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, 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, is a CIED graduate student minoring in English at SHSU. Joanna Baker, Matthew Bennett, Reina Shay Broussard, Gary Horton, and Julian Kindred, are English graduate students at SHSU, and 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.
From the Kirkus Review
In Trow’s unsettling debut, a morally ambiguous man discovers that the straight and narrow is a rocky road at best. Richard C. Harrison is an innocent man, an ex-CPA, serving a 20-year sentence in an East Texas “prison farm” because he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time—an unwitting accomplice to an armed robbery executed by his half brother, Pete. Life drifts along aimlessly until Harrison meets the gorgeous Elizabeth McKenna, an attorney who has been assigned a fellow prisoner’s case. Even if the talented lawyer visits the compound only once, she haunts Harrison’s every waking minute and more importantly, gives him a renewed purpose.
Escaping from prison, he lands in the warm embrace of a drug-dealing family and changes his name to Joe Travis. While serving as the drug dealers’ gofer, the newly reinvented Travis plots a way to McKenna’s heart and home in Austin. Uncomfortably creepy? Certainly. For her part, McKenna alternates between fascination and fear of this poetry-spewing man who seems to harbor some decency under a very tortured exterior. Unfortunately, she gets sucked into the maelstrom of his increasingly unstable and dangerous moves until things go careening off the edge.
Trow’s portrait of a train wreck of a man battling his baser impulses is as curiously mesmerizing as it is revolting. McKenna’s motivations also feel real and understandable, if not always commendable. Unfortunately, the supplemental characters who pepper the narrative—criminal Deep Eddy, drug dealer Early—stick out like cardboard cutouts serving only to move the story along. Also, the storyline can lurch abruptly, leaving some subplots unresolved. Finally, Harrison’s conveniently flawed memory is a construct a little too neat to be wholly believable. Still, it’s no mean feat to write a compelling novel based on characters who are difficult to like, yet Trow more or less pulls it off.
Despite a few stumbling blocks, a page-turner with as much grit as the Texas countryside.
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
Get a Grip
Winner, 2014 George Garrett Fiction Prize
The stories in Get a Grip depict a range of imagined lives. There are Estonian brothers trekking from their blighted neighborhood to a college interview. There’s a TV meteorite hunter in town to search for otherworldly treasure. We meet a widow addicted to physical pain and a successful ad executive who loses all his worldly possessions in one day. All of the characters work out their struggles in the Baltimore region, channeling, in turns, the area’s charm, its despair, its humor, its self-doubt, its compassion. Get a Grip is a book about who we are when the cameras are off and the phone has died.
KATHY FLANN, whose fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, The North American Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, New Stories from the South, and other publications, teaches at Goucher College in Baltimore, where she lives with her husband, Howard. Her previous publications include a short story collection, Smoky Ordinary, and novella entitled Mad Dog.
“In her smart and beautifully observed stories, Kathy Flann drops us straight into the complex lives of a collection of imperfect strivers, who want love, want to be good, or want somehow to transcend their makeshift existences, and who are often their own worst enemies. Each of these tales is simultaneously a portrait of its grim-funny, yet touching protagonist and of a land, very like the United States, where everything is possible, and nothing is quite what it should be.”—Stephen O’Connor
978-1-68003-051-8 paper $14.95 978-1-68003-052-5 ebook 51/2x81/2. 160 pp. Collection of Short Fiction. October
Hall of Fame for Unknown Writers
S. P. Areham
A Place for Writers Unknown . . .
After thirty-six years as book-editor in New York, Robin retires and moves back to her girlhood home in Oberlin, Ohio. She takes with her copies of items she had kept in a special file.
The items had come not from literary agents but directly from writers, reflecting their quirky, original, creative, passionate, ironic, even bizarre voices. All the items enlighten and entertain.
A Hall of Fame for Unknown Writers is Robin’s story as she reproduces the comic items and nominates them for induction into America’s first (and only) hall of fame for unknown writers, where the motto reads: “We’re in Kansas forevermore.”
S. P. AREHAM is a retired self-employed writer-editor who lived in Kansas, the state that houses the fictional Unknown Writers Hall of Fame in the first novel authored by Areham. Areham now lives in Honolulu, HI, swims in the Pacific on a regular basis, and climbs Diamond Head every now and then as energy, health, and time permit.
