Archive for February 2014

The Community Roundup: February 26, 2014

by Win Bassett

In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!

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* If you need to know where to find BCP’s Ross WhiteRebecca Hazelton, and Brittany Cavallaro during AWP, head over to table A-31 at the bookfair!

Josh Robbins receives a glowing review of Praise Nothing in Pleiades:

“In the tradition of other great poets of the spiritual, Herbert to Merton, Robbins adds his name to this list. Pensive, meditative, he asks the great questions which haunt us. …. There is nothing sentimental in this work … just the unflinching vision of a perceptive eye …. This is a strong work, one that uses sharp and fresh language to achieve compassion.”

INCH contributor Roxane Gay is going to have a story in Best American Mystery Stories 2014!

* The March 2014 issue of Thrush is now up!

Scratch Magazine features Aaron Belz in “The Fiscal Lives of the Poets.” He writes via Twitter: ” in six months I’ve made over $5k selling custom poems on Craigslist.”

* The new diode issue features friend Tarfia Faizullah!

* GRIND participant Liz Gray wrote a review of Heidi Lynn Staples’s Noise Event for Harvard Review.

* Friend Mylène Dressler has an essay in the new Kenyon Review.

Matthew Olzmann‘s fiction chapbook was a finalist for the 421 Chapbook Prize in Short Prose! Who knew he wrote fiction?!

Helen Vitoria interviewed by The California Journal of Women Writers.

Two new sonnets by Anthony Opal!

Nick Ripatrazone on postal submissions to literary magazines for The Millions.

* We’re excited to see five poems from Rebecca Gayle Howell in the next Oxford American.

* See GRIND participant Becky Fink‘s poem “Let Me Try to Explain Myself” now at Word Riot.

* Check out the cover of BCP associate editor Brittany Cavallaro‘s first collection of poems, Girl-King, out with University of Akron Press in early 2015.

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Win Bassett‘s essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Guernica. His stories and poems have been published or are forthcoming in PANK, Image, Ruminate, and TropHe’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @winbassett

Emerging Writers We’ve Discovered This Week: February 23, 2014

We adore our INCH contributors and book authors, and we always have our eyes and ears open for emerging writers when we scan the latest issues of journals, check the most recent blog posts, catch the tweets flying by, or grab a beer at a local reading.

We’d like to celebrate some of the new and not-so-new artists we discover during the course of our weeks in the hopes that they’ll contribute to Bull City Press in the future. (And we want to celebrate the hell out of our indie press community that we love.)

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Generally, I trawl online looking for new poetry, but Ian Patrick Miller‘s prose is so lush and dense that it scratches the same itch. Try “Three Ghosts,” a series of short pieces up at Devil’s Lake, and try not to read some of his sentences out loud: “But his essence I’d forgotten, examining the bonemeal—its buttons and its threads—on the doormat, the door wide open, like an eye or a yawn.”
— Brittany Cavallaro

This week I’m reading Mysterious Acts By My People, a debut book of poetry by Valerie Wetlaufer and published by Sibling Rivalry Press. These poems are delicate phrasings of violent emotions and acts. There’s a careful balancing act going on in this book, where one poem might be close to your ear and intimate, and the next pulls away and adopts an authorial reserve. I love both stances, and these poems draw you in. If you’d like to get a taste, I recommend “Love Poem in Three Parts,” along with an assortment of others at PANK.
— Rebecca Hazelton

The new issue of Thrush dropped this past week, and Holy Moses on a Mountain is it good. Spend hours with the entire issue, but I’d like to especially call out Sara Henning’s “Aubade with polar vortex and what it means to survive you“:

we once collapsed
onto, so full of wanting

that our body’s borders
rebuked each other,

grew blurry, just as there
is no place now where

concrete and ice
aren’t coupling ruthlessly.

Win Bassett

The Community Roundup: February 19, 2014

by Win Bassett

In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!

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* The second issue of the new Rappahannock Review is out!

* The new short story: Dinty W. Moore cultivates flash nonfiction for the digital age:

“Brevity has grown beyond my wildest dreams in its 16 years of existence,” he says, “and judging from the ever-multiplying numbers of submissions and the geographic locales of those who submit, the flash nonfiction movement has flourished in tandem with our online magazine.”

* Throughout the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Guggenheim fellowship-winning poet Kwame Dawes will be writing verses that capture the spirit of the day’s action. In this debut installment, the poet looks at the Jamaican bobsled team.”

