"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 ‘Press 53’

Monday Must Read! When She Was Bad by Gabrielle Brant Freeman

An amazing first collection from a fierce and amazing poet! 

Gabrielle Brant Freeman‘s poetry has been published in many journals, including Barrelhouse, Hobart, Melancholy Hyperbole, Rappahannock Review, Shenandoah, storySouth, and Waxwing. She was nominated twice for the Best of the Net, and was a 2014 finalist. Freeman won the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, and she received a Regional Artist Grant in 2015 from the North Carolina Arts Council. Freeman earned her MFA through Converse College. When She Was Bad is her first book of poetry.

Visit Press 53 to buy this beautiful book here


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, author of Blowout

The poems of Gabrielle Freeman’s When She Was Bad are by turns amorous, witty, fierce, ironic and erudite, but they are always sensual and often erotic. As the title suggests, Freeman explores the promises and surprises of the human heart, and her deft free verse addresses temptations, rewards and disappointments. Her bold inquiries sharpen both her eye and her tongue, but her first collection is far from single-minded, as she makes room for owls, spider wort, Bela Lugosi, Stephen King, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Renoir. When She Was Bad is entertaining and enlightening, and with its publication Gabrielle Freeman steps onto the stage in full voice, singing true.

—R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah Review and author of Messenger: Poems


Monday Must Read! Clare Martin, Eating the Heart First, and Seek the Holy Dark

clare-martinClare L. Martin is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and lifelong Louisiana resident. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies both online and in print, including Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Literary Mama, Louisiana Literature, and Poets and Artists, among others. Her poems have been included in the anthologies The Red Room: Writings from Press 1, Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1, and Beyond Katrina. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2012), Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web (2011), Best New Poets (2009), and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net (2008 and 2011).

Visit Clare’s website here: https://clarelmartin.com/

Buy Clare’s beautiful books!

Eating the Heart First


Preorder Clare’s new book Seek the Holy Dark!


Seek the Holy Dark  available for pre-order. Trade paperback, 66 pages, only $10. Pre-orders will ship in early February.

Praise for Eating the Heart First

Clare L. Martin pulls off an impressive balancing act in her debut book of poems Eating the Heart First. In this collection, divided into three sections, she manages trust of her intuitive powers while she tats her findings onto poems built with technical expertise. She is a believer of dreams, and the whole of the work can be read as an oneiric treatise guided by the powers she believes in: the power of memory, the power of water, the power of moons, the powers of longing, and the power of love. In one of the late poems a crow in a dream asks, ‘Let me be a whorl of darkness— / Let me be a fist in the sun.’ All of the poems in this collection have the impact of that crow’s call and of the trope it creates. Gradually the poems reveal richly textured revelations of a heart tied to human experience in that ‘dream we cannot know completely.’ And, while we may not ever know the dream completely, Ms. Martin hands us a guidebook to dreams and to the art that uses dream and dreaming as the scaffolding from which to make something beautiful, and useful, and mysterious all at the same time.” 

— Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureate of Louisiana and author of In Ordinary Light, New and Selected Poems

Clare L. Martin is a fine young poet whose work is dark and lovely and full of a deep organic pulse. Like the landscape of her beloved Louisiana, her work is alive with mystery. You could swim in this hot water, but there are things down inside its darkness that might pull you away forever. It is an exquisite drowning.” — Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America

Praise for Seek the Holy Dark

From the holy dark of horror storms and freedom in the hand, to starving wolves and old women who live in woods, Clare Martin’s poetic imagery seeks in myth to locate depth of soul. She incants salvation “bone by bone” up from the shadows. Her writing has a beautiful fury, a hard questing and secret exultation that keep the reader poised and intoxicated. “Do you seek the heart too” the opening poem asks, and of course, we answer Yes and read breathlessly on. These poems “drop through this world/into dark awakening.” The strong-hearted will understand.

~Rachel Dacus, author of Gods of Water and Air

Seek the Holy Dark is a book of revelations in poems.  Clare L. Martin sees the richness and the poverty that are bedmates, proffers them as gifts, lays them at our feet.  Her poems suggest we join in the quest to be both humbled and exalted. Martin, who never looks away, fully understands the duality of nature, its light and darkness, exploring both in this lush and lyrical new collection.

~Susan Tepper, author of dear Petrov and The Merrill Diaries

Visit Clare’s beautiful litmag: MockingHeart Review!


Read More from Clare Online







Hear Clare Read!


Happy Reading!



Monday Must Read! Gabrielle Brant Freeman, When She Was Bad

gabbyAnd 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

Read More from Gabby Online




Hear Gabby Read!


You don’t want to miss this poet!

Happy Reading!




Monday Must Read: Rebecca Foust: Paradise Drive

Monday Must Read!

