Myth+Magic Anthology

Myth+Magic is a collection of modern takes on old myth, fable, and fairy tale. Nothing is quite what it seems to be. Discover it with us? Limited edition (125), bound by hand. This handbound booklet includes poetry & fiction curated by the joint efforts of Porkbelly & Sugared Water staff. | $10

contributors

Suzanna Anderson
Leah Browning
Andrea Blythe
Laura Bylenok
M. Brett Gaffney
Lisa Megraw
Lucas Olson
Marlana Patton
Monica Rico
Sarah Ann Winn

from the editors

Myth+Magic is a special edition outside of the regular submission period & subscription. We asked for updates of classics—new takes on old tales—and original work. Nothing here is quite what it seems to be. There is always more, and we welcome the deepening of the shadows on the path. All the best forests have them.

Included in this edition you’ll find short works inspired folk tale, fable, fairy tale, gods, monsters, myth, magic, tricksters, divination, witchcraft, and herbalism.

Prepare to be enchanted.

Very affectionately yours,

Sugared Water & Porkbelly Press

about the press

Porkbelly Press creates chapbooks in handbound, small editions. Launched in 2014, PP seeks works with a strong sense of voice, place, and just a touch of fabulism, folklore, or magic. We make our home on the banks of the Ohio River, in a little town called Cincinnati, where pigs fly. // porkbellypress.wordpress.com

colophon

40 pages, 5×7 inches, handbound & trimmed. 24lb bright white paper guts & Epson matte cover (inkjet printed). Garamond is our font of choice. Printed in August 2015.

cover artist

Our cover features a painting by Kentucky-born painter Angie Reed Garner. Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky. The piece is “under water” (oil paint, 28×22 inches).

excerpts

from “Hunters” by M. Brett Gaffney:

After supper she pulls on boots,
prepares her heart.

The girl is small but carries the gun
like she would a baby, twig fingers light
on its tongue of a trigger.

Her father hoists his rifle, heavy with ammo,
the glint of his knife like teeth in the fading light.

They hunt at twilight, when wild things stumble
onto the roads like drowsy children,
thickets busy with thorns.

from “How to Fold a Dream” by Sarah Ann Winn:

You have to think first of the breakables.
The four mockingbirds growing smaller
on receding fence posts
must be stacked one inside the other
like nesting dolls. Wrap their song in a cyan silk scarf.
Place it in the smallest.
It must be tucked in carefully.

Take down Venus.
Pack it separately – it’s wish laden, fragile.

Monday Bacon

(Recent crisp &/or delightful mentions, features & reviews of Porkbelly Press titles.)

reviews:

The Peace of Wild Things (Ariana D. Den Bleyker) reviewed by Allie Marini (via Rhizomatic Ideas // Zoetic Press):

“Dickinson writes, “A wounded deer leaps highest,” and in a movement of 15 poems, Den Bleyker shows us just how high that wounded deer can rise—each poem fuses the beauty and violence of nature, the casual cruelty of the natural order of things, as something that is simultaneously terrifying, intoxicating, and necessary for evolution. Wolves, deer, crows, wild boar, salmon, and all manner of songbirds—from chickadees and thrushes to cardinals and finches—populate the lines of the poems, each of them stitched together with the human voice of “you” and “me”, who at times run together as a pack and at other times hopelessly leap upstream, towards their death and away from each other.”  | read the entire review.

My Heart in Aspic (Sonya Vatomsky) reviewed by Ruth Foley via Horse Less Press:

“These poems often feel like they have spilled onto the page of their own volition, and in some ways I suppose they have. They arrive without warning, without any sense of internal censorship, and invite a reader to take them as they are.” | read the entire review.

mentions:

My Heart in Aspic (Sonya Vatomsky) is this week’s “Best Dressed” at Sundress Publications’ The Wardrobe.

events:

If you’re at the Dallas Zine Party (The Wild Detectives Bookstore, Dallas, TX) on Sept 6, look for Robin Turner, a contributor to Emily (our anthology of works inspired by the letters, life, and poems of Emily Dickinson). She’ll have a few copies of the antho on hand.