* We’re pumped for this AWP event: 6 Under 36 AWP Reading: Featuring Brittany Cavallaro, Kendra DeColo, Sara Eliza Johnson, Tyler Mills, Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Corey Van Landingham

The Philadelphia Review of Books reviews of Nick Ripatrazone‘s novella This Darksome Burn.

* Congrats to Tarfia Faizullah on join the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program as the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing.

* Starting on March 17, Sundog Lit will run two weeks’ worth of stories inspired by Leesa Cross Smith‘s Every Kiss a War, all by women. Pre-order Leesa’s book here!

* Issue 55 of The Collagist is up!

* Issue 2 of Waxing is out, and it includes an interview of Nick McRae by Rebecca Gayle Howell.

* Congrats to Rebecca Gayle Howell for winning the 2013 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award for “My Mother Told Us Not to Have Children”!

Anthony Opal has two poems in the new Notre Dame Review.

* Latest issue of Maggy has poems from Tess Taylor, Leah Umansky, C. Dale Young, and others.

How A Book Happens with Allison Seay:

I am working on new poems, slowly. I know some poets who have an arc for a book already mapped, a narrative already assigned, but that is not how it is for me, at least not yet. For To See the Queen, I hung a clothesline in my house and clothes-pinned the poems along it so that I could see the poems all at once and try to decipher a structure. It took a long time and I had to dismiss a lot of poems to finally see a shape and order emerge. I suspect I will do the same with the new poems whenever it feels like the right time to do it.

* Issue Five of Sundog Lit is here!

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Win Bassett‘s stories and essays has appeared in The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review, and GuernicaHe’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @winbassett

Emerging Writers We’ve Discovered This Week: February 16, 2014

We adore our INCH contributors and book authors, and we always have our eyes and ears open for emerging writers when we scan the latest issues of journals, check the most recent blog posts, catch the tweets flying by, or grab a beer at a local reading.

We’d like to celebrate some of the new and not-so-new artists we discover during the course of our weeks in the hopes that they’ll contribute to Bull City Press in the future. (And we want to celebrate the hell out of our indie press community that we love.)

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Kay Cosgrove’s “What I Wish For” was one of the highlights of the new issue of Four Way Review. I love its leery exploration of elegance. A quick Google search yields the magnificent “Hawaii is Our Living Room” from Floodwall. Check out her other work in Lumina and The Scrambler.
— Ross White

I dig Nate Marshall‘s “church in the wild” in the new issue of The Collagist. He tweets, “It’s about black church, youth, and singing the thong song. I’m on, wipe me down.” He’s definitely on:

tuesday’s children are holy
as hell, praying for mercy,
on the lamb of God
with a grape juice chaser.

Check out more of Nate’s work in PoetryVinyl Poetry, and Amazon’s new Day One journal. For that last one, though, “Gon’ cop that young subscription. 30 Day Free Trial for the low.”
Win Bassett

There’s a lot to be excited about in the second issue of Waxwing, a new literary journal edited by Justin Bigos and Bojan Louis. With an emphasis on “promoting the tremendous cultural diversity of contemporary American literature, alongside international voices in translation,” the issue has a number of knock-outs across genres. In poetry, Lisa Russ Spaar’s “From Agitation” reckons with the unsaid in a compressed lyric; Carolina Ebeid’s beautiful “Punctum: Transom” navigates the boundary between what the speaker knows and what the speaker hopes; and Matthew Olzmann devastates us with “Carnival Music,” in which an out-of-work clown’s unimaginable balloon artistry draws the short distance between fools and heroes.

This is not to mention new work by Evie Shockley, Bruce Bond, and Dana Levin, among others. On the fiction side, C. Dale Young’s “Desaparecido” tells a story of two boys, Pedro and Carlitos, and traces the quiet violence hidden in the games young men play. Michael Martone has a short piece which features the remarkable sentence: “She is inside her story as he is inside her, nearing the end, not the end end of the story but the stopping place for this one night as he nears, at her other end, his end, the mechanical winching of the plot, the appearance of the goddamn Allah ex machina.” The issue also features an incisive discussion between Nick McRae and Rebecca Gayle Howell, in which the poets address the intersections between poetry, faith, and what it means to be a steward of the arts. Waxwing is a rare thing: a journal as captivating and well-considered as its mission. We should all be looking forward to the next issue.
— Luke Johnson, guest contributor and author of After the Ark (NYQ Books, 2011; e-book re-release, March 2014)

The Community Roundup: February 12, 2014

by Win Bassett

In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!

