Poetry by Elizabeth Quinones-Zaldana
August 20th, 2019
“Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña’s Bougainvillea is full of the light and vibrant color of the vine, as well as the joy and suffering of the arid places where it grows. Her poetry is infused with intelligence, philosophical rigor, and deep familial and spousal love entwined with themes of exile, displacement, and identity. Her unflinching eye paints the land-and-cityscape of Las Vegas: ‘Every person…wonders / In their native language, how to cross without waiting.’ Quiñones-Zaldaña’s world is exquisitely lovely and loving, making the grief of being disenfranchised personal. She reaches out to us all, teaches us how swiftly those considered ‘others’ can become ‘you,’ and how to be with each other no matter what: ‘Should you find yourself / Sojourner, dispossessed / Of a common language / In cities of hostile observance / Or among their milder companions // I am with you.’”
Aliki Barstone, Poet Laureate of the State of Missouri
Stories by Brandon French
September 17th, 2019
If One of Us Should Die, I’ll Move to Paris, is very much like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. The range of flavors is startling. The first three stories alone range from Redneck weddings, Korean cooking theory, Innocent porn, co-option of preachers, hair problems and overly sensitive therapists with problem roosters.
From there, we move to eating disorders, Jewish jokes, Catholic problems, Chateau Belushi, drug problems, Greyhound bus rides, bombing in New Haven, screenwriting, syndication, and the place in Hell where advertising executives reside. It’s a wild ride, and a richly textured one and not one of these stories can be described in a single sentence. As Flannery O’Connor once wrote, “When you can state the theme of the story, when you can separate it from the story itself, then you can be sure the story is not a very good one …A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way ..” These stories meet that requirement. They do have a consistency. Every one of them is smart, fast, and funny. These are rare commodities. A lot like artisanal cacao. Open the book, pick a story at random, and surprise yourself.
July 16th, 2019
The Sting of It is cradled in classical form and bubbles with luscious language from a bygone era. Fans of Spenser and Donne will find comfort here. But this formal order only just restrains the chaos from Odasso’s own body and past. Their explosive and candid revelations make us aware of our beautiful, mortal grit. True strength cannot be dragged out of us by approaching death or demons, and Odasso’s ferocious imagery within measured verse reminds us that life is mysterious, painful, and fantastic.
June 18th, 2019
“To call Sarah Adleman’s memoir profound and beautiful would be a grossly inadequate attempt to describe a brilliant, deeply moving yet unflinchingly unsentimental exploration of grief I could never in my life have begun to imagine, at least not until now: a blended-genre collage of historical, scientific, autobiographical and deeply spiritual nonfiction, poetry and prose poetry, including the poetry written by Adleman’s wise, remarkable mother. This memoir asks some of the most difficult questions anyone can ask: How is acceptance and forgiveness even possible in the face of unspeakable cruelty and violence? How is it possible even to describe, much less to find the right metaphors for, unspeakable pain and grief? Yet through her most profound struggles, Adleman finds a way, taking us on long journeys by train, across snowy landscapes, even to sweat lodges and Tibet, making a deep dive into such a complex array of extended metaphors that she can finally bring herself, and us, to a kind of understanding and acceptance. Before now, I could not have imagined a more courageous, life-changing memoir than this, yet here it is, a loving tribute to Adleman’s long-grieving father and lost mother.”
Lex Williford, author of Superman on the Roof
May 21st, 2019
"Haunted and haunting, Colin Pope’s bracing poems limn, with armorless and spectacular candor, what it means to be left behind and shaken to the core by a lover’s upending illness and suicide. In these risk-taking pages, this new and necessary poet becomes a steely bard, a wide-awake chronicler, and an intrepid philosopher of the word farewell. This brave, go-for-broke first book has a razor-keen beauty and empathy so precise, so powerful and arresting that it’s already clear that Why I Didn’t Go To Your Funeral deserves its rightful place beside the finest literature of grief and mourning."
