Chapbooks

Porkbelly Press’ chapbooks (poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction) are produced in open handsewn editions, sometimes with an initial run of special edition covers.

2017 Chapbook Series

(forthcoming)

Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by M. Brett Gaffney » shop » $9.50

2016 Chapbook Series

Inter: Burial Places (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Billie Tadros is at once like a confession and a chant, carrying us through a narrative of seeking, something lost, desire, full of language like “your lips always decanting like prayer.” It feels urgent and dark and betwixt what was and what will be—even the poem titles play with sound and definition. “Everything I know about layers lies your body,” and “I love you irrationally. You love me like rationing.” are love letter to the turn of language, meaning, and the she in these poems. This is a masterful play at word and line and poem, a cut and stitched love song written in music and ash and heart meat. » shop » $9.50

A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Amorak investigates place and the things that memory and reflection have made of it. Poems are titled after locations specific to a farm where the speaker played as a child. It becomes a landscape of vivid details coalescing into a map of the self, an ever deepening investigation of recollection & the things we carry with us. » shop » $9.50

Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Wren Hanks is a haunted little chapbook about identity and ancestry, at once a eulogy for what is lost, a grandmother, and a falling away of the past self, a transition into new-self. The language is lush and image-heavy, speaking of moon jellies, trumpet vines, and red feathers—Gorgons and thistles and bones. Divine with this speaker, discover the things embedded into their skin like memory, rooted deep and blooming. » shop » $9.50

hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by James A. H. White. White’s work feels at once breathless and intense, reaching to capture vivid blooms of a life-history in poems grown so intricately together that they’re tangled, almost inseparable. It is the story of mother and father, of identity and travel and seeking and ghosts both behind and before. This is a tessellation of light, color, memory and story, a gay son fitting the pieces of self together and offering it up in poems. Each poem feels like a secret, each leaves you wanting more. » shop » $9.50

Rooted by Thirst, Tina Mozelle Braziel’s chapbook of poems, is meditation and journey, a circumambulation 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. » shop » $9.50

2015 Chapbook Series

Centralia by Sarah Gzemski. Centralia is a mixed genre chapbook, blending personal essay, photographs, and poems into a narrative of family, silence, admiration, and regret. It’s very much about things unseen or only hinted at, told against the backdrop of a small town in Pennsylvania, a community resting on a thin crust of earth spanning fire. This is a chapbook well suited to the image-rich, surreal imagery of an underground burn, rooted in a sense of place and colored by a veil of smoke. Just when you think you know what this narrative’s about, another fissure opens. » shop » $9.50

Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night by E. Kristin Anderson. 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?” » shop » $9.50

How to Leave a Farmhouse by Beth McDermott. How to Leave a Farmhouse engages the landscape, flora, and the manmade, to weave a multi-part narrative of place. Structures are left behind to become a part of the historical and visual character of this land—these poems draw from documents and paintings, then imagine something deeper, crafting something that’s a little bit ekphrasis, a little bit record, and something that’s almost the ghost story of a farmhouse. “What’s intact, you’ve learned, / is the upside of ruinous. What’s ruinous is documented / before it disappears. What disappears—this is what it means / to go out with guns blazing as someone else is taking / the bull by the horns…” » shop » $9.50

Set the Garden on Fire: Poems by Chen Chen. This is the story of how a man is made up of everything from the cleaver his mother wields in the kitchen to the wonder pulled down from an evening a 13 year old spends draped in the arms of tree under the stars, running shoes laced for a proper leaving. It’s about identity and becoming, and the pain and the beauty in growing up a boy desiring other boys, the son caught between a father’s image and complicated, gorgeously messy reality, and the straddling of at least two cultures & citizenship. Even in the sharper moments, blade-edged and unflinching, this book remains somehow tender. » shop » $9.50

The Peace of Wild Things by 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. » shop » $9.50

My Heart in Aspic by 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.» shop » $9.50

Blood Knot by Suzanne Rogier Marshall. Suzanne’s chapbook is about things just under the surface, barely buried, waiting to be discovered. At first, this book seemed to be about a gorgeously imagined landscape, metaphor, of course, and then it traveled quickly into the guts of a family, of the things kept hidden and broken open like little secrets, the gemmed interior under the hard crust of stone. The language of her linked poems never let us go, alternately sharp and playful in places. “You tumble around inside of me,” says her narrator of a recent loss. This is how we felt upon the rising close of the final poem. » shop » $9.50

