Apples or Pomegranates (Anita Olivia Koester)

Apples or Pomegranates is an intimate exploration of the spirit housed inside a body, the failings and the strength in each. Sometimes erotic and at other times full of another kind of wanting, this micro chapbook delves into the experience of living boldly, step by step along the path—”a tight-rope walking girl, a pit of lions beneath.” This is the route she takes on these pages, hand out, palm up, if you’ve courage enough to join her. (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt » available in our shop

about the poet

Anita Olivia Koester is a Chicago poet and author of the chapbooks Marco Polo (Hermeneutic Chaos Press) and Arrow Songs which won Paper Nautilus’ Vella Chapbook Contest. Her poems have been nominated for Best New Poets and Pushcart Prizes, and won Midwestern Gothic’s 2016 Lake Prize in Poetry, So to Speak’s Annual Poetry Contest, and the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Award. She is currently the poetry editor for Duende. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Vinyl, CALYX Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her work as been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA). Visit her online at www.anitaoliviakoester.com.

blurbs

In this collection, Koester gives us three central lessons. One, it is not always necessary to be loud to be ferocious. Two, there are unlimited ways to be naked, most of which happen clothed. Three, even longing that begins with nostalgia can blossom into something altogether and luminously new.

—Marty McConnell

Apples and Pomegranates unravels and interrogates a universe set on its denial of the body feminine. Artistic canon, the expectations and consequences of relationships, biology itself, and even language (its translation or mistranslation) are called into light by Koester’s words. “Travelling the fallopian tubes of the Milky Way” is a tender prospect in every sense of the word. Koester’s command of passion and utterance is that kind of double-edged wonder.

—Keith S. Wilson

Anita is also the cover artist for her chapbook.

My Body Is a Poem I Can’t Stop Writing (Kelly Lorraine Andrews)

My Body Is a Poem I Can’t Stop Writing is a body-confessional, an investigation of body in pleasure, in darkness, in touching, alone, medicated, in treatment, in sickness, in losing, in ashes, in poem. “It’s all real, and I can’t keep / anything private.” Intimacy is what is offered here, an unflinching look into the private, sometimes quiet moments of a body. “When I look in the mirror, I can’t stop looking.” In this micro chapbook of poems, we look with her. (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt

ABOUT THE POET

Kelly Lorraine Andrews’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PANK, Prick of the Spindle, SELFISH, and IDK magazine, among others. She is the author of the chapbooks The Fear Archives (Two of Cups Press), I Want To Eat So Many Kinds of Cake With You and Mule Skinner (both from Dancing Girl Press). Recently, she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA program in poetry. She co-edits the online journal Pretty Owl Poetry and curates its Pittsburgh reading series. Additional information about her publications, along with a slideshow of her cats, can be found at kellyandrewspoetry.com.

ABOUT THE COVER ARTIST

Jessica Earhart » themedialuna.com

Melissa Atkinson Mercer’s My Own Strange Beast

Mercer’s My Own Strange Beast is a cluster of short poems, most under twenty lines, packed with evocative language, lush image, and the dichotomy of the delicate and the sharp. There’s a lingering darkness here, a follower, something haunting this speaker through dreams, the smell of lotus, candles, and salted bones. They feel mythic, these women (mother/daughter, aunt/niece) in these poems, carrying baskets of dead fish, sitting in the glow of a brick oven, surviving together, searching together: “Your heart like a thin-throated flower,” she writes, “the small lamp of your face beside me.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more & excerpt

about the poet

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of Saint of the Partial Apology (Five Oaks Press) and five poetry chapbooks, including Star-Blind in the Family of Fortune Keepers (Hermeneutic Chaos), After the Miracle Season (Seven Kitchens Press), and ghost exhibit (Glass Poetry Press). Her work has recently appeared in Ruminate, Zone 3, Blue Earth Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and others and has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from West Virginia University, where she won the Russell MacDonald Creative Writing Award in Poetry.

