Captain Grimes, Shanghai Pierce, Range Wars, and Raising Texas
This four-generation saga, written with Mickey Herskowitz, begins with Richard Grimes, who became a sea captain at the astonishing age of 21, and made the first of his fortunes carrying passengers from Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, to the West Indies. In 1821, he heard of the land grants being developed in the territory west of New Orleans and the port of Matagorda. It was the final year of Spanish rule, and the Captain began to sail and trade in the waters of what was now known as Mexican Texas, in the heart of the colony granted to Moses Austin. By 1836, he was sailing 2,400 miles to bring settlers, troops, gunpowder, whiskey, and provisions to aid Texas in its struggle to free itself from Mexico.
After the war, as the new republic was coming to life, the Captain pursued maritime trading along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. When his son William Bradford Grimes joined him after years of schooling in the north, he made the gradual transition from life at sea to land and cattle baron. After the Civil War, Bradford established the legendary WBG Ranch and led the first trail drives from Texas to Kansas along the Chisholm Trail.
Bradford eventually passed on the WBG Ranch to his children to move to Kansas City, where he became hugely successful in banking and the mercantile business.
ROBERT DAVANT, who resides in Brenham, Texas, is a descendant of Captain Richard Grimes, who owned and commanded sailing ships trading principally in the West Indies, Europe, and the Caribbean, later transporting gunpowder and other support to the men fighting for Texas Independence. An attorney, oilman, and rancher, he has founded and chaired two oil companies and currently heads a Texas corporation with landholdings in Galveston and Brazoria Counties. MICKEY HERSKOWITZ, of Houston, is the author or co-author of 65 books, including best sellers with Bette Davis, Mickey Mantle, Dan Rather, and others. He is a Hall of Fame sports columnist and one of two Texans to ever win the National Headliners Award for excellence in sports writing. For six years he held the Warner Chair of Journalism at Sam Houston State University.
978-1-68003-113-3 paper $24.95 978-1-68003-114-0 ebook $8.95 6x9. 336 pp. Exploration/Settlement. August
Love Give Us One Death
Jeff P. Jones
Winner, 2015 George Garrett Fiction Prize
Bonnie and Clyde are the most famous outlaw pair in American history, children of the Dust Bowl, illicit lovers whose criminal run inspired fear and admiration in a country desperate for antiheroes. Their bloody path, spoking outward from their family homes in Dallas, ranged across the Southwest, the desiccated southern plains, and the Midwest. Frank Hamer, the legendary Texas Ranger, was hired to stop them. The story of their death on a lonely Louisiana back road, as well as their short life together, is a story of a nation reaping the results of environmental degradation, injustice, and greed.
"In Love Give Us One Death, Jeff Jones pieces together a story we think we know, about desperate lives and American violence. As the tale unfolds, we see its larger dimensions: the spiritual shadows and compulsive needs from which our nation springs and through which it has found its many forms of speech. This is historical fiction raised boldly to the level of myth."—Tracy Daugherty, Final Judge
"The language throughout the novel is absolutely stunning. Characterization, historical setting, ambience are all accurate and depicted with great clarity. A terrific achievement."—Mary Clearman Blew
"This is just a damned fine piece of work."—Robert Wrigley
JEFF P. JONES was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. His paternal ancestors were sharecroppers in East Texas. He’s a MacDowell Fellow, and his fiction has won several awards, including the A. David Schwartz, Hackney, Wabash, and Meridian Editors’ prizes. He lives on the Palouse in northern Idaho. This is his first book.
978-1-68003-097-6 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-098-3 ebook $6.95 51/2x81/2. 232 pp. Literary Novel. October
Winner, 2015 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize
Ray’s got a problem: His wife’s parents have won the lottery—just as he’s in the process of leaving her for another woman. Although he’s successfully self-employed, how can he avoid the temptation of returning to a marriage that’s suddenly a lot more appealing? Set in rural Maine, The Megabucks explores moral choice in an age of economic desperation.
