Internal Suffocation

Our 2023 chapbook season kicks off with the return of Juliet Cook and red flames burning out.  I welcome seeing manuscripts from old GBP friends come in during our open readings, and Juliet walked through the door with one of her most immediate and jarringly personal (sounding) collections.  While many of the pieces fit comfortably in Juliet’s oeuvre of horror poetry, I found myself moved by the “Internal Suffocation” series and the last poem, “White Doldrums.”  And I laughed my way through “My Bridal Meat Doll.”  She keeps us guessing, even if her subjects are the ones that seem trapped and/or lost.

How does Juliet describe it?  “Broken doll fingers bulging their way out of blubbering chicken wire.  Losing parts of one’s self and growing new parts in the form of self-created nightmares, body and brain malfunctions, seizures and other divorces from parts of past reality.  Pitching standard traditions in the trash, wrapped in drying blood.  Creepy bird’s nests and fear of impending death, yet still continuing to create one’s own sizzling and burning red fire.” 

What more can I add to that?

From “Body Captivity”:

It starts from out of nowhere,
then won’t stop growing.
If I get rid of it, it will come back.
If I shovel it, the next seizure
will break a rib to prove a point.

Pick up your copy on the Titles page.  Features Juliet’s own artwork on the full, borderless cover.  

March/April 2023 Update

I hadn’t planned on such a long period of silence, but we’ve been working behind the scenes on a printing “experiment.”  For years, we’ve been keeping things simple.  I’ve always printed inner pages at home on either plain white or linen stock.  Almost always digest-sized, almost always 24 to 32 pages.  Covers had been printed at a variety of places, either on colored cardstock or white.  Always straight to letter size.  Recently, I’ve been outsourcing covers with a slight production cost increase, but now we’re trying to print to larger-size cover stock and cutting down to letter size.  If it all goes as planned, our first chapbook of the year (out next week) from Juliet Cook will feature a full-bleed, wrap-around cover.  But it’ll come at a price.  (Just how much remains to be seen.  I’ll post an update with that information.)

Juliet’s chapbook had been planned for release a couple weeks earlier, but that shouldn’t affect our schedule as we prepare chapbooks from Jessica Purdy and Karen Kilcup into the Summer.  There will be an April update with a general release schedule after Juliet’s chapbook is out.  Get ready! 


January 2023 Update (Selections Edition)

And . . . we’re back!

There’s really no excuse for how long it took to get to this point in announcing the Open Reading chapbook selections.  We were just slow in getting through the manuscripts initially, slow to notify finalists (though we did hit our targeted deadline), really slow to revisit all the finalists’ manuscripts, and then slow to make final decisions and notifications.  

From the initial pool of submissions, we picked a handful of finalists.  I felt the ideal (manageable) number of chapbooks would be three, which we’re gonna try to schedule into the Summer.  So . . . 

First up, this Spring, will be GBP veteran and horror-poetry-queen Juliet Cook, followed by Jessica Purdy and Karen Kilcup.  We’ll have more details on release dates next month.  We may also experiment with having chapbooks printed professionally which, of course, has an upside and downside.  They’ll look better (and potentially have more capacity to be longer), but they’ll like cost more.  Before we pull the trigger on such a change, we’ll need to do a cost-analysis. 

We’ll also be evaluating our plans for future open readings.  Look, I think I’m almost at the point of going to a solicitation-only model for getting new chapbooks and/or only publishing authors we’ve worked with already.  Most of the GBP veterans are great poets and great people, and I’d happily publish every manuscript they send.  A lot of the submissions we get through open readings are from people who don’t know the press, and it’s hard to find manuscripts that capture the magic I’ve seen under our banner.  That said . . . there have been some surprises, so I’m hesitant to stop doing open readings all together.  

Thanks, everyone, for your patience.  And thanks to everyone who sent us work.

December 2022 News Update

We’re slowly making our way through the submissions from the open reading.  I’d love to say that we’re being super-diligent, laser-focused, but I get distracted at the Holidays, just like anyone.  I still feel like we have a good chance of notifying “finalists” by Christmas, though (in true GBP fashion) it could be the week between Christmas and the New Year.  Let’s see how focused we can be this weekend!  A reminder: I’ll be sending updates directly to “finalists” and then posting here that those notifications have gone out; if you don’t receive an email from me by January 1, 2023, it’s very, very likely that your manuscript is no longer under consideration.  As always, feel free to contact me if you have a question.

(Speaking of, I’m really behind on replying to emails.  Something else I need to catch up on this weekend.)

We had a really great Zoom reading a couple weeks ago.  As you would definitely expect, GBP doesn’t have a paid Zoom account, so we were limited to just 30 or 40 minutes which, honestly, is a really good length for two readers.  Sarah Nichols and Chelsea Bodnar were (and are) great, and I hope to do more of these as chapbooks emerge.  Tell your friends!

If I don’t see you before then, Happy Holidays!