cover art

artist » Danial Powers
portfolio » Empress Dragon Arts

Donna Vorreyer’s THE GIRL

Vorreyer’s The Girl is sharp and clear from the dedication: “To all the girls I have taught. To all the girls we once were.” These small prose poems are strung together like a chain of dolls cut from steel, each stronger for her connection to the other, but capable of claiming her own ground—each poem is a portrait of a girl, nameless. Each girl moves beyond that designation, none are just a girl, and their anonymity does not strip identity or agency. These are girls who stand where they will, treat their own wounds, heal broken things, fear little or nothing, persist in spite of, because of—”If she cries, she opens a window, knows her ghosts need a means of escape.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » available in our shop » more & excerpt

About the Poet

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks and Tinder, Smolder, Bones, and Snow forthcoming from dancing girl press. She serves as the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection and teaches middle school in the suburbs of Chicago.

» donnavorreyer.com

Cover Art

artist » Alexandra Eldridge
portfolio » alexandraeldridge.com

Ghost Tongue // Nicole Rollender

Ghost Tongue is a stunning blend of bone, blood, and haunting. It’s as much about what we inherit as what we carry inside to carve out and give, palm up, and the traces that linger even after a piece is gone. It’s about body and salt, absence, sweet things and marrow. It’s the ghost that speaks, the hunger that slips in. (Porkbelly Press, 2016) | available in our shop | excerpt

about the poet

Nicole Rollender’s first full-length collection, Louder Than Everything You Love (ELJ Editions), was published in late 2015. She’s author of the poetry chapbooks Arrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications), Absence of Stars (dancing girl press & studio) and Bone of My Bone, a winning manuscript in Blood Pudding Press’s 2015 Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, The Journal, Memorious, Radar Poetry, PANK, Salt Hill Journal, Thrush Poetry Journal, Word Riot and West Branch, among others. She is the recipient of poetry prizes from CALYX Journal, Princemere Journal and Ruminate Magazine. She earned her MFA in poetry at the Pennsylvania State University, and is the editor of Wearables magazine. Find her online at http://www.nicolerollender.com.

cover

The cover is inkjet printed on premium matte paper. It’s trimmed down to just under 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and bound by hand with heavy thread.

cover artist » Susan Yount
portfolio » susanyount.tumblr.com

Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay // Sarah Ann Winn

This is a dream landscape and it is underwater, all the house-things, human-things curled in between blades of red seaweed and pearl-filled oyster. It is a shimmer of sunlight filtering through from the surface, the glimmer of something faceted buried in silt. This micro chapbook is exploration and memory, the way we risk ourselves to look deep in search of some half-forgotten treasure, something we’ll always go back for, no matter how far down. (Porkbelly Press, 2016) | available in our shop  |  excerpt

About the Poet

Sarah Ann Winn’s writing has appeared or is upcoming in Five Points, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Little Patuxent Review, Massachusetts Review, and Passages North, among others. Her chapbooks include Field Guide to Alma Avenue and Frew Drive (Essay Press, 2016), and Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015). She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America. She teaches creative writing workshops and dispenses book recommendations as a free-range librarian in Manassas, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, two lovely beagle/lab mixed dogs, and one bad cat. Visit her at bluebirdwords.com or follow her @blueaisling.

Cover Art

The cover is inkjet printed on premium matte paper. It’s trimmed down to just under 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and bound by hand with heavy thread.

cover artist » Angie Reed Garner
portfolio » angiereedgarner.com

bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Robin Turner)

 

These tiny poems are fierce records of women & girls—even the youngest are deeply rooted, even the shortest lines packed with vivid imagery hold an edge—even those pretty yellow petals float on dark, and there’s no way to know how deep it goes, or what lies underneath, except to brave it. | available in our shop | excerpt

About the Poet

Robin Turner lives, works, and daydreams in Dallas, Texas. She is a teaching artist in museums, youth shelters, and community centers, and serves as an online writing guide for homeschooled teens. Her work has appeared in Anima Poetry, Ilya’s Honey, Nonbinary Review, Red River Review, Referential Magazine, Friends Journal, and in numerous other print and online publications.

» robinsmithturner.tumblr.com

Cover Art

The cover is inkjet printed on premium matte paper. It’s trimmed down to just under 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and bound by hand with heavy thread.

artist » Anita Olivia Koester
portfolio » anitaoliviakoester.com