"At the end of it, I was smiling in satisfaction of knowing I had just finished a tale that was very well told. The piece is also just plain well-written. The ending is remarkable, as it would have been so easy to succumb to cliché, something Dolleman totally side-steps in a fresh and gratifying way."—Clay Reynolds, Final Judge
"The Megabucks is a gripping story of one small town’s struggle to cope with a sudden shift in expectations. With a handful of characters and sixty-some pages, Rusty Dolleman paints a tragic and telling portrait of a culture that values the quick fortune over the fair wage."—Tyler McMahon, author of Kilometer 99 and How The Mistakes Were Made
"This story whispers over your skin, hooks into your gut, and barrels up though the knuckles of your spine."—Matt W. Miller, author of Club Icarus and Cameo Diner
RUSTY DOLLEMAN, currently living in West Paris, Maine, is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s MA program in Writing, and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He’s currently at work on a novel about a right-wing militia that takes over a small town in northern New England.
978-1-68003-111-9 paper $12.95 978-1-68003-112-6 ebook $4.95 51/2x81/2. 88 pp. Novellas. September
From the author of Women Like Us . . .
Three college friends from the 50s blaze their own path in love and work, braving the stifling conventions of the age, and anticipating the social thaw that would arrive ten years later. These "wild girls" pay heavy penalties for living against the grain, but, over the years, rebound and re-set their course, drawing strength from their friendship. The novel follows them from an elite northeastern college, to Paris with Allen Ginsberg, to New York’s avant-garde scene in the early sixties, to a mansion in Newport, to the slopes of Zermatt, to Long Island’s Gold Coast, as it celebrates the nimbleness and vitality of women who defied an entire culture to forge their own journey.
"Wild Girls is a novel about a few women rebels who came of age in the 50s with the Beats in Paris, Allen Ginsberg (when he was still sleeping with girls), and a Yoko Ono-based character in early 60s New York. More importantly, Erica Abeel IS a ‘Wild Girl’— she lived the life, these are her friends, and this is an insider’s peek into that world."—Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians
Praise for Abeel’s Women Like Us:
"Smart, snappy, and compulsively readable . . . Written with wit and perception."—Publishers Weekly
"An old-fashioned good read."—New York Times Book Review
ERICA ABEEL, a college professor, former dancer, journalist and film critic, has published 5 books, including the novel Women Like Us, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. Living in New York City and based in New York and Long Island, she loves to write about warrior women who lived against the grain before the upheavals of the 60s.
978-1-68003-103-4 paper $24.95 978-1-68003-104-1 ebook 51/2x81/2. 344 pp. Literary Novel. October
Sarah Cortez - editor
A poetic look at Texas roadside memorials . . .
Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials
Along Texas roadways rest thousands of contemplative shrines, usually marked by small, white metal crosses. Largely a phenomenon of the Texas culture, these storied memorials are invitations to pause, to pay attention, to ponder the meaning of life and death.
Anchored by the stunning photography of roadside memorials by Dan Streck, this landmark book allows four poets to respond to the visual summons of roadside memorials with lyric intensity and eloquent ekphrasis: Larry D. Thomas, Jack B. Bedell, Sarah Cortez, and Loueva Smith. Graphic designer Nancy J. Parsons brings her award-winning skills to perfectly meld photography with poetry in this gorgeous volume.
A Plain, White Cross
It lists slightly beside the highway. Whoever placed it there drove its upright deep into the earth, intimate with the tragedy of wind and driving rain. Knowing the certainty of erasure, they left it nameless, just a simple wooden cross harboring, for a while, the traces of unbearable loss. As if lit from within with white light, it glows beside the silent highway: white light stark as the grief of the bereaved, white as the clouds above, streaking, disintegrating. —Larry D. Thomas
SARAH CORTEZ, resident of Houston, is the author of two poetry collections, How to Undress a Cop and Cold Blue Steel, and a memoir, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston. She is the winner of the PEN Texas literary award in poetry and the Southwest Book Award.
