Published in October 2013 by
Moonrise Press, Los Angeles.
Distributed by,
and other online booksellers.

Order paperback edition,
$15.00 (+S&H), 74 pp.:
ISBN 978-0-9819693-7-4

Order eBook for
iTunes or Nook, $10.00:
ISBN 978-0-9819693-9-8

Ed Rosenthal's hat photo by Maja Trochimczyk
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California 91041-4288

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Survival Poems by Ed Rosenthal

This volume of poetry was inspired by a six-and-a-half-day ordeal of Ed Rosenthal, a Poet-Broker, who survived after being lost in the Mojave Desert in September 2010. An experienced hiker, he veered far away from his usual route and could not find his way back. After the rescue, he wrote 36 poignant, lyrical and hallucinatory poems about his harrowing experience. With an introduction by Ruth Nolan.
Paperback edition,
$15.00 (+S&H), 74 pp.:
ISBN 978-0-9819693-7-4

eBook for iTunes or Nook, $10.00:
ISBN 978-0-9819693-9-8


The book consists of 36 poems organized in four sections, reflecting the distinct stages in the spiritual and personal journey, from getting off track, through searching for a way back, through hallucinations in a hostile desert environment, finding shelter in the shade of Salvation Canyon, to being rescued and experiencing the world after the return from the brink of death. The title alludes to a canvas hat that Rosenthal used as a notebook and helped the lost poet control his thoughts, capture emotions, and write down his last will and a farewell to his wife and daughter. The 12 illustrations include photos of the famous hat and of the desert. This is Ed Rosenthals first book-length publication.


In "The Desert Hat," Los Angeles poet/real estate broker Ed Rosenthal presents the mythopoetic journey through his real-life experience of being lost for 6 days in remote canyons of the Mojave Desert's Joshua Tree National Park in S eptember, 2010. "The Desert Hat" delves deeply into the wildest and unpredictable heart of the Mojave into a storied landscape that Rosenthal renders as both recognizable to the reader and also deeply specific to his solitary and unanticipated experience, and in these poems, creates an empathetic and spiritually-affirming desert landscape that resonates within all of our desert hearts.

~ Ruth Nolan. Professor of English @ College of the Desert, California desert poet, writer, editor, conservationist & scholar

Ed Rosenthal's The Desert Hat not only recounts an incredibly vivid story of survival, but maps out the dangerous journeys of the heart and the imagination in that hallucinatory place between mind and body, between nature and man, between the past and the future. Like poet James Wright, Rosenthal "goes/ Back to the broken ground" of the self and finds a stranger there trapped in the cosmology of an endless, unpitying desert. As the stark "sun burns holes/ into the sky" the psyche’s true-north compass finds salvation’s shade. Rosenthal climbed out of "the busted monster’s mouth" with a beautiful, moving book.

~ Elena Karina Byrne, Executive Director of AVK Arts, author of The Flammable Bird Masque and Squander

The "poet-broker" Ed Rosenthal was inspired by surviving alone in the Mojave Desert for six and a half days. Rosenthal's poetry does not recount his experience in detail; it is not replete with maps, photographs, and a day-by-day account of his adventures. Instead, we gain an insight into what it means to be truly lost and found, to survive the strangest of desert nights and return to the heart of the city... with a newly found wisdom and zest for life.

~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D., President, Moonrise Press


Ed Rosenthal, "Poet/Broker of Downtown Los Angeles," was known for using his verses to keep his escrows going. Taking the opposite tact of iconic modernist poets Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot, who kept their day jobs at a seeming distance from their poetry, Poet/Broker employed poetry as a tool in commercial real estate. Rosenthal's "Poetic Request for 30 day Extension of Contingencies" was cited in the Los Angeles Times for enabling a redevelopment project. His Wall Street Journal piece admonished clients in couplets. To place poetic legitimacy on his state-issued real estate licenses, Rosenthal had some signed by world renowned writers, including Seamus Heaney and Evan Boland.

Prior to his near-death experience, he was already bored with the persona of the "Poet/Broker." A fan of Federico Garcia Lorca, Rosenthal began to work with poems carrying lunar motifs in urban landscapes. Survival of a harrowing near-death experience in the Mojave Desert in 2010 has deepened this imagistic writer's divorce from practicality in the direction of spiritual exploration.