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* Congrats to INCH contributor Roxane Gay for selling her next book, Hunger: A Weight Memoir, to Harper (likely forthcoming in 2016).

PANK issue 9.2 (February 2014) is out!

* We’re looking forward to Lucy Ives’essay series for Poetry Foundation:

It’s because of this lingering (and perhaps inappropriate) piety about diction that I have decided to compose a series of short essays. Each essay has a single-word title and says something about how I am thinking about writing, but more importantly about how I am thinking about three terms, “poem,” “poetry,” “poetics,” and the lack of good definitions for these. The six short essays are called: “History,” “Pleasure,” “Novelty,” “Misrecognition,” “Email,” and “Time.” They will be posted here throughout February.

* “Five guys walk into a bar. Sounds like a setup for a punch line, but it’s the creation story of Barrelhouse, a D.C. literary magazine celebrating the anniversary of its inception over post-writing-workshop beers a decade ago.”

* Listen to Luke Johnson on 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships:

“All poets 31 & under should be applying for these. Don’t cost nothin’, and it’s a chance at $25,800 to support your work. Let’s all win one.”

What Can We Steal From Leesa Cross-Smith’s “Making Cowboys”? Also see her essay in Bluestem Magazine:

In Kathy Fish’s book, Together We Can Bury It, she writes, “We say shit and stamp our feet on the pavement, shoot breath from our nostrils like morning horses.” And later, “Slide into each other like river otters.” In Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon he writes “Undressing her was an act of recklessness, a kind of vandalism, like releasing a zoo full of animals, or blowing up a dam.”

I wouldn’t have much to write about if I weren’t paying attention to current events, reading work by writers I admire, laughing with my husband on his way home from work, making dinner for my family. Writing is one tiny part of wholeness; life, tessellated—chunky pieces of bright blue and amber and green and black coming together bit by bit to (hopefully) make something ravishing.

* “It is time to stop giving credence to competition and to poets who make spectacles that simply firm up the dominant order. Let’s look to poets who throw us off our game and make us think in unsafe ways, violations that enlarge us instead of parlor tricks of privilege that keep the disenfranchised invisible.” – Amy King in Boston Review

* We loved Amy Woolard‘s interview with Best New Poets on Monday:

The first sip of coffee in the morning. Filling in the last word of the crossword puzzle. Taking the perfect nap. Watching people I like doing something that they love. That foxy feeling you get with someone, when you’re in a room full of people together, but feel like you both know the same luminous secret that no one else knows. Words. Words. Words. Bourbon. Guinness. Shoes that make me taller. Wisecracks. Tattoos. Nostalgia. Smooches. Smirks. Gardenias. Bands. Porches. Imperfection.

New poems from John Ebersole in Tirage Monthly.

How Independent Publishers Do More With Less:

It’s not a question of compromising, but of economizing and streamlining our concepts so that a small staff with big ideas can make a profound impact. By our very nature, we were believers in ephemeralization, and because of that, we’re not going anywhere.

The Paris Review interviews Tarfia Faizullah.

Jill Talbot has new nonfiction at Hobart that you don’t want to miss.

* We can’t get enough of Caleb Curtiss‘s poem “Swans as a Scourge” at The Literary Review.

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Win Bassett‘s stories and essays has appeared in The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review, and GuernicaHe’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @winbassett

Emerging Writers We’ve Discovered This Week: February 9, 2014

We adore our INCH contributors and book authors, and we always have our eyes and ears open for emerging writers when we scan the latest issues of journals, check the most recent blog posts, catch the tweets fly by, or grab a beer at a local reading.

We’d like to celebrate some of the new and not-so-new artists we discover during the course of our weeks in the hopes that they’ll contribute to Bull City Press in the future. (And we want to celebrate the hell out of our indie press community that we love.)