The House Across from the Deaf School
New from the author of The Death of Bonnie and Clyde . . .
The House across from the Deaf School, Michael Gills’ third collection of short fiction, continues the life and times of Joey Harvell, whose stepfather, in "Last Words on Lonoke," gives him a .30-06, tells him not to aim at anything he doesn’t want to kill, and "that’s pretty much it for [his] gun safety lessons." Later, in "What The Newly Dead Don’t Know But Learn," his uncle swims Joey and a group of fake cowboys across a creek on Camp Robinson, only a fisherman’s trotline is stretched across the S-curve, and the result, like the book as a whole, is a hard fight there’s no recovering from.
What others have said about Gills’ work:
"Each word is a spark, every sentence a sizzling fuse. The whole... is a sun-white conflagration, cleanly and cleansing. Michael Gills sojourned in the heart of light and he has returned to his home world with that light still clinging to his every utterance."—Fred Chappell
"Michael Gills’ prose reeks with accuracy and bulls-eye intensity . . ."—William Harrison
"These stories are, scene by scene, sentence by sentence, beautifully written—clean, gorgeous prose, perfectly pitched. The detail work is exquisite. Suffering and loss are given their necessary place in these stories, but so too are grace and mercy." —Donald Hays
MICHAEL GILLS is the author of Go Love, a novel, story collections Why I Lie and The Death of Bonnie and Clyde, and White Indians, a collection of creative nonfiction essay, part two of which is forthcoming. He is associate professor of writing for the Honors College at the University of Utah where he lives in the Wasatch Foothills with his wife and daughter.
978-1-68003-105-8 paper $14.95 978-1-68003-106-5 ebook $4.95 51/2x81/2. 144 pp. Collection of Short Fiction. October
One Grand, Sweet Song
New from the real-life teacher of Dead Poets Society . . .
One Grand, Sweet Song is a collection of familiar essays in which Sam Pickering explores libraries and woods and fields. He wanders over hills and far away—to the Caribbean and Canada—but he always returns to the local, to Connecticut and his memories of a Southern childhood. He ponders writing and aging, joy and lunacy. He celebrates family and Christmas. He laughs and tells terrible lies, and jokes. He runs half-marathons, and on a farm in Nova Scotia, he tries to write his Walden. In these pages Pickering embraces his world with great love, wrapping it in words and pulling it and the reader unforgettably close.
Pickering has written 28 books and hundreds of articles. Three are scholarly studies, two of which focus on 18th century children’s literature. Four are travel books, three of these describing his family’s meanderings in Australia. One book mulls teaching, and another is a memoir. The rest of Pickering’s books are collections of familiar essays, providing his take or perhaps "untake" on things. "Reading Pickering," a reviewer wrote in the Smithsonian, "is like taking a walk with your oldest, wittiest friend."
SAM PICKERING, a resident of Storrs, Connecticut, has BAs from Sewanee and Cambridge University and a PhD from Princeton. He recently retired as Distinguished Alumni Professor from the University of Connecticut. He taught in Jordan and Syria on Fulbright grants, and lived in Britain for five years, Australia for three.
978-1-68003-095-2 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-096-9 ebook 51/2x81/2. 176 pp. Literary Nonfiction. October
Clairvoyant with Hunger: Essays
Poetic criticism from one of our leading poets . . .