The Peace of Wild Things (Ariana D. Den Bleyker)

There’s a primal peel and pull to this chap, a hungry animal ripping strips of reluctant flesh from its meal. It might read like a loss to some, burying, re-burying, and unearthing again, but in this litany of exposed bone and steaming viscera, there’s a resonant note of hopefulness, a fire kindling finally, finally, on a cold night deep in the wood, wolves huffing in the brush. It feels, for all the violence and mourning, like a recovery. Even in the frenzy of a carcass stripped, someone is fed. | available from our shop, $7.

The chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. Its cover is printed via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.

An excerpt from the opening poem “The Future is an Animal:”

I dream I am wolf, dream larger things until,
no face remaining, hair grows through floor-
boards, teeth in concrete and claws from brick,
what is proper only in bone. My coat rips away
from closed eyes, hunger, open hand: touch.

And an excerpt from a later in the collection, “The Heart Expands in Black Soil:”

I dreamed of hunting wild boars, burying
two beating hearts. You called out, pointed
toward the sky. We stretched substance
into shadow, imagined ourselves yoked,
hooves torn & bloody, knowing we used
to say too much until it wasn’t enough.
We listened intently, heard the hearts
beat together, rip apart in silence. It was
more than quiet & wrong to call it peaceful.
I’ll make my own bones of this,

About the poet:

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in Upstate New York, a wife, mother of two, a writer and an editor. When she’s not editing or writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks and collections, including Wayward Lines, Strangest Sea and Beautiful Wreckage, the novelette, Finger : Knuckle : Palm and the experimental memoir, prosthesis. She is the founder and publisher of ELJ Publications, home of Emerge Literary Journal, scissors & spackle, Amethyst Arsenic and other fine journals. She can be found at http://www.arianaddenbleyker.com.

About the cover artists:

Nicci Mechler & Jonathan Rountree have been making art together for years, ever since they met in an undergraduate ceramics class at Northern Kentucky University, and learned the hard lesson that in raku firing as in life, measure twice, transport red-hot ceramics via wiggly tongs once. That story is available over drinks. Tweet us. @porkbellypress

What others are saying about this book:

There’s something of the grit of fairytales in The Peace of Wild Things. Something enchanting, old-timey, strung together with words that punch a rhythm out while deftly navigating the sounds of the written word. These poems dare you to touch the feathers and the bones of discomfort. To lay there on the forest floor and discover your own wild things, to embrace them, elegant or bloody—or both.

E. Kristin Anderson, author of A Guide for the Practical Abductee and Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night.

Notes:

Poems from this chapbook first appeared in such mags as: White Stag, Rust + Moth, and Gargoyle.

2016 Micro Chapbook Line

After a 6 week reading period in which we did our best to answer every submission in 3-7 days, we’re pleased to announce that the following micro chapbooks have been accepted and will appear in 2016:

Dry Spell (Patrick Kindig)

bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Robin Turner)

Ghost Tongue (Nicole Rollender)

Poems for Ivan (Sara Adams)

Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay (Sarah Ann Winn)

Everything I Own (Angela Just)

Lost Birds of the Iron Range (Amber Edmondson)

Thank you for your patience & your beautiful, fierce words. We look forward to crafting them into tiny books! The release order has yet to be determined, but we should iron it out by mid-September or October. We aim to release most of these titles in the first half of the year.

Also of note is the micro submitted by James White—we requested an extended version, which we then accepted as our February 2016 chapbook release:

hiku [pull] (James White)

Love Me, Love My Belly zine (no. 2)

LMLMB no. 2 is composed of the work of 2 creative nonfiction essayists, 9 poets, 1 short story writer, and 3 artists. This half-size zine is 44 pages and bound & trimmed by hand, also with a color cover. | available via Etsy | $9.50

From the website: “Love Me, Love My Belly is an annual print zine dedicated to the acceptance of self and imperfection as beauty. It’s about the space between us, our differences, our scars, our wobbly bits, and our power as it relates to the bodies we live in.”