Cyrus Cassells, author of The Gospel according to Wild Indigo
May 7th, 2019
Compiled by the concept lyrics of Eric Paul, the dynamic lead-singer from Arab on Radar, the Chinese Stars, Doomsday Student, and Psychic Graveyard.
April 30th, 2019
Through a unique dialogue between the photography of José Luis R. Torrego, the poetry of Pablo Luque Pinilla, and the translations from the Spanish by Korbin Jones, SFO: Pictures & Poetry About San Francisco offers a distinctive and multifaceted view of this iconic city, perhaps like none other.
March 13th, 2019
“Thomas Mundt’s stories are brilliant, deeply moving, and dead-on-target hilarious – an insurrectional shot of satire aimed at the prefrontal cortex of Americana. His louts, losers, rebels, and madly joyful are avatars of the apocalypse.”
Michael Zapata, author of A Model Earth
February 26th, 2019
“In How to Live, Elizabeth Hellstern guides the reader through life’s moments, honoring and celebrating what it means to question one’s choices and societal rules. From instructions on how to use a power tool to how to love your mother before she dies, these maps show how complicated the world, our relationships and matters of the heart can be. Insightful, thoughtful and witty, Hellstern’s literary device reminds us to engage in the present moment as we make choices so we can live life fully and authentically.”
Kerri Quinn, New York based producer, director and author of the short film Lady Liberty
“A daughter’s book, a book that exposes the unwitting hurt parents can inflict on their children, it makes sense that many pieces here are inspired by fairytales. Imagine Red Riding Hood, a woman in her late twenties or early thirties now, or Gretel, also grown. This is the just kind of tale they would tell, these daughters with absent mothers and fathers who have experienced loss and betrayal. Just to set the record straight. Just to tell it like it really was, to make sure we hear their voice, their side of the story.”
Sheryl St. Germain, author of The Small Door of Your Death
"Propelled by extraordinary imaginative force, the poems of Vanessa Couto Johnson’s dazzling pungent dins concentric unfold in a sequence of evocations, each one summoning into view a moment of bustle in a specific but overloaded social space. The works are built of sentences, swirling syntactic image structures that seem to be the outcome of critical attention to the strangeness of the world around us. Linguistic wit and sassy irreverence partially veil Johnson’s dismay, but they cannot veil the poet’s ebullient joie de vivre."
Lyn Hejinian, author of My Life
“In Carolyn Guinzio’s poems, amid the trees, leaves, squirrels, deer, cicadas, the house, the laptop, milk and children, the elderly and doctors, there is always… this… persistent something. As Guinzio steps forward in the poem’s line, then takes one step back to insist and repeat, the something beneath becomes clear: it is bone, shadow, and ash. The dead. An end. Oblivion. Yet an end to things does not shape her poems into vessels for grief and sinking sorrow; it is, rather, the material of life, itself. Even oblivion maintains a sweet movement of its own. For Guinzio, to leave no trace is “not the white of surrender, / but the green of remember: / You are one in a line of many.” Thank you, Carolyn Guinzio, for this astonishing reminder.”
Layli Long Soldier, author of WHEREAS
"Overuse over time means that our current Reality has worn thin; but Howie Good has come to the rescue & provided a sturdy under-blanket to create a safe viewing platform. His new Reality spills through the holes in the old so sometimes we see the familiar, sometimes not. But the juxtaposition of old & new means that we do have reference points to hang on to, that we do have time to prepare for the craziness he thinks might be ahead if not already here. I'm not sure if I want to face this new Reality, but Howie Good has done such a great job identifying it in I'm Not a Robot that I'm sure I'll be comfortable dealing with it when it confronts me."