"Clairvoyant with Hunger consists of fourteen short essays on poems from James Dickey’s last book; The Eagle’s Mile; twelve short essays on James Wright’s best prose poems; a long essay on Dickey’s third novel, To the White Sea; a long essay on W.S. Merwin’s 320-page poem, The Folding Cliffs; an essay on the major Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail; a familiar essay on the Japanese poet, Ryuichi Tamura, whose work I translated for publication during my fellowship year in Japan (1971–72); an essay on four poets for Stephen Berg’s anthology on Marianne Moore, Theodore Roethke, D.H. Lawrence and Hart Crane; a long essay on the work of poet David Bottoms; and my own interview for a special feature of my work in Fifth Wednesday Journal in Chicago, Spring 2014." —Laurence Lieberman
"I believe the best of Lieberman’s essays equal Stevens’ most shattering and inspiring prose: we understand reality as well as literature with a more humane sense of what we are."—Stephen Berg, founding editor of The American Poetry Review.
LAURENCE LIEBERMAN’s poetry has appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Hudson Review. Lieberman is Professor Emeritus of English at University of Illinois—Urbana. He lives in Savoy, IL.
978-1-68003-091-4 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-092-1 ebook 51/2x81/2. 176 pp. Literary Criticism. November
Against Sky's Warm Belly
From the author of Cold Blue Steel . . .
The poems of Sarah Cortez flex lean muscles to build lyric intensity and a gripping edginess often backlit by an incandescent, controlled eroticism. Cortez reveals the hidden underworld of her fellow police officers, whose lives comprise the thin blue line and whose blood sometimes splashes and blackens on summer concrete.
And what of the water? A transparency we swim through, lithe white muscle, the glide of fins. We move and move forever inside reflections, refractions, ruckus from the other side. Our eyes never close. We see you coming. We don’t think we’re dinner.
SARAH CORTEZ, of Houston, is the author of two poetry collections, How to Undress a Cop and Cold Blue Steel, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston.
978-1-68003-109-6 paper $16.95 978-1-68003-110-2 ebook 6x9. 200 pp. Poetry. October
Some Dark Fire
Michael Lieberman’s Some Dark Fire, New and Selected Poems is a generous sampling of an exceptional poet’s mature work, written over almost thirty years—since Lieberman moved to Houston in 1988. His poems offer a perspective on our world that is in turn celebratory, somber, joyous, dark, tender, and, most of all, doubt-plagued. He offers no easy answers, but his questions will enrich and reward the reader. This deeply felt book is the work of a gifted poet and research physician at the height of his powers.
Every heart conceals a few small secrets or, if full of amplitude and plenty, large ones. I begin with a green bough, forsythia— supple and yellow with flower. I end there—not because I am impoverished, but because I have it all.
MICHAEL LIEBERMAN is a Houston-based poet/ writer and former research physician. He is the author of seven books of poems, the most recent of which is The Houstiliad, An Iliad for Houston, and three novels. Lieberman is married to the nonfiction writer Susan Abel Lieberman. They have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.
978-1-68003-107-2 cloth $10.95 978-1-68003-108-9 ebook 6x9. 200 pp. Poetry. September
Consequences of a Moonless Night
Winner, 2015 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize
Consequences of a Moonless Night deepens its native primitivism through humor, surrealism, and soul-searching lyricism. These poems take the reader on a journey where a grandmother "walks with the Beast of the Apocalypse on a leash" into visions of grief, eroticism, and an indelibly reflective reticence that continues to unfold with each reading.
"Indeed, these poems sing with a language born of experience, a life closely examined and fully lived."—Richard Foerster, Final Judge
Message In A Bottle
A green bottle washes up on a beach. It is very old. It is not glass but something the sea has made by erasure. The message inside is written in blackberry juice. No one knows how to translate its language except by the cardio-bleats that tremored in the hand that wrote it, the hand bent by the curve of the horizon, calculating a rescue, a possible escape.
LOUEVA SMITH, a native Texan, is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as DoubleTake and Louisiana Review, and she is a contributing poet in Vanishing Points. Her plays have been staged at Frenetic Theater.
978-1-68003-093-8 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-094-5 ebook 6x9. 48 pp. Poetry. September
The Mad Farmer's Wife
Rita Sims Quillen
Poetic insight to modern farming . . .
