23 August 2019
Make art about the power of story, of how story can change lives.
23 August 2019
Make art about the power of story, of how story can change lives.
Thanks to Sammy Greenspan and all the good folks at Kattywompus Press ❤ Here’s a peek into this odd, little book ❤
Woman Made of Pond Water and Mud
mouth o’ing like fish, fighting for breath in the run-off, in the sludge, in what’s left
of the autumn light gold-slicking the green green surface. She fights to recall what it means to keep breathing.
Meaning is, she knows, manufactured, manufacturing, making, made. What will
we construct today, this day where cold rain pools all across the yard, and where
the gathering dark makes it hard for even the slightest steps of dreaming?
As a child she learned early to clean fish, buckets of struggle she and her brothers carried
home from the creek, the pond, the river, home to the scrape, the knife, the filet,
the tweezer pull of pin bones, careful delicate extractions, lessons in vigilance,
before her mama’s sure hands transformed their catch into sustenance.
She never could look in there, in the pail, couldn’t watch as those fish–
bass, stripe, crappie, cats–fought so hard, banged in circles against the smooth
unending plastic, ramming and gasping, drowning in air. She didn’t have to, look,
or ask, when even now her own small amphibious heart thudded
within the curve of her ribs, this breath, then that, the only meaning
even vaguely in reach of her grasp.
-Mary Carroll-Hackett, (Un)Hinged, Kattywompus Press, 2019
Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of two full-length collections, Haunted City (2017) and Small Chimes(2014), both from Kelsay Books, and three chapbooks, including Beautifully Whole (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015) and Earth Lust (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poems have recently appeared in South Dakota Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Whale Road Review, and The Indianapolis Review. She is co-editor of Border Crossing and Poetry Editor at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She teaches writing at Lake Superior State University and is a Guest Artist Mentor for Wilson College’s MFA Program.
Praise for Haunted City!
Julie Brooks Barbour’s exciting new book, Haunted City, occupies the edge between poetry and fable, dream and nightmare. These vivid prose poems, themselves between genres, construct a terrifying metropolis of desire. -Stuart Dischell, author of Backwards Days and Dig Safe
This book of prose poems, or perhaps it is a short novel with poetic lines backlit by lightning, is mysterious and involving, indeed haunting. Barbour is a true poet with a muse at her side. As she explains, what she has created is “really what someone else created when I relinquished control.”-Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems
Presented in brief glimpses of lyric prose, an extended sequence of image-driven evocations, Barbour gives us experimental writing at its very best, offering innovations in form and technique that are thought-provoking as they are charged with affect and suspense. This is an accomplished book by a truly remarkable writer. -Kristina Marie Darling, author of Scorched Altar: Selected Poems & Stories 2007-2014
A former English teacher, Helen Losse was born in Joplin, MO and educated at Missouri Southern State University (BSE, 1969), where she majored in secondary education and English and Wake Forest University (MALS, 2000), where she studied African American history and religion and creative writing. Her master’s thesis, Making All things New: The Redemptive Value of Unmerited Suffering In the Life and Works of Martin Luther King Jr., is available in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. She wrote four entries in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.
She is the author of four books of poetry, Evey Tender Reed, Facing a Lonely West, Seriously Dangerous, and Better With Friends, as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina, and Kakalak 2014, nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. She was featured by Kathryn Stripling Byer, Poet Laureate of NC, on the North Carolina Arts Council web site along with two other Winston-Salem poets. Helen’s poem “Four Snapshots of the Sea-Going Boats,” won 1st place in the 2009 Davidson County Writers’ Guild Adult Writing Contest. The former Poetry Editor for The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, she is now an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review.
Helen lives with her husband Bill in Winston-Salem, NC, where she occasionally writes book reviews for various literary magazines. She is a rail fan, a NASCAR fan, a Tony Stewart fan, a Kyle Busch fan, a Ryan Newman fan, a Kurt Busch, a Carl Edwards fan, a fan of the flip, a Dallas Cowboys fan, a Wake Forest Demon Deacons fan, and a fan of the Carolina Tar Heels. Helen is a Roman Catholic who loves Christmas. She and her husband have two grown sons.
