Bettering American Poetry 2016 Nominations

Porkbelly Press’ Nominees from 2016

Shakeema Smalls for “rût.” First printed in Sugared Water #005, December 2016.

Michal Leibowitz for “In Sderot.” First printed in Persephone’s Daughters inaugural issue, reprinted in Sugared Water #005, December 2016.

James A. H. White for “Okaasan [Mother].” First printed in chapbook hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016).

Congratulations & good luck to all nominees! It’s been our pleasure to nominate this work for such an outstanding project.

From Bettering American Poetry’s nominations page

We want work that is unafraid to look, to shake shit up, to speak. We are interested in poems that challenge patriarchal and white supremacist power structures. We love poems that burn misogynist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, racist, xenophobic attitudes and behaviors at the core. Poems that critique the dominant culture and flummox the status quo, that speak with voices historically misrepresented, underrepresented, censored, and silenced make us sit up and listen hard. | more

Related Reading

» Bettering American Poetry‘s website
» An interview series with poets in Bettering American Poetry‘s 2015 anthology via VIDA

Feeding the Dead // M. Brett Gaffney

 

These poems are the knife edge, the hot blood, the wolf’s howl, and the fang of the girl who hunts him down. This book holds the haunted-house-horror and everything real underneath, the costume, the bruise after, the smoke curling in the heart of a hellhound. “After supper she pulls on boots, prepares her heart” and goes out to collect his “sharpest fang.” These poems are demons and strawberries and bones, and teeth, and agency, self, girl-power, woman-power—assertive figures preoccupied with agency, not beauty—not prettiness for the observer. This chapbook of poems is the bone-yard, the skeleton, the strength. “I am here to stay / … / I am just as real as anything else.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt

about the poet

M. Brett Gaffney, originally from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University and is the art editor for Gingerbread House. Her poems have appeared inExit 7, Rust+Moth, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, museum of americana, BlazeVOXRogue AgentApex Magazine,and Zone 3, among others. She currently works as a library associate in northern Kentucky and lives in Cincinnati with her partner and their dog, Ava.

Cover artist: Mary Chiaramonte »  www.merrysee.com
Cover art: “The Fables,” acrylic on wood, 24 x 36 inches.
Title typeface: Brain Flower by Denise Bentulan.

February’s Goodness

(News & happenings with/from/about our poets & writers.)

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Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen » chenchenwrites.com

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Apples or Pomegranates (Porkbelly Press, 2017 forthcoming)
by Anita Olivia Koester » anitaoliviakoester.com

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Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen Into the Bay (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Sarah Ann Winn » bluebirdwords

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Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by M. Brett Gaffney » blog

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My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky » www.sonyavatomsky.com

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A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Amorak Huey

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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 » ekristinanderson.com

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My Own Strange Beast (Porkbelly Press, 2017 forthcoming)
Melissa Atkinson Mercer

2017 Chapbook Lineup

Thank you to everyone who sent manuscripts to our 2017 chapbook call, for your patience in our review process, and for your gorgeous poems, essays, and fictions.

This reading period, we’ve selected four works of poetry. We’re excited to welcome these poets to the press family, and so very honored to be part of bringing these titles into the world.

chapbooks

Found Footage by Maggie Woodward

Mexicamericana by Eloisa Amezcua

Blackbird Whitetail Redhand by Lindsay Lusby

Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem by Kristi Carter

notes

M. Brett Gaffney’s Feeding the Dead, a chapbook of poems accepted last year, is scheduled for release later this month.

 

 

January’s Good Stuff

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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 » www.ekristinanderson.com

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Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Sarah Ann Winn » @blueaisling » bluebirdwords.com

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A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Amorak Huey

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Lost Birds of the Iron Range (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Amber Edmondson

Lost Birds of the Iron Range // Amber Edmondson

Lost Birds of the Iron Range (Amber Edmondson) takes the imagery of birds and spins it into a landscape of imagined moments, underground, above ground, often a secret chamber, bird held in the reliquary of a chest or belly or a cavern, subsisting on what warm and wriggling things can be found in such places. This is an excavation of feather, bone, limestone and lace: “a stowaway, a secret, a weathered map, leading back home.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » excerpt & more

about the poet

Amber Edmondson is a poet and book artist who lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior. Her work has appeared in Border Crossing, Menacing Hedge, and Stirring: A Literary Collection, among others. Her first chapbook, Darling Girl, is available from dancing girl press.

about the cover art & artist

Mary Woodworth » marywoodworth.com
title: “Navigating the Highlands”
media: collagraph
size: 30 x 22 inches

SKY+SEA

SKY+SEA is an anthology of poetry, prose, and art inspired by the stars, planets, nebulae, comets, the depths of the ocean, Galileo, sailors navigating by constellations, omens, shooting stars, and divination. » more

the contributors

Stacey Balkun, Lori Sambol Brody, Zelda Chappel, A.E. Clark, Tyree Daye, Kelsey Dean, Carlina Duan, Chelsea Eckert, Jennifer A. Howard, Sonja Johanson, Anita Olivia Koester, Sandra Marchetti, Ryan Mattern, Laura Sloane Patterson, Nicole Rollender, Jason Sears, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Kitsuko Steinman-Arendsee, and Nicole Tong.