Saturday, July 23, 2011


Toad Hall
2330 Benton Road N. Haverhill NH 03774
Tel 603.787.9823

The editors and publisher of Toad Hall Press hope you will please join us Sunday July 31, 2011, 2–4 PM, to celebrate the publication of Damon McLaughlin’s chapbook, Olduvai Theory, winner of the 2011 Toad Hall Chapbook Contest. The party will be at Toad Hall, at the address shown above.

The author is flying in from Tucson for the launch of the book, and poets and writers from across the US will also attend.

Toad Hall is proud to serve wine from the Vineyard at Seven Birches, our neighbor, and the creations of chef Dina Dubey of No Thyme to Cook. We promise great poetry, food, and wine.

Please let me know if you can come! E-mail or telephone 603 787-9823.

Advance praise for Olduvai Theory:

From the dawn of history to the end of time, Damon McLaughlin’s ecstatic jeremiads and coruscating haiku-like lyrics trace the trajectory of civilization across cosmic Big Bang, Pangean pea soup, eons-long bebop to the extravagant hopes and daily despair of our own American good-night. “I don’t know if this is/our first sun dance or our last,” the poet warns, “but the drums are coming./They’re coming, and a new mutilation will begin.” These are urgent poems for our darkly emergent times. 

-L. S. Asekoff


In the face of predictions that earthly catastrophe is on its way, Olduvai Theory serves up poems that tear through the language like strife, as though freeing propriety from bondage: “I don’t know if this is // our first sun dance or our last, but the drums are coming. / They’re coming, and a new mutilation will begin.” They can also sidle up to you with the delicacy of the ephemeral: “Lights of the city / float / one thousand paper lanterns.” Often raucous and outrageous in tone – at times surreal and ecstatic, if not dark with foreboding, Damon McLaughlin’s poems possess an assured and commanding voice.

-Merrill Leffler


Damon McLaughlin's chapbook Olduvai Theory predicts "this great something's end" then asks "Why give it a name?" Like Matthew Arnold, McLaughlin knows that love is the only answer in the face of the unanswerable, "Come here my darling, my moonbeam, my honeybunch. / These are questions to which you are the only answer..." This powerful collection explores the beginnings and endings we face every day and culminates with the epic "A Day in the Life of America." You won't be disappointed.

-Shaindel Beers


Maria van Beuren
Editor-in-Chief, Toad Hall Press



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