Pray, Pray, Pray by E. Kristin Anderson (cover: Nicci Mechler)
Pray, Pray, Pray is an epistolary anthem penned to, and inspired by, Prince. These middle-of-the-night stanzas are intimate, vulnerable and fierce—”your guitar runs straight through me; I worry that I am a specter,” and “America is violent. And I am a patriot, stomping the ground every day.” These pages are at once love letter, battle cry, and a question, a poem, a song. Follow these lines through and tell us “which lines are critical? If I close this box, will you open it and see something in that empty air?” | available from our shop
This chapbook measures approximately 6 x 5.25 inches. Its cover is printed via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.
Excerpt from “How an Echo Feels:”
Your new voice can almost reconcile the temperature divide—
how my body sweats and outside cool breeze carries every whim
away. My mind is an animal, American like you, down to the bone.
What is more American than art for the sake of art? More human
than love for the sake of love? Dive into the words—here lies
fashion, here lies grace. New voices bubble to the top and shout:
Here we are. Here we have always been.
Suck in the air. This is where we live, where we twist.
Raise me up. Put your hand on my shoulder and say,
Yes. Put your hand on my back and push.
About the poet:
E. Kristin Anderson is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author who grew up in Westbrook, Maine and is a graduate of Connecticut College. She has a fancy diploma that says “B.A. in Classics,” which makes her sound smart but has not helped her get any jobs in Ancient Rome. Once upon a time she worked for the lovely folks at The New Yorker magazine, but she soon packed her bags and moved to Austin, Texas where she works as a freelance editor and writing coach. Wearer of many proverbial hats, Kristin an editor at NonBinary Review, helps make books at Lucky Bastard Press, and is a poetry editor at Found Poetry Review. Kristin is the co-editor of the DEAR TEEN ME anthology (Zest Books, 2012), based on the website of the same name. Her YA memoir THE SUMMER OF UNRAVELLING is forthcoming in 2017 from ELJ Publications. As a poet she has been published in many magazines including Juked, [PANK], Asimov’s Science Fiction, Hotel Amerika, Room and Cicada and she has work forthcoming in DISTRICT LIT and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. Kristin is the author of five chapbooks of poetry: A GUIDE FOR THE PRACTICAL ABDUCTEE (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), A JAB OF DEEP URGENCY (Finishing Line Press, 2014), PRAY, PRAY, PRAY: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press, 2015), ACOUSTIC BATTERY LIFE (forthcoming from ELJ Publications) and 17 DAYS (forthcoming from Choose the Sword Press). She hand-wrote her first trunk book at sixteen. It was about the band Hanson and may or may not still be in a notebook in her parents’ garage. She blogs at EKristinAnderson.com is currently trying to trick someone into publishing her full-length collection of erasure poems based on women’s and teen magazines.
About the cover artist:
Nicci splits her time between exploring, telling tales, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with a pack of roomies & rescue animals specializing in troublemaking and joy. | @damnredshoes | damnredshoes.wordpress.com
What others are saying about this book:
“It is the most American autumn evening turning to night in E. Kristin Anderson’s spectacular Pray, Pray, Pray. The speaker can’t sleep, but implores the reader to ‘Put your hand on my back and push.’ Comply and crack the spine for these epistolary anthems to love and insomnia. While the poet masterfully assembles the false syllogisms of our contemporary lives, she knows some things are true. For example, ‘Poems do not lie.’ I first met E. Kristin in Minneapolis, at an ethereal dance party celebrating Prince. After reading Pray, Pray, Pray, I imagine her always there, her ‘mind…an animal, American…down to the bone.’ Anderson is ‘The Kid,’ but fresh and female, now dancing and singing under the purple rain by some ‘halogen miracle.’ Let us all join in her praise.”
~Sandra Marchetti, author of Confluence and Heart Radicals
“E. Kristin Anderson’s poems are intimate, brave and driven by a powerful search for calm and security in a world that fails us so often. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY chooses the musician Prince as its muse and—like that musical genius—these poems are equally adept at navigating both the high and low notes of the complex, full life they describe. The voice of the poems is at once exultant and fraught, bringing readers deeply into our America, a country in which ‘there is only beauty and emptiness,’ and anxiety and depression are a ‘dark secret,’ but a pop icon can be ‘an old friend’ or even a savior. These are wonderful, truthful poems. You should read them immediately.”
~Jessica Piazza, author of Interrobang and This is not a sky
Launch Party: October 25, 2015 @ Malvern Books (Austin, TX), 4pm – 5:30pm.
Reviews / Interviews:
Review – The Booth Blog – The Hits and B-Sides and Everything in Between: An Interview with E. Kristin Anderson