Hush Now, Baby is the story of how a little white girl climbed out of an uneasy childhood in the segregated South . . . on the backbone of a black woman who loved her unabashedly.
A host of African-American women permeated Southern families. One of those stalwart women was Eva Aiken, a central figure in the author’s life from her birth . . . until Eva staged a sit-in at the girl’s wedding.
The story captures the glorious early years of the Lowcountry South Carolina family then graphically depicts its unraveling. Eva holds them together. The family and the country’s parallel struggles converge. The author lives in bubble-wrap until Civil Rights issues escalate. This story is told without pathos and with graceful restraint—the Southern way.
“Angela’s prose plunges us back in time when a generation of white children were raised by the calloused hands of slaves who, despite being freed by Lincoln, remained chained to a stubborn way of life. Instead of killing us in our sleep, they became our guardian angels, for reasons still mysteriously misunderstood.”—Ken Burger, author of Swallow Savannah, Sister Santee, Salkehatchie Soup, and Baptized in Sweet Tea.
ANGELA WILLIAMS grew up in a family with deep roots in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and currently lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. A life-long teacher, she has published academic books and articles as well as short stories. Currently she is a communication consultant and coach.
978-1-68003-034-1 paper with flaps $24.95 978-1-68003-035-8 ebook 51/2x81/2. 360 pp. Literary Nonfiction. May
It should come as no surprise that poets are often exceptionally fine cooks, savoring food the way they savor words and at the same time recognizing that just as a gathering of words does not necessarily mean a good poem, neither does a mixture of ingredients necessarily mean a good recipe.
In Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate, the editors, all members of Dr. Paul Ruffin’s 2014 graduate Editing/Publishing class, solicited recipes and food-related poetry and prose from Texas Poet Laureates of this millennia. The result is a most unusual gathering of personalities equally comfortable with the spatula or the pen.
EATING TEXAS It’s taken a long apprenticeship to make waffles in the shape of Texas. First there were mountains over Waco. Then the Panhandle sank. A few more false starts when the Red River swamped Oklahoma and the Rio Grande dripped into Mexico. Now I can make perfect ones. All I have to do is take care to stop pouring the batter a little shy of El Paso, Dalhart, and Texarkana. For some reason, Brownsville needs more. Otherwise, my grandchildren complain they don’t have the tail of Texas to bite off. —Jan Seale, 2012 TPL
ELIZABETH ETHREDGE, who lives in The Woodlands, Texas, is a CIED graduate student minoring in English at SHSU. Joanna Baker, Matthew Bennett, Reina Shay Broussard, Gary Horton, Julian Kindred, and all in the English graduate program at SHSU, were members of Dr. Paul Ruffin’s Editing/Publishing Practicum (Spring 2014), which produced this book.
978-1-68003-020-4 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-021-1 ebook 7x9. 160 pp. Cooking. January
German and Japanese Prisoners of War At Camp Huntsville, Texas, 1942-1945
Camp Huntsville was one of the first and largest POW camps constructed in America during World War II. Located roughly eight miles east of Huntsville, Texas, in Walker County, the camp was built in 1942 and opened for prisoners the following year. The camp served as a model site for POW installations across the country and set a high standard for the treatment of prisoners.
Between 1943 and 1945, the camp housed roughly 4,700 German POWs and experienced tense relations between incarcerated Nazi and anti-Nazi factions. Then, during the last months of the war, the American military selected Camp Huntsville as the home of its top-secret re-education program for Japanese POWs.
The irony of teaching Japanese prisoners about democracy and voting rights was not lost on African Americans in East Texas who faced disenfranchisement and racial segregation. Nevertheless, the camp did inspire some Japanese prisoners to support democratization of their home country when they returned to Japan after the war. Meanwhile, in this country, the US government sold Camp Huntsville to Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1946, and the site served as the school’s Country Campus through the mid-1950s.
“This long-overdue project is one I started working on decades ago but didn’t finish. It is gratifying to see the book come to fruition through the efforts of these two history professors. And what a job they’ve done!”—Paul Ruffin, Director, TRP
JEFFREY L. LITTLEJOHN is an associate professor of history and director of the graduate program in history at Sam Houston State University and lives in The Woodlands, Texas. CHARLES H. FORD is chair and professor of history at Norfolk State and lives in Norfolk, Virginia.
