"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Posts tagged ‘Monday Must Read’

Monday Must Read! Callings, edited by Dave Isay

At a time when we need inspiration and belief in the power of one person more than ever, this collection is definitely a must-read.

callings

Stories of passion, courage, and commitment, following individuals as they pursue the work they were born to do, from StoryCorps founder Dave Isay

Buy it here! 

In Callings, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay presents unforgettable stories from people doing what they love. Some found their paths at a very young age, others later in life; some overcame great odds or upturned their lives in order to pursue what matters to them. Many of their stories have never been broadcast or published by StoryCorps until now.

We meet a man from the barrios of Texas whose harrowing experiences in a family of migrant farmers inspired him to become a public defender. We meet a longtime waitress who takes pride in making regulars and newcomers alike feel at home in her Nashville diner. We meet a young man on the South Side of Chicago who became a teacher in order to help at-risk teenagers like the ones who killed his father get on the right track. We meet a woman from Little Rock who helps former inmates gain the skills and confidence they need to rejoin the workforce. Together they demonstrate how work can be about much more than just making a living, that chasing dreams and finding inspiration in unexpected places can transform a vocation into a calling. Their shared sense of passion, honor, and commitment brings deeper meaning and satisfaction to every aspect of their lives. 

An essential contribution to the beloved StoryCorps collection, Callings is an inspiring tribute to rewarding work and the American pursuit of happiness.

Monday Must Read! Ragged Eden by Michael Meyerhofer

Michael Meyerhofer‘s fifth book of poems, Ragged Eden, is available from Glass Lyre Press. He has been the recipient of the James Wright Poetry Award, the Liam Rector First Book Award, the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize, and other honors. For more information and an embarrassing childhood photo, visit troublewithhammers.com.

Purchase Ragged Eden here!

Ragged Eden

“In these brilliant poems, Michael Meyerhofer explores the complex and crazy world you and I wake up to every day. He writes about superheroes and poverty and death and Carl Jung and parallel universes and dictators and what you can see and hear while sitting in a bar where they’re mourning a dead woman named Lynette. And what makes all of these things jump up and shout is Meyerhofer’s love and curiosity. He’s the poet who wants his eyeballs to always be open, always take in and hug the things most of us are too busy looking for the next Starbucks to see.”John Guzlowski, author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues

Michael’s also a fabulous fantasy novelist! His first fantasy novel, Wytchfire (Book I in the Dragonkin Trilogy) was published by Red Adept Publishing. The book went on to win the Whirling Prize from the Kellogg Writers Series, and was nominated for a 2015 Readers’ Choice Award in fantasy by the premier book review website, Big Al’s Books & Pals, and was also an Honorable Mention for the Readers’ Favorite Award. The sequels, Knightswrath and Kingsteel, are out now and the entire trilogy is also available in audio format and omnibus. There’s also a second series, the Godsfall Trilogy, set in the same world. The third volume, The Undergod, is available now!

Find his fantasy novels here!

 

Monday Must Read! Bully Love by Patricia Murphy

A Must Read by a fabulous poet, Trish Murphy, founder of one of my favorite litmags, Superstition Review ❤ Get this one, y’all. For real. 

Patricia Colleen Murphy is a principal lecturer at Arizona State University, where she founded the literary magazine Superstition Review. She is also an alumna of the Department of English’s creative writing program, having graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in 1996.

Bully Love

Purchase Bully Love here! 

Bully Love, Patricia Colleen Murphy’s second book, won the 2019 Press 53 Award for Poetry, selected by Poetry Series Editor Tom Lombardo.

Bully Love follows the poet from Ohio to Arizona, from cows and cornfields to the Sonoran Desert, from youth to middle age, from daughter to orphan, from child to childfree, from loneliness to love. As the poet leaves a broken home to build a new life for herself, she struggles to adapt to a land teaming with dangers. Against a searing sunny backdrop, the poems describe how she makes peace with an inhospitable life and landscape as she overcomes hardships such as madness, death, depression, fear, anger, loneliness, heat, and hills. She ultimately finds beauty in the desert Edward Abbey called, “not the most suitable of environments for human habitation.” The poems in Bully Love examine the long-term effects of displacement: a mother displaced from her home by mental illness, a women displaced from the Midwest to the Southwest, a girl scout camp displaced by a Uranium processing plant, desert wildlife displaced by urban sprawl and mining, wilderness displaced by careless tourists, ranches displaced by freeways, solitude displaced by companionship, fear displaced by joy. The collection examines how humans form relationships with both landscapes and lovers, all through the eyes of a woman who leaves a forlorn home, suffers relentless loss, and falls in love in and with one of the world’s harshest ecosystems.