The Mad Farmer’s Wife is a response to a life lived on a mountain cattle farm in Southwest Virginia and also to a poetic persona created by noted Kentucky poet and essayist Wendell Berry: the Mad Farmer. The Mad Farmer’s Wife tries to help us understand the complexity and challenge of living that life in today’s economy and the dark life and death struggles that are a routine part of farm living.
Prayer of the Mad Farmer’s Wife
May the weeds grow into heart-shaped hedges Giving symmetry and order to ragged fields That August sun has turned loose and ugly Let sunburned calves and their tired mothers Find a pool of winter—cool shade Between woods and creek at our world’s edge. I am lost on a heat-shimmering quilt Just yards from an open door where My children watch for the relief of nightfall And aimless bees and flies look to me Saying, "You must know something." Let there be silence once again As voices dwindle to snowsoft murmur My life rising anew from behind the mountain.
RITA QUILLEN is the author of the novel Hiding Ezra, and the poetry chapbook Something Solid to Anchor To. Her most recent full-length collection is Her Secret Dream. She lives and farms in Scott County, Virginia.
978-1-68003-099-0 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-100-3 ebook 6x9. 64 pp. Poetry. September
Set in the bucolic, yet brutal South of his youth, My Mother’s House is a memoir by novelist David Armand. It recounts the young author’s early memories of being born to a schizophrenic mother, then given up for adoption, only to be raised in a home with an alcoholic and abusive step-father. In this sharply remembered portrait of the people and places that shaped him, Armand paints his seemingly negative experiences with a sympathetic and understanding brush. As the reader follows Armand through his childhood and later into adult life—when he is reunited with his mother after she makes a failed suicide attempt—a surprisingly new world of hope and possibility is rendered, despite the overwhelming challenges of this reunion.
[Armand’s] writing is reminiscent of Hemingway: straightforward descriptions of manly action punctuated by laconic dialogue.”—New York Journal of Books
“Armand writes in a comfortingly familiar literary voice that blends Ernest Hemingway’s laconic but rhythmically complicated explorations of the mysteries of masculinity with William Faulkner’s more fabulist, Southern Gothic twang. It’s a heady, seductively intoxicating combination.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
DAVID ARMAND, who lives in Hammond, Louisiana, teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. In 2010, he won the George Garrett Fiction Prize for his first novel, The Pugilist’s Wife, which was published by Texas Review Press. His second novel, Harlow, was published by Texas Review Press in 2013. David’s third novel, The Gorge, is forthcoming this fall from Southeast Missouri State University Press.
978-1-68003-073-0 paper $18.95 978-1-68003-074-7 ebook 51/2x81/2. 192 pp. Literary Nonfiction. March
The novellas and stories in American Originals convey the power of the West Texas desert to swallow people—literally, or through the rituals of labor, or through the raptures of ecstatic vision, induced by blessings or madness—and people’s ability to forge connections in spite of extreme conditions. Each piece in this thematically-linked collection assumes a unique shape, whether poetically compressed, echoing (only to break) the contours of mystery stories, or redolent of the forms of classical prayer. The Texas of American Originals becomes the landscape of strife and hope, struggle and love, lost and found.
The characters in the stories and novellas here learn, sometimes the hard way, the truth of T. S. Eliot’s insight that the “end of all our exploring” in life is to “arrive where we started” and to know, for the first time, who we really are. Saints and sinners, and the blurred lines between them, drive these spare narratives set in the plains and deserts of Texas.
“[Daugherty’s fiction] leaves us dry-eyed and wiser in that place far beyond tears that we know from our own lives.”—Shelby Hearon
“Daugherty combines the serious and literary with the funny and offbeat, resulting in sparkle-plenty prose with an ear for dialogue that never fails.”—Beverly Lowry
TRACY DAUGHERTY, a native of Midland, Texas, is the author of nine previous books of fiction, a book of personal essays, and biographies of Donald Barthelme, Joseph Heller, and Joan Didion. His work has been recognized with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
978-1-68003-077-8 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-078-5 ebook 51/2x81/2. 288 pp. Collection of Short Fiction. March
A riveting story of how a suicidal African American teenager’s forcing a young white cop to kill him devastates the teenager’s mother as well the rookie cop. It also sparks a massive race riot and puts the mother and rookie in the crosshairs of a deranged gunman.
