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Published June 03, 2015
study-for-necessity-joellen-kwiatekStudy for Necessity by JoEllen Kwiatek was released in April 2015. Winner of the 2014 Iowa Poetry Prize from University of Iowa Press, “Kwiatek’s poems emit the uncanny luminosities of the artists’ worlds they refer to: those of Caspar David Friedrich, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Odilon Redon. Each is a ‘token of strangeness’ built with delicacy and restraint, embodying, vivifying what the poet calls the mind’s ‘lonesome flourish.’ Like entries in a recondite log, or the etchings, or tracks, of a complex consciousness, this work cannot help but identify its own material and spiritual corollaries: a bridle worn to threadbare, a voyage that ‘grows more & more captivating. More terse.’ It is, as one poem puts it, as if seeing / were a form of radiant / isolation. And yet the presence established over the course of the book is profoundly connective, rich with acute physical apprehension and charge. It moves under pressure toward its singular end, its very ‘necessity,’” says judge Emily Wilson.

Read an excerpt of Study for Necessity or pick up at copy at the University of Iowa Press website.

Published May 27, 2015
bottle-bottles-bottles-bottles-lee-uptonThe Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Book Poetry Competition’s 2014 winner has been released at the beginning of the month. Lee Upton’s Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles was selected by Erin Belieu. Of her selection, Belieu says, “This is without a doubt my new favorite book. Upton has long been a well-respected poet, prose writer, and literary critic, but she deserves much more popular attention, including yours.”

You can start by checking out Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles on the CSU website.
Published May 20, 2015
reveille-george-david-clarkThe Miller Williams Poetry Prize is annually held by the University of Arkansas Press. Each year, three finalists are announced with one winner of $5000 and publication.

George David Clark, with his first collection of poems Reveille, is the 2015 winner. Editor-in-Chief of 32 Poems Magazine, Clark has also earned the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Poetry and a Lily Postdoctoral Fellowship, among other honors.

Published this past February, Reveille, the publisher’s website says, “is rooted in awe and driven by the impulse to praise. At heart, these are love poems, though their loves are varied and complicated by terrible threats: that we will cry out and not be answered, fall asleep and never wake. Against such jeopardy Reveille fixes our attention on a lightening horizon.”

Readers can pick up a copy of this prize winner from the University of Arkansas Press website.
Published May 15, 2015
shipbreaking-robin-beth-schaerThe Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry began in 1983 and is open to poets for a manuscript of original poetry in English. Held annually, winners receive $2000 and a reading tour of Florida colleges and universities.

Robin Beth Schaer is the 2014 prize winner with her first book of poetry Shipbreaking. Her work has also appeared in Tin House, Bomb Magazine, Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square, and Guernica, among others.

From Schaer’s website: "Shipbreaking charts a beautiful and dangerous journey. It is an intimate and interstellar odyssey where seas rise, mastodons roam, aeronauts float overhead, bodies electrify, and a child is born as a ship wrecks in a hurricane. The speaker here is curious and fierce, consulting scientists, philosophers, ancient maps, fossil bones, and lovers in order to survive and understand the strange majesty of living. With empathy and exaltation, the poems collapse the distance between natural disasters and human struggles, interweaving relationships between the upheavals and renewals that both the heart and Earth undergo."

Shipbreaking will be published this August.

Published May 13, 2015
magic-laundry-jacob-m-appelThe Magic Laundry, by Jacob M. Appel won last year’s Serena McDonald Kennedy Prize from Snake~Nation~Press.

From the editors: “Jacob Appel’s fiction book, The Magic Laundry, is superbly written with that quirky quality that lets the reader know that somehow Mr. Appel has experienced something close to what he’s written about. Love of children and spouses and acquaintances in all their beauty and irrationality is depicted with an eye to what makes them lovable and yet hard to understand.”

To get your own copy of The Magic Laundry, check out the press’s website.

Published May 12, 2015
The Greensboro Review Spring 2015 issue (97) includes the winners of their annual Robert Watson Literary Prize:

Leigh Camacho Rourks [pictured], "Pinched Magnolias"

Juliana Daugherty, "Aubade"

Each winner receives $1000 plus publication. The deadline for this year's contest is September 15, 2015. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to the publication. See the publication's website for more details.
Published May 06, 2015
trouble-sleeping-abdul-aliTrouble Sleeping by Abdul Ali, winner of the 2014 New Issues Prize, was published this past March.

From the foreword, written by Thomas Sayers Ellis: “Like a projection of testimony, like the shadows that run-off from the plan-projector-tation immediately after you’ve lived and left the theater, like the dark figures moving through the haunted noirs of Aaron Douglas, the widescreen stare of Trouble Sleeping is a mighty mise-en-concern.”

Ali’s poems have previously appeared in Gargoyle, A Gathering of Tribes, and New Contrast, among others. To learn more about Trouble Sleeping, check out the New Issues website.
Published May 05, 2015
In case you missed it yesterday, the May 2015 Book Reviews have been posted! This month, our reviewers tackled The Door by Magda Szabó translated by Len Rix, Fallen Attitudes by Patricia Waters, Fanny Says by Nickole Brown, Gephyromania by TC Tolbert, My Very End of the Universe: Five Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form from Rose Metal Press, The Night We're Not Sleeping In by Sean Bishop, Pilgrimly by Siobhan Scarry, That That by Ken Mikolowski, and Wolfman Librarian by Filip Marinovich.

What're you waiting for? Go find your next favorite book.
Published April 29, 2015
my-multiverse-kathleen-halmeWinner of The 2014 Green Rose Prize from New Issues, My Multiverse by Kathleen Halme was published last month. The Green Rose Prize is awarded to poets who already have published one or more full-length collections of poetry.

Of the new collection, poet John Brehm says, “In poems that are both intricate and expansive, Kathleen Halme’s My Multiverse takes readers from the City of Roses, with its Shanghai traps and tunnels, to a hummingbird ‘tracing the missing shape of a feed,’ to the neural pathways of the mind itself. These poems do what all great poems do: they make the world seem strange again, shimmering with questions, ‘the mirror ball of meaning strung without a thread.’”
Published April 23, 2015
breathe-bookThe Breathe Book is a simple but powerful concept. The creators, a collective of healers, artists, athletes, programmers, designers, and friends, say, "It was made by us, but it belongs to everyone." The online version is available here.

When you visit the site and click the play button on the homepage, the word BREATHE enlarges then vanishes on the page while natural birdsong plays on the soundtrack. The word vanishes and appears four times, then the media loops and begins again automatically.

While the idea is simple: breathe in, breathe out, the creators write, "Because we know how difficult that can be sometimes, we created a place online that understands that. It is a place on the internet where there is only one word and only one thing to do: breathe."

The Breathe Book can be used on any computer or personal device, as a daily meditation itself or with other meditation practices, or just run in the background.

There is also a print version of our site — a tangible Breathe Book that consists of 50 pages, each page with just one word: BREATHE. The book is $11 with discounts available for bundles.

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