GOOD BACON! (News from our Poets+Authors)

Threnody  (Porkbelly Press, 2014)
by Laura Madeline Wiseman // @drmadwiseman

The Booth BlogA review of Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Threnody

Wiseman’s Threnody, however, is unique in its compelling and contemplative use of imagery and interpretation to offer a bold and fearless perspective of the female psyche that resides in the underworld and all that it exhibits. A must-read. | full review at The Booth Blog


Myth+Magic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
edited by Nicci Mechler (multiple authors)

Myth+Magic: A Review – via Christopher Morgan & Alien Mouth.

“Myth+Magic” shows us how beauty and danger can often occupy and captivate within the same space—which makes what comes next all the more unreal. Rejecting the ordinary with every line, the writers in this anthology not only engage their readers with imaginative details, but also use these same concise worlds to introduce the everyday hardships of love, surprise, and sorrow. | full review at Alien Mouth


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

Interview – The Booth BlogThe Hits and B-Sides and Everything in Between: An Interview with E. Kristin Anderson

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.

Reviews

Myth+Magic: A Review – via Christopher Morgan & Alien Mouth.

Epistolary, the Art of Letters (Anthology)

Epistolary is a 60 page anthology in limited edition (125). The cover art is a collage of gouache, tissue, ink, and paper. The binding is sewn by hand with heavy thread. | $9.50

the special edition anthology: a sweet treat

Epistolary is a special edition outside of the regular submission period & subscription. We asked for the “intimate and specific, letters full of evocative language, short, funny notes, or passionate remembrances,” fictional or poetic, unsent or scrawled on a postcard, inspired by a submission to Sugared Water that we just couldn’t refuse (see: “Morocco Mon Amour”).

Some of the snippets you’ll read are true, some invented, but all are intended for some kind of audience. It’s a little bit like sneaking a look inside someone’s journal, or wandering through a garden of secrets.

The art of letter writing is one that’s fallen out of fashion, and it’s with a nod to just this sort of archaic (or nostalgic!) practice that we bind by hand and produce our magazine in limited edition. We adore the physicality of a book you can hold in your hands, hand to a stranger, or gift to a loved one. We want you to secret us away or post us across an ocean—carry us. This edition is our fond epistle to you, dear reader.

XO,

Sugared Water
& Porkbelly Press

Contributors

Lori Brack, Marilyn Cavicchia, Emily Rose Cole, Kelly DuMar, Ruth Foley, Karen George, Mary Hammerbeck, Barbara Harroun, Joy KMT, Ross Losapio, Fayroze Lutta, Sarah McCartt-Jackson, Meredith McDonough, Lisa Megraw, P. Andrew Miller, Joe Nicholas, Julia Park Tracey (& Doris), Jonathan Travelstead, & Meg Tuite.

Love Letter to Biology 250, Chella Courington

Love Letter to Biology 250 is a chapbook of micro fictions by Chella Courington. This manuscript pinged our nerd-brains when we first read it, flirting with obscure tidbits from Biology lectures—those things we remember because they’re strange—crafted into really tiny stories. | $7 open edition cover

The cover is printed on Epson matte professional paper, each trimmed and bound by hand, finished with a hand-cut title flag typed (old school!) on kraft brown paper. The artwork, “Jelly Flyby,” is watercolor+ink on paper (9 x 12 inches) by Jonathan Rountree, one of our in-house artists.

Excerpt from “Preferring a Clean Virgin:”

The male dark fishing spider climbs her Amazonian body, his legs under a third her size, her abdomen mountainous, fourteen times heavier than his, and he rocks her, side to side, his pedipalps engorged until the blood pushes too hard against arterial walls, curling him against her. Stuck to her, he’s consumed by her. The number and size of their offspring increased by his sacrifice.

What others are saying about Love Letter:

This collection is a work of freshness that is always surprising and never disappointing. Courington manages to do fascinating things with common images and she gives those images new life in a pleasing and sometimes disturbing oblique sort of light. Her terse, intense, and honest stories are presented in an earthy narrative voice in language full of longing and desire. These stories are both playful and provocative and can leave a reader almost breathless at times. Combined, the stories make up witty but also quite serious and worthwhile explorations.” —Pamelyn Casto, editor of Flash Fiction Flash Newsletter

Like a scientist in her laboratory, Chella Courington is careful and precise as she dissects the specimens before her. But Courington’s prose, like her eye, is enveloping, passionate yet also crystalline, hard and clean and clear, rewarding the discerning reader with these multifaceted gems.” —Robin Lippincott, author of In the Meantime

About the Author

Chella Courington is Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Barbara City College. Her prose and poetry have appeared in numerous journals including The Los Angeles Review, lo-ball magazine, Gargoyle, The Tusculum Review, and Danse Macabre. In 2011 Courington published Paper Covers Rock, a flipbook of lined poetry, Indigo Press; Girls & Women, a chapbook of prose poetry, Burning River; and Talking Did Not Come Easily to Diana, an e-book of linked microfiction, Musa Publishing. Her work has been honored by Camroc Press Review, The Collagist, Qarrtsiluni, and Main Street Rag, and nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets Anthologies.