The only place Emma Jennings, the mother, and Russell “Rusty” Carter, Jr., the cop, find refuge from the chaos engulfing them is the teenager’s serenely beautiful grave. Through initially awkward meetings there, Emma and Rusty establish a bond that they must ultimately rely on to rebuild their lives and help heal their city.
Praise for Sandra E. Johnson’s earlier work:
“Standing on Holy Ground is an inspiring work of good overcoming evil. It is a ruthlessly honest account of the new progressive South still struggling with a very old legacy of hate.”—USA Today
SANDRA E. JOHNSON is the author of Standing on Holy Ground: A Triumph over Hate Crime in the Deep South that received glowing reviews from O, The Oprah Magazine, USA Today, and Southern Living. She lives in Hopkins, South Carolina, and is currently at work on a novel set in SC’s Low Country.
Pichaske’s stories take us from the halls of academe to small-town Minnesota to a little village on the edge of the Bavarian National Forest. Speaking in voices of a farmer right out of Deliverance, a disgruntled professor of English, and his dog Harley, Pichaske says what many people think, but few have the courage to say. While he is especially strong on details of history, place, and language, the hard-nosed wisdom his narrators offer transcends place and even time.
From “Daisy”: Look—there are always dreams. And in dreams the ultimate purity: by now she may be fat and forty, stretch marks, grey hair, three kids. The ravages of time, you know? Look at you and me: not exactly the bright and rising stars we were twenty years ago, eh? But in dreams, the years are invisible. People never age in dreams.
David Pichaske has spent fifty years as a college professor, and forty years as editor-publisher of Spoon River Poetry Press and Ellis Press. He taught four years in Poland, Latvia, and Mongolia on Senior Fulbright Fellowships, and authored two dozen books, most recently his memoir Here I Stand. He lives in Granite Falls, Minnesota.
978-1-68003-071-6 paper $16.95 978-1-68003-072-3 ebook 51/2x81/2. 128 pp. Collection of Short Fiction. May
Best Creative Nonfiction of the South, Volume I: Virginia
Best Creative Nonfiction of the South, of which this Virginia collection is the first volume, serves as a valuable resource for scholars, students, writers, and general readers interested in creative nonfiction both from specific areas of the South and across the region as a whole. The writers included in each volume come from diverse backgrounds, generations, and artistic traditions. Most, if not all, volumes in the series indirectly reflect literary changes over time and/or how literary variations have manifested themselves in a given state. In some cases, publisher permissions and other factors have foiled the editors from including the work of deserving writers. Nevertheless, the abundant literary talent across the South has lessened the impact of the occasional unfortunate omission.
“TRP has for years now published an annual collection of poetry from each of our Southern states, and these anthologies have done very well for us, both inside and outside university classrooms. We welcome this new series on Southern nonfiction and look forward to visiting these fine essayists, state by state.”—Paul Ruffin, Director, Texas Review Press
CASEY CALBOUGH (Series Editor) is the Lynchburg, Virginia-based author of three books of creative nonfiction and numerous other titles dealing mostly with the US South. THORPE MOECKEL English graduate director at Hollins University in Virginia and the author of several volumes of poetry and creative nonfiction, lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.
978-1-68003-075-4 paper $22.95 978-1-68003-076-1 ebook 51/2x81/2. 228 pp. Literary Nonfiction. April
New from 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate . . . This book features Morton’s best work to date from her ten collections. While her poems range in style, topic and region, they capture each universal emotion, delving into our desire to know our place in this world; the reason for our very being. Her words are comfort and wonder and hope. She writes: This is a book of poems to swallow, to seep in your bloodstream/ and pound open the chamber doors/ of your own heart, reminding us of our huge capacity for love, guiding us through each tiny fold of synchronicity to discover the big picture--what it means to truly be alive.