Praise for Bully Love

In this quietly fierce collection of poems, the dynamic between profound longing and clear-eyed testament is palpable everywhere. “And so I will live the rest of my life / just short of rapture,” suggests one poem, but the whole collection is mapped in that instant. And in this world, all things are complicit: the landscape–“From our windows windmills are obedient fan palms”–and the animals–“the Dean Martin of mourning doves”–themselves also necessary characters in these striking life-tellings. Bridging a young view of Ohio with an older eye toward Arizona, these poems search for, if not understanding, redemptive acceptance. –Alberto Rios, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Arizona Poet Laureate

The austerity of the desert is almost a character in Bully Love, almost a beloved. In leaving the Midwest, a mother’s madness, a family’s dissolution, the poet travels west mythically and actually. “It is easy to be pious when / your life is not on fire” simultaneously invokes human suffering and suggests that faith of any kind–in love or place or God–cannot be gained without it. For some, a desert is a place of baptism: the difficulty of existence clarifies its worth. You don’t need to think of the desert as a place to be reborn–Patricia Murphy has done that for you. –Bob Hicok, author of Hold

“My only power is the ability to name,” one speaker in Patricia Murphy’s new collection, Bully Love, states, but as Murphy richly explores, the power derived from that ability–after all, the power of the poet–is both potent and partial. “What’s that?” another speaker asks, hearing a birdsong she can’t identify on a hike. “Olive warbler? Painted orangestart? Scissor-tailed flycatcher?” Names are invoked like spells to tell the future, wards to face the ghosts of the past. There’s wondrous courage conjured in these crystalline poems, which sparkle with Murphy’s verve, enabling her to confront the hard truth she names: not love but bully love, the effects of which she exorcises in the glorious music of this edgy, dazzlingly sharp-witted and necessary book. –Cynthia Hogue, author of In June the Labyrinth

 

Happy Reading! 

 

Monday Must Read! Undoing the Silence

LOVE this book. 

Undoing the Silence offers guidance to help both citizens and professionals influence democratic process through letters, articles, reports and public testimony.
Undoing the Silence
Louise Dunlap, PhD, began her career as an activist writing instructor during the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. She learned that listening and gaining a feel for audience are just as important to social transformation as the outspoken words of student leaders atop police cars. “Free speech is a first step, but real communication matches speech with listening and understanding. That is when thinking shifts and change happens.” Dunlap felt compelled to go where the silences were deepest because her work aimed not just at teaching but also at healing both individual voices and an ailing collective voice. Her tales of those adventures and what she knows about the culture of silence — how gender, race, education, class, and family work to quiet dissent — are interwoven with practical methods for people to put their most challenging ideas into words. Louise Dunlap gives writing workshops around the country for universities and social justice, environmental, and peace organizations that help reluctant writers get past their internal censors to find their powerful voice. Her insight strengthens strategic thinking and her “You can do it!” approach makes social-action writing achievable for everyone.

Monday Must Read! Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Beth Ann has published six books–three of poetry: Open HouseTender Hooks, and Unmentionables, all with W. W. Norton. Beth Ann’s poetry has been in over fifty anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1996, 2005, and 2006, The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, Poets of the New Century, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and in textbooks such as Contemporary American Poetry and Literature.

In recent years, Beth Ann’s written more prose. A book of essays, Great With Child: Letters to a Young Mother, was published by Norton in 2006. In 2013, Beth Ann and her husband, Tom Franklin, co-authored a novel, The Tilted World, published by HarperCollins and set during the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River.  Her sixth book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs, recently published by W. W. Norton, was named an Atlanta Journal Constitution Best Book of 2017 and a Goodreaders Favorite for 2017.

