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.

October’s Bacony Goodness

Good news, interviews, happenings, & pubs from our Porkbelly family.

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.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 » amorakhuey.net

Have you watched a skilled butcher break down a side of beef? Such precision, such devastation, the way the final product is not recognizably related to the slab of meat we started with—this teaches us something important about art. About hunger.

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Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018) & How Darkness Enters a Body (Porkbelly Press, 2018) by Sarah Nichols » @onibaba37

  • She May Be a Saint (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016) was part of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange!
  • Four poems up at Anti-Heroin Chic: “Are You Pregnant?,” “Skyfall,” “This is Not a Redemption Story, Part One,” and “This is Not a Redemption Story, Part Two.”

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

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

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Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Kristi Carter » @kristixcarter

  • Kristi’s book Cosmovore (Aqueduct Press, 2017) is available!

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig »

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

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First Bacon of Fall (September’s Good News)

 

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

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Love Me, Anyway (Porkbelly Press, 2018)
by Minadora Macheret

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Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Sarah Ann Winn » 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 » amorakhuey.net

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hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by James A. H. White

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

Because the word will not save you. Because an elegy is a body’s warm light unfolding. Because the tree cannot hold all of you. Because love’s glossolalia isn’t translatable. Because translation is a kind of murder. Because language is both the bread and the knife. Because we could all stand to be a little more like flowers. When I Grow Up I Want To Be A List Of Further Possibilities pairs well with a date to the zoo, the works of Paul Celan, and New York tap water. Chen Chen’s poems are hearts too big for their bodies. // @shitty_book_reviews

  • Chen’s interviewed by Allison Peters for Michigan Quarterly Review.

    “I want to write and to read poems with this kind of scrappy don’t-fuck-with-me-but-also-gahh-I’m-a-human-ness,” says Chen. // more

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MEXICAMERICANA (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Eloisa Amezcua » www.eloisaamezcua.com

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.com

  • a review of The Girl is up on Glass! (review by Amorak Huey!)

These are poems to be believed. This experience is real. Fraught and complex and contradictory and imaginative and impossible, naturally, but real nonetheless.

… Vorreyer starts this collection with a bit of a mystery, our heroic girl stopping “mid-stride in the center of a crosswalk.” The world does not know what to make of her, frozen like this, getting in the way of things. The girl’s parents, the police, a priest — all of them are unable to persuade her to move. The poem ends that way: the world freaking out, the girl unflinching. // more

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig » pdkindig.wordpress.com

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Excerpt from Kimberly Ann Southwick’s reviews of three Porkbelly Press titles on Ploughshares blog this month:

Porkbelly Press is a Cincinnati-based press that puts out chapbooks and micro-chapbooks as well as a literary magazines and anthologies. It describes itself as an “indie queer-friendly, feminist press” and produces chapbooks that are hand-stitched. Porkbelly is as diverse as its description claims, boasting titles like Eloisa Amezcua’s Mexicamericana, Billie R. Tadros’ inter: burial places, and Wren Hanks’ Ghost Skin, in addition to those reviewed below, which exemplify the high-quality writing the press values. // more

Titles reviewed include: hiku [pull] by James A. H. White, A Map of the Farm Three Miles From the End of Happy Hollow Road by Amorak Huey, and Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen Into the Bay by Sarah Ann Winn.

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Porkbelly Press tabled at the Kentucky Fried Zine Fest (Lyric Theater & Cultural Arts Center, Lexington, Kentucky). We met some fab people & scooped up cool stickers, patches, & zines! Thanks for the welcome and all the writing&activism&life conversation, KFZ!

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June’s Bacony Goodness

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig » pdkindig.wordpress.com

  • 3 poems in yalobusha review :  “Prayer of Commendation,” “Boys’ Time,” & “Cento.”
  • presto“—a gorgeous poem—appears in the inaugural issue of Underblong.
  • … which inspired a micro review from Joyce Chong via wildness!

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Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Nicole Rollender » www.nicolerollender.com

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MEXICAMERICANA (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Eloisa Amezcua » www.eloisaamezcua.com

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bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Robin Turner » website

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Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015) &
The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Ariana D. Den Bleyker » arianaddenbleyker.com

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My Body Is a Poem I Can’t Stop Writing (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Kelly Lorraine Andrews » kellyandrewspoetry.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 » amorakhuey.net

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

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

  • When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017) reviewed by James Davis May via The Rumpus.
  • Chen released the inaugural issue of Underblong, the online mag he co-edits.

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.com

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Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018)
by Sarah Nichols

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March & Porkbelly

(Good news, happenings, publications, awards, and general good stuff by/with/for our poets & writers.)

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

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.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 » amorakhuey.net

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

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig » pdkindig.wordpress.com

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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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Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Nicole Rollender » nicolerollender.com

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How to Leave a Farmhouse (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Beth McDermott

  • new work appears in Bayou issue 66!

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

  • poem “Tapestry with White Columns” won the Sable Books Poetry of Protest contest judged by Shadab Zeest Hashmi

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Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Wren Hanks » wrenhanks.tumblr.com

  • Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016) was nominated for an Elgin Award.

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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

Goodbye, 2016 Bacon – AKA December News

(News, events, & good things from our poets & writers.)

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Poems for Ivan (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Sara Adams » kartoshkaaaaa.com

  • A new interview over at Speaking of Marvels! One of our favorite pieces of advice, aside from ditching projects that suck: “Have a cat. He will love you no matter how many words you can put together.”

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My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky » 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 » amorakhuey.net

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

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The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (Porkbelly Press, 2014)
by Hilda Weaver

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Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Nicole Rollender » www.nicolerollender.com

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bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Robin Turner

  • a micro review of Robin’s chapbook via James Brush & Via Negativa.

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Apples or Pomegranates (Porkbelly Press, forthcoming 2017)
by Anita Olivia Koester

  • Anita is winner of the Midwest Gothic Lake Prize, poetry.
  • her work received a Pushcart nomination from Shot Glass Journal.

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inter: burial places (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Billie R. Tadros

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

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Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Wren Hanks

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midnight blue (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Vanessa Jimenez Gabb

  • Vanessa will also be reading at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on January 7th, perhaps even from her own Porkbelly Press title, midnight blue, and probably from her very recently released full-length book!

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Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Chen Chen

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Goodbye, 2016! See you soon, 2017.