acclaim for Rob Couteau's novel, Doctor Pluss:
beautiful, haunting prose. It's a great book."
A Biography of Paul Bowles
Writers in Paris
Press / Bloomsbury)
freshness, richness and potency ...
An impressively creative writer, whom Barney Rosset urged
me to review."
(with Ron Kolm; Autonomedia)
from his Evergreen
Doctor Pluss and
available in these libraries and bookstores:
- Barnes & Nobles
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.'
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.
"I think 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
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 mentally ill.
poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared
in over thirty-five magazines, newspapers, and literary
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
After living in Paris for twelve years, he returned to
the U.S. in December 2000. He currently resides in upstate