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Friday, May 19, 2017

May 2017 Update

The 2016/2017 chapbook season continues!

After kicking things off last month with Jennifer Martelli’s After Bird, we’re getting ready for our next release . . . Your Hand Has Fixed the Firmament by Kolleen Carney.  The “plan” for the season was a chapbook every six weeks or so.  The appearance of After Bird in mid-April suggested the next release around the beginning of June.  However, as we will be on vacation around that time, we’re going to target Your Hand for mid-June. 

Following that, to keep the schedule from slipping too far past the Summer (when, historically, we avoided publishing anything), we’ll have a chapbook by Howie Good in late July and then Jessie Janeshek by late August/early September.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Poems for Kitty

We’re finally kicking off the 2016/2017 season with the winning chapbook, Jennifer Martelli’s After Bird.  This collection really drew us in, how the narrative of growing up in the Sixties becomes entwined with the fate of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death outside her apartment in Queens in 1964.  There were dozens of witnesses who heard the struggle and did nothing to help. 

There are personal vignettes of a young girl’s relationship with her mother mixed with poems about Ms. Genovese.  Sometimes the sense of danger in one timeline blends with the other.  The young girl imagines being a woman.  Images are shared and the poems seem to inform one another.  Everyone has a lesson to learn.

From “Magical Thinking in the Time of Lyndon Johnson”

“Don’t walk in spike heels in the Village: the ankle bones will hit high notes.

Don’t dye your black hair that color red: you’ll bleed soon.

Don’t wash your white blouse with bleach: it will yellow, grow curled fingernails.”

We’re really excited to start off with this great chapbook.  You can order a copy now from the Titles page . . . you won’t be sorry.

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Recently

We live in exciting times . . . but, right now, not in a good way. 

Friday we witnessed the inauguration of a new president, a peaceful transition of power.  That evening, we had a poetry reading here in Tallahassee to engage in the growing creative “resistance” movement.  We put together a limited-edition chapbook featuring poems from each of the five readers (Kaveh Akbar, Sandra Simonds, Michael Rothenberg, Paige Lewis, and Jay Snodgrass).  The money from sales is going to be split between Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  We have a few copies left in the store, so get a copy while you can!  (It’s called Poets Fight Back!  A Program Guide.)

Along the same lines is the second chapbook from our very own Scott Sweeney (me).  Actually completed in (and dated for) 2016, it’s entitled stasis and includes one long piece broken into 19 sections, which were carved out of a much larger work.  The half-digest-sized book was formatted using a Seventies-era typewriter.  Each of the 25 copies features a hand-stamped cover.  Comes in a variety of colors!

“4

We surrender,
feel the grey wind
shake loose another storm.

Sun goes into hiding
and we’re huddled
in this target-rich environment.”

cont.

The results are in! 

All of the finalist manuscripts for the 2016/2017 “Season” Open Reading were read by both Ann Dernier and me, and our findings were much the same.  This year’s “winner” is Jennifer Martelli and her awesome chapbook, After Bird.  That will be the first one of the bunch, slated for this Spring.  Following that will be chapbooks by Kolleen Carney and Howie Good, as well as this year’s GBP alumnus finalist (and previous “winner”) Jessie Janeshek!

I’m sorry I couldn’t take more, but four felt like the right number, given our established publishing schedule and special projects (semi-secretly) in the works. 

I want to thank everyone who submitted this year, sending your manuscripts out into the Void.  (Grey Book Press = The Void)

This is going to be a great season.  We’ll announce more details as we set things up.  There are multiple things bubbling, including readings and regional events. 

See you soon!

cont.

Stingrays

We’re ending 2016 with an off-cycle chapbook from Andrew Brenza.  And Then is the kind of poetry that we really like . . . the kind of meditative verse that unfolds slowly.  It’s full of outward yearning and imagery that reflects an inner dialogue, a philosophical tableau.  It’s a single, cohesive piece that is always moving, making it hard to put down.

“through frost- 
furred leaves 
 
ahead 
over heels 
 
in criss- 
cross wind
 
a widdershins 
of wings 
 
and brittle birds”


It’s available now on the Titles page.  Order your copy today and it will ship just after the New Year starts.  And act fast . . . this one’s limited to just 50 copies!

cont.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Lots of things going on here (mostly behind the scenes).  First of all, we’ve made it through the chapbook manuscripts for the 2016/2017 season open reading.  We’re going to be notifying “finalists” this weekend, and then starting a second review period . . . with this year’s guest judge, Ann Dernier.  Ann is, of course, the author of the first full-length book of poetry from Grey Book Press, In the Fury, and we’re really excited to be working with her again.  “Winners” will be announced in early January 2017.

We’ve had two chapbook projects in the works for a little while.  The first one—-And Then by Andrew Brenza—-was due to come out this week, but we had a production glitch and THEN our GBP Paypal account was hacked.  The production got ironed out, along with Paypal, but with the Holidays heating up and associated travel, we thought it best to wait until things quiet down to release it.  Look for an announcement on that around December 28.  The second chapbook is actually mine, and will be out in January 2017 . . .

. . . just in time for some protest readings here in Tallahassee, FL.  In the days leading up to the Inauguration, there will be a series of loosely connected events.  The evening of the Inauguration itself, GBP is sponsoring a reading that should be pretty epic.  I have this strange feeling that the press will be doing more politically tilted poetry.  (hint, hint)

Stay tuned for more updates before the New Year.

cont.