978-1-68003-028-0 paper $18.96 978-1-68003-029-7 ebook 51/2x81/2. 232 pp. World War II. June
Ne’er-do-well immigration attorney Harrison Bent can’t imagine why the wealthy and mysterious Maggie Leudecke wants him to solve her eminent domain problem.
If he didn’t have an angry wife to placate, an inscrutable stalker to identify, an obsessed girlfriend to escape, and a murder to solve, a successful outcome to the Leudecke case might revive his career, pay for his autistic son’s special school, and—most important of all—help convince his young paralegal, Chloe, that the afternoon she spent with him in a cheap motel wasn’t an error in judgment, but the beginning of something profound. If only he had some clue as to what he was doing . . . .
From the book: I know myself. That’s the good news. That’s also the bad news. For example, I knew I was not equipped to deal with the Leudecke case. I also knew I wouldn’t turn it down or hand it off to somebody better suited. But, seriously, what background did I have in eminent domain? Or with Mexican drug dealers? Or dead Mexican drug dealers? None. And I knew it.
CLIFF HUDDER earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Houston. His work has received the Barthelme and Michener Awards, the Peden Prize, and the Short Story Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His novella, Splinterville, won the 2007 Texas Review Fiction Award. He teaches English at Lone Star College–Montgomery and lives in Conroe, Texas.
978-1-68003-038-9 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-039-6 ebook 51/2x81/2. 344 pp. Literary Novel. July
Sign of Redemption tells the story of Richie Harrison, an innocent CPA who lands behind bars in a Texas prison—the unwitting “wheelman” in an unexpected armed robbery.
Harrison falls in love with Elizabeth McKenna, a lawyer there to help Harrison’s deaf friend, and thoughts of her—and the life he’s lost—begin to obsess him. He escapes, on horseback and across a raging river, and finds safety with a drug-dealing family while scheming to win his love.
To woo her, Harrison drags McKenna on a destructive journey that transforms him into the criminal he never imagined he’d become.
From the book: When I first got sent down, I thought about escaping every day, and every day I thought of the bullet that would pierce my back and exit through my breastbone in a bloody spray. I thought of myself tumbling out of a dead run, my legs buckling, my face hitting the pavement. Maybe I’m just a coward if all it takes to make a coward is a vivid imagination. But I wasn’t here long before I found out what it sounded like when the blood left the body in gurgling rushes.
LISA TROW is a poet and fiction writer and a former journalist. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and has served as adjunct faculty teaching creative writing in Texas prisons. Trow was an editor at the Austin American-Statesman and managing editor for the Huntsville Item. She lives in Austin, Texas, and has a daughter, Katie Renaud.
978-1-68003-030-3 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-031-0 ebook 51/2x81/2. 240 pp. Literary Novel. July
Set in the suburbs and cities of the Midwest, Mid-South, and Texas, these stories explore the lives of characters biracial, black, white, and all sorts of in-between.
The intersections and collisions of contemporary life are in full effect here, where the distinctions between fast food and fine art, noble and naked ambitions, reality and reality shows have become impossible to distinguish.
Read these stories and understand why Steve Yarbrough said Williams “writes like Paul Auster if he were funnier or like Stanley Elkin might have if he’d ever been able to stop laughing.”
“Tom Williams has done the near impossible in penning a book that is both undeniably entertaining and deeply thoughtful, Millhauser meets Bukowski meets Ellison.”—Alan Heathcock, author of Volt
“Sure, we need the nudge of category to help us all think straight, but we also need the rangy trickster, Tom Williams, to do the bang-up boundary work of imaginary anthropology in these deadpan, dead-on gems. These infiltrating texts take us sideways, through and through, turn us inside-out.”—Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Four for a Quarter
TOM WILLIAMS, who earned his PhD from the University of Houston, is the author of two books of fiction: The Mimic’s Own Voice and Don’t Start Me Talkin. The Chair of English at Morehead State University, he resides in Morehead, Kentucky, with his wife and son.
978-1-68003-018-1 paper $14.95 978-1-68003-019-8 ebook 51/2x61/2. 192 pp. Collection of Short Fiction. July
Award winning poetry critic Ange Mlinko wrote of Parsons and his work, “The Renaissance man was once a courtly ideal; Parsons shows that it is a democratic ideal too—warm-blooded, muscular, as companionable on the page as in the flesh.” Both tangible and cerebral, Parsons’s poetry lifts its readers into a new, transformational reality with a depth of insight that is truly exceptional.