Time And where did the day go? A late Sunday of mingling legs, sermons of hawk and crow, a choir of mockingbird. Sitting outside, legs still reaching for one another, together; just words. The hours, dulcet and vaulting like dog years. These are the best unremarkable days of our life, when nothing happens but the bloom of tiny wildflowers, the kind you have to sink to your knees to see.
KARLA K. MORTON, Texas State Poet Laureate in 2010, is a resident of Ft. Worth. She is a Betsy Colquitt Award Winner, twice an Indie National Book Award Winner, and North Texas Book Award Festival Winner. Morton is the recipient of the Writer-in-Residency E2C Grant and has ten books of poetry. 978-1-68003-087-7 paper $10.95 978-1-68003-088-4 ebook 6x9. 200 pp. Poetry. May
New from the winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize . . .
Just as an orchard grower, when harvesting its fruit, discards the tart, the bitter, the overripe and the stunted, so, too, any poet tries to judiciously reject less than sterling poems when assembling his Selected. Pastoral Habits is a selection of carefully chosen poems from fifty years and five volumes of poetic harvests. If “pastoral” connotes good shepherding, or good harvesting, then George Drew’s collection will resonate for those who value the worlds of poetry.
Mother, have you looked on this masterpiece? Seen how you hold me as you did when I was but a child? Here joy has been exiled, and sorrow set upon the throne. You will not see it on your perfect brow draped by its kerchief. Nor on your firm chin, nor in your inward-looking marble eyes, nor even in my horror-riddled shape draped like a smock across your lap. Now do you see it? There—in your left hand: the fingers splayed like broken wings, the deeply chiseled lifeline, and the blood, or shadow, smudging palm and fingertips. Here, mother, piety and pity are the same.
GEORGE DREW, born in Mississippi, lives in Poestenkill, New York. He is the author of five collections of poetry.
978-1-68003-079-2 paper $10.95 978-1-68003-080-8 ebook 6x9. 200 pp. Poetry. May
The poems of Barrier Island Suite are inspired by the life, art, and writings of Walter Inglis Anderson, who spent much of his adult life exploring the barrier islands of Mississippi, sketching and painting their flora and fauna, and chronicling his adventures in numerous logs. The islands form a liminal space between the land and sea, between nature and culture, between madness and conformity. Elements of Anderson’s life, including his travels, his struggles with mental illness, and his murals are also incorporated.
from “The Islander”
Painting his subject, Wen Yü K’o becomes bamboo. Han Kan turns to horse. Walter merges with island, follows pig tunnels through brush. In flotsam shoes, he walks on water moccasins and on copperheads. Not immune to their venom he suffers fevered visions. He’s the young heron seen climbing a dead pine spar with feet, wings, and bill, stretching out to mount a cloud and take the heavens by storm.
KENDALL DUNKELBERG is the director of creative writing at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, where he also directs the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium.
978-1-68003-065-5 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-066-2 ebook 6x9. 80 pp. Poetry. March
New from the 2014 Donald Justice Prize winner . . .
The Garden of Earthly Delights Book of Ghazals ranges across time and place in visiting personal as well as historical and even imagined experience. As an abecedarian was once used to teach the basics of a thing—say, to recognize an alphabet—Gibson, who has labelled his collection a “scrambled abecedarian,” suggests that all meaning arises out of disorder. However, it is from this disorder that the varied subjects of the poems are shaped into a significance.
In Degas’ The Absinthe Drinker, the woman in the bar looks so alone and depressed as she stares at her drink. Earlier, she was imagining she would meet someone as she was getting dressed; now, she stares at her drink. There are drunks all around. Everyone drinks absinthe. Lower-class women love it best. They stare at the drink (it’s a poison, literally; they could care less), as they pour it over sugar to cut its bitterness. They stare and drink. Degas said he viewed women as if through a bathroom keyhole: she gazes into her crystal ball’s green mist—stares, drinks.
