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We prefer that a piece or two be unpublished, but do not require it.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

from “Waiting for Rebecca” (Bodies in Water)

Edie Carmichael sits on her back oak deck staring at the river, watching for the body. She has done this for three days, everyday since she heard about the drownings. The car had missed a curve on State Route 128 and broke through the guardrails to splash into the Great Miami River. It sank to the bottom.

She has heard on Eyewitness News that there were two people in the car. One man, one woman. She wonders if it was his wife or girlfriend or mistress.

from the short fiction section of P. Andrew Miller’s combo chapbook, Bodies in Water, released in February 2014. As of this writing, there are a few special limited edition copies remaining in the shop.

l’appel du vide by Christina Cooke

Our limited special edition release of Christina Cooke’s l’appel du vide is now available!

The cover features a three-color serigraph of hand lettering and a Red-billed Streamertail hummingbird (the national bird of Jamaica). The belly & title ink is an iridescent mix, as you can see from the variation in the photo. This book is available on teal and also grey cover stock. Each issue of the 55 run is sewn by hand with crimson thread.

Cooke pulls from a well of gender, identity, and sexuality, peppers it with a hint of Jamaican rhythm and language, and presents it to us in this chapbook. She coaxes words together in love-lust, examines the gaze, and brings us into the place of a woman-body walking over hot asphalt, the rain on her skin, and the taste of mango jam on her tongue. She does not shy away from the internal voice, self-doubt, or the anxious churning of a wanton body. // more

Want to see some of the process of printing l’appel du vide? Check out: Nicci’s blog.

The beauty of chapbooks

The beauty of chapbooks

On this rainy Thursday morning, I was reading our twitter feed and came across this link (when Submittable tweeted it to ask, “if you were a chapbook, how would you be bound?”). Sampson Starkweather offers some thoughts on chapbooks and how they’re completely amazing, including this gem:

Chapbooks also have such a materiality and visceral physical life, because they are mostly handmade and handbound and come in all shapes, sizes (from Small Fires matchbooks to The Pines LP records) and textures imaginable (god I love texture!), made from old military uniforms, childhood blankets, prison cups, cardboard, vinyl, rubber, bolts, matchbooks, you name it. It is this handmade element and imagination and of course each chapbook’s limited nature that gives them such value, and ties them to history and an archival existence. Chapbooks are a link to the human that I think is more important than ever right now in the face of ever increasing digital media and publishing, Chapbooks are like Sarah Connor and her son (John Connor) facing the Terminators in Terminator 2: the hope of all mankind and the future of the human race lie in their hands. Also, they are perfect to read on the subway! | read more

We agree; chapbooks are handbound artifacts of human-to-human creativity and communication, and it’s why we take the time to make these editions. It’s why we insist on producing them on paper, in a lasting, portable, fondleable form, to be carried about and opened up in those moments between gadget fiddlings.

So, if you were a chapbook, how would you be bound?