Visit Beth Ann’s website here

Buy Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs here

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About Heating & Cooling

The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating & Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book. Ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to arrive at a portrait of Beth Ann Fennelly as a wife, mother, writer, and deeply original observer of life’s challenges and joys. Some pieces are wistful, some wry, and many reveal the humor buried in our everyday interactions. Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs shapes a life from unexpectedly illuminating moments, and awakens us to these moments as they appear in the margins of our lives.

Monday Must Read! Crone by Clare L. Martin

Clare L. Martin’s Seek the Holy Dark was selected as the 2017 Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry by Yellow Flag Press. Her debut, Eating the Heart First, was published in 2012 by Press 53. Martin founded and edits the poetry magazine, MockingHeart Review. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and daughter.

Visit Clare’s website 

Read excerpts and purchase this beautiful book here from NixesMate

crone

Praise for Crone

“Clare Martin’s Crone is a feast for eyes and ears, seductive in its use of both imagery and sound. Celebrating the sometimes terrifying, sometimes life-giving teachings of the wise woman,  Crone evokes a woman’s coming-to-power, an epic “cronesong” of spells and potions in the form of poetry.”
–Sheryl St.Germain, author of The Small Door of Your Death.
Clare Martin’s Crone glows equal parts magic, music, and muscle. Her lines are laced with ambergris and jasmine, ghosts and wolfbreath. I would call Martin’s art a gorgeous dream, but that would ignore the blood, bone, and heart that drive this book at its core. Crone is the creation of a poet at the height of her powers, in full voice, and mesmerizing. Immerse yourselves in these lines, friends. You’ll rise from their waters cleansed and awed.  —Jack B. Bedell, author of No Brother, This Storm, Poet Laureate, State of Louisiana, 2017-2019
“Clare L. Martin is a mysterious spellcaster. CRONE is a lush and dizzying monster of a poem. Coming through it made me see the world anew.”
Luis Alberto Urrea, author of House of Broken Angels

Monday Must Read! Bad Indians by Deborah Miranda

Buy this amazing memoir here

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“This beautiful and devastating book—part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir—should be required reading for anyone seeking to learn about California Indian history, past and present. Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.”

An enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, poet Deborah Miranda was born in Los Angeles to an Esselen/Chumash father and a mother of French ancestry. She grew up in Washington State, earning a BS in teaching moderate special-needs children from Wheelock College in 1983 and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington. Miranda’s collections of poetry include Raised by Humans (2015); Indian Cartography: Poems (1999), winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas; and The Zen of La Llorona (2005), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Miranda also received the 2000 Writer of the Year Award for Poetry from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Her mixed-genre collection Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (2013) won a Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher’s Association and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award.

Praise for Bad Indians

”Essential for all of us who were taught in school that the ‘Mission Indians’ no longer existed in California, Bad Indianscombines tribal and family histories, tape recordings, and the writings of a white ethnologist who spoke with Miranda’s family, together with photographs, old reports from the mission priests to their bishops, and newspaper articles concerning Indians from the nearby white settlements. Miranda takes us on a journey to locate herself by way of the stories of her ancestors and others who come alive through her writing. It’s such a fine book that a few words can’t do it justice.”
–Leslie Marmon Silko, author of Ceremony and The Turquoise Ledge

Bad Indiansbrings the human story of California’s indigenous community sharply into focus. It’s a narrative long obscured and distorted by celebrations of Christian missionaries and phony stories about civilization coming to a golden land. No other history of California’s indigenous communities that I know of presents such a moving, personal account of loss and survival.”
–Frederick E. Hoxie, Swanlund Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

”For so long, Native writers and readers have opened books of our tribal history, archaeology, or anthropology and found that it is not the story we know. It does not include the people we know. It does not tell the stories of the heart or the relationships that were, and are, significant in any time. When we write our own books, they do not fit the ‘record,’ as created by and confirmed by outside views. From the voice of the silenced, the written about and not written by, this book is groundbreaking not only as literature but as history.”
–Linda Hogan, author of Rounding the Human Corners and a faculty member for the Indigenous Education Institute

Also check out Ms. Miranda’s collection of poetry, Raised by Humans. 

Happy reading! 

 

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