About the Cover Artist:

Jonathan Rountree (BFA Studio Art, Northern Kentucky University) is an aspiring world-traveler seeking to explore the intricacies of this realm armed with clay, camera, canvas, and paper.

Threnody by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Threnody explores the figure of lady-death, an icon come to life in these poems about the death cart, the death kiss, and a narrative dance with death. This is a collection of linked micro fictions & vignettes. They read like prose poems, too, which is part of the beauty in them—these small works live in a liminal space, somehow between poetry and prose, but also an almost-dream state between life and death. Sometimes versus too. | $7 open edition via Wicked Little Heart.

The chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. It features a painting as cover art (“Lady Death & Her Arrows,” guache+paper, 9 x 5 inches). The cover is produced via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.

An excerpt from Threnody titled “Kissing Death:” (listen)

The lady of death gives me the kiss of death. I don’t know why. I was just standing in jeans and a ribbed tee, my belt hard and black, the metal clasp opening, warm in my hands. She appeared in my room, looked up at me from those dark sockets—her body all rib bone, clavicle, pelvis flair, hands and fingers as delicate as cages of dead birds. I didn’t want the kiss of death. We both stared at it for a while, crawling and scooting on the cement floor. I grabbed an empty coffee cup and trapped it, but when I knelt to slide a piece of paper beneath the edge, it was gone. I looked up at death, but she shrugged and reached into the space where her heart had been for another.

What others are saying about the chapbook:

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Threnody is one kickass, wailing dirge that has death driving shotgun, “more hold you than break you apart,” luminous, pulsating poetry that defies fear and denial.Meg Tuite

These poems are powerful, possessing great lyrical intensity and a profound sense of the mystery inherent in this mythic feminine journey into the underworld. Here the poet is an archeologist of the subterranean mind, lifting bits and pieces of knowledge like shards of pottery back up to the light.Devreaux Baker

Mythic rituals have hints of danger and sex and regret, and Wiseman’s incantatory language mixes dream and nightmare, and Eros and Thanatos, in little portraits that soothe as they trouble. I admired each piece’s swift iconography.Timothy Schaffert

About the author:

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her recent books are American Galactic (Martian Lit Books, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), and the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins. She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, and Feminist Studies. www.lauramadelinewiseman.com

Cover Artist: Nicci // damnredshoes.wordpress.com

 

More can also be found: goodreads

Coming Soon: Threnody by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Coming Soon from Porkbelly Press

Threnody explores the figure of lady-death, an icon come to life in these poems about the death cart, the death kiss, and a narrative dance with death. This is a collection of linked micro fictions & vignettes. They read like prose poems, too, which is part of the beauty in them—these small works live in a liminal space, somehow between poetry and prose, but also an almost-dream state between life and death. Sometimes versus too. | pre-order

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Threnody is one kickass, wailing dirge that has death driving shotgun, “more hold you than break you apart,” luminous, pulsating poetry that defies fear and denial. —Meg Tuite

If you’d like to hear Wiseman read one of her poems from the chap, you can follow the audio link: here. This is a contemporary dance with death, set in modern day. It’s also a bit of a ghost story about what might follow you home from el museo.

Below is the piece Laura’s reading in the audio file, an excerpt from the late-middle of Threnody:

Kissing Death

The lady of death gives me the kiss of death. I don’t know why. I was just standing in jeans and a ribbed tee, my belt hard and black, the metal clasp opening, warm in my hands. She appeared in my room, looked up at me from those dark sockets—her body all rib bone, clavicle, pelvis flair, hands and fingers as delicate as cages of dead birds. I didn’t want the kiss of death. We both stared at it for a while, crawling and scooting on the cement floor. I grabbed an empty coffee cup and trapped it, but when I knelt to slide a piece of paper beneath the edge, it was gone. I looked up at death, but she shrugged and reached into the space where her heart had been for another.

About the Author

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her recent books are American Galactic (Martian Lit Books, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), and the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins. She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, and Feminist Studies. www.lauramadelinewiseman.com

pre order

Wiseman’s chapbook is available for pre-order via Wicked Little Heart. Pre-orders ship first, hot off the press!

Bodies in Water & Vein of Stone (open edition)

We’re pleased to present you with a first look at the open edition covers of two of our titles. These covers are inkjet printed on matte professional photo paper & feature hand-cut title flags, typewritten on recycled (100% PCW) paper. Each varies slightly.

Bodies in Water Cover Art

“No River Like Craving” (oil, 36 x 48 inches) by Angie Reed Garner.
Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky. www.angiereedgarner.com

Vein of Stone Cover Art

“I Was Listening” (collagraph & monotype, 15 x 22 inches) by Kathleen Piercefield.
Piercefield is a Kentucky based printmaker and fine artist. www.kpiercefield.com

 

Bodies in Water and Vein of Stone are available via Etsy.
Special edition copies (screen printed covers) may also be available. Please check our Porkbelly Press shop section.

Stay tuned for a look at our first micro chapbooks & other titles.