STEPHEN GIBSON is the author of five previous fulllength poetry collections and a chapbook. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife Clorinda.
978-1-68003-081-5 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-082-2 ebook 6x9. 80 pp. Poetry. February
Linda Parsons Marion’s fourth poetry collection, This Shaky Earth, straddles time, family divisions and legacies, and the regions of her native Tennessee. From her grandmother’s indwelling kitchen and raggedy garden plot to now being a grandmother and gardener herself, she cultivates the lessons and language of the past in her own backyard. Marion’s poems are leavened with a hunger to understand the upheavals of childhood and its growing pains, to be fed full to bursting on life’s vegetable immensity, to face the passing seasons with grace, where all she knows of this black-eyed earth is perishing even as it flowers.
The old words you polish and peel, choice fruit for my stirred ruminations: ballpeen and tenpenny hammered anew, cotoneaster spreadeagle by the wayside. I say them with you and after you, honeydew on the tongue, a tad sigoglin. Here of late, memory’s diction slips, my lexicon less akimbo, loose lipped. What to do but stagger punchdrunk on the lawn’s glissando, turn, turn ecclesiastical. Sanko on over here, drop pebbled syllabics, six-stringed enjambments like you never done before, howl wordful under a blue moon twice risen. Rapture my puny breath to high heaven: sotto voce, big as all getout. Speak, sacred harp.
LINDA PARSONS MARION is poet, playwright, and an editor at the University of Tennessee and a resident of Knoxville.
978-1-68003-085-3 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-086-0 ebook 6x9. 88 pp. Poetry. May
Winner, TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series, North Carolina
Inhabiting myriad landscapes, including the marshes, rivers, and sounds of the North Carolina foothills, as well as gulfs, floodplains, and the overflowing banks of the Chattahoochee, Sally Stewart Mohney’s Low Country, High Water consists of delicate, often minimal explorations of family, mortality, nature, and the world behind perception. Often dreamlike and painterly, these poems brim with a lyrical and imagistic power, a contemplative force that ignites the imagination.
Salvation can finally come as simply as lighting heat in an early kitchen. You enter, chilly in slippers, start several small fires to find your way. Coffee, chimney, b a c o n , then toast. Setting out white cups bowls, plates—a creamer pewter spoons. Light pours in, as pale blue mercy
SALLY STEWART MOHNEY currently lives in Atlanta and is the author of pale blue mercy, as part of Main Street Rag Publishing's Author’s Choice Series, and A Piece of Calm, from Finishing Line Press.
978-1-68003-067-9 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-068-6 ebook 6x9. 72 pp. Poetry. March
The Empress of Kisses explores the landscape of the human heart through free and formal verse. The poems chronicle a wide variety of relationships past and present, real and imagined, with family, friends, lovers, pop culture icons, mythological figures, historical events, and with words themselves. The collection features a special focus on the experiences of Generation X, the “forgotten generation.”
“This book offers all the pleasures that poetry affords—sonic felicities, skilled wordplay, resonant insights, and unexpected destinations.”—Beth Ann Fennelly, final judge, author of Unmentionables
November 9th, 1989
For thirty years there is no kiss. Then there is the possibility of a kiss, like a rumble or a half-heard shout— did it come from this side or that side? When the kiss breaks through, we all struggle to register the impossible, how the wall came down, how their lips found each other, every obstacle reduced to rubble around their feet, the bright paint of her lipstick smeared, unintelligible graffiti all over the changed angles of his face.
GWEN HART teaches writing at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, and is the author of several chapbooks and the poetry collection Lost and Found.
978-1-68003-089-1 paper $8.95 978-1-68003-090-7 ebook 6x9. 80 pp. Poetry. April