“For thirty-six years, I was an editor at a family-owned (now part of a bulky conglomerate) book-publishing house in New York. In retirement, I thought it might be enjoyable to write not the Great American Novel (my authors are trying to do that) but the Fun American Novel. Over the years, I had accumulated all sorts of material that I could weave into the novel: material that came to me directly from the country’s most unforgettable unknown writers and professors.”—Robin
978-1-68003-041-9 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-042-6 ebook 51/2x81/2. 280 pp. Literary Novel. November
Ernest J. Finney
Winner, 2014 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize
It’s 1981, and thirteen-year-old Roscoe McAdams and his brother and sister have always lived with their parents, Sebastian and Moonstar, in an isolated cabin high on a ridge in California’s northern Sierra, though often in spring when Moonstar can’t stand the snow anymore she takes them for a stay down below. They’ve mostly been home-schooled.
Then, through a fluke that April, Moonstar becomes a substitute teacher in a small town and enrolls the kids in school there. Roscoe assumes that when summer comes, they’ll go back to the ridge and Sebastian: that’s how it’s always been. But they don’t, and then everything Roscoe thinks he knows for sure begins to fall apart.
ERNEST J. FINNEY, who lives in Sierra County, California, writes stories and novels, mostly set in the San Francisco Bay area or in the Central Valley or the Sierras. His books include Winterchill, Lady With the Alligator Purse, Words of My Roaring, California Time, Birds Landing, Flights in the Heavenlies, and Sequoia Gardens: California Stories.
“This is a novella of beauty, imagination, and the unique bonding of a unique family in a unique situation that captivates from the first few lines and never releases its grip. It is unrelentingly honest, often difficult to absorb because of the discomfort it creates. Peopled by fascinating and original characters, it comes alive on the page and enters the heart, often leaving one breathless.”—Clay Reynolds, Final Judge
978-1-68003-049-5 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-050-1 ebook 51/2x81/2. 128 pp. Novellas. November
The Houstiliad, An Iliad for Houston
Houston's own Iliad . . .
Does Houston need its own Iliad? If it's Mike Lieberman's, it does. In this nervy adaptation of Homer's classic, the story of Achilles' rage is told with a deft touch and a large dollop of humor.
Achilles, an MIT-trained engineer, has dropped out and with Patroclus, his white macaw, cruises around Houston on an old BMW motorcycle looking for trouble. And he finds plenty.
The result is a wry take on Houston and an uncompromising exploration of the rage of men in contemporary society.
Here's how Lieberman's narrator introduces the story:
Achilles' wrath is where our tale begins then spools out venom and his mortal sins. It's tempered true but false to Homer's style, suffused with guile, grit, and mordant wiles. The enterprise is underpinned by myth— Achilles' soul and psyche are the plinth on which our story's force and verve depend, and which the meddling gods and fate upend. Men savage men in violent travails though in the end it's humor that prevails.
MICHAEL LIEBERMAN, retired research physician, is the author of six books of poems and three previous novels: Never Surrender--Never Retreat, The Lobsterman’s Daughter, and The Women of Harvard Square. He lives in Houston with his wife, the writer Susan A. Lieberman.
978-1-68003-055-6 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-056-3 ebook 51/2x81/2. 208 pp. Literary Novel. October
Fools of Time
Thomas H. Schmid
“We are the fools of time and terror.”—Lord Byron
Associate Professor Gale Ruthven, a vampire with nearly four hundred years of service at eighty-three colleges and universities, teaches British Romantic poetry at an obscure commuter college somewhere in far West Texas, enjoying an existence of literary research, student papers, and the bare amount of blood-sucking necessary to survive. His chief aggravation is the Regency Romantic poet, Lord Byron, on whom he fed in 1816 and who refuses to play the role of submissive underling.
When a powerful and seductive vampire named Tempest joins the faculty, Ruthven becomes entangled in a dark mystery involving ancient vampire cults in Mexico and the American Southwest, a hippie vampire named Via Medea, grave robbers in Byron’s Gothic ancestral estate in Nottinghamshire, and a shadowy vampire associate from Ruthven’s early nineteenth-century past—all of which lead him on a wild chase across two continents and to a final showdown in the New Mexico badlands.
THOMAS H. SCHMID lives with his wife Joanie in El Paso, where he has taught for 25 years. He is Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso and the author or editor of books on Humor and Transgression in the Shelley circle, Romanticism and Pleasure (coedited with Michelle Faubert), and A Student Guide to Writing about Literature.