Android Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In the past few years, the press has become a haven for chapbooks of found-poetry and/or focused on T.V. shows/series.  That is one reason that we delayed the acceptance of this collection from Sarah Nichols; we needed to put some distance between her meditation on HBO’s Westworld and Chelsea Bodnar’s exploration of . . . Miami Vice.

I knew that I wanted to accept These Violent Delights as soon as I read it.  The poems capture the existential yearning of Westworld’s androids as they brush against humanity.  What does it mean to be alive, to have agency beyond programming and artifice?  Some of the poems also blend in found language from J.B. Ballard’s Crash.  In her blurb for the chapbook, Jan Bottiglieri says, “Each page crackles with energy, an electrical current created through ekphrastic connection.  Nichols doesn’t merely describe her source material; she creates a rhythm of interrogation and discovery.”

From “Bernard Speaks of Delores”:

“Her voice
in my hands,

remote, all

instrument, all

her death-paint

Her body, that




Just in time of the Holidays!  Available now on the Titles page.

Also, we’re going to make a second attempt at a reading featuring Sarah and Chelsea on Dec. 2 at 7:00 PM (EDT).  Email greybookpress (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested in an invite.  

Open Reading Guidelines (November 2022)

The 2022 open reading period starts at midnight October 31 and runs through 11:59 PM November 14.  That’s the “standard” two weeks.  Here are the guidelines:

      • One entry per person.  No reading fee.
      • Manuscripts will be read as “blindly” as possible, so please take your name off the title page.
      • Manuscripts should have between 16 and 24 pages of poems.
      • Email submissions to greybookpress (at) gmail (dot) com.  Subject line: “SUBMISSIONS – [LAST NAME] – [TITLE]”
      • There are no limitations this year for authors who have had a chapbook published by GBP.  
      • The goal is to choose at least two manuscripts for publication with a maximum of five.  Runs will either be open-ended with 25 author copies or limited editions of 50 (in which case, 15 author copies). 
      • The goal is to notify all finalists by sometime in December, hopefully before Christmas.  We likely will not notify you if you are not a finalist, but feel free to check with us in January if you haven’t heard anything.  Updates will be posted here.

In selecting chapbooks for publication, we usually aim for “range” in across accepted manuscripts.  For instance, we may choose a favorite, or “winner,” that would be the best/most resonant manuscript, and other selected manuscript(s) would be “different” from that one in some way.  If several are chosen, ideally, they’d be different from one another.

If you have any questions not answered/addressed here, let us know at the email listed above.

Good luck!


October 2022 News Update

We’ll be posting the guidelines for the open reading this weekend.  The window opens at midnight of Halloween (that’s 12:00 A.M., November 1) and will remain open for two weeks.

Very soon after the open reading window closes (later that same week, actually), we’ll have our next chapbook from Sarah Nichols (These Violent Delights).  We’ll also be having a reading on Zoom with Sarah and Miami Vice poetry enthusiast, Chelsea Bodnar.  Look for more details in early November.  

September News Update

This is, technically, our “off-season” after the release of our second-ever book and a few chapbooks.  (Do yourself a favor and check the Titles page.  They’re wonderful.)  I’m such a horrible procrastinator, but I think we’re finally caught up on orders and emails. 

Most of the emails were questions about our next open reading period, which was reported to be this Summer.  (Ooops.)  Turns out, we’ll be returning to our “traditional” kickoff of midnight on Halloween.  It’ll still be open just two weeks.  The Submissions page has been updated, and stay tuned for updates and guidelines.

Last but not least, we have an “off-cycle” chapbook coming out in November (exact date TBD) from Sarah Nichols.  These Violent Delights was from last year’s open reading period and I’d wanted to accept it with the others but it was over my self-imposed manuscript limit (I knew my limitations with Jessie’s book coming out), but I’m really happy it was still available.

We may have more announcements/surprises this Fall.  I mean, it’s possible.  

Good Time Summer Time

Next up for the long, hot Summer is another chapbook from Howie Good, The Horses Were Beautiful.  It’s appropriately oppressive-sun-colored orange.  (Side note: Up to now, our covers aren’t “professionally” printed, though we do a lot of full-color printing on white.  For this one, we got to go old school, with black on cover stock.)

As with the previous GBP chapbook from Howie, this one is full of poetry narratives.  Not exactly sunny and optimistic, the pieces often reflect the world that is (and was) in language at once humorous . . . and grim.  Sort-of stark and engaging snapshot-stories. 

From “Re: Vision”:  “‘I’ll lick stamps,’ I told the gargoyle from HR during the job interview. ‘I’ll lick whatever you want.’  He shook his big, ugly head no.  And as quick as that, I found myself back on the street.”

Pick up a copy now on the Titles page.  You can also get Howie’s previous chapbook, What It Is and How to Use It.

August News Update

Our next chapbook, The Horses Were Beautiful by Howie Good, is set for its release this coming Monday (three days from now).  We’re ahead of the game on its production (this time), but late letting you all know.  But now you know.  

Hoping to have more to announce in September.  Things are in motion.  The wheels are turning.  And the open reading period is still set for just after Halloween.