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12.02.14: Oh! And our last two chapbooks of the 2014 series are just released: Laura Bylenok's a/0 and Khaty Xiong's Deer Hour. Whoa, both of these are phenomenal chapbooks. Order below or on the chapbooks link at the left.

As a reminder, the best way to get them all is to just subscribe to the whole 2014 series. Individually the chapbooks are $9 ea + $2 shipping. If you buy all four, we'll ship them to you when they're out (the first two ship now) for $30, shipping included. So you save $14 on them; that's like getting 1.44 chapbooks for free. So:

   

a/0 is a glorious, terrifying, tender enchantment—an immersion in a world made strange through the alchemy of metaphor—where approaching noon might become a horse, breathing hard, glowering. Here, it is always noon, falling snow forever filthy. Only the body is new: gaining a tooth, losing a vertebra, suddenly old at the wrist where brittle bone too easily crumbles. Through the magical confabulations of language, Laura Bylenok unconceals our infinite mutability and our gorgeously human capacity for kinetic empathy. Compassion alone can break the spell of endless noon: by the grace of fear, a red sweater becomes a woman’s body, the fallen woman a vision of our own desperate possibilities. Free to love and die, we are resurrected in time, restored by desire for changing light and changing seasons, joy and loss, the pleasure and grief of our fragile, transient, miraculous world. —Melanie Rae Thon

Laura Bylenok’s a/0 loops clockwise and counterclockwise through a quantum gothic tale of loss and transformation. What’s its genre? A nonce science of evanescent increments. Newton and Leibniz confer. A vertebra vanishes. Noon is now and null and now again. "If time is infinitely divisible, it must also be infinitely expandable," Bylenok writes. Now replace "time" with "Bylenok’s nimble, ruminative prose." Now replace "must also be" with "is also infinitely readable, infinitely pleasurable, and." —Zach Savich

Poems, 5"x8", 72pp., $9, ISBN 978-1-934832-47-9. [press release & order form]

 

   

Luminous and feral, Deer Hour is part creation documentary of the worlds we build for ourselves with language, part elegy for the fact that it is impossible to generate closure without enclosure. In a world where humanity is bound to "red cedars whose secrets keep us logging" as well as "childhood / writing from the front lines," Xiong would guide us through the anxieties of being "bound in sore action, / unable to reconcile / the wild & the not-wild" with poetry that is determined to witness while resistant to the complicities of history. Here, as in other crucial, contemporary poetics, the acts of speaking and writing are not halves of a pristine poetic whole, but yearning, expressive portions that remain troubled by the absence of a bearable relationship to the world. The resulting work is of an important new perspective that would liberate us from the dualism of what is sayable and free us into an argument about what is livable. Read this book if you have ever contemplated the institution of civilization, known the love of language, or taken one step toward the wild and opened your eyes. —Lo Kwa Mei-en, author of Yearling

Poems, 5"x8", 44pp., $9, ISBN 978-1-934832-46-2. [press release & order form]

 

 

Too, we'll be opening up our yearly chapbook contest in November. Details on the contest page when they're ready.

   

The 2014 Chapbook Contest Winner, Jessica Johnson's In Absolutes We Seek Each Other: Poems

Johnson's poems, full of quiet and gracious observation, are acts of kinship-in-strangeness with the natural world. Even the slightest creatures are alive with vision. —Joanna Klink

For a moment, reader, as you orient yourself in one of Jessica Johnson's poems, you might classify a scene as quiet and scientific, or moody, wet, and metrical; then a shift and, god, it's luminous and grief-struck and haunting and it's yours. The linked poems in the book's first section are a feat of beauty: transformation and lost innocence set in a glimmering laboratory. The second section of ocean dwellers, anatomies, and sea-soaked lyrics is equally remarkable. Jessica Johnson is a true discovery. —Kathleen Flenniken

Poems, 5"x8", 60pp., $9, ISBN 978-1-934832-44-8. [press release & order form]

 

   

A finalist in the 2014 Chapbook Contest, Mark Holden's No One Wants to Live Here: Stories

In No One Wants to Live Here, Mark Holden turns fantasy and reality inside out, showing us the frail thread that holds them together and the raw edges that our superegos scrabble to keep hidden—the things we would never want to reveal in a million years. But in this world, to quote one of his characters, "a million years was up." Holden's sharp, deadpan eye is a seam-ripper that lays bare our tattered, basted-together interiors. —Kate Moses

The mundane and the shocking are neighbors in Mark Holden's powerful collection of stories No One Wants to Live Here. So are his characters—neighbors who watch one another. They are ordinary people, farmers, prison guards and waitresses, a new mother, a cameraman for a local news channel. But the normalcy ends there, because these ordinary people sometimes get out their arsenals of weapons and kill one another. But then maybe that is normal, too. Writing in sublimely simple prose, stripped bare of any unnecessary flourishes, Holden paints a picture of bland and lonely, so-called "ordinary" lives in which extraordinary cruel acts transpire, and in doing so he shows us how such extreme acts have become irrevocably stitched into the fabric of American life. —Elizabeth Cohen

The stories in Mark Holden's No One Wants to Live Here are suggestive and sparse, apparently without affect. In conjunction with their startling plots, the effect is one of a dazzling muteness. —Steve Shipps

Stories, 5"x8", 64pp., $9, ISBN 978-1-934832-45-5. [press release & order form]