Thursday, March 26, 2015


We’re in Fairhope, Alabama, for the Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers 2015 Conference.  (Say that three times fast.)  I’m not a teacher and what I write is only modestly creative, but my saddle stapler and I . . . we contribute, dammit!  So, yeah, as soon as this Wisconsin/North Carolina game is over, I’m going to go assemble some more chapbooks on the bar in the kitchen while drinking cider and listening to whatever music shoots out of my iPhone.

This conference was supposed to be casual and relaxed, but I’ll be playing a major supporting role.  Come say hi if you’re here in Southern Alabama. 

In a couple weeks, it’s AWP, where I’ll be going for my first time ever.  Not “we” for that one, as it will be a brief introduction . . . taking advantage of the Saturday, one-day-pass experiment they’re offering.  Besides stopping by to see all our friends at the book fair, I’m going to catch a reading or two.  It’ll be a time.

And maybe if AWP ever comes back to the Southeast, “we’ll” do it for real.

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Candice Wuehle’s Elements

The first chapbook (and winning chapbook) of the 2014/2015 “season” is Candice Wuehle’s EARTH * AIR * FIRE *WATER * ÆTHER.  We knew right away it was going to be a contender with a fluidity that seems so easy and natural.  And at the same time, there’s a real weight, a presence.  It’s at once adventurous and cohesive . . . a poetic masterwork.

From “FIRE”:

“I open up my laptop

and write against

history===I update

the browser, I keep shopping. I open to

The Guardian, to Forever 21, to Netflix. I  

buy nothing most days but I do

some days. I’m here. I think of if there is anywhere my body

my whole thing

can’t go now, I think of the fire

wall, I think of you.”

It’s available now on the TITLES page. 

This is gonna be a great season.

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The schedule is continuing to expand.  In fact, I think we now have projects planned into 2016.  Which isn’t something we usually strive for, but we’ve encountered so many great chapbooks that need to be “out there.” 

In the meantime, our 2014/2015 Open Reading “winner” Candice Wuehle’s chapbook EARTH*AIR*FIRE*WATER*ÆTHER will be out in, like, a week.  (I’d better get to work.)

More on the schedule with the March update!


The 2014/2015 open reading period was our most successful (and, unexpectedly, most attended) yet. I wasn’t pre-organizing/gathering the submissions as they came in, choosing instead to let them pile up and organize as the deadline passed. (Surprise!) There were a lot of strong submissions this year. We pared the pile of chapbook submissions to eight . . . then realized we missed one and it was actually nine. (Surprise!)

The plan was to aim for three or four (more than a year ago), and we ultimately chose four. As I was going through the finalists, I was consciously trying to pick a good mix . . . although the “season” will, I think, be a little more experimental/adventurous than we’ve done in the past.

The “winning” chapbook was EARTH*AIR*FIRE*WATER*ÆTHER by Candice Wuehle, and we’ll be starting the “season” with that one in February. The rest of the chapbooks will follow, one every couple/few months, through the Spring and Summer. (We have to allow room for other special projects brewing.)

Oh!  The other chapbooks.  We’ll also be featuring a collaborative chap by Margaret Bashaar and Lauren Eggert-Crowe (Spring) and a limited-edition chapbook by Ashley D’Arcy (Summer). This year, for whatever reason, we did not exclude previous GBP chapbook authors from being considered (frankly, I’d rather publish great poetry than ALWAYS look for new voices), which is how it came that we’re going to be publishing another work from Mike Sikkema.

We’ll have more on the schedule soon. Until then, look for a new GBP chapbook in February!


We’re coming up on “mid-December,” which was the hoped-for notification window.  But, in keeping with GBP tradition . . . we need a little more time. 

As the chapbook submissions were rolling in, we weren’t counting them.  We waited until after the deadline before organizing/quantifying.  Turns out, we had quite a pile.  We’re well on our way, though, and we’ve already seen some good stuff!

The plan (hope?) is that we’ll be able to start contacting “finalists” before we go away for Holidays (next weekendl) with announcements on the website around the beginning of 2015.  I’m not sure we’ll post the “finalists” for everyone to see.  May depend on how many “finalists” we have vs. how many chapbooks we’ll ultimately choose from this batch (estimating about three).

Okay, back to reading!

UPDATE (12/20 evening):  We’ve narrowed the manuscripts down to the Top Eight (which won’t be presented here).  As eight is too many for our schedule, we’ll be making more cuts over the coming days/week(s).  Notifications are going out between right now and 48 hours from now.  If you haven’t heard anything by this time Monday (12/22), your manuscript is no longer being considered and thank you very much for submitting. 

UPDATE (12/30 evening):  Notifications have been made to the chosen authors, and we’re sketching out our (busy!) schedule for the first half of 2015.  All told, we should have at least twice as many chapbooks as 2014.  We’ll be announcing the “winners” and the near-term schedule this coming weekend.


We now have a pile of submissions to pore over.  Thanks to everyone who submitted!

Just a note: We’ll be posting the results here on the site, so if you’re not chosen, you very likely won’t receive an email. 

We’re going to try to make notifications by mid-December, with announcements here soon after.  By January we hope to have the publication schedule set for the first half of 2015.  Besides the 2014/2015 “season” chapbooks (what we’re reading now), there will be some special collaborative chapbook projects, as well as (perhaps!) something . . . bigger.  You’ll see.  YOU’LL ALL SEE!

(More soon.)