“Tom Schmid has written the ultimate vampire novel. The unholy crew has invaded academia, where the wellsprings of blood are fresh and abundant. Fools of Time is easily the most entertaining novel I’ve read in years.”—Rick DeMarinis
978-1-68003-057-0 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-058-7 ebook 51/2x81/2. 224 pp. Literary Novel. November
Raiders and Horse Thieves
Jackie Ellis Stewart
Memoir of a Central Texas Baby Boomer
“All the more desirable coastal land of the New World had been acquired by the 1840s and ’50s. The Scots-Irish entered this country through the Mid-Atlantic States rather than New England. They settled first in Virginia and Maryland and then moved on to Kentucky and Virginia. Some went further south from there, while others moved west.
Raiders and Horse Thieves is the story of my early childhood in Cedar Creek, Texas (Bastrop County), during the final days of World War II. Due to Reconstruction and the Great Depression, economic growth in this central Texas County had been severely restricted. The residents maintained the pioneer values and lived the lifestyle of a much earlier period. This is a true story of the human will to persevere, against Nature and against one another. I describe growing up in a ramshackle old house called The Holcomb Place, in Cedar Creek, Bastrop County. All the elements of life in rural Texas are there: drought; storms; rattlesnakes; religion; guns. . . .”—Jackie Ellis Stewart
From the book:
It was Judy who found the family plot hidden among a clump of young mesquites. The larger headstone was broken; lying face down and embedded in the earth. A number of smaller markers had once surrounded it, but time and the weather, as well as grazing animals and invasive vegetation, had worn them down to indecipherable sandstone lumps. The men were able to pull the larger marker free; they used Joe’s handkerchief to clean off the inscription. Sure enough: Absalom Ellis.
JACKIE ELLIS STEWART, born in Bastrop, Texas, was educated in the central Texas public school system, the University of Texas at Austin, and George Peabody College in Nashville. She married Jack Stewart in 1968. The couple has four children and four grandchildren and currently are living in a suburb of Memphis, with their better-than-standard poodle, George.
978-1-68003-061-7 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-062-4 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Literary Nonfiction. November
Waking the Bones
New from 2005 Texas State Poet Laureate . . .
New and Selected Works
This is the most complete selection of work by 2005 Texas State Poet Laureate Alan Birkelbach ever put in one volume. It brings together selections that represent his more recognizable pieces, work that has only been available in journals, work that has only been available in books that are out of print or unavailable, plus a generous selection of new work.
In Case of Poetry Reading Break Glass
It is almost certain this is a scenario that will never happen: if someone spontaneously combusts while reading something by Bukowski then perhaps they should be allowed to burn. Then let’s all go for the axe.
Of course, the sign there would read, “In case of fire break glass,” and inside the tiny little alcove, the shelf barely big enough to hold an ancient dwarf mummy, would be a poetry book
which most of us, I fear, would not know how to use. We would stare blankly at it for several seconds, wondering what possible good it could do us, how it might yet save our lives.
ALAN BIRKELBACH, a native Texan currently living in The Colony, Texas, was the 2005 Poet Laureate of Texas. He has been named as one of the Distinguished Poets of Dallas, was nominated for Wrangler, Spur, and Pushcart Prizes, and is a member of both the Texas Institute of Letters and The Academy of American Poets.
978-1-68003-043-3 paper $10.95 978-1-68003-044-0 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Poetry. October
J. Scott Brownlee
Winner, 2014 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize
Set in the drought-plagued landscape of Central Texas, Ascension is a collection of lyric poems that chronicles life in and around Llano, Texas (population 3,033). Brownlee’s poems meditate on the inescapability of place.
Organ Solo with Oblivion and Gar
Skittish fish lay eggs in this shallow stone cleft of an algae chorus. Turn my soul into song, if you can, River Lord. Treat believing the same as each minnow slipping coin-like into deep murk. Your spirit mimics me unblinking, fishbone face framing brackish absence, saying, Kneel into this. Lean low, sinner, & drink. Bitter infidel, swallow the black granite whole if you are not afraid of what comes after it: ___________. Live forever.
J. SCOTT BROWNLEE is a founding member of the Localists, a literary collective that emphasizes placebased writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working class. His poems appear in The Kenyon Review, Narrative, Beloit Poetry Journal, RATTLE, The Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
978-1-68003-045-7 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-046-4 ebook 51/2x81/2. 48 pp. Poetry. September
Dismantlements of Silence
William Virgil Davis
Poems Selected and New
William Virgil Davis is a widely published, awardwinning poet. Among his many honors, fellowships, and awards are the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, the New Criterion Poetry Prize, and the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Poetry. His poems regularly appear in leading journals, both in this country and abroad. His Dismantlements of Silence: Poems Selected and New brings together a generous selection of Davis’s poetry to date. It includes samples of his early uncollected work, poems from his previously published books, and selections from his most recently published work.
