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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Manifesto

The next chapbook of this year’s open reading selections is Under Half-Empty Heaven by Peycho Kanev.  The first line of the opening poem, “Manifesto” (“I grew up in Communism”) hints at a story of sorts that unfolds over the course of the collection, along with a sense helplessness and oppression that the poems deliver . . . but not without flourishes of beauty and hope. There’s a lot to contemplate in these pieces. 

From “Lament”:

“Loud music starts from the house,
cutting the songs of the crickets in half
and the voice of the dead soprano
weighs like a gravestone in the air.
In the night’s darkness I look into
nothing,
seek nothing,
just to lift this cold beer to my mouth
and listen to the deathly music.”


You can now get a copy on the Titles page. 

 

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Friday, July 06, 2018

July 2018 Update

As we’ve now blown through the Summer Solstice and Fourth of July (here in the U.S.), it’s just about time for our next chapbook.  This time it’s Under Half-Empty Heaven by Peycho Kanev, and it will arrive next week, which is a little later than planned.  As a result, the next chapbook (from Mike Sikkema) will follow close behind (mid/late August).  And then we’ll be preparing for our next open reading period and an off-cycle collection from Cat Conway.

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Recently

Little Sister
The latest chapbook in our 2017/2018 Season is another collection of found poetry.  Little Sister by Sarah Nichols rose out of the second “Poeming” event in October 2017, wherein multiple participants (also including yours truly) wrote a poem a day using different Anne Rice novels as source material. 

Sarah’s novel was Violin, but the ghosts that inhabit that work are largely left out of her evocative and spare poems.  Instead, the poems themselves are ghostly psalms to womanhood and identity.  I was really drawn to the haiku-like economy of language and the multifaceted “character” that Sarah has created.  (The super-appropriate cover art was created by Cat Conway.)

From “Little Sister Witch”:

“I made an offering:
bones, dust, hair. A spell for captured

night.

They carried me through
the streets

to the fire. I burn, like kindling,

dark red and bitter

sparks.”


Grab a copy of Sarah’s chapbook on the Titles page. 

cont.

Despite the recent “silence,” we’ve been pretty busy the past month or two.  In fact, we have a new chapbook coming out in three days!  This time, it’s Sarah Nichols with Little Sister

Besides being chock full of great poems, this one features a cover by Cat Conway, who we’ve added to our schedule for an off-cycle chapbook late this year.  (After Sarah’s chapbook, we have two more 2017/2018 Open Reading chapbooks for the season, likely coming toward the beginning of July and late August.) 

We’re also looking at structuring a “schedule” a bit better.  The non-poetry/professional/read-world job has an extremely busy period that runs through April and into May, so that could alter the chapbook schedule in future years.  Which assumes a lot. 

For now, let’s focus on what’s at hand.  See you in a few days!

cont.

Letters from the Other Woman

It seems like a long time coming, but we’ve finally gotten to the first chapbook of the 2017/2017 Open Reading season, Letters from the Other Woman by Monica Prince. 

In reality, there has been a lot of buildup with this collection’s debut at AWP18 last week and Monica’s appearance at the GBP/Anhinga off-site reading.  Her poems here create a dialogue through a series of “letters” (not always from the “other woman”) that takes us to surprising places.  There’s a narrative thread for us to untangle, woven with Monica’s expert use of language.

From one of the letters to the other woman:

“Don’t be ashamed of who you are,
how you’ve turned this thirsty.
How else can you start

a conversation? Next time, skip this part,
break character, insist on release
from unwanted attention.”


Monica Prince has a supernova-bright future in the poetry world, so get in on the ground floor . . . with a copy of this chapbook!

cont.

It’s the Ides of March here.  Still in a come-down from hashtag-AWP-18, which was a great experience.  I got to meet a lot of GBP poets for the first time, saw some spectacular readings (including our split reading with Anhinga Press), and sold some chapbooks.  I also visited the Whale Prom book fair a mile from the conference.  To be honest, that event was much better suited to our small press, but we’d been more or less locked into AWP in Tampa from the moment the site was announced.  Unless there’s an AWP announced in Atlanta (or, y’know, Tallahassee), we’ll be focusing on smaller, regional events for the next few years.  (We definitely WON’T be seeing you in Portland.)

Also, at the conference last week, we debuted the new chapbook from Monica Prince, Letters from the Other Woman.  We’ll be announcing its online availability (from this website) on Sunday. 

See you in a few days!

cont.