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.

 

 

Love Letter to Biology 250, Chella Courington (Preview)

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. It’ll be released on December 5th, and is currently available for pre-order via Wicked Little Heart. | $7

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

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.

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!

Micro Chapbooks Coming Soon :D

We’re pleased to announce the acceptance of 8 micro chapbooks! We’re all mysterious at the moment, but we’ll do a blog post on each one after we travel back from Imaginarium (so sometime in late September). We’re very pleased to present you with these books, and will craft them over the next 6 months. The order isn’t set in stone, but we imagine it’ll look something like this:

The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine by Hilda Weaver
That Reckless Sound by Colleen Harris-Keith
Strangest Sea by Ariana Den Bleyker
midnight blue by Vanessa Jimenez Gabb
Mouth of the Rat, by Rob Mclennen
Tiny House by Melanie Faith
press yourself against a mirror by Janelle Adsit
Some Assembly Required by Colleen Harris-Keith

If you’re into that pre-order thing, you can find these in our Wicked Little Heart shop.

$6 each, handbound.

Give me the rope…

Give me the rope
that you tied around my finger, wild grapevine warped into a loop. Give
me your face, your hands cupping my breasts, your shoes filled with your mud
and feet. Give us your crooked back aching, your owl-lidded eyes, your breath
in our ears, our handplanes, our spindles, our hums, our ladles, and we will give you back
your money, your ring, your footprints in the corn, your tart apples picked
from your tree that make your mouth and tongue water.
your Ora

A sample of Sarah McCartt-Jackson‘s poetry from Vein of Stone (forthcoming this month). | pre-order

preview: Vein of Stone | off the press in late July

Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) is our first offering of Appalachian poetry. This chapbook of poems sifts through the life of a family in coal country, primarily via a series of letters from three voices. It calls to mind land full of limestone and sweet magnolia blossoms along a buffalo trace. | $10 | available in late July.

Pictured here are the covers awaiting end papers and finished guts. Pulled by hand (screen prints), these covers are printed in 2 colors on 65# stock (the kraft brown is 100% recycled, 20% PCW). The special edition release is limited to 75 hand-numbered, handsewn copies.

We were first introduced to Sarah’s poetry via her submission to Sugared Water lit mag’s Epistolary (a special edition of letters and letter-poems). She 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.

Below is a sample from the chapbook, a selection of two stanzas from “Kentucky Rose,” the opening poem:

Five days and a riverside away from his wife Ora, Eli knows the rain
by whether or not his ankles slap through coalwater,
whether the sludgy drip of soil-seep oils his palm.

And when the earthhush of that shaft struggles to slip from the blue
shale stitched above the carbon, the sound becomes the rasp
of a carpenter bee’s mandibles boring tunnels
into the porchwood to remove its yellow poplar
grain by grain, gram by spittled gram.

About the poet:

Recently chosen as artist-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for its 2014-2015 season, Kentucky poet Sarah McCartt-Jackson has spent decades developing her craft, dedicating her art to exploring the natural and cultural world that encompasses all who share in planet life. Through poetry, she endeavors to inspire others to connect, reflect, meditate, and act for the future of our ecosystems of all sizes: valley, prairie, forest, fern. As a poet, naturalist, and folklorist, McCartt-Jackson interprets scapes (landscape, homescape, culturescape) in both traditional and contemporary ways. Her poetry allows for enriched understanding for ideas to feather into a central locus, exploring the diversity of biological and cultural life and profound experience rooted in sanctuary and wilderness. Her work has been published by and received honors from the Academy of American Poets, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Copper Nickel, Indiana Review, Journal of American Folklore, Tidal Basin Review, and others.

Some of the poems from this chapbook originally appeared in: The Fourth River, Friends of Acadia Journal, Indiana Review, Redheaded Stepchild, and Sugared Water.

Forthcoming – l’appel du vide – Christina Cooke

Porkbelly Press is happy to announce the acceptance of Christina Cooke’s chapbook of poetry entitled l’appel du vide. | pre-order

Christina 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 chapbook. 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.

Perhaps our favorite thing about the chapbook is the irreverence with which it ends (but we won’t spoil that for you). It’s the attitude that first drew us in, and we are not disappointed at any page-turn.

Excerpt from l’appel du vide:

her, me

her hair
falls against my chest
cowlicks curling up
beckoning,
“come.”

reaching along her cheek, her neck
catching loose strands
as she cupsflattenscradles
palming my breasts.

fingers to warm skin
with both hands i hold her
just hold
her
swells of skin curving
not pale, flat

she exhales
makes space between her knees.

Christina Cooke currently lives and writes on the occupied and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, Canada). Her prose appeared in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society (CA) and Sou’wester (US); her creative non-fiction appeared in HYSTERIA: A Collection of Feminisms (UK); her poetry is forthcoming from Matrix Magazine (CA). She is also an editorial collective member of the feminist literary journal Room Magazine (CA). To learn more about her writerly endeavours, follow her on Twitter, @cjctlc, or her blog, Of That Close Kerning, So Splendiferous, Repletes.