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Published April 08, 2015
neighbors-jay-nebelThe Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize is awarded to one poetry author a year, with a $2,000 prize and publication. 2014’s prize winner is Jay Nebel whose work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Narrative, Ploughshares, and Tin House, among other journals.

Neighbors, his winning collection, is a book of lyric narratives about the men and women who live and work next to us the people standing in line at the DMV or buying milk and bread at the grocery store. Jay Nebel gives voice to an America lost in the graffiti of park benches and 24-hour diner parking lots, where men attempt CPR on gorillas and beat each other in back alleys with baseball bats, as well as revere their mothers. These are poems that look through the windows at the secret lives of our neighbors, their affairs and addictions, their curses and loves.

Published by Saturnalia Books this month, Neighbors can be purchased through the University Press of New England website.
Published April 02, 2015
choiceThe Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers by Second Story Press is an award-winning series encouraging young people from all cultures and all walks of life to engage in serious global/cultural issues. The Choice by Kathy Clark is the newest in this series, and is the story of thirteen-year-old Hendrik and his family who have hidden their true identity as Jews and are living as Catholics in Budapest during WWII.

From the publisher: "One day, in a burst of loyalty, Hendrik reveals that his name is in fact Jakob and he is Jewish. It is a choice with drastic consequences. It not only puts his whole family in danger but it also severs his ties with his best friend Ivan, whose father is a high-ranking military official. Throughout the horrific months that follow in the Auschwitz concentration camp, it is Jakob's passion for revenge against Ivan that fuels his will to survive. However, unknown to Jakob, Ivan had made a choice of his own on that fateful day – a choice that changes everything."

The Choice is Kathy Clark's second book in the Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers, and is based on the experiences of her father, a Holocaust survivor.

[ISBN 9781927583654 / Ages: 9-13 / 200 pages / paperback / b&w photos]
Published April 01, 2015
Readers, April's Book Reviews are now up. Our reviewers were busy this month, covering a lot of great titles: Change Machine by Bruce Covey, The Descartes Highlands by Eric Gamalinda, Happy Are the Happy by Yasmina Reza, Inheritances by William Black, The Islands by John Sakkis, The Last Two Seconds by Mary Jo Bang, My Body is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta, Southside Buddhist by Ira Sukrungraung, Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella by Amy Catanzano, The Sun & The Moon by Kristina Marie Darling, Tax-Dollar Super Sonnet, Featuring Sarah Palin as Poet by Nicole Mauro, and Washing the Dead by Michelle Brafman. Go check them out and find your next favorite book.
Published April 01, 2015
reptile-house-robin-mcleanRobin McLean’s first short story collection, Reptile House, will be published May, 2015 by BOA Editions, Ltd. A finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize in 2011 and 2012, Reptile House is the winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize.

The fascinating characters in these nine short stories abandon families, plot assassinations, nurse vendettas, tease, taunt, and terrorize. They retaliate for bad marriages, derail their lives with desires and delusions, and wait decades for lovers. How far will we go to escape to a better dream? What consequences must we face for hope and fantasy? Probing the dark underbelly of human nature and want, Robin McClean’s stories are strange, often disturbing and funny, and as full of foolishness and ugliness as they are of the wisdom and beauty around us.

Living in Alaskan woods for 15 years as a potter and lawyer, McLean, in an interview with BOA, reveals how Alaska has affected her writing, “Alaska is wild, dangerous, beauitiful, and makes you feel tiny. Living there made me want to write with wild dangerous beauty, to be small, and also big . . . . Alaska made me think about scale, grandeur, and audacity.”

More information on Reptile House can be found on the publisher’s website.

Published March 25, 2015
shame-shame-devin-beckerDevin Becker’s debut collection Shame | Shame investigates two types of shame: that which disgraces, and that which curbs and keeps. Set in the mundane everyday where lives maneuver around other lives, conversations are clumsy, and a co-worker is the only one without a party invite, these confessional narrative poems humorously dramatize the socially awkward moments of life.

Shame | Shame is the 2014 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize winner, selected by David St. John, who also provides a foreword for the collection, stating “We all want to know what happened to Huck after he decided to ‘light out for the Territory’—my own sense is that 150 years later, a little sadder and a whole lot wiser, he emerged as Devin Becker.”