What’s pink & shiny / what’s dark & hard by Sarah B. Boyle. There’s a rhythm and a lyricism to Sarah’s poems that draw you in from the first. She talks about things like jail and love, blood and friendship, abortion and medicine and sex. These are poems of and about the female body. Linked poems weave a narrative close enough to be a secret whispered on the phone at 2am, full of sustained and blooming image. Read them if you’ve ever loved a woman, particularly if that woman is you. » shop » $9.50

College Town by Doug Paul Case. These linked poems explore desire, want, difficulty, and a gay man’s journey through the seasons & landscape (social & literal) of a college town in Indiana. In the words of one spot-on reviewer, “these poems are slow and then fast, sprinkled with sparky humor and sly wit and raw, gorgeous lust—with the occasional glimpse of a totally not-at-all gratuitous penis.” We were seduced all of these very things, and said yes, gorgeous, yes. Say yes. » shop » $9.50

2014 Chapbook Series

Love Letter to Biology 250 (Chella Courington) remembers those strange and unusual facts from Bio lectures and fictionalizes them into these lovely little specimens of micro fiction. She pins them into place in a narrative at once romantic and scientific, a display case of vignettes suitable for science types, nerd-brains & the curious. » shop » $9.50

Threnody (Laura Madeline Wiseman) is a journey in linked micro fictions through the orbit & embrace of death. It’s a descent that blurs the line between states & actions (life/death, struggle/dance, kiss/kill). It’s at once delicate & dangerous with a hint of sex—a fitting tribute to lady-death. One reviewer calls Wiseman an “archeologist of the subterranean mind.” Check it out and tell us what you think. » shop » $9.50

The Eighth Phrase by LB Williams: a chapbook of poetry exploring New York as it existed decades ago. It takes a look at the streets of Queens and other places like the New York Public Library, cemetery, revels in the sunken fog outside yellowing windows, the messy bustle of a city teeming with joy, bikes, attic windows, high heels, lusty sunlight, and plastic fruit. It may seem a strange list of items to string together, but this chapbook does it beautifully, painting a portrait of child-life and a sense of place so vivid that you can almost taste the ice cream and night air. » shop » $9.50

Skeleton Keys by Laura Garrison: a chapbook of poetry that combines a bit of night-circus magic with recollections from childhood. There’s a lovely energy in these poems, and a definite sense of wonder in discovery. Things are lost in tall grasses and found again in the light of a sunset behind a hill. You’ll find free verse and a few gems of modern American haiku. » shop » $10 (special limited edition)

Vein of Stone by Sarah McCartt-Jackson. This poet captured our ears and minds with her weaving of culture and language nestled in with little bits of folklore—she reaches down again and again to mine up the story of this family—what’s left of them in absence of each other—and she shows us how they’re marked like a body taking on coal dust with each breath. » $10 special edition (special edition SOLD OUT) » $9.50 open edition

l’appel du vide by Christina Cooke. Cooke pulls from a well of gender, identity, and sexuality, peppers it with a hint of Jamaican rhythm and language, and presents it to us in this set of poems. She coaxes words together in love-lust, examines the gaze, and brings us into the place of a woman-body walking over hot asphalt, the rain on her skin, and the taste of mango jam on her tongue. She does not shy away from the internal voice, self-doubt, or the anxious churning of a wanton body. » shop » $10 (special edition SOLD OUT)

Bodies in Water by P. Andrew Miller. This chapbook pairs a personal essay (sprinkled with lyric language and just a little shapeshifting magic) with a short story exploring the way the river song slowly takes over a woman’s life, and, in some ways, her family. It explores identity, memory, and obsession—you may look differently at the river the next time you cross one. » $10 special limited edition » $9.50 open edition

10 thoughts on “Chapbooks

  1. I love my copies of skeleton keys. May I order more?

  2. Pingback: cover art: Threnody (poems by Laura Madeline Wiseman) | Nicci

  3. Pingback: Write All the Words! – National Poetry Month: Guest Post from Sonya Vatomsky: I Was a Teenage Poet

  4. Pingback: Cheat River Review Issue 3 and 4 Contributor Achievements | Cheat River Review

  5. Pingback: Terpischore’s Atrium with Laura Madeline Wiseman | | T H E | B O O T H |

  6. Pingback: In Memoriam | One Minnesota Writer

  7. Hi, May I submit my chapbook as a PDF? I don’t have a docx/doc and my computer won’t allow a rtf … I don’t know why. I have Pages but if I send the chapbook in Pages, you may open it in a doc/x or another type of file but the page breaks and poems won’t be laid out correctly. May I submit as a PDF? I look forward to your reply. Thanks.

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