Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 2016 Update

Up until a couple/few years ago, we used to take the Summers off from chapbook-making because, here in North Florida, it’s hard to summon the energy to do anything beyond merely existing when it’s this hot and humid.  But with Global Warming, everyone’s increasingly in the same boat, so who am I to complain?

Later this week, we’ll be wrapping up the 2015/2016 season with a chapbook by Genevieve Kaplan, In an aviary.  We’re really excited and can’t wait to get it out there.  Here’s to hoping our new production process will be a seamless transition.

We have a few irons in the fire for the remainder of 2016, including a couple chapbooks and our next book-book.  Details and schedules continue to come together, so we have to wait a little longer before announcing anything.  Look for that later.  In the meantime, you can enjoy Genevieve’s poems in a few days.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Carnival

Clown Machine

The second chapbook of the 2015/2016 “season” is Clown Machine by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens.  The poetry contained within is a lyrical carnival that introduces us to a whole cast of characters—including a contortionist, a bearded lady, a lion tamer, a stuntwoman—who each take their turn in the spotlight, and each of them make an impression, because each is rendered with care and, at the same time, an adventurous, poetic curiosity. 

From “The Contortionist has Damaged Taste Buds”:

“Her feet touch the walls and
ceiling in like eight
different places.

Her favorite pose is back
on the floor legs over
neck and head.

Her spine covets non-elusive hardness.”

We’re really happy for the chance to share these poems with you.  Available now under Titles (scroll all the way down).

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As we get ready for the OFFICIAL start of Summer, our next chapbook is about to hit . . . Clown Machine by Jenny MacBain-Stephens.  Production will commence this weekend about the time it goes on sale on the website. 

Also, one of our recent chapbooks, Diurnal by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, is available for review at Plumwood Mountain, so contact them if you’re interested. 

Once we get into Summer, we’ll know a lot more about the second half of our year.


First of all, I want to thank all the poets and artists who have come together (with us) to produce what’s been a really strong slate of chapbooks (and one book-book) over the past couple of years.  The poetry has been consistently stellar and the cover art is getting better and more imaginative all the time.  And thanks to everyone who’s been supportive of the press, either through direct purchases from the website or by sharing the love in the world (and the virtual world of social media).

We’re still coming down from the intense one-two punch of April’s releases by E. Kristin Anderson and Jessie Janeshek.  In early June, we’ll have Jenny MacBain-Stephens’ Clown Machine for you.  Around a month after that (mid-Summer), it’ll be time for Genevieve Kaplan.  Maybe by then, we’ll have a solid plan for the second half of the year . . .


Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish by Jessie Janeshek was selected as the “winner” of the 2015/2016 Open Reading period and is the first chapbook of that group to appear (after two recent “off-season” releases). 

Owing its name to medieval torture devices, this collection takes on the oppressive forces that continue to deny women their rights and generally stand in the way of feminism. And the poetry is just as strong as its message. I was really struck by the evocative language and the use of imagery that almost makes tragedy into beauty.  It’s powerful.

From “Summertime’s the Time for Torture
  Time for Torture’s Summertime”:

“We’re glass figurines. We use autocorrect
  to tell fortunes, the glut.
Theft gives us pleasure, everyone drugged
mornings no better, slow monsters.”

Available now.



I was deeply suspicious of Lana Del Rey when she emerged on the music scene, even before I’d heard one of her songs. She seemed, on the surface, to be over-hyped and more like a stylized cigarette ad. But when I started actually listening to her, I found that there is a lot of poetry there. Albeit a sordid kind of poetry.

We hadn’t previously published a full collection of found/erasure poetry, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to read when E. Kristin Anderson pitched a chapbook that uses three LDR albums as source material. Would it be a slightly fragmented rearranging of her song lyrics, with many of the evocative, iconic lines left intact? As it turns out, no. Not at all.

The poems in FIRE IN THE SKY are Rey-esque, in that the vocabulary is pulled from three of her albums, but they are scrambled into something totally different . . . and no less powerful and provocative.

From “I will take and take and take”:

“Don’t make the girl dark. No butterflies. Bats come sing
drinkin’ like memory, sad mountain paradise. But life?
Want that vitamin crazy hard, radio queens and rain.

You raised chasers; I want the close cry.
Lick them like a national party, know my every worth.
I’ll die now, in my party bikini, honey true, the shameless way.”

The cover art was hand-embroidered by Emily Capettini.  The chapbook, LDR and all, is ready for your enjoyment.