Bacon! (April’s Contributor News)

 

My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky // @coolniceghost

Our society conditions women to be reactive. Like, teenage girl sexuality is all about anticipating your partner’s moves and then blocking or allowing them, and that block-or-allow gatekeeping shit ends up seeping into just about everything. I don’t think it has anything to do with bodies or minds so much as socialization. Some of us get fed up with gatekeeping really young, and some never do, and for me it bubbled up in my mid twenties in a very major way. A lot of Salt is for Curing is about spending years operating within a framework that’s completely rigged against you, and what that kind of build-up looks like when the fever breaks.

  • INTERVIEW: “Dinnerview: Sonya Vatomsky” via Entropy. If you have strong feelings about food, this interview just might be for you. We agree about the runny egg whites.

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Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen // @chenchenwrites

For Set the Garden on Fire, I was interested in the child’s voice, the queer child’s voice, the voice of a child of immigrants. So a lot of the poems in this first chapbook wrestle with childhood, early adolescence, and engage coming of age in this very intersectional way. Companion poems like “Write a Letter to the Class About Your Summer Vacation” and “Write a Letter to Your Mother About Your Longest Winter” helped structure the collection—echo and break, circularity as well as surprise, I hope. Flowers and fires, yes, but donuts also play an important role. The chapbook is full of questions about what tenderness means and what kinship or community could look like.  // more

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Pray, Pray, Pray: poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by E. Kristin Anderson // @ek_anderson

Bacon (Good Stuff) March

All the good things (we’ve heard about) from our contributors (in March):

My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky // @coolniceghost

I love that traditionally underrepresented groups are able to get exposure through smaller presses/journals and self-publishing, and I love destroying that idea that there’s some kind of difference in “quality” between what’s on a bestseller list or in the canon and what’s being produced online, that some writing is “real writing” or whatever. // more at Paper Darts

  • Oh, and guess what else? They’re blogging for the Poetry Has Value project! (In which Sonya reveals their very serious indy press book habit. V. serious.)
  • Sonya’s collection Salt is for Curing (Sator Press, 2015) went into its second printing!

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Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen // @chenchenwrites

“Each poem in this collection is like a booth with the reader or the poet but one telephone that connects to the world of multifarious affairs. In fact, there’s a pattern that an interested mind may discover which is so intricate and amazing, sharp and endearing.” // more

  • Chen’s chapbook Kissing the Sphinx is available for pre-order at Two of Cups Press (and was a 2015 chapbook contest finalist)! Chen gets good blurb:

“There is so much love in these poems it seems Eros is nibbling at the ear of Chen Chen, and through him, at ours. Listen―yes, listen!―closely to this sensuous, tender and bold new voice in American poetry…” —Curtis Bauer

  • Chen’s first full-length book of poems was a finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.
  • Chen Chen has won the Poulin Poetry Prize via BOA Editions “for his collection When I Grow up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities. The collection was selected by highly-acclaimed poet Jericho Brown. Chen will receive a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. in spring 2017.”

“Chen Chen refuses to be boxed in or nailed down. He is a poet of Whitman’s multitudes and of Langston Hughes’ blues, of Dickinson’s ‘so cold no fire can warm me’ and of Michael Palmer’s comic interrogation. What unifies the brilliance of When I Grow up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities is a voice desperate to believe that within every one of life’s sadnesses there is also hope, meaning, and—if we are willing to laugh at ourselves—humor. This is a book I wish existed when I first began reading poetry. Chen is a poet I’ll be reading for the rest of my life.” – Jericho Brown //  more

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Pray, Pray, Pray: poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by E. Kristin Anderson // @ek_anderson

  • EKA’s chapbook, Fire in the Sky, is forthcoming from Grey Book Press in spring.
  • Anderson’s really on fire here—Acoustic Battery Life will make an appearance in spring via ELJ Publications.
  • While you’re waiting for those two beauties, you can pick up her short chapbook of Prince inspired poems, sometimes lovingly referred to as the B-side of Pray, Pray, Pray, from ELJ‘s magpies line: 17 Days.

Rooted by Thirst (Tina Mozelle Braziel)

Rooted by Thirst, Tina Mozelle Braziel’s chapbook of poems, is meditation and journey, a circumbulation of this plot of land that reveals pieces of speaker and landscape—a sense of place both had and longed for. Each poem yearns; each page deepens, roots curling into ready loam. The final poem of this book is one of the strongest we’ve yet chosen—it closes and opens at once, spiraling off like light slipping across a field to flash over all that’s hidden in the rest of the day. In the gold, all things are possible. // available in our shop // learn more

Cover art by Kathleen Piercefield.

Good Stuff (January)

Good news & happenings from/with our authors&poets:

Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen // @chenchenwrites

Chen writes not to seek solutions, but rather to document the fullness of the problem, as an embodied weight from which language emerges. Chen’s poems investigate identity with a kind of generosity. They retrace past traumas, to find in them the possibility of repair. In “Tale of the Heart & the Knife,” a friend observes, reflecting on Chen’s own descriptions of his parents, “You talk about them so tenderly…How do you do that?” He replies, “I have not always been tender. / So perhaps it’s a way of making up, talking about them tenderly.” | more at Entropy

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Pray, Pray, Pray: poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by E. Kristin Anderson // @ek_anderson

  • a petite review of Pray, Pray, Pray in tweetspeak (Glynn Young)

Good Stuff in December

My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky // @coolniceghost

NGQ: Sonya, first I’d like to ask about your origin story: if you were a character in a poem, how might you introduce yourself?

SONYA VATOMSKY: Chaotic neutral half-elf bard. I’m the scoundrel in the corner of the tavern trying to sell treasure maps to unsuspecting adventurers. Seriously, though, I’m in all my poems. At least a little bit. Especially the angry ones.

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midnight blue (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Vanessa Jimenez Gabb // missgabb.tumblr.com

13 – David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art? Yes, all those, everything. You can trust a writer with anything. | more at rob’s blog

 

press yourself against a mirror (Janelle Adsit)

In a hunt for identity where dreams are “spindly and thriving,” we must search for what we want and then count on ourselves for the strength to hold it close, to keep it safe, to interrogate all that’s reflected in the people & things that are our mirrors. (Porkbelly Press, 2015) // learn more

Poems by Janelle Adsit.
Cover image by Christopher Squier.

 

Good Stuff – December (week one)

Good news & happenings from/with our authors&poets:

Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen // @chenchenwrites

What’s pink & shiny / what’s dark & hard (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sarah B. Boyle // @pyrrhicspondee

“Boyle’s poetry chapbook, What’s pink & shiny / what’s dark and hard (Porkbelly Press, 2015), provides a brutal honesty about abortion that our culture has been yearning for, and actually dying for the lack of. Here is empathy with teeth; the kind that will reopen the wound, lick it clean, and give you another chance to heal yourself better.” | more

My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky // @coolniceghost

  • Sonya’s full-length, Salt is for Curing (Sator Press, 2015), which includes poems from My Heart in Aspic, is reviewed via Alien Mouth by Christopher Morgan.

“’Salt is For Curing’ offers the ultimate reward in exchange for your darkest red. Making a thick paste from a phoenix’s bones to reexamine resurrection myths, these poems count all 32 teeth, then eat your words with bread. Sonya Vatomsky reflects upon salt and suffering, creating a literary love potion that’s equal parts wishing well and butcher’s hook.” | more