: Patrick Staunton is sufficient of a portrait artist to recognize trouble in the beautiful wife of his wealthy employer, and hardly needs the warning of mafia connections from an old Polish friend. 'Of course you will fall in love with me, I guarantee it', Natalie Stumpfl tells him at a Frankfurt nightclub, and remorselessly Staunton is drawn into her scandalous past even as he begins to understand the roots of his own tangled relationship with women. He closes his eyes to the murders of his father and girlfriend, and to the money-laundering activities of his employer, blindly following Natalie through Spain, the art-world of England and Russia. Will she leave the husband she despises, or does she despise all men, allowing only women to be fully intimate with her thoughts?
In stopping his headlong descent into crime, Staunton crashes the car in which they are travelling, and is arraigned for attempted murder. A celebrated court case brings out the shadows of Natalie's past as Staunton tries to secure the affections of a woman who is both his despair and continuing inspiration. Now free.


Translated from the Sanskrit by C. John Holcombe

The Cloud Messenger is a masterpiece of Sanskrit literature, and was composed by the court poet Kalidasa some time before AD 634 in northern India. A Yaksha or nature deity begs a passing cloud to carry a message across the subcontinent to his grieving consort in the fabled city of Alak√°. Under this fiction, Kalidasa presents a sympathetic portrait of northern India, and weaves in the various moods of love traditional in classical Sanskrit poetry. The version here is taken from the standard 1912 Hultzsch text, and employs accomplished English verse to render the simple magnificence of the original while remaining faithful to the meaning. Free.

writing verse: a practical guide

By Colin John Holcombe

An updated and expanded, 568-page book on verse as an art form — a practical guide to writing verse in traditional, Modernist and Postmodernist styles. Illustrated with copious examples ranging from Chaucer to contemporary American poets, plus hundreds of Internet links, this guide bridges the gap between self expression and the production of professional work worthy of the detailed literary study.

The theory sections explain not only what poets are and have been trying to do, but why verse takes its often stylized forms. The opening chapters cover the theory and aesthetics of verse, genre considerations, sentence structure and rhetoric, stanza forms and word choice, sound patterning, metaphor and imagery, metre and rhyme. Then follow chapters on the sonnet, lyrics, rhyming couplets, ode, pastoral elegy, light verse, blank, narrative and dramatic verse, modenist and postmodernist styles, and performance poetry. Final chapters provides a step by step guide to verse construction, and the translation into English of Italian, French, German and Sanskrit poetry. Free.