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OK, when the tagline on a poet’s website is, “Poet. Editor. Publicist. Optimist.,” you know that you’ve found someone with whom you’d love to have a beer. But Victoria Lynne McCoy has the goods to back up the tagline. Check out “Aubade in Pieces” from Four Way Review (where she has since become the Poetry Editor), or “He Visits Your City Briefly” in Boxcar Poetry Reviewor “First Catch” in The Paris-American.
— Ross White

Too often the work of a smart critic or editor can overshadow his or her creative work–that shouldn’t be the case with Stephen Burt. Well known for his articles on poetry and contemporary poets, he’s a fine poet in his own right. In his most recent collection, Belmont (Graywolf Press, 2013),  Burt finds the poetry in the everyday, with funny, thoughtful poems set in a suburban landscape navigated by Subarus, where garage bands practice their handful of chords, and the music of owls is both beautiful and accusatory.
— Rebecca Hazelton

I’m still giddy (1) that VQR has a beautiful new website and (2) that the journal removed its paywall through Valentine’s Day. In its Winter 2014 issue, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, poet laureate Hayden Saunier has a gorgeous poem that perhaps evokes the current feelings of many Pennsylvania residents this month. In “Bitter Night in the Country,” she writes:

But for now it’s dogs and chores
and breath in clouds,and geese grieving overhead,
a lost tribe beating their wings

through unpunctuated blackness.

I spent this weekend outside Philadelphia among folks who still don’t haver power after the latest winter storm. Saunier’s “Honeysuckle” may provide some hope for the weather to let up soon.

Win Bassett

The Community Roundup: February 5, 2014

by Win Bassett

In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!

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Sandra Beasley defends regionalism in an essay for Poetry Foundation:

I’m not here to laud the rhyme schemes of riding the range, or the strategic deployment of “y’all” in verse. But I’m interested in regionalism’s aesthetic and social capacities. Let’s define the term this way: commitment to a location for five or more years; use of that particular landscape, urban or rural, in the creative work; and engagement with a local community of authors outside of academic obligations.

Drew Perry, author of the new Kids These Days, interviewed at The Nervous Breakdown:

Let us revise your question with your own line from The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: “Few spectacles are more conspicuous and ungainly than the masculine figure in crisis.” I’m not sure how prepared I am to leap into the pile of hot coals that is the conversation about gender and publishing, but let’s go ahead and end my career: I want (some) novels to get to be about men (or women) freaking the hell out about the massive, crazy, and utterly domestic responsibility that attends to a thing like being married or making a kid. I want characters to get to do things other than board ships and chase whales, though I reserve the right for them to do that, too. And by the way: Who is Ishmael other than a whiny, ineffectual male character who’s just kind of losing his shit and quite literally along for the ride?

Leesa Cross-Smith interviewed:

I am most proud of my short story collection Every Kiss a War (Mojave River Press, 2014) ! It’s been years and years in the making and it was shortlisted for both the Flannery O’Connor Short Award for Fiction and the Iowa Short Fiction Award. One of the stories won Editor’s Choice in Carve Magazine’s Raymond Carver Short Story contest. Every single story in the collection is a story I wrote because I wanted to. I wrote exactly what I wanted to write, exactly how I wanted to write it and part of me is still like I CAN’T BELIEVE I GOT AWAY WITH THIS.

* Leesa was also the guest editor of the debut issue of the Mojave River Review. Also included in the issue is an except from her forthcoming story collection, Every Kiss a War.

* We loved Matt Hart‘s “Today A Rainstorm Caught Me” featured in Poets.org‘s Poet a Day last week.

Carolyn Forché‘s anthology “Poetry of Witness” featured on PBS NewsHour.

Issue 11 of The Economy Magazine is out with work from Emily Kendal Frey, Brian Oliu, and Chad Kouri.

Matthew Wimberley has a new poem at Almost Five Quarterly.

* New issue of Pithead Chapel is out!

* Congrats to Jonathan Lee for making the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award longlist!

* Submission information for the annual INDY Poetry Contest.

* A discovery this week: the poems of Jacques J. Rancourt in The Adroit Journal (h/t Corey Van Landingham). While you’re at it, check out the entire new issue!

* We loved Molly Antopol‘s essay for Glimmer Train: “On Quelling Writerly Doubts.” Happy publication week to Molly for her collection The UnAmericans: Stories.

* February issue of Poetry magazine released!

Gabrielle Calvocoressi‘s latest column in her ‘The Year I Didn’t Kill Myself’ series.

* New Birdfeast issue with friend Anthony Opal!

* Congrats to Corey Van Landingham and Jamaal May for being included in forthcoming The Best American Poetry 2014.

* Thrilled to see INCH contributor Roxane Gay, Kyle Minor, and others on this list: 15 Highly Anticipated Books From (Mostly) Small Presses.

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Win Bassett‘s stories and essays has appeared in The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review, and GuernicaHe’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @winbassett