Rebecca-FoustThis week meet Rebecca Foust, the author of three full-length poetry collections. Paradise Drive (Press 53 2015) winner of the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry and among Shelf Unbound’s 100 Notable Books of 2015, has been reviewed or featured in more than 40 venues since its release in April. Foust collaborated with artist Lorna Stevens on God, Seed: Poetry & Art about the Natural World (Tebot Bach 2010), winner of a 2010 Foreword Book of the Year Award. All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song (Many Mountains Moving 2010) won the Many Mountains Moving Book Prize, was a finalist for the Paterson Prize, and was nominated for the Poet’s Prize. Foust’s chapbooks, Dark Card (2008) and Mom’s Canoe (2009) won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize in consecutive years and were published by Texas Review Press. Her poems, essays, short stories and book reviews are widely published in the American Academy of Poets, Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, Sewanee Review, and others. Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet-in Residence, and her awards include The 2015 American Literary Review Writing Award for fiction, The 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award (Malahat Review) and fellowships from The Frost Place, the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writing Conference, and West Chester Poetry Conference. The Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine, Foust lives in the San Franciso Bay Area with her husband.

Learn more:


Buy Rebecca’s books here:

Paradise Drive


God, Seed and All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song


All Books




Selected Poetry Online:

Abeyance,” American Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day series 2015, http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/abeyance

Courtesy Flush” and “Oops” reprinted in Poemeleon 2015, http://www.poemeleon.org/-rebecca-foust/

The Notch,” “Bright Juice,” “Nuns Fret Not,” and “Dirt,” The Hudson Review, 2015, http://hudsonreview.com/2015/01/the-notch-bright-juice-nuns-fret-not-dirt/#.VnElSEorLV3

Prayer for my New Daughter,” “Sufferance,” “Blame,” “Gratitude,” and “Only,” reprinted in Poethead 2015, https://poethead.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/sufferance-and-other-poems-by-rebecca-foust/

Contradance” The Hopkins Review 2015, http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/the_hopkins_review/v008/8.2.foust.pdf

Blazon” http://www.cortlandreview.com/features/14/winter/foust.php#1, “Promise Me,” http://www.cortlandreview.com/features/14/winter/foust.php#2, Cortland Review 2014 and “Petals,” Cortland Review 2012, http://www.cortlandreview.com/issue/58/foust.php#1

Biography,” “But What Can Wake You,” and “Eulogy,” Omniverse 2014, http://omniverse.us/poetry-rebecca-foust/

Last Bison Gone” and “Perennial,” The Humanist 2011, http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2011/poetry/last-bison-gone

Prodigal,” http://www.valpo.edu/vpr/v14n2/v14n2poetry/foustprodigal.php and “Elocution Lesson,” http://www.valpo.edu/vpr/foustelocution.html in Valparaiso Poetry Review

Dark Ecology,” “Spec House Foundation Cut into Hillside,” “Rebuke,” “Food-Not-Bombs” (2014), http://www.unf.edu/mudlark/flashes/foust.html and “Bee Fugue” (2011), https://www.unf.edu/mudlark/flashes/bee_fugue.html

Don’t,” Bomb Magazine 2009, http://bombmagazine.org/article/4589/don-t

Broadsides from God, Seed: Poetry & Art about the Natural World with art by Lorna Stevens:

Tikkun Daily, 2011, http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/02/13/god-seed-poetry-and-art-about-the-natural-world/

Terrain 2009, http://terrain.org/poetry/24/god_seed/

Selected Essays and Book Reviews online:

Poetry Daily, 4/21/15, “Poet’s Pick” essay on “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” by William Butler Yeats, http://poems.com/Poets’%20Picks%202015/0421_Foust.html

Interview of Susan Terris, “She Asked for Light,” Poetry Flash 2015, http://poetryflash.org/features/

Guest Blog for Brian A. Klems, “The Writer’s Dig,” Writer’s Digest, http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/its-never-too-late-on-becoming-a-writer-at-50

Guest Blog on “Writing Sonnets,” 4/12/15, Savvy Verse and Wit, http://savvyverseandwit.com/category/guest-post

Review of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, The Rumpus 2014, http://therumpus.net/2014/05/al-mutanabbi-street-starts-here-edited-by-beau-beausoleil-and-deema-shehabi/

Review of After the Firestorm by Susan Kolodny, Poetry Flash 2012, http://poetryflash.org/reviews/

Review of Bacchus Wynd by Catherine Edmunds, Wordgathering 2014, http://www.wordgathering.com/past_issues/issue30/reviews/edmunds.html

Review of Beamish Boy by Albert Flynn DeSilver The Rumpus 2013, http://therumpus.net/?s=beamish+boy

North American ReviewThrowback Thursday” series, 9/7/15, http://northamericanreview.org/throwback-thursday-featuring-rebecca-foust-strip-mine-from-vol-292-2/

Weekly Poetry Columns for Women’s Voices for Change,


Selected Book Review links for Paradise Drive

San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Edition (Diana Whitney) http://m.sfgate.com/books/article/Poetry-John-Burnside-Jane-Hirshfield-Rebecca-6401935.php#photo-8336857

Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Edition (Frank Wilson)

Washington Independent Review of Books (Grace Cavalieri) “National Poetry Month’s Best Picks,” http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/features/april-exemplars-national-poetry-months-best-picks-by-grace-cavalieri

The Huffington Post (Dean Rader) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-rader/three-books-for-autumn_b_8090182.html



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