Buy Helen’s Beautiful Books!
“If books of poetry were considered fitting contributions, Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed, would be among the most heartfelt gifts in a church offering plate. With a keen eye for craft, Losse takes readers on a personal pilgrimage—pondering everything from the beauty of God’s creations to what it might feel like to “be consumed” in pursuit of spiritual purity. Written with fierce tenderness and the courage it takes to write poems both honest and true, this fine collection is a must read. “—Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds
“Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed resonates with a tone of loving memory and forgiveness—a promise for the good life, the verses raising blinds on the dark to brighten songs born to all the world’s beauty. Grace becomes a natural outgrowth of Imagination’s repose. Red clover soft-lights the people; all of us are the ever-present tender reeds.”—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate
“Losse’s Every Tender Reed is penance in poetry—honoring the reader as much as the Creator. This volume, for the most part, is a serene journey with the author as she walks the Path toward the enlightenment of self-knowledge.”—Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate, City of New Bedford, MA
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Women’s Voices for Change
Al Maginnes is the author of seven full length collections and four chapbooks of poems, most recently The Next Place (Iris Press, 2017). He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and teaches at Wake Technical Community College. His poems and reviews have appeared widely. He is music editor for Connotations Press and a member of Liberty Circus, a music and spoken word collective dedicated to raising money for those who work with immigrants and other forms of social justice.
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I LOVE this book 🙂
The fabulous and loving Nancy Peacock is the author of the novels Life Without Water and Home Across the Road, as well as the memoir, A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life. She currently teaches writing classes and workshops in and around Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ben. Her most recent novel, The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson is a definite must read!
Praise for The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson
“ ‘I have been to hangings before, but never my own…’ From this riveting beginning to the last perfect word, Nancy Peacock grabs her reader by the throat and makes him hang on for dear life as the action moves from a Louisiana sugar plantation to life among the western Comanches, bringing to blazing life her themes of race and true love caught in the throes of history. The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson is as deeply moving and exciting an American saga as has ever been penned.” -Lee Smith, Author of Guests on Earth and Dime Store
“Such a powerful story, so beautifully written. Peacock captures the era perfectly, with just the right amount of historical detail woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Unlike some historical novels loaded with digressions that are merely undigested chunks of raw research, this book is just the opposite—a fully realized world with rich, vivid characters. The novel hard to put down—and impossible to forget.” Donna Lucey – author of Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas
“A magnificent, immersive, breathtaking work of historical fiction. Nancy Peacock has written a beautifully crafted, richly detailed novel inhabited by morally complex and fully realized characters, enthralling and heartbreaking in equal measure.” -Jennifer Chiaverini – author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
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Praise for Persimmon Wilson
And we’re back—with the amazing Gabrielle Brant Freeman, author of the stunning debut collection When She Was Bad. Gabrielle’s poetry has been published in many journals, most recently in Barrelhouse, Hobart, Melancholy Hyperbole, Rappahannock Review, storySouth, and Waxwing. She was nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and she was a 2014 finalist. Gabrielle won the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. Press 53 published her first book, When She Was Bad, in 2016. Gabrielle earned her MFA through Converse College.
Visit Gabrielle’s Website
Buy Gabrielle’s Beautiful Book! At Press 53!
Praise for When She Was Bad
Lust. Love. Betrayal and loyalty. Temptation and hilarity. Gabrielle Freeman dissects her speakers’ hearts, tenderly, with supreme attention to what it is to be human, female, and fierce. Gabrielle Freeman’s poems are bad–by which I mean badass bold. Michael Jackson bad. Freeman’s bad and you know it. That’s why you read her. When She Was Bad is a smart, compassionate, tightly crafted and explosive debut. — Denise Duhamel
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You don’t want to miss this poet!