edition of The Sleeping Mermaid
acclaim for Rob Couteau's novel, Doctor Pluss:
beautiful, haunting prose. It's a great book."
Invisible Spectator: A Biography of Paul Bowles
(Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Writers in Paris (Grove
Press / Bloomsbury)
freshness, richness and potency ...
An impressively creative writer, whom
Barney Rosset urged me to review."
-- Jim Feast,
of Neo Phobe
(with Ron Kolm; Autonomedia)
from his Evergreen
Pluss and Collected
revised edition of The Sleeping Mermaid.
Sleeping Mermaid is
available in these libraries and bookstores:
Barner Books, New Paltz
- Inquiring Minds, New Paltz
collection of poetry by literary author and fine artist Rob Couteau, The Sleeping
Mermaid includes poems about growing up in Brooklyn and living in Paris; poetry
based on works of Picasso; and poem portraits of figures such as Brassai and Walt
Whitman. Introduction by author
from The Sleeping Mermaid:
and literary enthusiast Rob Couteau brings readers part of his love with The
Sleeping Mermaid, a book of flowing poetry and thought that asks plenty of
questions and offers plenty of answers. The Sleeping Mermaid is a poetry
collection well worth considering. '... Muse ... She is constant / like a steady
stream; / only my cup / may falter.'
-- Willis M. Buhle, Midwest
Book Review, August 2010.
Couteau’s work there is no phoniness, no artifice for the sake of artifice–though
in the great French tradition this poet knows so well, there is some art for the
sake of art. Couteau does not venture into realms of obscurity where meaning is
confined to the interior of a Klein bottle; his poems all have direct force, subjects,
even verbs. He is intent on having his readers share in
his observations, whether it be his artful retelling and reinterpretations of
Native American story and song, or his appraisal of how a woman parades across
the avenue. He does not ever sacrifice ordinary sense for an extra-ordinary
significance. Instead, he speaks with fervor, with something to say, with something
he wants us to hang onto and in the process come to an understanding of
why it matters not just to him but should matter to us. [...]
it was William Carlos Williams who said that poetry is belief. Couteau believes
in belief, believes that poetic worth is measured in faithfulness to what is,
what has been, and what could be. These are his talismans; these are the points
where he begins and ends. His poetic excursions take us to many places: to the
Paris of Rimbaud and Picasso, to the Native North Americans, to mythology and
history and how the woman he is encountering is seducing him as he seduces her
(and us), and finally, how alone, the cosmos plays itself out at 3 a.m. when the
only lap dog is memory."
Sawyer-Lauçanno, from his Introduction
to The Sleeping Mermaid.
Couteau is a writer and visual artist from Brooklyn. In the mid-1980s he was director
of a nonprofit agency that provided advocacy, housing, and counselling for former
psychiatric patients, in New York City. He's the author of the novel Doctor
Pluss; the literary anthology Collected Couteau, the memoirs Letters
from Paris and The Paris Journals, and the poetry collection The
Sleeping Mermaid. In 1985 he won the North American Essay Award, a competition
open to North American writers and sponsored by the American Humanist Association.
work as a literary critic, interviewer, and social commentator has been featured
in books such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera: A Reader’s
Guide, by Thomas Fahy, Conversations with Ray Bradbury, ed. Steven
Aggelis, and David Cohen’s Forgotten Millions, a book about the homeless
poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in over thirty-five magazines,
newspapers, and literary journals, including
The Alembic; Anima; Arete; Bloomsbury Review; Cadillac Cicatrix; Chrysalis;
Colere; Confluent Educational Journal; Croton Review; The European; Footwork;
The Garden State; The Hawaii Pacific Review; Heavenbone; The Humanist; The Journal
of Contemporary Psychotherapy; Lapis; Lift Magazine; New Leaves Review; The Paris
Voice; Passager; Quantum; Raintaxi; Rockhurst Review; Spring; Venice Magazine;
Versitude; West Hills Review; White Pelican Review; Xanadu; and Z Miscellaneous.
After living in Paris for twelve years, he returned to the U.S. in December
2000. He currently resides in upstate New York.