Published by BOA Editions, Ltd., Shame | Shame will be released this April.
Published March 19, 2015
jane-joritz-nakagawaThe new free ebook from Argotist Ebooks is Dying Swans by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa. From the publisher: "Dying Swans is a literary monograph which compares Sylvia Plath via her poetry, letters and diary entries with the main character of the 2010 Hollywood film Black Swan. What results is an exploration of femininity, gender stereotypes and the female psyche as depicted in a variety of films, poems and commentary by female poets, and feminist scholarship, particularly from the 1950s to the present." Full Argotist Ebooks catalog here.

Published March 18, 2015
belle-mar-katie-bickhamThe poems in The Belle Mar by Katie Bickham are set on a Louisiana plantation from 1811 through 2005, and speak through the imagined voices of slaves, masters, mistresses, servants, and children. Focused on events that take place in a single room within the plantation home, Belle Mar, Bickham offers an unflinching portrayal of the atrocities that form an undeniable part of Lousiana’s history. The fully rounded characters she evokes allow readers to contemplate the social forces that shaped a slave-holding society and perpetuated injustices long after abolition.

Katie Bickham has also received the Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize from The Missouri Review. Her work can be found in Pleiades and Prairie Schooner. Winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, chosen by Alicia Ostriker, The Belle Mar will be released by Pleiades Press on April 14, 2015.

Published March 16, 2015
taxonomy-of-the-space-between-us-caleb-curtissBlack Lawrence Press runs their Black River Chapbook Competition biannually (submissions opening again this spring), seeking an unpublished poetry or short fiction chapbook. Winners receive publication, $500, and ten copies of their perfect-bound book.

Fall 2013’s winning title A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us by Caleb Curtiss was published this past February.

A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us is an elegant chronicle of grief, of the sprawling bonds between brothers and sisters, of bodies in this world, of the power of language when so artfully arranged. Caleb Curtiss is a poet among poets and in this beautiful and assured collection, he makes himself heard and how.” —Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State & Bad Feminist

Curtiss’s work can also be found in The Literary Review, New England Review, PANK, Hayden's Ferry Review, DIAGRAM, Passages North, Spork, and TriQuarterly, and in New Poetry From The Midwest, published by New American Press.

Published March 12, 2015
no-shape-bends-the-river-so-long-monica-berlin-beth-marzoniFree Verse Editions, the poetry series of Parlor Press, hosts The New Measure Poetry Prize each year, awarding a prize of $1,000 and publication to an author of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Chosen by Carolyn Forché as the 2013 winner, No Shape Bends the River So Long by Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni was published this past December.

“[. . .] together they navigate with beauty and resonance the ‘hours of drought, of waiting, the new low- / watermarks of the lakes,’ the trees ‘that sound like rain & morning.’ This is ecopoetry, it is intimate conversation, it is meditation, the turning inward, the swinging back out from mind to world around the bend.” –Nancy Eimers

Check out Free Verse's website to learn more about No Shape Bends the River So Long.
Published February 17, 2015
delta-dogsThis new book, Delta Dogs from University Press of Mississippi, celebrates the canines who roam this most storied corner of Mississippi. Some of Clay's photographs feature lone dogs dwarfed by kudzu-choked trees and hidden among the brambles next to plowed fields. In others, dogs travel in amiable packs, trotting toward a shared but mysterious adventure. Her Delta dogs are by turns soulful, eager, wary, resigned, menacing, and contented.

Writers Brad Watson and Beth Ann Fennelly ponder Clay's dogs and their connections to the Delta, speculating about their role in the drama of everyday life and about their relationships to the humans who share this landscape with them. In a photographer's afterword, Clay writes about discovering the beauty of her native land from within. She finds that the ubiquitous presence of the Delta dog gives scale, life, and sometimes even whimsy and intent to her Mississippi landscape.

Delta Dogs
By Maude Schuyler Clay
Introduction by Brad Watson
Essay by Beth Ann Fennelly
96 pp. / 10.5 X 9 inches / 70 duotone photographs

[Text from the publisher's website.]

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