Contributors:

Rose Lemberg – poetry
Shannon Curtin – poetry
Katharyn Howd Machan – poetry
Coco Owen – poetry
Sandra Anfang – poetry
Keri Withington – poetry
Mimi Emig – poetry
Minadora Macheret – poetry
Shanna Williams – poetry
Bev Magennis – creative nonfiction
Kamala Bremer – creative nonfiction
Nancy Devine – fiction
Angie Reed Garner – art
Celia Yost – art
Nicci Mechler – art

Probably Crying Review on Sonya Vatomsky’s My Heart in Aspic

Sometimes people review our chaps. Here’s one we particularly enjoy:

review by: beyza ozer

let me start off by saying this: after finishing MY HEART IN ASPIC, you may feel like you woke up one morning with mysterious bruises covering your body. you may think these bruises are whispering reassuring things to you during the darkest parts of your day, but these whispers are not coming from your bruises. this is because they are coming from sonya vatomsky and her formidable poems. be scared, but let them in.

more at probably crying review.

more about My Heart in Aspic / $7 / more  about Sonya Vatomsky

My Heart in Aspic (Sonya Vatomsky)

This is a book of sensory-rich poetry investigating the body, decay/fracture, rich marrow, salted flesh, and breathing in all the dark things. This is precisely the kind of work we were looking for when we talked about finding the pieces that capture sage smoke in the eaves. It hooks you from the epigraph quote (Marina Tsvetaeva) and serves up a multi-course meal of, as one reviewer suggests, the playful & grotesque. | available from our shop, $7.

The chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. Its cover is printed via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.

An excerpt from the book, the title poem, “My heart in aspic”:

Who am I to tell you to go
when I keep resentment like a fugitive
warm & nourished in a spare room?
We do our best, or we don’t.
We gnawed the cold universe to the rib,
left white bones strewn about
the tablecloth; killed flies. One, then two.
Three.
Four.
A witch can only be burned so many times before she thinks, hmm,
something has got to change here. I’ve been soup
that charred black to the pot, I’ve made the mistake of listening
when I should have cursed
I salted for flavor and not against ghosts
I am Russian; I ate
cold tongue before I knew how to kiss.

About the poet:

Sonya Vatomsky is a Moscow-born, Seattle-raised feminist poet and essayist. Her work appears in a good amount of places, many of them with spooky names like Hermeneutic Chaos, Menacing Hedge, and Bone Bouquet, and she edits and reviews poetry at Fruita Pulp. Find her online at sonyavatomsky.tumblr.com & @coolniceghost.

About the cover artist:

Shannon Perry | www.valentinestattoo.com | @shannoneperry on Instagram.

What others are saying about My Heart in Aspic:

“Although this is considered a chapbook, the poems inside are so rich and thick that My Heart in Aspic swells and bursts at the seams. With an unapologetic lyricism unique to her work, Sonya Vatomsky guts empty promises offered up as love and reveals the bloody entrails of resistance, what one can suck from the bones of loss. She peels back the layered skin of memories and indulges in both the plums and the salt, the butcher’s carcass and the body that is breaking against “the film between this world / and the next.” Vivid and sensuous, playful and grotesque, Vatomsky has prepared a feast – but don’t get caught thinking she is here to serve.”

Sarah Xerta, author Nothing To Do with Me

Notes:

“Coq au vin” received a Best of the Net nomination from Hermeneutic Press | read it online

Reviews:

review by beyza ozer:

“let me start off by saying this: after finishing MY HEART IN ASPIC, you may feel like you woke up one morning with mysterious bruises covering your body. you may think these bruises are whispering reassuring things to you during the darkest parts of your day, but these whispers are not coming from your bruises. this is because they are coming from sonya vatomsky and her formidable poems. be scared, but let them in.”

more at probably crying review.

review by Ruth Foley:

“These poems often feel like they have spilled onto the page of their own volition, and in some ways I suppose they have. They arrive without warning, without any sense of internal censorship, and invite a reader to take them as they are.”

more at Horse Less Press.

review by Allie Marini:

“Like most aspic dishes, these pieces are comprised of the offal and gelatin that are the overlooked byproducts of most cooking: these are the squeaky bits, the innards, the organ meats and the boiled-down bones of experience, of love, of violence, of survival.”

more at Rhizomatic Ideas // Zoetic Press.