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Back Words and Forward

At most, I am intrigued at how life can play out its role, the fates we face on a day-to-day basis, and consequences that later define who we are and what we were. Life really does have a purpose and much to serve; the sad thing is most people donat ever find their passion. I have learned that it is the hope inside that enables me to word my past, move on in life, and go forward. One can go through life through the motions of survival, all the while neglecting what God has uniquely gifted for that person to require and establish. I believe there is a reason for everything, whether the cards were dealt for a life to be born with abundance or in destitution. In a world that is vague and raw, Back Words and Forward depicts the discrimination, fears, death, love, and lacks of life that touch us every day.

Publish America, 2005

Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter

Poems by Anthony Liccione. A book filled of bloodshed, spellbound, impure thoughts, impulsive urges and untimely wordplay; that twists back to our starving reality.

Lulu, 2006

Heaven's Shadow (Springfed Chapbook #51)

A collection of poetry published by Foothills Publishing.

Foothills Publishing, 2005


Parched and Colorless

This is a short collection of poetry published by The Moon Publishing.


" If each one of Anthony Liccione’s poems could create an actual, human presence, and if you could keep all of these strange, fascinating characters in one place, the result would be something like touring an insane asylum with enough madness to bring the walls down again and again. These walls stay up though, and Liccione is the best tour guide we could ask for through two of his intuitive, challenging poetry collections, Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter and Parched and Colorless. The books differ in minor things like binding, font and length (Parched and Colorless can probably be read in less than an hour, but that’s certainly not a negative), but make no mistake that they are from the same steady, sincere and brutal voice. The most important accomplishment of these collections when taken as a whole is that they reveal Liccione as a veteran observer of his surroundings. The range of those observations is potentially limitless.

Neither book is superior to the other. Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter is a bit longer than Parched and Colorless, but both possess images and narratives that can knock you out of your chair every single time. Both show Liccione’s ability to break bones on the first line or stanza. It doesn’t get much better than the opening to “Blood from Stones”, from Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter:

Sometimes I find myself in the middle
of struggle, the war of believing in right 
when wrong is around prevailing-
sometimes I want to spoon
the sperm of father from out
the womb of mother,

It may not get much better than that, but in this case that only means that many of the others are just as good. An awful lot of them have the tenacity and candor to grab your ears and eyes for your attention, as soon as they begin to mumble or scream. There isn’t a lot of throat-clearing or uncertainty in pieces like “The Unleashed Song”, “A Leap of Faith” (with some of the best word play and style in the whole bunch) or “Washer Machine Gun.” These are poems that speak immediately and with intimidating clarity. They go after the senses with no thought of looking back or slowing down. Liccione has lived every one of these stories, and that’s what many of them, brilliantly-told stories, and he doesn’t make this known to the point of posturing. He’s smart and skilled enough as a writer to stand back, and let the poems succeed relentlessly as portraits of the streets, the unknown and the infinite. All set in verse.

That’s not to say something like “Spoon and Fork”, with its bizarre visuals and off-kilter, appealing humor, or “One Morning, Snowflakes Fell”, a piece all at once haunting and gentle, are not products of Liccione’s personality. It’s just that Liccione is a writer who knows when to be a protagonist in his poems. And when to stand back and let something as rich as “The Castaway Carnival” take us to the psychic cleaners. Another thing both books have in common is that the more we read of them, the more we want to read because we are constantly left to wonder where Liccione is going to move us to next.

Neither of these books is for passive readers. It’s worth mentioning that now, but it’s also something you’ll pick up quickly, no matter which of these books you happen to start with. You’ll figure out at the first poem that Liccione is going to dictate every step of the way, and every scene you visit. Good writing does this. Better writing also gives you the chance to take from its words your own view of what you’ve just read. There is miles worth of interpretation to be found here. It will have you considering those views, and any personal memories the poems bring about, for a long time afterwards. Anthony Liccione’s writing is capable of all of this, and it’s all the better because he’s not deliberately setting out to accomplish it. He’s too busy writing. Anything besides that is just a natural, welcomed offshoot.
" - Gabriel Ricard, The Moon Publishing


Parched and Colorless is currently available as an eBook from Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Books.

Moon Publishing, 2005


Wolf Down

" Knowing what’s out there in the world doesn’t mean you also have to let it destroy you. The good is taken with the bad in Wolf Down, and the transition from one to the other is seamless, and the mark of a writer as tired yet willing and eager to continue on. It is the gratitude of still being alive, coming through the minor and severe hells of an ordinary day more or less intact. It is not something easily gained in life, but it’s always worth trying for. The writer capable of telling us of their journey through this as well as Liccione will never lack for material. When the material is as good as that which is found in Wolf Down we gain almost as much as he does. Just by reading what’s on his mind. " - Gabriel Ricard, Unlikely Blog


" The first indication of what to expect in Anthony Liccione’s Wolf Down is his biography on the back. The bio is a grim and sobering reminder of the kind of hard knocks life can deliver and his poems follow the same trajectory: raw, dark, and unforgiving.

         Wolf Down’s template is the dull, routine, and unflattering part of life. But what gives this book its edge is Liccione’s poetic skill, which lies in his ability to deftly lift scenarios out of the ordinary and stain them with gloom. He hops from news stories turned tragic in One to distasteful corners of society in The Dance of Ignorance, delivering his poems with an unflinching, surgical eye. “As I write,” he says in Starvation, again “the world grows uglier…”


         The world's ugliness, no doubt, has informed Liccione’s style and he serves it up cold: in death beds and at the back of police cars. He paints domesticity as a sort of grim banality (What tomorrow may bring); treats domestic violence with disturbing routine (Coping with cops, that drive with a dozen donuts on the front seat); and allows us to be a fly on the wall as a man receives his medical death sentence (Bad news, too soon). Bleak, yes. But in dark holes, there’s that occasional light. And in Wolf Down, poems like Sense of freedom remind us that sparks of happiness can exist even within the darkest of writers. " - Cetywa Powell, UNDERGROUND VOICES


" A powerful mix of the dark and the light, the raw with the refined, Wolf Down is a remarkable collection of poems sure to draw in the reader. Well articulated, insightful and accessible, Wolf Down is a must have addition to any poetry lovers collection. " -  Debbie Berk, The Stray Branch

Corrupt Press


In a world of imperfection and instability, Symmetry is a collection of poetry that reflects an imprecise sense of dissonant and indefinite moments in time proportional to balance; such that it underlies the beauty and perfection that may linger in life. It runs the off-course of the extraordinary structural beauty, by focusing on the balanced and pleasant view of tragically opposed wills, that makes life so perennially moving.


" I liked Symmetry and found it fascinating to learn about it. The book starts a little slowly but evolves into a fantastic journey, that along the way, communicates a sense of how irrational life must be. There are scenes and characters that will stay with you well after you’ve finished the book. Very satisfying. I recommend also reading.


I loved Symmetry. Its one of those books, I got to the last page and just wanted to start reading it again. So good! " - Meal book


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