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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Emily’s Space

Space on Earth

We’re finally here . . . the beginning of the 2019 chapbook season.  Even though there wasn’t a “winner” from the open reading period late in 2018, I did have a strong feeling about the first chapbook we’re publishing this year . . . Space on Earth by Emily Hockaday.

I like a chapbook that has layers and a range of feelings.  A title with a dual meaning helps, too.  I don’t need a story or narrative, but a development of feeling is good.  Here, “space” plays a big part . . . in terms of outer space, as well as the distance between things and people.  There are boundaries.  There are also Vikings (like the warrior queen on the front cover [above]) and frogs (back cover) and explorations of existential dread.  Oh, and science.  It’s really great and infinitely readable and enjoyable. 

From “Stories Our Bodies Tell”:

“I said the moon is an open eye
but I was wrong. Tonight it is just
a crater-pocked satellite, lit along
the edge not obscured by
our shadow. “


The chapbook is available now on the Titles page.  Any copies purchased between now and this weekend will be shipped early next week.  Plan accordingly.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

March 2019 Update

The first chapbook of 2019—Emily Hockaday’s Space of Earth—is going to be available for purchase next week.  On the Internet only, as we won’t be making the trip to Portland for AWP.  Last year in Tampa may have been an AWP one-off, being relatively close to our home base in North Florida.  Maybe if AWP makes it to Atlanta again.  In the meantime, we’re looking at some smaller regional events . . . that don’t take place in the Spring, which is a really busy time in in my non-press life.

The next chapbooks will be from Howie Good (May 1) and Brendan Walsh (June 22).  And we’ll have our third (?!) chapbook from Jessie Janeshek later this year. 

See you next week!

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Recently

We’re a little later than usual in getting out the final selections from our annual open reading period.  We knew at the time we came up with our finalists that it’d be into the early part of the New Year that we’d be making our final selections.  The selected authors were contacted last week, and we’re ready to announce them now.  Although we don’t really have a schedule, per se, the first chapbook will be from Emily Hockaday; it will appear around the Vernal Equinox.  Following that, we have three others selected from the 2018/2019 pool of manuscripts . . . Brendan Walsh, Howie Good, and Jessie Janeshek.

We’ll try and come up with a firm schedule that will carry us into the Summer.  Generally, we’ll be looking a spacing the first three chapbooks out every six to eight weeks.  Jessie’s will likely be later in the year in coordination with other publications.  Next month, we should have a more solid schedule. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted and/or continues to support our poets and their work.

cont.

We’re mostly through the manuscripts for first-reads and we anticipate notifying finalists this week.  Very few of those not chosen as finalists will be notified, so please check back here in a week or so if you haven’t heard anything. 

Going through the finalists’ manuscripts will likely carry into the New Year (but not too far).  I’m a little afraid we’ll be accepting more manuscripts than planned, ultimately, because we received a lot of quality work.

cont.

All the Twists of the Tongue

Like many creative writing undergrads, I got a fair amount of poetic inspiration from Sylvia Plath. Arguably, too much.  And when I left college, her work was one of only a couple things I continued studying (the other being the American Civil War, but that’s another story).  Anyone with a passing knowledge of Plath knows what a shit her husband (Ted Hughes) was and that, besides her suicide, the biggest tragedy was that control over her work went to Hughes and his sister.  He edited her final collection of poems, Ariel, and her journals.  In publishing the latter, Hughes removed some passages he didn’t think were fit for public consumption; many painted him in a bad light.

Cathleen Conway has crafted a collection of found poems using these removed fragments as source material. All the Twists of the Tongue is a masterful work that shapes the voice of Plath into something else . . . familiar but different.  Being Plath-based, the poems include a healthy dose of darkness, but there’s a winking lightness when the poems brush against the mythology.  Like in “Bildungsroman” . . . “I know about / the pirated Sylvia.  Ego and Narcissus.  I resent pirated Sylvia.”  Lovely.

From “Falcon Yard”:

“It is a narrow-minded way of looking at things:
ugly raised wrist-scars, no false notes.

So nasty and cruel and calculated—
how he praised this in me.

I was guilty of an indiscretion…
what a fool one is to sincerely love.”


You can order a copy (or copies) on the Titles page.  Cat ordered extra copies to distribute in the U.K., but there are international-shipping options (with separate prices) in you need to order here.  In either case, do yourself a favor.

cont.

As we sink deeper / sail further into the Holiday season, we’re making our way through the manuscripts received during the open reading period that closed earlier this month.  Had I not left my laptop charging cable at home when we were out of town for Thanksgiving, I’d be a lot further along.  Early indications are we have a really good mix of interesting work. 

While we wade through manuscripts, we’re preparing to release Cathleen Conway’s All the Twists of the Tongue, which is a collection of found poems sourced from material Ted Hughes edited out of Sylvia Plath’s journals prior to publication.  It’s awesome.  And this chapbook marks the first time we’ve used a professional printer (in testing some cover options), so if you order a copy, maybe you’ll receive one of those.  The release will be Friday (night, if we’re being honest).

cont.