Mark Young, author of Genji Monogatari
Cover Art by Logan Riley
"The Lost Girls Book of Divination is a stunningly cool graphic poem, aka a lyrical narrative accompanied by captivating imagery, far superior to anything Instagram has to offer! It is a spiritual quest, both ancient and postmodern in its insights, a poetic tarot for the new millennium. It is seasonal, cyclical, and maddeningly like our own lives, resonant with our struggles, offering up the ultimate wisdom—that being alive means being lost. Lastly, it is a powerful statement on the earth and our loss of connectedness to it—for as we unspool from ourselves, forests vanish."
Rosemarie Dombrowski, Poet Laureate of Phoenix, AZ
Johnny Salas stands ringside and captures the beauty, rawness, and absurdity of Phoenix's semi-professional wrestling scene. His poetic noir photographs are intense, empathetic works that honor the sport as only a true fan could.
“In Too Many Questions About Strawberries, Jen Hirt is a horticulturalist of words, joining joy and grief, grafting prose to poetry, and cultivating new growth from the rootstock of memory. Like vines, her sentences twist and climb, enlivening her poems with surprising turns. Like seeds carefully placed and tended, the words in each poem unfurl with breathless abundance. As her poems wrestle with change, Hirt celebrates all that survives. Unpredictable and vibrant, the poems in this chapbook are ripe with tender insight, playfulness, and persistence.”
Stephanie Lenox, author of The Business
"Shome Dasgupta's Mute reveals how the desperation to please friends, coaches, would-be lovers, parents, wives, and daughters results in an overwhelming sense of disorientation. Fraught with anxieties, Mute transforms situations that could easily turn toxic into moments of personal sadness and loneliness that, productively for our time, unveil a multitude of imaginative maneuvers that help these narrators accept their lives and fates."
Molly Gaudry, author of Desire: A Haunting
"Cody Wilson has a great feel for the details that speak of what hides below the surface. There’s a deeply human mix here – he celebrates, worries, remembers, and looks ahead – and a feeling that he’s trying to enact the multitude of woundings and survivals that have shaped who he is. This book is a beautiful reminder of the joy and risk surrounding us every day."
Bob Hicok, author of Sex & Love &
“In his wonderful debut collection, Fluoride, Chad Meadows gives us worlds inhabited by bizarre misanthropes, fumbling idiots, and radical subversives. These stories dramatize enough absurd and hilarious situations to last a lifetime. At the same time, these seem like people we know in their yearning for direction and connection. Indeed, this book reminds us that even the strangest among us is human.”
Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank
"In a piece near the end of Blood In The Asphalt: Prayers From The Highway, Jesse Sensibar chooses not to set upright a toppled roadside cross because he doesn’t “want to interfere.” That could be an aesthetic statement about a riveting collection made all the moreremarkable by all the things it doesn’t do. He says what happened. He documents with stark, vibrant photographs the makeshift shrines that would otherwise be only a blur. He achieves great feeling without sentimentalism. He is frank but never blasé, never manipulative. We are so often moving at breakneck speed, and this book is that rare thing: a quiet, commanding voice saying stop. Stop, and notice. You’ll never get it right if you try to explain. He never buries the material under directives about how to feel about it, and in so not doing, he’s created a powerful, haunting book that you’ll be richly rewarded for reading."
Carolyn Guinzio, author of Ozark Crows
"You will never encounter another volume of poetry like this. Father and son, Steven and Ben Ostrowski give the reader the most intimate and engaging look into a closeness between two family members I’ve yet encountered; a dialogue couched in experimental form and imagery that is always fresh and inventive. A book of correspondences that often spans oceans and continents as the two are separated. Not a single lazy line and nothing telegraphed. Surprises abound around every corner, hallmarked by wit, love and a genuine, deep affection for one another."
Robert Nazarene, founding editor & publisher, The American Journal of Poetry
Cover Art by Steven Ostrowski
“These poems are rooted deeply in the body and body of the Earth, but also untethered in their imagination, their reach. Battisti’s Echo Bay will long echo inside my bones.”
Gayle Brandeis, author of The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide
Cover Art and Design by Dale Novak
Stories by Dani Burlison