Driving Alone in Winter
Driving alone in winter through acres of land deserted by everything save the snow trapped in the ruts of the road, the moon broken by the bare trees, I remember the days when my brothers and I would fall asleep in the backseat on the way home.
Tonight, coming home, I remember the faint light on the dashboard holding my father’s face, my mother’s soft voice, my brothers asleep, the moon running among the trees beside the car.
WILLIAM VIRGIL DAVIS, of Austin, Texas, has published five other books of poetry: The Bones Poems; Landscape and Journey; Winter Light; The Dark Hours; and One Way to Reconstruct the Scene, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. A widely published scholar, he is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Baylor University.
978-1-68003-047-1 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-048-8 ebook 51/2x81/2. 200 pp. Poetry. October
Set primarily in a garden alongside a tidal river in Maine, River Road maps the troubled path of a middle-aged man torn between longing for an idealized past that never existed and realizing he must remain vulnerable to a future of love despite “the sure blights and wilt to come.”
. . . he said, We need to reinvent ourselves, meaning not so much the pair as the each of us, as if we could unroll the raw blue-print of being, right there on the table between us by setting our bowls and cups at the corners to fix it in place and staring down abstract anew the physics of stress and tolerance into other schemata, as if time were a constant and love, an infinite variable that always yields a positive future, but one yet together, as if mindfulness were will and will by necessity commands action. So we sat, long, looking each into the other’s eyes.
RICHARD FOERSTER is the author of Sudden Harbor, Patterns of Descent, Trillium, Double Going, The Burning of Troy, and Penetralia (Texas Review Press, 2011). Recipient of numerous honors, including the “Discovery”/ The Nation Award, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, and two NEA poetry fellowships, he lives on the coast of Southern Maine.
978-1-68003-053-2 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-054-9 ebook 6x9. 80 pp. Poetry. September
Corinna McClanahan Schroeder
Winner, 2014 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize
The poems in Inked—full of twisting roads and highways, of inhabited rooms and abandoned houses—chart a course of departure and return. These are finelycrafted, musical poems, attentive to the world’s rhythms in an Ohio apple orchard, at a Midlands train station, in the throbbing life of the South.
Instructions for Return
Follow the serpentine river roads toward the Little Miami’s lip. Pass through the sycamores, their molting whitewashed limbs. These are curves I can still ride hard, roads I can trace along a back’s bare skin. Feel that wind, saturated, undercut with vespertine chill. Let it frizz your hair. Turn up the Smashing Pumpkins or the Cowboy Junkies. That’s river musk on your teeth. See how the lightning bugs burn their bulbs just ahead? In the rearview, bats unstitch your wake. Now the humming bridge in your fingertips and thighs. Remember that darkening vein underneath, how it pushes and pushes toward main stem waters. The truss will bear your weight ten thousand times.
CORINNA MCCLANAHAN SCHROEDER received her MFA from the University of Mississippi and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California. She is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award in poetry, and her poems have been published in numerous journals. She lives with her husband, Matthew, in Los Angeles, California.
978-1-68003-059-4 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-060-0 ebook 51/2x81/2. 64 pp. Poetry. September
Southern Poetry Anthology, VIII: Texas
Edited by William Wright, Paul Ruffin, and Nick Lantz
Part Bible-belt, cotton-belt, corn-belt, and firmly set within tornado alley, with the sparse and austere beauty of the Panhandle and remote Dell City, the green lushness of the Hill Country, and the urbanity of cities such as Austin and Houston, Texas is a complex world unto itself.
The eighth volume of The Southern Poetry Anthology reflects this variegation with poems both traditional and experimental, Texas-centered and universal.
Chomping her chocolates of fresh road kills, she swaggers through her slop, oblivious of the piglets she crushed during last night’s slumber, squishing through the splits of her thick, cloven hooves. The last boar which tried to straddle her fabulous girth fractured both forelegs. She dined on his carcass for days, grunting in the shade.
WILLIAM WRIGHT, author of four books of poetry and series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, lives in Marietta, Georgia. PAUL RUFFIN is the author or editor of over thirty books. He lives in Willis, Texas. NICK LANTZ, author of three poetry collections, teaches poetry at Sam Houston State University and lives in Huntsville, Texas.
978-1-68003-063-1 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-064-8 ebook 6x9. 296 pp. Poetry. November