Reaching For Longer Water brings the reader, the most compelling of his poems from his previous four collections, poems hailed by poetry luminaries, Edward Hirsch, Stanley Plumly, Robert Phillips, and Paul Mariani.
THE FRANK GAZE OF WOMEN After Baudelaire’s “Exotic Scent”
Yes, yes, they bestow delights— not only in the seedy way we all know: they plant something in the littoral vacancy and in an instant there is an ineffable fire—that forging force on which so much more depends than wheelbarrows & chickens.
DAVID M. PARSONS, 2011 Texas Poet Laureate, teaches at Lone Star College. He lives in Conroe, Texas.
978-1-68003-032-7 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-033-4 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Poetry. April
Poems from sonnets to free verse focus on pleasures and problems in ranch life and in west Texas, which include variations differing for generations returning to the ranch, and those family members who leave the ranch for city life.
CORMORANTS’ JOURNEY Snowbirds come diving down, sliding in carelessly splatting, pecking on windows, doors, building nests, dropping threads, shards of old nests hanging on their beaks, claws. Their fluttering white feathers blocking the sun’s puny attempts to break through, making the streets slick with their droppings as their baggage slides by, bumping into place side by side by side. Odysseus would tramp off to far west Texas, hankering for firm enchiladas, crusty tacos, brown eyes, and thin clear skies.
CLEATUS RATTAN, 2004 Texas State Poet Laureate, recently retired as Mayborn professor of English at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He lives in Cisco, Texas.
978-1-68003-026-6 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-027-3 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Poetry. May
The present volume draws on nine book-length collections of Thomas’s poetry, and includes a generous selection of new poems.
Five of the collections are comprised of poems of geographic place, four of which are set primarily in Texas. His fifth “place” collection is set on the coast of Maine. The poems selected from his remaining collections range in subject matter from outlaw bikers to ekphrasis; from the avian world to an asylum for the criminally insane.
The tools of his trade are unassuming and relatively primitive. The stagehand is his counterpart in drama.
In the shadows of architects, for grand cathedrals of sonatas, he lays the bricks. Of pitch and tone, he is master. Even a concert pianist steers clear of his ear.
LARRY D. THOMAS, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate and resident of Alpine, Texas, retired from a career in social service and adult criminal justice. He is the author of several collections of poetry.
978-1-68003-024-2 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-025-9 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Poetry. April
“Drew may have lived many years among the Yanks, but his Mississippi roots are having their say, shining through in every irreverent/reverent syllable. Once you pick this book up, you won’t be putting it down any time soon!”—Nancy White
THE DOWN AND DIRTY REDNECK HUNGERS FOR THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY I’ve always been afraid of burning to death, but with you I was like a tree in October, on fire with a shitload of leaves just before the north wind ripped them loose and sent them ass over teacup earthward. Girl, if only you would come again driving down Main Street, your long golden hair streaming out the window like yellow flames, your white Mustang unstained as you was, I wouldn’t give a damn about how I go, only that the crash when it comes rivals them leaves up to their stems in duff, and that one day we can look back and say okay, we crashed, but we crashed still burning.
GEORGE DREW lives in Poestenkill in New York State. He is the author of five collections of poetry, including The View from Jackass Hill.
978-1-68003-036-5 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-037-2 ebook 51/2x81/2. 64 pp. Poetry. June
The Sam Houston State University English Department
In 1879 the Texas Legislature created the Sam Houston Normal Institute “to elevate the standard of education throughout the State, by giving thorough instruction and special training to our present and future teachers.”
This book concentrates on the evolution of the English Department at SHSU over the decades, with an emphasis on its expansion under the leadership of administrators from the level of presidents down to departmental chairs. After a general history of the department until the “modern era,” the book addresses the development of programs and growth of faculty under different departmental leaders up to the present day.
The book traces the hiring of new faculty under different chairs, presenting biographies of most of the faculties, along with group and individual photographs. It concludes with a section of anecdotes provided by active and retired members of the department.
GARY HORTON is a retired geologist currently studying in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at SHSU. Joanna Baker, Matthew Bennett, Reina Shay Broussard, Elizabeth Ethredge, and Julian Kindred were members of Dr. Paul Ruffin’s 2014 Editing/Publishing Practicum, which produced the book. All the editors live in the Huntsville/Houston area.
978-1-68003-016-7 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-017-4 ebook 51/2x81/2. 160 pp. Education History. July