Editor's Picks New Book Arrivals (251)
An Abecedarium, from Zinnie Lucas, the voice of a family's historic tale. Zinnie grieves for her murdered father, shot by Paris Brumfield. A widowed mother attempts to avenge the death, and escapes to rebuild a new life away from a violent time and place, downriver. Author Sara Pennington is a native of West Virginia. She lives in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, where she is a community organizer. She holds degrees in English and creative writing from Marshall University, Ohio University, and Florida State University, from which she received her Ph.D. She has had poems published in The Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Greensboro Review, Ninth Letter, and other journals. This is her first chapbook.
This innovative debut novel reveals the lives of a far-flung contemporary Appalachian family through a web of delicate turning points. A child discovers a grandmother she never knew has died. A runaway teen schemes to start a new life in Texas. A man on parole falls hopelessly in love with a shoplifter. United by a connection to their matriarch, these characters search at home and beyond to make a fresh sense of their changing lives. As a novel in stories, Out of Peel Tree brings a new lyricism to the page and a new voice to American and Appalachian literature—a voice deeply inflected by the beauty of the natural world and by working-class grit.
Meg Johnson’s poems have appeared in Hobart, The Puritan, San Pedro River Review, Sugar House Review, Wicked Alice, and others. She is currently the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and an M.F.A. candidate in creative writing. “Half siren song, half battle cry, Meg Johnson’s Inappropriate Sleepover is a debut collection that coaxes us out of our tightly-zipped sleeping bags and keeps us up until dawn with poems that resonate, beguile, and delight. These are poems to keep for yourself, and to share with your very best friends.”—Mary Biddinger
In her first poetry collection, Rachel Mennies chronicles a young woman’s relationship with a complicated God, crafting a nuanced world that reckons with its past as much as it yearns for a new and different future. These poems celebrate ritual, love, and female sexuality; they bear witness to a dark history. Through wit and careful prosody, The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards lays bare the struggles and triumphs experienced through a teenage girl’s coming of age, showing the reader what it means to become—and remain—a Jewish woman in America.
Originally published in Slovenia in 2006, Skin is Tone Škrjanec’s first full-length collection to appear in English. Škrjanec’s poetic credo is not to be but to let be. His poems exist between the world of things and the mysteries of consciousness in language that is direct, shape-shifting, and lyrical. The underlying poetic procedure is assembly. His aim is to magnify and celebrate. His work is humming with the landscape, the city, and as the title suggests, the human body. Škrjanec’s is the poetry of a mindful observer.
For LGBT people in the United States, the twenty-first century has brought dramatic changes that would have been unimaginable to those living just a few decades ago. Yet, at the same time, the American political system has grown ever more conservative, and increasing economic inequality has been a defining feature of the new century. In this wide-ranging collection, John D’Emilio reflects upon the social, cultural, and political changes provoked by LGBT activism. In a New Century provides a dynamic, thoughtful, and important resource for identifying changes that have occurred in the United States since 1960, taking stock of the work that still needs to be done, and issuing an urgent call to action for getting there.
William Logan has been a thorn in the side of American poetry for more than three decades. Though he has been called the “most hated man in American poetry,” his witty and articulate reviews have reminded us how muscular good reviewing can be. These new essays and reviews take poetry at its word, often finding in its hardest cases the greatest reasons for hope.
The stories in A Different Harbor portray lives that have all the depth and wild weather of the Great Lakes. From a child who has lost his mother to a woman struggling to move on after a disastrous marriage, the characters in these stories flail for any chance to revive what they have lost. They collect fossils and watch old home videos; they retell their own most painful stories just for the sake of keeping them alive. Often, the best they can do is to acknowledge the latent beauty in loss itself—which just might be enough to carry them through.
Quick Kills chronicles the desperate longing to belong as well as the effects of neglect, familial absence, and the nature of secrets. The young female narrator is seduced by an older man who convinces her that she is the perfect subject for his photographs. Meanwhile, the narrator’s sister embarks on an equally precarious journey. Never clearly delineating the border between art and pornography, the narrator’s escalating disquiet is evidence that lines have been crossed.
The Pocket Guide to Divorce follows the tale of Mitch Higby through the cathartic exercise of creating a self-help book, outlining his struggles and tips for those going through similar experiences. The unique manner in which this novel is presented, part faux-self-help book and fiction work, slowly develops the character by incrementally releasing his true nature through the rise and fall of his marriage and the events that follow the aftermath. Mitch leads the reader through all of our deepest fears in relationships, marriage, reconstruction and house pets.
Phoning Home is a collection of entertaining and thought-provoking essays featuring the author's quirky family, his Jewish heritage, and his New York City upbringing. Jacob M. Appel's recollections and insights, informed and filtered by his advanced degrees in medicine, law, and ethics, not only inspire nostalgic feelings but also offer insight into contemporary medical and ethical issues.
In Gephyromania (literally, an addiction to or an obsession with bridges), Tolbert’s choice isn’t between female and male, lover and self, or loss and relief, but rather to live (willingly, intentionally) in the places where those binaries meet. Questions arise: Is a bridge simply an attempt to connect one (seemingly) stable body back to itself? Whose body—which embodiment—is absent when we say “I miss you”? And who is adored when we say “I love”? Sensing the parallels between a lover who leaves and his own female body as it chooses (as he chooses for it) to recede, the poems in Gephyromania explore the spaces between, among, across, and even within bodies.
The stories in Elegy on Kinderklavier explore the profound loss and intricate effects of war on lives that have been suddenly misaligned. A diplomat navigates a hostile political climate and an arranged marriage in an Israeli settlement on a newly discovered planet; a small town in Kansas shuns the army recruiter who signed up its boys as troops are deployed to Iraq; a family dissolves around mental illness and a child's body overtaken by cancer. In the lead story, the moment a soldier steps on an explosive device is miraculously and painfully reproduced, nanosecond by nanosecond. Arna Bontemps Hemenway's stories feel pulled out of time and place, and the suffering of his characters seem at once otherworldly and stunningly familiar.