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!


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


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.