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The Sound of Rain Without Water by Charles Grosel

Exciting news. After some 40 years of scribbling and typing, my first poetry chapbook is coming out with Finishing Line Press: The Sound of Rain Without Water, shipping December 4, 2020.

To determine the press run, Finishing Line has opened the book to pre-orders beginning, well, now. If you have a mind to, you can pre-order using this link:


Keep in mind that the books won’t be shipped until December 4, and it won’t be available on Amazon until then.

Advance praise for The Sound of Rain Without Water

Back in the day in New Orleans carts came around with the owner calling out Melons! Carrots! Squash! When Charles Grosel‘s cart shows up, get out there. He’s got beautifully polished pieces of lives—and they’re pieces you need. Donald Barthelme once described art as small things strange with fur that break the heart. Here are 25 of them.

–James Sallis, author of many books of nonfiction and fiction, including Drive (made into an award-winning movie) and Sarah Jane, as well as five volumes of poetry, most recently Ain’t Long Fore Day.

 What is the sound of rain without water? It’s a koan, an impossible, unanswerable question. Charles Grosel’s The Sound of Rain Without Water (the poem) answers the question in four couplets and two single lines that soothe and cut and devastate, an entire life in ten short lines. We see light flashing off the stropped razor, we hear the zipper close on the body bag, the story, compact and utterly final. This little book explores lives with intense economy. Near the end, Grosel explains what a poem can do, or, really, to what uses you can put a poem, which is everything. Clean your fingernails, wave goodbye, woo beauty to bed. These poems are not gems; they are not just pretty, or a good investment. They are very much more; that is, not superficial.

–Rob Swigart, long-time teacher and author of hundreds of poems and more than a dozen books of fiction and non-fiction, including literary fiction, science fiction, thrillers, and business forecasting. His most recent book of fiction, Mixed Harvest, won the 2019 Nautilus Award in the Multicultural & Indigenous category.

Threads of happiness run in, around and through Charles Grosel’s new collection of poems. These threads sometimes appear in the fragility of a spider’s web, sometimes in the thirsty pulse of an alt-country song, sometimes in the remembered heft of a father’s rake. Yet they’re knit together by a sensibility capable of acknowledging both the past’s reveries and the future’s dreams, the fires of grief and the waters of love, the quick flash of pleasure and the legacy of pain. All hail a bold poet’s voice.

–PJ Krass has been teaching at the Writers Studio since 2007, both in New York and online. His poetry has appeared in Atlanta Review, New Verse News, Rattle, and elsewhere. His poem “All Dressed in Green” won a Pushcart Prize special mention.


An editor, writer, and poet, Charles Grosel grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and now lives in Arizona with his wife and daughter. He studied English literature at Yale University and fiction writing at the University of California, Davis, where he was a Regent’s Fellow. He has published stories in journals such as Western Humanities Review, Fiction Southeast, Water-Stone, and The MacGuffin, as well as poems in Slate, The Threepenny Review, Poet Lore, Cream City Review, and Harpur Palate. The Sound of Rain Without Water is his first chapbook.


The Sound of Rain Without Water

by Charles Grosel

$14.99, paper, plus shipping