A Sampling of Poetry, Fiction, & CNF from Porkbelly Press

These are our most delicious offerings with hand-screened covers (left to right):

Sugared Water (lit mag, various authors & poets) | $10

l’appel du vide (Christina Cooke) | $10

Skeleton Keys (Laura Garrison) | $10

Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) | $10

Bodies in Water (P. Andrew Miller) | $10

We’ll be tabling at Imaginarium (Louisville) in September, and we’re offering a limited number of these sets this month: all five of these titles for $38. The press is raising a little cash to pay for travel & table & stay. You can also use a $5 off coupon code IMAGINE on any order over $30 (on chapbooks, gift subscriptions, or even sketchbooks & journals).

Skeleton Keys by Laura Garrison

Skeleton Keys (Laura Garrison) is a chapbook of poetry that combines a bit of night-circus magic with recollections from childhood. There’s a lovely energy in these poems, and a definite sense of wonder in discovery. Things are lost in tall grasses and found in the light of a sunset behind a hill. Slip into a fairy tale held together with spun sugar and shadows.

In this chapbook, you’ll find free verse and a few gems of modern American haiku. | via Wicked Little Heart at Etsy.

Pulled by hand (screen prints), these covers are printed in 2 colors on 65# stock (the kraft brown is 100% recycled, 20% PCW). The special edition release is limited to 55 hand-numbered, handsewn in candy-pink thread, with various end papers, including vellum. In keeping with many delights offered in a carnival setting, there are three cover colors available in the run: purple, kraft brown, and blue. Since these are hand-pulled prints, no two are exactly alike.

Excerpt from “Sylvania:”

Enchanted, I leave the circle
of campers in their soft cocoons
and wade barefoot into the night.

When I am discovered early
the next morning in a small cave
in a pile of sleeping foxes,
I open my mouth to explain
(why is there fur stuck in my teeth?)
but find that I can only growl.

Excerpt from “Sacrifice:”

Our teacher brought a god to class
for show-and-tell. His glass temple
rested squarely on the bookcase,
below a window streaked with rain.

That afternoon, the sun emerged
and spun his scales to liquid gold.
I watched his tongue dart in and out
and longed for him to notice me.

About the Poet:

Laura Garrison is creeping slowly southward like an unstoppable fungus that subsists on caffeine and gummy bears. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various print and online literary magazines. Her hobbies include skulking under bridges, freeing horrors chained in castle dungeons, and wandering through moonlit cemeteries in her best nightgown.

Vein of Stone

Pulled by hand (screen prints), these covers are printed in 2 colors on 65# stock (the kraft brown is 100% recycled, 20% PCW). The special edition release is limited to 75 hand-numbered, handsewn copies. Only two color covers remain: black and brown. The covers feature a hand drawn magnolia blossom & seed pod. The decorative end papers are marbled, each unique.

These are lovely Appalachian poems about coal mining life and the ways in which it affects a specific family. The language will draw you in and keep you.

If you’d like to spend some time reading these poems this summer, you can snag a copy of the special edition for $10.

See this and this post for excerpts, and please let us know what you think!

Call for Submission: Micro Chapbooks

Porkbelly Press seeks samplings of poems and micro fictions from poets & writers around the world. We’re reading poetical offerings of 8 to 10 pages (multiple pieces or a one or two long poems), or 8 to 10 pages of micro-prose (no more than 75 words each). Pieces should be linked in some way (theme, voice, image, place, etc).

Submission period: now through September 1.

We look for evocative work loaded with vivid image or sound, voices full of fierce attitude or lyric quality. We prefer free verse poems, love prose poems, and will consider both lyric and narrative. We’d be delighted to see some modern American haiku as well.

We’ll produce each chapbook in a handbound open edition. We may also release a special edition with hand altered covers, but the exact format will be determined at press time. (We’re also toying with the idea of sculptural covers.) For samples of our work, please see the current catalog: Porkbelly Press at Wicked Little Heart.

In addition to our regular size chaps, we’d like to offer these small works to introduce readers to a variety of poets and writers—a little something to give folks a taste of your voice.

We prefer that a piece or two be unpublished, but do not require it.

Requirements for Submission

  • 8-10 pages of poetry, prose poetry, micro fiction, or micro creative nonfiction. .doc, .docx, and .rtf accepted.
  • Short bio including blog or website link (if applicable) and any books or chaps currently available.
  • Dedication & acknowledgements do not count against page total. Table of contents is not necessary.

We read via Submittable and you can find us at Duotrope, should you wish to report your submission.

Payment for Accepted Works

10 copies of your micro chapbook (paper covers) or 3 if we do a sculptural cover. (We’ve got bookbinders & artists on staff, and we like to leave ourselves open to inspiration.) 30% discount on additional author copies.

Give me the rope…

Give me the rope
that you tied around my finger, wild grapevine warped into a loop. Give
me your face, your hands cupping my breasts, your shoes filled with your mud
and feet. Give us your crooked back aching, your owl-lidded eyes, your breath
in our ears, our handplanes, our spindles, our hums, our ladles, and we will give you back
your money, your ring, your footprints in the corn, your tart apples picked
from your tree that make your mouth and tongue water.
your Ora

A sample of Sarah McCartt-Jackson‘s poetry from Vein of Stone (forthcoming this month). | pre-order

preview: Vein of Stone | off the press in late July

Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) is our first offering of Appalachian poetry. This chapbook of poems sifts through the life of a family in coal country, primarily via a series of letters from three voices. It calls to mind land full of limestone and sweet magnolia blossoms along a buffalo trace. | $10 | available in late July.

Pictured here are the covers awaiting end papers and finished guts. Pulled by hand (screen prints), these covers are printed in 2 colors on 65# stock (the kraft brown is 100% recycled, 20% PCW). The special edition release is limited to 75 hand-numbered, handsewn copies.

We were first introduced to Sarah’s poetry via her submission to Sugared Water lit mag’s Epistolary (a special edition of letters and letter-poems). She captured our ears and minds with her weaving of culture and language nestled in with little bits of folklore—she reaches down again and again to mine up the story of this family—what’s left of them in absence of each other—and she shows us how they’re marked like a body taking on coal dust with each breath.

Below is a sample from the chapbook, a selection of two stanzas from “Kentucky Rose,” the opening poem:

Five days and a riverside away from his wife Ora, Eli knows the rain
by whether or not his ankles slap through coalwater,
whether the sludgy drip of soil-seep oils his palm.

And when the earthhush of that shaft struggles to slip from the blue
shale stitched above the carbon, the sound becomes the rasp
of a carpenter bee’s mandibles boring tunnels
into the porchwood to remove its yellow poplar
grain by grain, gram by spittled gram.

About the poet:

Recently chosen as artist-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for its 2014-2015 season, Kentucky poet Sarah McCartt-Jackson has spent decades developing her craft, dedicating her art to exploring the natural and cultural world that encompasses all who share in planet life. Through poetry, she endeavors to inspire others to connect, reflect, meditate, and act for the future of our ecosystems of all sizes: valley, prairie, forest, fern. As a poet, naturalist, and folklorist, McCartt-Jackson interprets scapes (landscape, homescape, culturescape) in both traditional and contemporary ways. Her poetry allows for enriched understanding for ideas to feather into a central locus, exploring the diversity of biological and cultural life and profound experience rooted in sanctuary and wilderness. Her work has been published by and received honors from the Academy of American Poets, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Copper Nickel, Indiana Review, Journal of American Folklore, Tidal Basin Review, and others.

Some of the poems from this chapbook originally appeared in: The Fourth River, Friends of Acadia Journal, Indiana Review, Redheaded Stepchild, and Sugared Water.